39 thoughts on ““A Modest Proposal”

  1. meghan

    An Open Letter to the Neighborhood Board:

    To whom it may concern;
    My family seems to have taken up an issue with the family residing next to us. They are too friendly, always coming over and visiting. Yes, we have an open door policy- we didn’t think that they would use it! I’m certain they only bring over the pies they don’t want, and things they want out of their house. And the neighbors next door to them, too- they had a power outage, and want to come to our house for this evening to stay warm. Yes, we signed up as a neighborhood “helping house” to keep people warm if such a thing should happen, but you know they’re only here to take our snacks from the fridge! So, our head of house has reached a solution; we must build a wall between us and our southern neighbors. We have even figured out a solution for the cost- have our neighbors build it! Yes, this decision is not made buy them, and yes the wall is not on their property, but they have forced our hand! How dare they come with desserts and friendly chat, hoping to better the neighborhood! How dare their neighbors try to invade our property when we told the neighborhood we can help them in need! Obviously we take that back! If they do not pay for the wall, we will find a way to make them (until that time though, we will have our teenagers finance it by taking a portion from their minimum wage jobs, grandfather needs to keep his steady stream of Hermes coming in- its what is best for the entire family). With this wall, the lousy neighbors will stop pestering us, and will help us keep our food without them trying to steal it all the time. Please enforce this and let them know if they do not comply, we will put any of their children that cross our lawn into Spot’s cage!
    Thank you,
    The Wrights

    1. amyp3

      The paranoid opening is very fitting of the current attitude towards immigrants. I also like your repeated use of exclamations that reflect the outrage. And the sign off of “The Wrights” is clever.

    2. miad1

      Meghan, your metaphor for the U.S. (a house and its hostile inhabitants) is a very effective way to comment on xenophobia, seeing that hostility between neighbors is a common occurrence and a situation often mocked on TV. Your piece reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” which uses the allegory of an alien invasion to comment on conformity and hysteria during the Cold War. Your post gives me the sense that we have been dealing with similar issues for decades, with very little improvement. Your choice to write in the voice of an outraged family was also very effective; your short exclamations and the phrase “lousy neighbors” really resemble Trump’s tweets.

      One suggestions to help strengthen it is to make the irony even more veiled. I found your piece to maintain the same level of humor and throughout. This delivery really elevated the irrationality of the “head of house.” But by distributing the understatement a little more, perhaps you can make even more sentences pop.

  2. miad1

    A Call to Acting:

    The gravest issue consuming our future generations is education. The future of American education is at the top of the list for parents and politicians, for news sources and news-watchers. And don’t forget the high schools charged with educating the youth!

    But, as has been discussed and debated for decades, American education is lagging behind. American schools are dealing with ever-stagnating progress, and the growth of an ever-middling student body, which lacks an education that is both creative and effective, an education that catapults the students out of their chairs and onto the world stage.

    I propose an inventive, two-pronged method to resolve this issue because American education, so full of policy and empty of application, could benefit tremendously from just a few added steps to the school day.

    If education is to be more effective, students should be standing and walking more regularly throughout the day. The chair-boundness of our students may be solved by the following method. Just after the first bell, the student body forms an organized cluster and proceeds around the hallway in a counterclockwise fashion for 2.5 minutes, then reverses direction, walking for 0.8 minute in the clockwise direction. (With their muscles warmed, the students should walk the clockwise portion more quickly than they did the first). To those who argue that the mere three 3.3 minutes of this procedure will rob teachers of their time, I say that with a slightly elevated heart rate and repopulating leg cells, students will be chugging through their worksheets at such a rapid pace as to gain more than seven minutes per day. Furthermore, with stronger feet, students will spend less time in the nurse’s office and more time in the classroom. As a bonus, our energy-efficient students will reduce annual expenditures on Band-Aids.

    To recover American creativity, I propose that schools bring the arts to liberal arts and STEM classrooms. Why spend more on studios and drama budgets when you could recycle old materials, thus enhancing the classroom experience of all students and expanding the cast of the spring musical? After all, whittled colored pencils and worn costumes will make any Physics class stage-ready.

