Despotism Made Easy

The following guest-essay by Brad Lena was written more than a decade ago, but seems remarkably apropos for the dystopian time we live in — especially the chapter entitled “Scientists like money, too”.

Despotism Made Easy

A Self-Help Guide for the Aspiring Tyrant

by Brad Lena
Copyright © 2010

Introduction

Modern political visionaries, whether they are global healers or regional thugs, are reformers in a hurry. In their mad dash to perfect the human condition, they tend to overlook issues critical to their careers and longevity. By contrast, an ascendant visionary with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of despotism can extend his legacy for months or even years before being deposed or assassinated.

The reader will find this guide’s carefully selected recommendations equally applicable to run-of-the-mill oligarchies, utopian fantasies, or fascist dictatorships. “Despotism Made Easy” helps pave the way — from the first usurpations all the way to palatial exile. Each topic gets right to the point, enabling a busy reformer with only a few minutes of free time to browse a topic for guidance before working over the financial sector.

I. Job No. 1: Disarm the people

Nothing puts a damper on a reformer’s day like a populace that will not embrace utopia. Of course, once dissenting voices are muzzled, the objections become more like white noise — an irritant but tolerable. But — and this is an important but” — an armed citizenry can really play havoc with your agenda and legacy. Perhaps most disheartening to the reformer is the realization that armed resistance signifies that the people might not totally appreciate all that you’re trying to do for them.

History teaches us that radically altering the social, political, and economic order without first disarming the populace is untidy and risky. Most citizens, given enough incentive, will get with the program. But why chance it? An accelerating program of firearm restriction, registration, taxation, and confiscation will do much to ensure a smooth transition to a new era of social justice, equity, fraternity, and solidarity.

As you’re disarming the populace, it is important that you do not disarm your own people. Easily enough said, but in the hustle and bustle of reform, mix-ups can and do occur. Consider dressing your supporters in colorful uniforms with shiny boots and distinctive armbands. This will avoid confusion as well as foster a sense of unity among those who understand your reforms.

What if the armed forces of the government are staffed by volunteers? The short answer is to co-opt them through economic and medical enticements, which become dramatically more valuable as reform progresses. The real solution takes time. Establish youth schools and get them while they’re young— very young. To make certain that the rising generation thinks the way you do about the relationship between the citizens and the state, you must make their former frame of reference disappear. This is best achieved through indoctrination disguised as education.

Patience is key. Do not be one of those know-it-alls who bets the farm on getting everything corrected all at once. That will only raise expectations among the people. A sullen and lethargic population is the friend of reform.

II. The trains actually do have to run on time

You’d be surprised how many aspiring reformers overlook the fact that, after the soaring rhetoric has faded, the public expects some level of competence in government. Uncorrected, this easy-to-miss oversight can awaken the people from their sleepwalk to servitude. Make no mistake: If Mussolini hadn’t made the trains run on time as promised, the Italians would have shot him much sooner. Fortunately, people in the modern era are much less discerning. The mere perception of competence satisfies them almost as much as the real thing.

Reformers, as we all know, are busy people and the issue of competence may be an academic exercise rather than one derived from actual experience. This potential problem can be worsened when your prescriptions for reform include everything under the sun. Granted, a populace with an irrational sense of entitlement will encourage the chosen one to solve everything, but don’t be fooled by this pandering to omnipotence. At this stage, your job is to ensure they think things are improving — even if it’s only v i a smoke and mirrors.

For example, if the economy is going to hell in a hand basket, toss them some bones — s u c h as expanding their entitlement to the money of the producing segment of the populace. Or print some more money (but make certain you warn your friends in the financial sector before doing so).

These tried-and-true practices will mollify the nonproductive and envious segments while freeing you to bring more of the economy under your direct control.

Also, do not to throw too many of your trusted associates under the bus too early in the game. They have to be trotted out from time to time as living proof that you’re employing the best and the brightest to tackle the problems caused by others. If there are issues of compliance and legality, just rely on their arrogance and contempt for the rule of law to get you through pesky tight spots.

Don’t worry if you haven’t followed through on any of your previous promises or programs. Just keep promising new solutions to other problems or invent problems to which you can offer solutions. The general idea is to keep the improvements and social justice coming. If you do, they’ll never see it coming.

