In an animal election, with only two candidates – would Evil vote for a misogynistic duck-billed platypus or a homophobic octopus?
The provocative enquiry begs a number of questions, probably more than can be fully dealt with in the scope of this essay. Nonetheless, two are key to a full contextual grasp of the deeper mechanics of the question. First, and perhaps most challenging: why are there are only two candidates in this animal election? Second, and perhaps less likely to be answered: who, or what is “Evil” and how did he get onto the Electoral Roll? These two elements are the twin brands of our bulb of inquiry which, when appropriately inflamed will shed light upon the overall question of the voting nature of Evil.
So then to our first subject. The animal kingdom is a vast family of diverse speciation occupying land, air and sea (never mind those Extremophiles, whom we can safely dismiss for their obscurity; there is little chance that the average voting sloth has ever inspected the deep sea vents in search of democratic representation – (C.L.Bibbons, The Political Whimsy of South American Fauna ch.3-5). A sensible commentator divides those kingdoms elementally; only two are well-regarded in their grasp of economics and foreign policy. The dominion of the birds is widely regarded as flighty and incapable of meaningful biomedical ethical debate (see Erickson and Wolff’s 1941 text, The History of Abortion on The Wing: a Gnomic Analysis of Kicking Eggs off Cliffs and Why do Ducks Rape?, Chucklethorpe and Mayberry 1876) as well as being held (arguably unfairly) in contempt for the lightness of their bones. Bats are frequently misrepresented as birds, but given their block voting in favour of any mammal standing we shall include them for the purposes of this discussion as land creatures. It is clear that no avian species could attain the heights of public office, not after the Pelican Fiasco or the purges of the Prussian Boobies (Fuck Me, That’s No Sparrer ch.2,5,9-13, Cockenheim 1976) and so the only sane candidates remaining are the denizens of land and sea.
Historically, seaborne politicians have been incoherent in policy, prone to scandal and are generally loathed by their electorate. The best example of this is found during the premiership of “He Whistles in the Dark”, the basking shark who miraculously achieved 76% of the vote and secured a majority for the Cetacean Party. They were elected on a promise of equal krill for those with legs and without. Due to a misunderstanding that krill might be a metaphor for basic animal rights, the realisation that this was not the case lead directly to the Second Whaling Crusade and set the Cetacean Party back a generation. (The Tuna Memorandum, or, How One Fish Killed a Bigger Fish by Armand Barraclough 2001). Fish are resolutely racist and their policies espouse nothing but a broad spectrum of hatred (The Marine Census 1992, Q3: Of the following creatures and species, whom do you most despise? 98% of respondents ticked all available boxes and the remaining 2% added further categories). Other sea-dwellers, crustaceans, bivalves and coral are politically inert, providing little but the butt of jokes (see most issues 1872-1996 of The Seabeast’s Gazette). By far the most astute political commentators have been drawn from the cephalopod families; there has been a cuttlefish in the cabinet continuously since 1845, excepting the cruel years of 1897-1901 (The Budgie Paradox: When Joey Nine-Hues met Tweety – A Memoir, Dan 1905). Octopuses and squid have always been strong contenders, despite the former’s striking homophobia. The morality of homosexuality in the octopus mindset has long perplexed onlookers and those hopeful for social reform and acceptance. The only conclusion that merits inclusion is that their homophobia is an aspect of intense sexual repression as evidenced by their frequent changes of colour and habitual forming of shapes that distinctly resemble skirts and cleavage (Rooster and Munthaggis, That Puss is a Nancy, p.45-78). Thus their vile beliefs have little impact on voters who merely dismiss them as egg bandits. Given their strong Home Office policies and otherwise progressive social agenda they remain favourite with liberals and leftists.
The arena of land provides a complex and fertile ground for political debate and dispute. It is widely asserted that “them (sic) cold blooded fucknuts couldn’t get elected if they ate their own babies, which they do” (Mammal Party Political Broadcast 1965-1989, restated in a different form 1992-95 “those cold blooded, scaly wankers…”) and the mammals have long ensured that any hopes they have in the early stages of electioneering are thoroughly dashed before the voters get anywhere near them (a single account of a Gila-Monster becoming the mayor of a small town is amusingly recounted in Charles Mendacity’s And Then He Ate My Gran, a Tale of Reptilian Woe, 1954). In recent years however, the vigour of the mammals’ slanderous (Tooth vs Claw 2004) statements and penchant for rabid advertising has quite had them hoist by their own petard when King Dong (gorilla candidate 2006) was caught on camera masturbating wildly before killing an out of favour mate and eating their two newborns. Since then there has been little credible policy or candidature from the land.
Given their ordinarily outcast and marginalised status, it has been encouraging to see a resurgence of the once-popular marsupial party candidate. After receiving a savage defeat in the early nineteen-eighties it was doubtful that they could regain their credibility. However, three years as a successful minor partner in the otherwise disastrous Jellyfish/Mink/Axolotl/Kangaroo government of 1994 endeared them to an otherwise contemptuous and disinterested people (“Politicians? I wouldn’t vomit into their children’s mouths” – popular internet meme 1999-2001). Monotremes have arisen as a dominant force in southern-hemisphere parliaments, where their generous diversity policies have granted rights to swathes of previously unrecognised and under-represented minorities (the battle for jerboa rights and the entangled freedoms of the short and long-nosed potoroos is memorably documented in the television series I May Look Like A Mouse, Or A Rat, Perhaps A Gerbil – In the Wrong Light, Yet I Am Neither Sir).