    To implement this proposal, school administration must first survey school faculty and staff. Interviewing the students—although unnecessary—may lend support to the cause and prepare students for their debuts, in the job market and of course on the springtime stage.

    1. John from School

      I like the specificity of your proposal. The specific amount of time “2.5 minutes” and “0.8 minutes” adds to the realism; it creates the illusion of a well thought out plan. I think this touch of realism helps to reduce making a science out of how people learn to its absurdity.

  3. amyp3

    Your Home is on Fire?

    Your home is on fire? Tough luck, but who can say that the fire is even real? House fires are a completely natural occurrence; houses just go through prolonged periods of record high fires and catastrophic flooding- that is what the news said. Besides, the house should have adapted to accommodate the fire. There is no need to call the fire department, it is too late and the house is doomed to be a pile of ashes. And a fire extinguisher has such a small impact that trying it would worthless. It is only one house- saving it will not help anything, and we could spend that time searching for a new house in Antarctica. Now, the running stove may have caused the fire, but turning it off would take money away from the utility company! We can definitely find a new home, but no one should dare to hurt a major American industry, like energy. The house might have been the ancestral home, but future generations can take care of the place. They can try and figure out how to fight the fires you allowed; they can worry over where to live when there are fires everywhere; and they can be desperate over the state of their futures. So your home is on fire? Maybe you should do something about it.

  4. John from School

    With the new accessibility of drugs (especially vaping), many citizens are concerned about the well-being of children. Studies have shown that vaping is a “gateway drug,” a drug that eventually causes people to take more powerful drugs. This concern for our kids safety is driving parents and officials to place stricter regulations on these drugs. However, this is the worst thing parents can do.
    It is a well known fact that teenagers are more rebellious than other ages; many teenagers refuse to do what their parents ask of them, and they participate in what they are not supposed to. By restricting drug use, parents are only making their teenagers want to take these drugs more. This is why we are seeing a spike in vaping use around the high school ages.
    This leads us to a clear conclusion: we must facilitate drug use. If parents begin to shoot up heroin with their kids, their kids are not going to want to do heroin because they want to rebel against their parents. This idea would be especially effective in school because parents want their children to succeed in school. If schools offer a class on JUULing, which is a type of vaping, and the only requirement is to hit the JUUL for the entire class period, kids are going to want to fail the class; therefore, they will not JUUL. By offering classes on how to take drugs, schools will be helping the students. Students want to disobey their parents; therefore, if the parents condone their behavior, they will be less likely to participate.

  5. ebenw2

    The so-called “climate change” doesn’t exist in America! It snowed last week near Thanksgiving—it was a Thanksgiving miracle! Not only was the white flurries a nice touch to the turkey, the climax of American culture, but the Thanksgiving miracle also exposed those “Scientists” who try to lie to Americans. Yet, little do they know, the Thanksgiving miracle just proved all their “data” and “numbers” as a hoax! This is what I have been trying to tell everyone all along—that Americans have no need for this “science”. It’s a scam! Those men are lying to me! How could this “climate change” exist? And even if it did “exist”, it’s not a bad thing! The snow was beautiful, and it made everyone so happy to see snow in November. It’s like Mother Nature knows that Christmas is coming! Gosh, now those men with phony white jackets will be ashamed, since the snow makes their underlying motive obvious! Money! They take all our money away, and they waste it away on random things that are invisible! How is that even possible? Those men just hide away OUR money, and for what? In fact, I learned science in third grade, and I read somewhere that the weather depends on where you live. So maybe, those men should just move somewhere else if they’re so unhappy about their weather! (I heard California is good around this time of year.) The beautiful and early arrival of the brilliant flurries just shows us how beautiful the weather can be. The weather isn’t changing—it was cloudy everyday in one week!

