When we started this site I feared this day would come. I have to violate my own personal standard as a wanna-be writer: Don’t Be Boring.
Why I Have to Be Boring
We sent our Christmas card to friends and family, and included our postcard from Worldcon, in addition to personalized Christmas greetings and such. Our mothers didn’t know they had provided fake quotes promoting our comic. We thought we might want to let them know, so when the thought police show up to arrest them they will understand why. We’ve now heard back from some of them. All the responses boil down to the same sentiment, couched in as nice a verbiage as they can muster.
“I don’t get it.”
The root of the problem is that they are unfamiliar with the language of the New Authoritarians. They don’t see the war raging across the ‘net and in society because the language hasn’t filtered up into pop culture yet. Even Fox News is terrible at actually delivering facts, and they are arguably the least muzzled of the lot.
The words themselves might never be uttered on The View, but the sentiments behind those words absolutely are. Savor the irony when feminists are prominently featured and cry about online bullies.
So in yesterday’s strip when our grizzled detective said, “I didn’t ask for his pronouns”, they had no idea what that means, why it would be considered abuse, or why it would be funny or pithy or both.
I have to be boring because I need to provide a basic vocabulary that Authoritarians use. This will not be an easy task, because they change the words weekly. Hyperbole also hurts the effort, yet that is the thing I bring to the table.
I have decided to do these in “potato chip” posts as our comics need them. I’ll spit them out in addition to the regular content you keep coming back to us for. When you see the heading The Spork Speaks: Wacky Term you will hopefully forgive me. I will also be boring in the comments for these. I view the comments our readers leave as an extension of the humor, which is why I think I’ve only answered one comment seriously since we started.
I’m not interested in the origins of the terms or the implications or anything in-depth. Many other writers cover those things in great detail and do a much better job than I can. So each Spork Speaks post will have links you can go to for more in-depth discussion. If you have a blog post or an additional link I should consider, feel free to leave it in the comments. I really don’t care about posts defending the madness. Leaving such things will be considered the worst microaggression imaginable and will surely trigger me.
Let me try a sample and we’ll see how I do.
The Spork Speaks: Pronouns
The New Authoritarians have discovered well over 50 different genders people can have, and the list grows regularly. This creates a problem, because in the old-fashioned-wrong-side-of-history world most people still live in you call folks either “he” or “she” depending on how they look. It mostly works, because most people are readily identifiable as either a man or a woman.
I’m sorry if your head just exploded. You shouldn’t be reading this anyway.
So in what way should we refer to these new genders? In comes the snappy new phrase, “what are your pronouns?” In order to initiate conversation you should ask this, even if the person you are interacting with is someone very close to you like your spouse or your child. They might have changed their preferences since the last time you saw them, even if it was 5 minutes ago to brush their teeth before heading off to catch the school bus.
You should expect to get back some interesting phrases. Xe, Ze, Zhe, Zir, Hir, ‘e, and ‘s are pretty standard. Ey, Hu, Jee, Ney, Peh, Per, and Thon are all possibilities as well. You are expected to know and use all of them. Correctly. Because if you do not, you are guilty of misgendering the person, a crime punishable in New York by a fine of $250,000.
If you want to have some fun with an Authoritarian, good luck. If you wish to send them into apoplectic fits, point out that God has a preferred pronoun too. It is He.
More Humor Available!
Well, in hindsight, that one wasn’t too bad. I need to do some research to find a good link for more information but I’m sure it’ll be something over at John C. Wright’s blog. He goes into great depth on stuff like this, and writes some excellent science fiction novels as well. If you have a particular link, leave it in the comments. I’d appreciate the help.
If you are still looking for your daily dose of funny, this is the article I might have written about the Mayor’s response to the Cologne debacle over New Years, if I was a talented enough writer. I mention it here because I’m sure it got censored over on Reddit.