III. Subvert the language: The rest is easy

Words that have a specific meaning are not reform-friendly. A specific meaning can lead to benchmarks in which an action or concept is assessed for its connection to reality or productivity. Real reformers know that the real action resides in the process, not in the results. Words that have a universally accepted meaning enable the public to make determinations that are independent of the reformer’s vision. Worse yet, they can foreshadow the emergence of unauthorized solutions. Don’t allow your reforms to be compromised by viable alternatives.

The name of the game is to replace the national dialogue with incoherence. Once you establish conflict between the former meaning of a word and the new and improved meaning, it’s a relatively short step to subverting the rule of law. A people unable to agree on the meaning of words cannot offer unified resistance.

Replacing the existing meaning of a word with a definition subservient to your reform objectives takes time. Fortunately, there are ready, able and willing allies.

The greatest helpers are those in the education and media cartels. Their ability to shape the public mindset, as well as their willingness to be co— opted into the reform agenda, ensures a steady erosion of language as a societal bond.

It is important to provide these allies with appropriate levels of financial and regulatory support. Also, utilize their sense of moral superiority by parroting everything they say and value. This way, they will think you are one of them and cooperate fully. Eventually, you won’t need them and that will be that, but in the meantime they are useful and malleable.

Remember, commonly shared values and understanding are not conducive to reform. A collective memory of the former relationship between the rulers and the ruled can foment questions that are better left unasked. These impediments can be overcome, but they can be a drain on coercive and financial resources that will undoubtedly be needed when push comes to shove.

IV. Funny money: Make sure you’re the one laughing

Imposing monetary policies that erode financial and societal underpinnings is a surefire way to get everybody’s attention. Initially, they simply create uncertainty, but with continued reform, it becomes full-blown public panic. Those who can add and subtract in the various industrial and financial segments soon figure out the end game and get with the program rather enthusiastically.

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Disadvantaged and Marginalized Swedish Youths Take Hostages in an Eskilstuna Prison

Two misguided “Swedish” youngsters have reacted to years of discrimination and racism by taking two guards hostage in a prison in the Swedish city of Eskiltuna.

The conclusion of the following account is a sardonic spoof; the original on which it is based is here (see also this Yahoo News report). The inspiration for the final paragraph is this line from the original: “Tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet reports that they have offered to release one of the hostages in exchange for having 20 kebab pizzas distributed to other inmates.”

Swedish officials say two inmates have taken a pair of prison guards hostage. The Swedish Prison and Probation Service said they were barricaded inside part of the penitentiary 75 miles west of Stockholm in what officials described as “a very dangerous situation.” The prison service said the inmates abducted the prison officers after breaking into a guards’ room soon on Wednesday and covering up the surveillance cameras. Swedish media say the prisoners have demanded a helicopter to help them escape.

Tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet reports that they have offered to release one of the hostages in exchange for an advance of 20 virgins in anticipation of the 72 they expect to receive upon martyrdom. The Swedish government is making a frenzied effort to find virgins. Officials say privately that they are unlikely to locate that many before tonight’s deadline.

My attempt at gallows humor is not meant to detract from the seriousness of the situation in Eskiltuna. This is an ongoing story, and there’s no telling what the final outcome will be, but it may not turn out well for those two unfortunate guards.

The Mad Dog Election

As you all know by now, Time magazine recently published an article entitled “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election”, which basically owns up to all the things that “conspiracy theorists” said the Left did to swing the presidential election to Joe Biden. Yes, it stops short of acknowledging all those hastily manufactured mail-in ballots that were trucked in at the last moment and run through counting machines multiple times. But it describes everything else we deplorables have been saying about what happened — the media manipulation, the alliance between the hard Left and major corporations, etc.

What stood out for me when I read the article was this paragraph:

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream—a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures. [emphasis added]

Perhaps because I’m an old hippie, the word “fortified” immediately made me think of fortified wine. Which is wine (or at least a base imitation of wine) that has been supercharged by the infusion of distilled spirits, usually brandy. The cheapest varieties of such “wines” are augmented by artificial flavoring and garish colors. Examples include Thunderbird (the old version of it, bottled by Gallo if I’m not mistaken) and MD 20/20 (bottled by Mogen David), more popularly known as “Mad Dog”.

What better metaphor could be found for the November 3 election? The Left started out with a weak, ineffective product, fortified it with a massive infusion of specially distilled votes, added artificial ideological flavors and colors, and the Biden/Harris administration is the intoxicating result!