  6. eugenes

    Hi, I’m a thirteen year old music listener, and I was born in the wrong generation. Right now, we are living in a creative dumpster. When I turn on the radio in my car, and I hear “Shaun Mendez”, “Justin Beibster”, and “Pre Malone”, I get sick to my stomach. What happened? I feel like I’m the only individual in my school, who listens to the greats; Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E♭ major, K. 364 (1779)” remains a STUNNING masterpiece that should be ever present across all streaming services and radio stations. However, my favorite song, by far, is Elder Gnokulk’s caveman rock anthem “Goh Rarhc” (circ. 315,000 B.C). Gnokulk’s powerful boulder-drumming hit patterns still send shivers down my spine like no other instrument can. Moreover, the lyrics in pop songs disgust me. I have no desire to hear about any parties, any dates, or any other common pop themes. While you were all busy listening to that monstrous “poetry”, I was listening to PURE AND UNADULTERATED TV static. With TV static, I can unwind and relax on my own terms, without having some overpaid pop-star blow out my ear drums. It’s sad to see how our world has devolved so quickly into a state of close-mindedness and numbness. Wake up, guys.

    1. hannahk1

      This was so funny! Pop music nowadays is seen with such a negative attitude that it’s not a ‘classic’. It’s actually pretty ironic because I like to listen to both pop music and classical music but people seem to judge both genres.

    2. Hamza Elousrouti

      I like your first sentence. You start off with something normal and then follow it with an equally important statement that is completely absurd. It leaves the reader trying to find out why you believe you were “born in the wrong generation.” I also liked your renaming of the artists.

    3. Jake from 8th period english

      This had me laughing from the first sentence. I love how you warped a quirky stereotype into a comedic form. You showed creativity and had that faint hint of “there are actually people who do this”. I love how you take your music taste to the extreme with “Goh Rarhc”. Very well done.

    4. lizag2

      You listen to TV static and claim to know true poetry? Unbelievable. We all know people who listen to Elder Gnokulk and electromagnetic signals are just a bunch of teens brainwashed by modern society. Unlike some uneducated humans like yourself, I listen to the silence provided by the universe.

  7. Hamza Elousrouti

    Whatever you do, don’t panic. The “nonsense” “global warming” thing has come back again. A report on global warming just hit the world by storm and people are shocked at the amount of damage that is predicted to happen in the next century. An estimated 100 billion dollars is expected to be lost, new diseases are expected to emerge, and millions are expected to die premature deaths. Despite all this terrifying news, Donald remains strong. He “knows about climate change” and has received many “environmental awards.” This “man-made global warming” thing doesn’t bother him. And besides, “the polar bear population and the polar ice caps have never been stronger.” Donald believes its supposed to “start to cool at some point.” We’ll get there one day. Besides, all we really need to live is “air.” As long as someone “gives [Donald] clean, beautiful and healthy air”, we should be good. Apparently, global warming was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S manufacturing non-competitive.” China has not been doing “anything to help climate change”, so therefore it does not exist. Donald, your “high levels of intelligence” really saved you this time. If it wasn’t for your “intelligence”, I might have started to believe that global warming could actually be real.

    1. Hamza Elousrouti

      I would like to highlight that there can only be a solution if there is a problem. Thanks to Donald, we can all rest assured that this “nonsense” “global warming” thing isn’t real, and therefore not a problem.

  8. rachelc2

    A major “issue” in our society seems to be growing obesity rates, particularly in younger children. And all we do is complain about it. But there is a simple fix: make the students run more laps in gym and give them less food in the cafeterias. First, running more laps in the gym will not cost us, taxpayers, any more money that we pay right now. Instead of playing games like bocce and shuffleboard, games for old people, we should be promoting track and cross country. Everyone on the track team is fit and healthy; it is definitely because of all that running they do after school. If all students ran more during the 45 min gym class every other day, instead of wasting time playing sedentary games, they would be more fit. Second, by selling less food in our cafeterias and making the portions smaller, we would be feeding our children less calories, therefore making them lose weight. By distributing less food as one portion, we could actually be saving money! We simply wouldn’t have to buy as much food as we did before. It is true that running more and eating less of any food will make someone lose weight. Why didn’t we realize this before?

    1. michaelr5

      As someone who is very health conscious, this gave me a good laugh because it’s really that simple. There’s no need to follow FAD workouts or starve yourself! It gets ridiculous when people eat less than 1000 calories daily for a few days to find out that they actually gained more weight because your body went into starvation mode and retained more fat onto your body. Caloric deficit is answer!

