After the last elections, it may be time to get accustomed to a new old morality, a mythological good old days to return to, when god was in the schools, the gummint was small and kept out of the way except for what we did in our bedrooms, minorities and women knew their place, and all was right with the world.
It’s all quite simple, really: blame the victims. In all things. That way they have earned their miseries, and we (part of the trick is convincing each outgroup to band together as “we” in opposition to other outgroups) can feel justified in denying basic human rights to our fellow human beings. The narrative must always go “when you blame society, you are letting criminals off the hook!” Even when we could have prevented the crime by having a job, an education, a future for the eventual criminal. Preventing a crime does not give the satisfaction that punishing a criminal does. Preventing a crime reminds us that it is in our power to influence one another, and that is one frightening step away from… being responsible for one another. Can’t have that. When we blame a criminal, we are quite intentionally letting the rest of us off the hook.
Dammit, I got off narrative. Like I was saying, the clock has been turned back. It’s time to embrace the new old world view. So, for our third installment of Cuttlefish Pledge Week, a story and a modest proposal.
Jennifer, Jennifer, got herself pregnant,
The poor, irresponsible slut.
See, boys will be boys, so it’s up to the girls
To be moral, and keep their legs shut.
But Jennifer, Jennifer, couldn’t be bothered;
She led her young Billy astray.
They met, after classes, at Jennifer’s house,
And now there’s a kid on the way.
Jennifer, Jennifer, wants an abortion—
She says she’s too young for a baby—
But the law of the land says abortion is murder;
The answer is no, and not maybe.
See, murder is murder; we cannot condone
The destruction of innocent life.
And Billy, of course, is an innocent, too,
And he’s much, much too young for a wife.
So Jennifer, Jennifer, finds herself caught
In the view of a watchful Big Brother,
And Country and Church have a task on their hands—
How to keep the babe safe from its mother.
If murder is murder, for fetus or child,
Then surely assault is assault;
A fetus is damaged by drinking or smoking,
And all of it, Jennifer’s fault.
If Jennifer, Jennifer, falls down the stairs
Then the baby inside could be harmed;
And since that poor child is a ward of the state
It is right we should all be alarmed!
So Jennifer, Jennifer, needs to be safe
For the sake of the babe in her womb;
To keep the poor innocent safe from all harm,
Let’s keep Jennifer locked in her room.
But Jennifer, Jennifer, isn’t the first
Nor the last to be pregnant, you see.
The task that’s before us—protecting our children—
Is crucial, I think you’ll agree.
With the passing to law of my modest proposal,
I honestly think we’ll prevail.
It’s simple: Each woman who finds herself pregnant
Must spend the next nine months in jail.
Jennifer, Jennifer, shielded from harm
In a cell with a toilet and cot
With a closed-circuit camera, an unblinking eye,
For the safety of Jennifer’s tot.
When at last you deliver your new baby boy
We’ll whisk you right out through the door;
We care about kids while they’re inside your womb—
Once they’re out, we don’t care any more.
And Jennifer, Jennifer, can’t find her Billy—
Besides, he’s too young for a wife—
She weighs her alternatives, looks down each road…
And reluctantly takes her own life.
And the church says a prayer for the baby unborn
And a heartfelt and tearful farewell.
But Jennifer, Jennifer, so says the church,
Will be heading directly to hell.
Maybe if we cut funding for prenatal care, we can save enough money to pay for those jail cells and closed-circuit cameras…