It was strong enough to vote ordinary Americans under the table. And now the entire country needs to go into detox.

All the Self-Righteousness and Twice the Repression!

It’s time to take a break from all the madness and watch a brief satirical video from Germany.

Actually, it doesn’t really provide a break from the insanity. But at least we get to laugh at it.

Many thanks to Hellequin GB for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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Wimp Your Ride

It’s well-established that the front ends of cars look like faces. Cartoonists have been exploiting the resemblance for over a century. Many modern SUVs seem to have faces like the helmets of Empire storm troopers in the Star Wars movies, but that may just be my idiosyncratic apperception of them.

When I was driving home from the Outer Boonies yesterday, the faces of the oncoming vehicles made me think: Those cars should be masked. And that gave me the idea for a business venture.

Now is the time for a shrewd entrepreneur to market face masks for vehicles. The ad copy could go something like this:

You protect yourself. You protect your wife. You protect your kids. Why does the family car deserve any less?

You owe it to your vehicle to keep it SAFE.

The masks should be made of durable, waterproof, porous fabric. It would probably be advisable to use them only during cold weather, but that should see us well through the election and into the violent madness that is sure to follow it.

And when the cop stops you and tells you you’re interfering with the air flow to your engine, you can say (through your mask): “Duh! You think so?”

People could make a statement about COVID-19 with their vehicles, all without contravening the WHO or being banned from Facebook and Twitter.

The masks could be manufactured in different colors and patterns, and even feature the logo of the manufacturer in the middle. Ford masks, Cadillac masks, Lamborghini masks.

If you can’t stay socially distanced from the car in front of you, you can at least have enough consideration to mask your SUV.

I’m too lazy to try to realize this project myself, so I offer it here for an ambitious entrepreneur to take up. I don’t know how much of a capital outlay it would entail, but it surely can’t be all that much.

The time has come for vehicle masking!

We all have the same goal: to flatten the curve in the road ahead of us.

The Love Priest Welcomes Cultural Enrichment to Germany

Long-time readers will remember Tim Kellner, the former German police officer with decidedly politically incorrect opinions about immigration. In the following video Mr. Kellner reinvents himself as “The Love Priest” to welcome culture-enrichers to Germany in a highly sarcastic manner. (For a glimpse of the Love Priest before he became so pink and glittery, see this photo from 2017.)

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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Hey, Macron, Tais-Toi! Consider Louis XVI…

The Baron and I were discussing this latest unfortunate incident in the Yellow(ed) Vest demonstrations. [They’re getting yellowed with age on those French streets, y’all. That poor woman was a “jolie jeune fille” when these marches started so long ago. Now she’s a discard being lectured by Macron.]

Macron! Of all people!

Rumors are he has a helicopter on standby… when the going gets tough, he evidently plans to get going.

Well, those Yellow Vests used a forklift to open some gates, remember? Emmanuel had better hope one of them doesn’t have an anti-aircraft gun in his sac à dos.

Here’s the late Alan Sherman, a favorite of Americans of a certain age, warning Louis XVI what was gonna happen. Macron should pay careful attention.

Mr. Sherman’s lyrics are below the fold.

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Samizdat on a $5 Bill

It seems that forbidden information is circulating on paper currency in Canada:


(Click to enlarge)

Samizdat on loonies! Who’da thunk it?

Our long-time reader and commenter leCanadien, who sent us the photo of the bill, explains how he came by it:

I just received this interesting $5 Canadian bill from a bank machine.

You could call it: ‘News Dissemination Iron Curtain Style’

It says: Senate Committee on the Trudeau Regime Letting ISIS Terrorist into Canada

On the left side it says: Google You Tube

Just think of the ramifications of this remarkable new medium for expressing dissent. In the Soviet Union, the government inhibited the production of samizdat by (among other methods) making paper difficult to obtain. But there’s no shortage of loonies in circulation — in fact, as the value of the Canadian dollar drops, more of them will be printed. As long as the government continues pretending to pay people, there will be plenty of paper for dissidents.

I suppose the government could always restrict the supply of felt-tip pens, however. In that case the dedicated producer of samizdat will have to draw his own blood and scratch his message on a (CAD) $1,000,000 bill using a toothpick or torn-off piece of fingernail…

Boris and the Burka

El Inglés uses the recent controversy over Boris Johnson’s remarks to introduce some little-known historical examples of Islamophobia.

