Monday, January 05, 2009

Some Universal Literary Morals

This is probably good enough not to confine to Facebook:

I suggest that the following postscripts be added to the following classic novels, for the sake of, in the words of 19th-century educator William Stiles, "Educating our child-ren in all matterf of proper moralf, con-duct and reafoning." With those words in mind, let's start with:

Moby Dick: When a great white whale bites off your leg, go out in a couple of weeks and bag the first whale you see. That should leave you feeling nicely avenged, and you'll save a lot of time and trouble.

Heart of Darkness: Nothing good ever happens in the jungle. Unless you're trying to discover the brutal soul of man you had best stay away.

Fahrenheit 451: In the future, television will be a nonstop barrage of nonsensical, violent images. Nobody will read anything thought-provoking or question the evil schemes of the elite. In other words, things will remain pretty much the same, but we'll have killer robot dogs.

Animal Farm: Work every day of your life, tirelessly building for the sake of society, and maybe if you're lucky they'll ship you out and make glue out of you before arthritis sets in.

Of Mice and Men: Watch how a guy handles puppies before you let him hang out with your wife. Possession of rabbits is not necessarily an indicator of happiness, but they're pretty cute so you should probably get some anyway before something terrible happens.

The Prince (Machiavelli): It's kinda difficult to write a book satirizing sociopathic megalomaniacs without writing a pretty effective how-to guide for - you guessed it - sociopathic megalomaniacs. Whoops!

Dante's Inferno: Hell is confusing and arbitrary, like an airport customs you can never leave. And no matter how many sequels you write about Heaven, nobody will ever hear about them because fire and brimstone is WAY more interesting.

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