Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WARNING: Political post--proceed at your own risk

One of my son's homework assignments for the weekend was to come up with a controversial solution to an important social issue of the day. The assignment sprung out of recent reading of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal.

I was surprised to learn that High School students are still reading this piece, and I don't understand why it is discussed as being shocking in this day and age. We are content to allow thousands of babies to be chopped into pieces and incinerated each day here in the US. In parts of Eastern Europe, young women are paid to get pregnant and abort at a certain, optimal number of weeks, when the fetus reaches the perfect stage for use in facial beauty products and treatments. In other parts of Europe it is legal to kill imperfect infants after they are born.

So if all of this is perfectly OK, why should the thought of eating them be so bad? Wouldn't it be less of a waste if all these millions of blobs of flesh were consumed?

I'm shocked that A Modest Proposal remains in the junior-year corpus in this day and age.

Shouldn't we keep English classes out of our bedrooms? Err, kitchens?

Isn't this sort of thing an infringement on a woman's right to menu plan?


Pranayama mama said...

albeit satire, it's good that this topic remains shocking in 2009! the bad news is that the other topics you mentioned are not considered shocking any more and/or are so disturbing that they're not discussed at all. (if we ignore them, maybe they'll go away.)

Nzie said...

Of course the interesting thing is that Swift was trying to cause compassion in the reader by use of extremes... now I guess the killing is commonplace- it's just 'disgusting' that 'waste' would be food.