Boris and the Burka

by El Inglés

Boris Johnson is at it again, it seems. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen, Britain’s most/least-admired/hated (delete as appropriate) white, straight, male, privileged, politician has caused a stir by saying that Muslim women in burkas look like ‘bank-robbers’ and ‘letter-boxes.’

Given that no bank robber in the history of the world has ever actually looked like a letterbox, it seems clear that at least one of these two epithets must be inaccurate. Here, we will put that to one side and focus on the response to his comments.

One Lord Cooper, of whose existence I was unaware until fairly recently, communicated the following via Twitter in response to Boris’s comments:

The rottenness of Boris Johnson goes deeper even than his casual racism and his equally casual courting of fascism. He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment.

Lord Cooper, which actually means Lord Barrelmaker, and is therefore a very weird title, had effectively accused Boris of being a fascist. Woop-de-doop. Another day, another fascist under the bed. So far, so original.

Let us ask, though: was the charge actually fair in this particular case? It is no secret that Boris is a gigantic, attention-seeking bellend. Could he also be a fascist?

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Whatever exactly one thinks of Johnson’s comments, we need to be clear about one thing: anti-Muslim feeling has by no stretch of the imagination been limited to fascists, historically speaking. People of all different political backgrounds have despised Islam equally. Let us consider a few examples here.

Ho Chi Minh — Communist and Islamophobe Extraordinaire

Ho Chi Minh was a hugely talented Islamophobe. According to his unauthorized biography Not That Type of Ho…, Ho was arrested for attacking a group of Algerian men with a meat cleaver during his days in Paris in the 1920s. He was quoted in his police statement as having said:

Why so many ****ing Muslims in Paris? Why they park all over sidewalk so no can pass? Why they shout at me and lady friend when we walk down street? Next time I kill even more, ****ing hate ****ing Muslims.

That hard-left sentiments and anti-Muslim bigotry often walk hand-in-hand is made abundantly clear by this tale of borderline psychotic Islamophobia.

Jane Austen — World-famous Victorian novelist and grand wizard-level Islamophobe

Jane Austen’s position as a greatly-loved English novelist seemed unassailable until 2014, when previously unknown letters of hers exposed her as a raving anti-Islamic nutcase. The following is a particularly choice demonstration of her unrelenting anti-letterbox bigotry.

I happened upon a most unlovely bearded bollockhead of a Mohammedan a few short days ago, whereupon I did immediately start screeching the vilest of slurs at him: goat****er, sand monkey, and others that quite escape me at present but that yielded great pleasure at the time. I went home feeling rather pleased with myself and enjoyed a celebratory scone with extra jam. Goat****ers everywhere these days, darling, you simply can’t imagine.

Pancho Villa — Mexican revolutionary Islamophobe

Not only an unreconstructed sombrero-wearer and tequila-drinker, Pancho Villa was well ahead of the curve as an Islamophobe too. An undercover documentary released on YouTube in 2013 constituted incontrovertible evidence of this. At one point, a voice, subsequently identified as Villa’s, is heard to say:

You haf to remeber wid de Moosleems dat dey dreenk de blod of two infeedels every day jos’ to stay alive, ese. We talkin’ bout som baaad hombres, hermano. In Mexico, we shoot on sight, no questions asked. No Moosleems in Mexico ese, an’ we aim to keep it dat way….

Edward the Third — Launcher of Hundred Years’ War against the French, and precocious Islamophobe

Edward the Third, when not busy battling the Valois dynasty for the French throne, was a tireless opponent of the Islamic religion and its adherents. Historians recently unearthed one of his angrier diatribes about the Muslims swarming his capital city. We quote from a post he made on Facebook in 1363:

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The Somalis, Post-Apocalypse

El Inglés muses on the role Somalis (especially Somali women) will play in Britain after the Apocalypse finally arrives.

The Somalis, Post-Apocalypse

by El Ingles

The Somalis themselves, of course, will not realize that the apocalypse has come. Indeed, they will have no sense that anything untoward has happened at all. Fire, brimstone, blistering heat, pestilence, plunder and mayhem: to them it will just seem like a normal day back in the Old Country.

When Western countries finally collapse into Islamically-induced chaos, flaming crosses burn in the sky, and marauding bands of lunatics ravage town and countryside in search of a sack of grain or a packet of Crunchies, the Somalis will just be hanging out in the streets as usual, wondering why all the white people are acting funny.

