BY: ANTHONY I.
In the late 2010s, the First World began to face a crisis. Its inhabitants were becoming increasingly restless. Gone were the days when people were content with simply being content.
The attractive female, no longer happy with simply having one gay friend, had become greedy; looking now to collect those who had begun identifying themselves in a multitude of ways. This would initially be referred to as the “31 Flavours of Identification” but the list would only continue to grow as time went on. It is not clear just how many modes of self-identification there are today, but scientists estimate the number to be in the millions.
Factions (who would refer to themselves as “activists”) all across the First World began to assemble. Of the hundreds of factions that formed, only a handful were fighting for something of substance. Unfortunately, arguments amongst competing factions would erupt over which ones were in fact the ones of importance and which were not. These arguments would only inspire the formation of even more groups, whose formation was to aid the factions that they came to agree with.
The warring factions, although appreciative of the intentions on the part of these groups looking to help, began to grow weary, even agitated by others protesting on their behalf. One such group became known as the “White Guiltists” which has since become an offensive term, as its name is too racially guided. It is now called “The Pigment that was once Ascribed to Individuals who at One Point in History were most Commonly Known as the Oppressors, but we are Very Sorry for that, Now.” Naturally, this has since become confusing for those who are simply looking to paint their homes. An endless cycle, indeed!
Scientists and scholars alike were called upon to investigate and research this new phenomenon. The majority were completely perplexed – some, very sadly, took their own lives.
Many theories were put forth – none conclusive. However, a theory that would ultimately come to be known as the “The Free World Hypothesis” was presented by a man named, Nathan Phlegmbergenstern (he was European). Most important scholars would come to rally behind this theory.
Phlegmbergstern first stated quite obviously that as a country earned more freedom, it would find considerably less to complain about. But (and this is where his controversial theory comes in) after passing a certain threshold, the “curve of general complaint” would start to elevate once more. However, not only would the level of complaint rise, but people’s freedoms would oddly enough become lessened as a result. This will be explained below.
It started quite harmlessly at the beginning; people unnecessarily lowering their voices when they were referring to “their Black friend” or “that Asian guy.” These were actions of those with good intentions – there was a common understanding that a particular race of people had experienced a harsh history of suffering.
Phlegmbergstern postulated that the offerings of the First World had become far too familiar, too stale to its occupants – the novelty of a First World lifestyle had simply worn off.
With no central authority in place to police the comments of the free world (though none was in any way necessary), its inhabitants felt it was upon them to fill that role. Despite no formal education or practical training whatsoever, the citizens felt it sufficient to rely solely on emotion and subjectivity. They would come to be known as the “New Enforcers.” Words such as “handicap” would face quick correction by the phrase “health inspired.” Many would soon be able to easily identify a New Enforcer as they would generally start a correction with statements such as “Well, actually” and “Hold on” and “I actually have a Black friend, so….”
A colleague of Phlegmbergstern’s, David Ingles, who worked quite closely with Nathan on the The Free World Hypothesis was approached for comment.
“People are scared.” He puts it simply. “They grow ever more paranoid as the days go by. Innocent people who have come to depend on a country that was founded on the doctrine of free speech are having their liberties stripped from them – crucified every time they say “mailman” instead of mail-person and referring to somebody as ‘short’ when they should be referred to as “vertically challenged.”
Ingles nervously recalls a tense and terrifying run-in he had at a women’s rally a few weeks prior.
“I was conducting field work when I found myself unexpectedly swept up in a rally of New Enforcers. Women were gathering to protest the usage of the word “menstruation” and demanded it be changed to “femmestruation.” They believed the word to be blatantly gender guided, perpetuating the tyrannical reign of the existing patriarchy and suggesting that the men of this world had no clue as to what a woman’s flow time truly meant. However, other women also cited instances where their husbands or boyfriends did not have any chocolate on hand during these times of need, despite the fact that these men wouldn’t have been expected to track their cycles – but as the women said it best “they should have just known.” There was much agreement amongst the women at this particular comment.
At this point in the interview Ingles refused to make any further comments, worried that his remarks would find their way to his wife and he would be crucified and forced to sit through another made-for-TV, Margaret Atwood series, to allow him to be better educated about the women’s struggle.
Once he realized that he had inadvertently used the word “crucified” out of religious context, Ingles began to weep and plead that he remain anonymous. One of his colleagues distinctly recalls witnessing Ingles promptly constructing a charitable organization for those who suffer from itchy palms, just in case his words were ever to be leaked….
“Gone are the days when Good and Evil were analogous to that of Black and White… mainly because we are leaving out so many other colours… not including the ones that we haven’t yet been blamed for not including, because we didn’t know they even existed.” – Anonymous