  9. hannahk1

    It has come to our attention that cyber bullying has increased exponentially in the past decade. Clearly, the rise of bullying on the internet has a direct correlation to the improvement of technology. Therefore, we must prohibit all advancements in technology and shut down all social media websites to protect the younger generation. The Facebook, the Instagram, the Snapchat, and (especially) the Email — hundreds of similar sites are poisoning the minds of young Americans by spreading hateful messages. We must put an end to this! Parents! If you love your children, you must shut off all sources of energy in your house. If children cannot use WiFi or charge their phones, they will never face the perils of the internet. Even better, we should all ‘unplug’ all day long to encourage the young generation. Use fire instead of the heater or a stove. Walk the thirty miles to work instead of driving. Walk the hundred miles to say hello to your mother instead of calling on your phone. Use the stars for navigation instead of a GPS. Use the sun to tell time instead of a clock. Use a candle instead of a lamp. Use the water from the lake four miles away to take a bath or to wash your clothes instead of a shower or washing machine. Grow your produce. Hunt for meat. Live in a cave. If parents follow such rules, their children will follow suit and will never suffer the horrors of cyber bullying ever again. Protect the children! And the future of America.

    1. eugenes

      Your repetition of “Use __” was clever; I liked how as the repetition went on, the statements get shorter and more simplistic. I also liked how you put “(especially)” after “the Email” to show how out of touch the person making this claim would be.

    2. lizag2

      I loved how towards the end of your passage your suggestions of how to “unplug” became more and more dramatic, exaggerating the mentality of those who want to return to a time without modern technology.

  10. farhanac1

    Banning abortions? Well, how about not having children at all? Women shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions; they’re too simple minded for that. And the people with the PhDs and medical degrees? What do they know about the moral crime of abortion? The women getting an abortion and the doctors that help- you’re a criminal! Ohio might have to create more prisons for these lawbreakers. But there is something scarier than jail time, and that is death. Abortion is murder; therefore, getting an abortion makes you a murderer; you deserve that possible death penalty. Kill the baby, the law kills you. But think about it. The poor unborn with their hearts beating, not even given a chance at life. How do you feel carrying such a heavy sin? Those heartbeats are there even when you don’t even know you have a life within your womb. Let’s just forget Roe v. Wade and not have children in general. That’s right; no sex, no dating, no marriages. No human contact at all. Complete isolation is the solution.This way, we won’t have to worry about the death to the unborn.

  11. michaels20

    Dear Board of Education:

    The youngins these days don’t a thing about driving. They’re out here picture snapping chatting on the new mobiles instead of looking at the road. Everybody is so selfish anyways – always sayin “Oh it’s my phone;” not even using proper grammar saying “Oh it’s I phone.” Kids ain’t learning nuttin in school these days. Anyhow, kids can’t drive alone no more. Every time they start talking to themselves; they’re always screaming “Hey Amanda,” or maybe it’s “Hey Alexis.” Either way, people think their cars are somehow their friends. Half the time I drive by there’s not even anybody in the driver’s seat! And speaking of school, somebody must be pushing biology nowadays because all the kids draw Thomas Edison on the – or could it be Nikola?

    As a concerned citizen, I propose a motion that will equip all of neighborhood children to drive us safely into the future: a school for driving! For all four years of high school, for 4 hours a day and 7 days a week, students will watch safe driving videos. This time will replace the current classes of English, Mathematics, History, Engineering, and Art. During this time, students will not be allowed to use a phone, talk to a classmate, or use the bathroom – that way the youngins will learn to focus on driving and not distractions. All classes will be held in a classroom; never the car! After high school, the students who pass the final exam will be required to wait an additional five years before being allowed to drive in our town. That will give them kids time to become mature adults. For our benefit and theirs, take kids off the road and put them in classrooms!