Prudence dictates that we determine what to do with these people. Their menfolk will simply take the disappearance of law enforcement as an excuse to muck around all day, whacked out of their heads on khat and walking into traffic. Nonetheless, this leaves unresolved the question of what to do with the women. And ultimately, the choice is a simple one: eat or keep.

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Many white men will be familiar with that sudden wave of despair and panic that skitters across the surface of the brain when a Somali comes into view on the streets of a European city. Oh God, they’re here. Can’t we get rid of them? Who left the door open? All the more disturbing is the occasional flicker of recognition that some Somali birds are actually quite attractive. Even a foaming-at-the-mouth white supremacist like me has felt that familiar stirring upon seeing a fine Somali specimen on the streets of London. Reader, it is the only true form of cultural enrichment.

Our investigation of best-practice interactions with Somali females in post-apocalyptic situations has incorporated a wide array of stress-tested methodologies and techniques geared to leveraging our unique assets and experiences in optimising calorific intake vs. reproductive potential. We are therefore well-positioned to provide key stakeholders with necessary decision-making modalities in competitive, time-poor environments in which unrelated actors act not necessarily in the interests of said stakeholders. In this paper, we use real-world data to highlight the ways in which timely and appropriate decision-making in your interactions with Somali females could be the key to maximising the biological utility of both yourself and your posterity.

In other words, when the apocalypse is upon us, you will have to decide quite quickly whether to eat or keep a given Somali female, all the while fending off your neighbour’s attempts to strangle you and eat your intestines. Here we look at three ‘British’ Somali birds and try and decide whether they’re eaters or keepers. We’ve done the research so that you don’t have to. Let’s get stuck in.

Maya Jama

Instagram girl and social media fireball, best-known for her retweeting of jokes mocking dark-skinned women

Advantages:

1.   Half-Swedish, so you can always play the ‘she’s not really black’ game when you bring her round to meet your parents.
2.   Stonking hot. I mean, Google her.
3.   Half-Somali, so you can always play the ‘I’m so daring, I’m with a black girl’ game when you’re down at the pub.
4.   Stonking hot, in case I didn’t already say it.
 

Disadvantages:

1.   Nothing springs to mind.
 

Verdict: A keeper for sure. Gets into trouble on Twitter, but that will be inactive anyway during the apocalypse. Stick her in the back of your wagon and tell your minions to take her to your castle.

Fahma Mohamed

Anti-FGM campaigner and Guardian-backed wunderkind

Advantages:

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The Handyman’s Tale

For readers who are unfamiliar with the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood — to which the following allegorical pastiche by JLH pays non-hommage — here’s the Wikipedia entry for the book.

The Handyman’s Tale

or

Margaret Atwood meets Quentin Tarantino

by JLH

Birth of a Nation

It happened in a place once called California. There was a surprising change of leadership in the national government, which had, until then, pursued a reasonable policy of social benefits for the poor to offset the incredible wealth amassed by the governing class and its consiglieri, and a sensible foreign policy of financial rewards for countries most likely to dislike and attack us. With the unexpected shift in leadership came a fanciful desire to improve an economy that successive bipartisan leaders had shown could not be improved; and a wrong-headed insistence that this country — like any other — should stand up for itself.

The final straws were perverted, “fundamentalist” interpretations of the 1st and 2nd Amendments. A brush-fire revolutionary movement formed, led by a retired power politician named Barbara Wrestler (known to friend and foe alike as “Barbie Bananas”). 10-term Governor Lunagleem was persuaded to declare the Feminist Nation of Westland, with the Golden Teddy Bear as its symbol. Its ready-made rallying cry was the title of the runaway bestseller, Cherchez la femme puissante. A widespread and visceral distaste for “flyover fundamentalism” among the elite of Westland was the impetus for a decree that the official philosophy of the new nation would be based upon principles outlined in the sociological milestone 50 Shades of Pink. The defining motto on the Teddy Bear seal of the new nation would be “allectio privus puellae” — To each her own.

Governor Lunagleem — in recognition of his long and faithful service in government, and his unflagging advocacy of women’s rights — was retired with great honors and offered, by way of exception, a passport that would not expire, should he ever decide to leave Westland and seek the presidency of that other country.

