Here at Effing University (home of Joe Collidge!), we at the English Dept. have found a solution to the problem of students reading literature that contains objectionable elements of White Privilege, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, Climate Change Denial, cultural appropriation, and funambulism. Most of this problematic content is found in what unenlightened persons call “the classics”–that is, old stuff, most of it written by white males. As hard as we try to restrict students’ reading to material published after 2008, there’s always someone sneaking off to read the classics.
And so, with the help of a $455 million grant from the Foundation for Pure Evil, we are going to get to work rewriting the classics to make them conform to our current understanding of–well, I don’t want to say “truth,” because our position is that there is no such thing; but you get what I mean.
Here, by way of example, is one of the classics that we have rewritten: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Julia Verne. Yes, we changed “Jules” to “Julia” to reflect feminism’s awesome contribution to world literature.
In our rewrite, “Captain Nemo” is an African-American gay woman who has invented and built the super-submarine, the Nautilus, to fight Climate Change. That means she must also fight Climate Change Denial, which she does by sinking ships that have white males on them. All members of her crew are LBGTQ and persons of color. The involuntary guests of the Nautilus–Prof. Arronax, Conseil, and Ned Land–have been rewritten as gay women of color who are in their respective countries without documentation.
We have begun work on rewriting A Tale of Two Cities by Charlene Motumbu, with London and Paris–ugh! horrible cities, crammed full of men!–replaced by Baghdad and Aleppo.
Says our department chair, Dr. Fimbo Pantywaist, “We will not allow any of our students to pick up counterrevolutionary ideas through the medium of literature, classical or otherwise. There is no so-called ‘classic’ that cannot be improved by replacing its reactionary elements with themes of gender fluidity and man-made climate change. From now on, all books are to teach those lessons. All the time!”