    Your worried taxpayer,

    R. Seevers

    Royce Seevers
    Inventor of the 1948 Autoette

  12. michaelr5

    There seems to be a change in child development. Kids are growing up mentally, physically, and emotionally at an exponential rate. Children used to be dependent and spend majority of their time outside to play and talk to their friends. Now, children are graduating school early, being treated as adults, and taking over the job market. The change started when the iPhone came out. This cellular device enables anyone to unlimited amounts of information and since the human brain develops until the age of 25, this new additional stimulus rewires and accelerates the development of a child’s brain from a younger age. The iPhone’s stimulus boosts the activity levels in a child’s brain, skipping over childhood and puberty straight into adulthood. At an alarming rate, intellectuals are being made at the age of 5. With such a low development time, the whole world will be overwhelmed by these new intellectuals who will flood the market and raise the unemployment rate. Even now, these pre-intellectual children have become so self-aware that adults feel threatened and belittled by their own offspring. In order to prevent this catastrophe, we must get rid of the iPhone and start from the basics: The Stone Age.

    1. michaels20

      Your selective diction that compared kids to machines was really clever – saying their brains are “rewire[d]” links today’s children to the iPhone. Everything kids learn is from a single computer chip in the phone; it is almost as if that chip is a child’s brain.

  13. lizag2

    With the Election of 2016, many Americans have become disappointed with our current President of the United States: Donald J. Trump. It said that a dog, a bar of soap, or even a woman would be a more logical choice for a leader than President Trump. His election into office has divided a nation, and we as Americans must find a way to unite. At the moment, we are a lost country in need of a true leader: Cthulu.

    Accepting Cthulu into our hearts and minds will bring a torn country together once again. We as citizens do not need to worry about an opposing party. Unlike the current democratic system of the U.S. government, Cthulu chooses us as his followers. There is no need to nervously watch the polls, hoping for your vote will go towards the leader of our nation. Cthulu chooses to lead us, rather than us choosing him. Through our dreams, he will appear to each and every one of us and directly inform each citizen of his intentions. With one common mindset, we can come together to do Ctulu’s bidding.

    What about those who refuse to accept the way of life Cthulu lays out for us? When our leader is finally summoned from the depths of the ocean, opposers will be the first to be annihilated. Those not satisfied with their day-to-day life Cthulu has provided will no longer have to worry, as they will die. Cthulu will rid our nation of these separatists, allowing only those who accept his reign to be united once more.

    1. lizag2

      Blinded by my passion to bring this nation together once more, it seems that I have spelled the name of our only hope, Cthulhu, incorrectly. I apologize oh Dark Lord, and will immediately make a sacrifice for your forgiveness.

  14. dereks3

    We have a great climate! There are no problems with the way our society lives. Blowing smoke from busy factories and emissions from cars and trains and planes is perfect for our environment. I don’t think there is a healthier, cleaner way to go about living. Whoever marketed pick-up trucks that motor on 12 miles per gallon deserves a pat on the back, because that is an efficient and clean way to get around. People who mock Al Gore over his cockamamy speal about global warming are so right. Why would we agree with this environmentalist when our own president doesn’t even think we have a problem with our climate. Let’s be real, it’s winter time and nobody wants to be cold, so why don’t we all just crank our thermostats up to a comforting 78 degrees to get that summer sweat. There definitely won’t be any long lasting impact from a few ticks on the dial, right? I honestly do not think there is a single way we can improve our environment. If we keep our pace going our climate will be even better. Future generations will be will experience every season like the middle of the summer, and who would have a problem with that? World governments definitely have not had any summits or meetings to discuss our climate, so we should be good for the next 50-100 years.

  15. Jake from 8th period english

    To all those who have spent the past several weeks writhing in sadness over the state of our environment, I urge you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The level of eminent destruction that is now eminent for our planet has opened up the perfect opportunity for our nation to broaden our horizons of exploration. Space exploration is a necessity of man now more than ever, and it is now much more feasible! When looking at it from a logical standpoint, the damnation of life on Earth gives us no reason to not branch out into the vast, untapped richness of outer space. Mankind no longer has any reason to allocate raw materials, precious metals, fuel or even food to an already condemned population! Now more than ever we have to opportunity to push the intuitive projects of NASA, Spacex and The Space Force™ into the stratosphere! The colonization/harvest of Mars and mining of the asteroid belt has been proven by economists to be both profitable and popular! We need to put all the backing, resources and prayers we can behind this heroic effort. So for all those who have sat at home lamenting their dismal future. Don’t! For our ignorance has made the once faint possibility of a couple hundred souls carrying on humanity’s legacy on a far away planet an even closer (and probably sole) possibility for man’s future! So thank you to all who helped make this future a reality! We could have not done it without you.