Offal

Our tale of life in the Feminist Democratic Republic of Westland is largely contained in the life of Offal. We first encounter him in the exclusively female- staffed public pre-school (there was no private schooling, except for the few daughters of highly placed officials), where he learned that a dispute between boys was decided on the basis of which boy was perceived to be the aggressor, who was then punished by being sent to an isolation corner for a while. A dispute between girls was resolved by a serious talk with an advisor, who would mediate an agreement between them. A dispute between a girl and a boy was regarded as Right versus Wrong or Good versus Evil. The girl was Right and the boy was Wrong. He was required to stand alone, as all the girls circled him and slapped his face — some angrily, some more kindly and softly. If he resisted — which became increasingly rare — he graduated to being Evil. He was made to lean his elbows on the teacher’s desk; and each girl was given a willow switch to strike his buttocks as she passed by. Offal and his classmates learned two lessons from this: 1)Never argue with a girl within view of any authority; 2) Never wear shorts to school — some girls will choose to whip the bare legs.

Bathroom facilities in schools, as in all public institutions, were of two kinds: Female and General. Offal’s introduction to this system was witnessing an outraged 7-year-old classmate complaining to their teacher that there was a girl standing at the urinals, observing and commenting. “Of course, dear,” the teacher told him kindly, “How else will she learn? She aspires to be a urologist.”

After the conditioning of pre-school, Life Entry School offered more substantive knowledge in arithmetic, reading, writing and the History of the Golden Teddy Bear Republic. All classes were issued waterproof helmets for their required, weekly depilatory shower. Boys were observed, to decide when they should be issued facial depilatory. The goal was no visible hair below the eyes. Everyone alike. There would be no returning to the era of “hairy-chested men.”

A companion program in the summer found every boy at “Summer Camp” — a more social than pedagogical training. Instead of a recorded version of Reveille, the day began with a loud call of “Soo-ee, Soo-ee, Pig! Pig! Pig!” Breakfast was sugarless oatmeal served in lengthy wooden trenchers referred to as “troughs” and a thick slice of bread. After eating, each boy carried his trencher past an open spigot, rinsing it off as he passed and stacking it upside down on the large drainboard. Lunch was beans with some salt pork in the same trencher, and bread. Supper was meatballs in tomato sauce, and bread, with a suety chocolate pudding for dessert. Each meal was presided over by watchful female counselors, who roamed between the long tables, noting when a boy seemed not to be eating, and rapping him across the back with a bamboo stick, saying, “Eat, Piggy, Eat!”

Activities during the day were various kinds of manual labor: moving boulders, leveling paths and roadways, gathering firewood from the surrounding woods. The great advantage for both “campers” and “counselors” was that this regimen facilitated an exhausted sleep. Nonetheless, the older boys were pulled — one by one — out of their bunks during the night and taken to one of the counselors’ cabins for what the counselors laughingly called, “Sex 101,” where they learned all the ways in which a woman could be pleased.

Offal never did know what the girls’ Summer Camp was like, but he noticed that with each end-of-summer return to school, the girls seemed to become more distant and contemptuous of the boys.

The final levels of public education — before girls went to one of the plethora of Westland universities, and the boys went to either blue- or white-collar trade schools — were also the closing phases in the treatment of male toxicity. Boys were separated into algorithmically selected groups and pulled from class twice a week to attend “de-masculinizing” clinics, where they were electronically connected to monitoring devices. Conducted by therapists working in pairs, the clinics featured 50-minute videos of young people at various activities. Blood pressure, pulse and skin temperature often spiked with one of three things: dangerous activities like cliff diving or dirt bike racing; warlike confrontations between males; the sight of an unexpected expanse of female skin. Every boy who registered a spike received an instantaneous electric jolt high inside his thighs. By the end of the second year, the attraction of danger, physical conflict and sex had dwindled to such an extent that images that had once caused a spike now barely registered. Many of the boys just closed their eyes or looked away.

Boys’ credits for graduation — aside from the masculine detoxification sessions — included the ability to read a newspaper, math through plane geometry (algebra and beyond were considered too intricate), a comfortable acquaintance with a computer and keyboard, and at least six credits in gardening/farming, tool-handling and crafts.

Thus well-trained in the necessary rules and attitudes of the Feminist Republic of Westland, Offal matured into a shy, comely young fellow. He was appointed to be a Domestic Worker, and was given a multi-year assignment as a handyman for three of the leading Wives in his designated community, doing yard work, animal husbandry and carpentry.

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