Memory Lane: ‘Brother Juniper’

Brother Juniper

I know a lot of you aren’t old enough to have enjoyed this one-panel comic strip that featured in many newspapers, way back in the 1960s. But if you are old enough, do you remember “Brother Juniper”?

These cartoons went for smiles, not belly-laughs. They were gentle, quiet, benign. They must’ve been popular: a lot of newspapers carried them, and once in a while they were published in paperback.

I wonder if Brother Juniper could prosper in this superheated political atmosphere (I don’t recall the cartoon ever getting into politics). Would the little monk suddenly find himself accused of intersectional cis-ableism?

Yeah, probably.

How to Write a Politically Correct Fantasy

Let’s face it: the way things are going, soon we won’t be allowed to write anything but politically correct fantasies.

Here are a few handy guidelines which, if followed, should keep you out of re-education camp.

Make sure the villain in your story belongs to no identifiable group of people, animals, plants, or extraterrestrial life forms. Your heroic fantasy/adventure novel must be a safe space for all, wherein no one ever feels threatened and no one’s feelings are ever hurt.

Do not describe any actions or events that anyone could possibly construe as threatening. Your exciting heroic fiction should contain no violence of any kind, no scenes of strenuous activity that could be construed as ableism, and no heated dialogue. Keep it all chilled.

Conflict is psychologically unsettling, so have no conflict in your story. Let’s face it: if somebody wins, then somebody else loses, and that somebody’s feelings are going to be hurt. It’s best to avoid conflict altogether. If your story must describe any kind of contest or competition, make sure you show each and every character as a winner. Kind of like when your kids were little and everybody got a trophy or a ribbon just for showing up–and a heartfelt “Good job!” to go with it.

For absolutely the best results, leave all your pages blank. Yup, don’t write anything at all. Unless, of course, someone else finds your silence offensive and hurtful. Then you’ll have to say something, which someone else again will experience as a microaggression on your part, and probably that’ll make you feel bad because you didn’t mean it, and your apology only makes things worse, and oh I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do! Eeeeyaaah…

[transmission interrupted]

Whiny Students Demand Warning Labels on Literary Classics

At the start of the 2014-15 school year, which we’re just finishing now, collidge students throughout this great land demanded “trigger warnings” be posted on books of literature, textbooks, or any other kind of potentially upsetting material that might send a poor, defenseless student spiraling into post-traumatic stress disorder. At my own alma mater, Rutgers–they’re always trying to hit me up for money, and I always say no–some budding interllectural called for a warning label to be slapped on to The Great Gatsby on account of its “gory, abusive, and mysogynistic violence” ( ).

Please don’t stop to consider how the same people who grow up playing Zombie Holocaust every waking moment turn into dainty little drips who can’t read The Great Gatsby because it might be too scary for them.

This has caught on at various universities, nationwide. At the U. of California, Santa Barbara, the student government formally demanded that “trigger warnings” be placed on all sorts of reading material.

You don’t know what a trigger warning is? Don’t blame yourself. The term was invented only recently and is only used by morons in the academic world. Not at all surprisingly, the warnings “have their ideological roots in feminist thought,” according to the New York Times. Of course.

Oberlin College published a guide to trigger warnings, containing this jewel of wisdom:

“Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma… racism, classism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other means of privilege and oppression…”

I wonder which is worse–cissexism or ableism?

But here’s the kicker: someday, blithering idiots who know all about cissexism and ableism, and can go rattling on about them for hours, will be old enough to vote and hold public office. They will become the next generation of teachers, noozies, lawyers, judges, and bureaucrats.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.