  16. rivinduw1

    Global warming has been prominent in the news recently. Scientists say they have proof that within the next few decades rising temperatures could have a drastic impact on the world. One of the effects they say is possible is that sea levels will rise, and coastal cities will get flooded. People have been scrambling to figure out how to stop climate change. The governments of the world have been coming up with plans to no end. The plans suggest that people need to cut down on fossil fuel usage and limit carbon dioxide emission. But these plans are useless. If the effects of climate change are in the near future, then more plans should be devoted to fighting the effects of climate change. If the ocean is rising, the solution is quite obvious: just make the ocean deeper. Honestly, I’m surprised nobody has thought of this already. The current depth of the ocean is miniscule when measured against the thickness of the earth. Deepening the ocean would have a tiny effect on the shape of the earth. It may cost a few trillion dollars, but this plan is fool proof. It is not hard to get to the bottom of the ocean. Submarines that are capable of doing so already exist. The excess dirt that is dug up from the bottom can be placed on shores to make them higher. Another effect that scientists say is that climate change will cause food shortages. Bigger oceans means more fish. More fish means more food. More food negates any shortages global warming creates. This plan is win-win and the obvious next move for the governments of the world.
    Your welcome.

  17. Owen Trawick

    For the past few years our nation has been struggling with a very important issue. An issue of massive proportions that could shake the foundations of our very nation. As you probably have gathered by now, the issue I’m talking about is where to let Transgender people go to the bathroom. It is of the upmost importance that every American citizen knows the bathroom preferences of every Trans individual. After all, trans people could be conspiring on a nationwide scale to molest our children and destroy our sacred public spaces for waste removal. I have a solution to this problem. As a nation, we need to redesign our public restroom systems. Public spaces will no longer have gendered bathrooms. Instead, every public space will have bathrooms designed for single occupancy. By limiting the bathrooms to one person at a time, every average pure-hearted Americans will be safe from the uncomfortable feeling of worrying about a trans person being in the same room as them. Now you may be asking, how will we pay for this development. Yet again, i have a brilliant answer to your inquiry. In this system, all people will have to pay to go to the bathroom. Every patriotic American feels no negative feelings when it comes to helping pay for a public service. Not only will paying for public restrooms allow us to be safe from the mentally deranged and very dangerous transgender epidemic within our country. It will also keep the impoverished from taking advantage of public spaces meant for hard-working American citizens. After all, if an impoverished person is going to the bathroom then they aren’t spending time looking for a job. This proves they are just loafing around and trying to take advantage of the American Tax-payer. In America, every citizen should be able to feel comfortable. This plan ensures that the people we care about as a nation will never have to worry about anything ever again.

  18. Irisa

    Ever been racially profiled? Perhaps discriminated? What you need is privilege! Privilege is determined by a spectrum based on your skin tone, lighter skin colors being more privileged than darker ones. Can’t be the part? Don’t worry, just play the part!

    If you have a unique, “ethnic,” but impossible-to-pronounce name, simply go by a different one! The key is to cater to other people to get that job interview or to get that loan; that’ll do the trick!

    Stopped by the police? Hand in your hoodies and bandanas for a nice polo shirt and tie. Also, tattoos are a big no-no. It’s all about mirroring: Enunciate your words, be grammatically correct, don’t slouch, don’t listen to rap or hip-hop. The results are almost immediate!

    Groped at the club? Easy fix — don’t wear tight-fitting clothing, skirts 2 inches above the ankle, high heels, low-cut shirts, crop-tops, or spaghetti straps. It’s amazing how a simple change can make such a big difference.

    Don’t have a wife at home to tend to all of your needs? Just photosynthesize!

    As you can see, there are many ways to increase your privilege.

    (My point: We’re all guilty of stereotyping.)

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