For those who believe that satire died in 1729 with Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' think again. Satirist Paul Duncan, 'The Out And Abouter' is here to tell you that humans are the greatest assault on our planet. That perhaps by eradicating homo sapiens from the equation, terra firma might have a better chance at surviving. That perhaps euphemistically speaking 'people' are the 'white elephant' in the room, creating what Al Gore has presciently described as out 'Inconvenient Truth.'
A Modest Proposal
Swift's essay 'A Modest Proposal,' describes how children are a burden to their parents' in what is hailed as one of greatest examples of sustained irony in the English language. The shock value of the impoverished Irish selling their children 'as food' to the rich uses hyperbole to address the social issue of poverty. It mocks the heartless attitudes toward the lower classes, as well as the ruthless British policies toward the Irish in general.
Vote To Phase Out People By The Year 2040
Duncan's proposal titled: 'Rest Of Earth’s Inhabitants Vote To Phase Out People By The Year 2040' is a broader perspective that goes beyond class and a nation state's dilemma. His essay addresses "all" humans and how the world would be a better place to live, if it was devoid of the number one culprits behind today's imminent climate crisis.
In a unanimous decision, a consensus was reached at the 3,487,562,490th annual global convention for multi-cellular organisms that people needed to go. While Duncan doesn't outline how the 20-year human phase-out plan will work, he does note that the raccoons were awaiting "the order to eat all of the people's car keys, thus beginning the end of their species."
Duncan then interviews several animals who deliver scathing indictments pertaining to the carnage man has bestowed on their homeland.
A large bear weighs in that while "the surplus of garbage and warmer winters have been nice, (he) can no longer lick a creek without tasting the mercury."
“In any event,” the bear continued, after biting into a complimentary donut. “My home has been logged, my rivers dammed, and my photo taken – badly I might add – without my permission."
Canine dissenting points of view . . ,
The phase-out plan was not without dissenters. Duncan's anthropomorphic satire gives voice to a Shih Tzu. While trying to to "pull off a look of deep gravitas, despite having his bangs gathered into a simply adorable topknot." this little guy states: "I for one have loved my masters."
Nonetheless, he was shut down by a non-domestic canine. A wolf shouted: “Masters? What the hell is wrong with you? You used to be noble animals. Now you bark at your own shadow, do tricks for treats, and wear pashmina sweaters."
Feline point of view . . .
Duncan ends his treatise by giving a cat the final word. When a large bull elephant asks a cat about his feelings on the issue, the cat replies, "rolling her shoulders slightly," causing the conventioneers to take " a large step back": "Oh yes. Our position on that remains unchanged. Fuck ’em.”
The majority of commenters of Duncan's essay understood the intent of his satire. They're aware that since man was the cause of today's climate crisis, they need to wake up to its repercussions, and if something major isn't done soon, we all stand to lose our great big blue marble.
However one dissenter apparently missed the point calling out the treatise as a "ridiculous article, monstrous in its genocidal undertones."
To which we give Duncan and Swift the last word. When the "satirical mechanism of exaggeration" is used effectively it is often the straightest line between two points. Perhaps if we look at ourselves as "guests" to this planet and not "interlopers" we will respect the land we've be given. On the flip-side, for those who think we have dominion and the right to dominate, we're headed toward an egregious and dark outcome.
Thank you Paul Duncan for your insight, and in spotlighting something we need to be reminded of, on a regular basis. See you at the 2040 Convention, to see how it all plays out.
Primary Source: The Out And Abouter