This has been received positively by the numerous, in fact majority of minorities in the sea and air kingdoms. This is doubtless due to some confusion as to the precise nature of their principal representative, the Duck-Billed Platypus. Enigmatic, freakish, “it’s a bird, right?”, poisonous are all common descriptions (I Can’t Believe It’s Not a Kitten: A Fond Guide to Deformities of Nature and Those Hated by God, Rev. P.Rugburn, ch.3 “Southern Monsters I have Eaten” 1890). The species is dominated by the males, who reputedly regard their womenfolk with contempt for abandoning their young in eggs rather than allowing an immature foetus to crawl out of their wombs and securely clamp itself with teeth and claws to a lactating patch like any other self-respecting marsupial (Half Bird, Half Fish, All Twat by E. Jaculie and J.Mannerism, 2003). Since no one else appears to understand how they breed, or believe that they lay eggs, the platypuses’ misogyny has become a charming eccentricity, brought out at parties to amuse the youth.
Given the political precursors and the unavailability of “the usual suspects” for the reasons given above it seems almost inevitable, nay predetermined that two pusses should take centre stage at last after generations of ambivalence and dissent. Quite which of the two candidates will prove victorious will depend, as always upon the amount of pressure that each can apply to their opponent’s supporters. It must be said that neither has a distinct advantage, although they technically share a similar core group of supporters. Violence seems inevitable at the polling station, with much snapping of beaks likely in debate.
Evil has long been considered the opposite of Good, but this is a trite comparison as espoused by religious groups and those “too dim-witted to look inside themselves” (You’re a Despicable Bastard, And That’s Okay: Five Ways To Be An Honest Despicable Bastard, K.L.West, 1987). A more reasonable analysis would examine a spectrum with good and evil as relative sliding scales upon it (Turngoose and Shatwind, vol.1-4). Such a design enables us to accurately assess the relative moral harms and implications of any given act. One needs merely to establish a baseline act from which to describe the spectrum, for example jizzing in the face of a stranger, or being punched in the face (Prestwich et Parkhouse, L’Experiments Sociale, 2012). The revealing results of such an exercise place all moral acts and decisions within a wholly whimsical and ostentatious framework of self-deception and personal benefit.
Once such an approach is taken it becomes near-impossible to assert another’s evil without calling into doubt one’s own goodness (Shrugs and Other Non-Committal Gestures in Justice, Pants Chocolate Home Secretary 1999-2002). In conclusion, the question presupposes that we will judge ourselves evil at the moment of voting when in truth we are neither good nor evil except in the eyes of others.
On election day itself whether homophobic octopus or misogynistic platypus takes office will depend upon who has crossed us the previous day. Evil lies with Good in our hearts always.
In an attempt at explanation… a friend who works in a university was lamenting the more stupid of their students’ protests that they had only had since November to write a 1500 word essay. This essay question was subsequently set when I boasted I’d happily write 1500 words on any subject, like a fool (I’d do it again). This was written in 90 minutes, obviously. Lazy little buggers.
Alastair Hayley’s face exploded into a Catherine wheel of fleshy spattering sparks. Belatedy, I called out a warning…
“Come along,” he’d said, excitedly chuntering about the fellow he had an appointment with, “it will be fun – and educational.”
Doubtful, I’d thought at the time; more so now. Even as the reptilian figure raised his weapon once more I was running away. For my part I am an excellent runner, adept at swerving, tripping and recovery, and taking sliding corners in a sliding spray of gravel. Good thing really, because our lizard chum was a very good shot – popcorn stands, coconuts and stuffed toys ignited and jetted their freshly liquefied guts into the air.
Hearts pounding (I like to assume he was also exerted) I made for the nearest building that offered something more than mere canvas for walls. I leaped through the doors and my heart, once so swift in its race, almost stopped as I collided with a twisted monster. Jealously I revised my initial description, for it was but myself, distorted in a glass. Knowingly or not I had led us into Charlie Burrows’ Mirror Madness. Lest the scaly fiend gun me down in the entrance I ducked into the maze.
My hands shook as I stalked past gross warpings of myself, illuminated with eye-blink flashes of light. Near the entrance I heard a hiss and taloned claws tapped onto the scuffed wooden floor. On my hands and knees I sought an exit, bumping against the mirrors, convinced that one would be a cunningly disguised door.
Presumably the presence of the murderous pursuer explained why Alastair’s friend had not shown up, or was not to be found. Quite how my old friend had become so embroiled in the world of insane conspiracies I’d never now know; and nor would I know what he had known that had drawn us both here tonight. Running on a tip from “a man on the inside” (of what he had not said) he had dragged to me to this innocuous meeting place in the old abandoned fairground. Suffice to say: it had not gone well, though the events had at least validated some aspects of his paranoid delusions. Perhaps he was briefly pleased, before being pleased became beyond him. There was indeed a lizard man trying to kill me and for all I knew his kind did rule the world.
Using my wit and the learning I’d accrued from many films I stood up suddenly, and lunged towards the reptilian assassin. Very likely, one of the problems with using films as reference material is the artistic licence employed throughout. When the lizard man fired at my reflection (a-ha!) it blasted the glass into a billion molten fragments. The expectations I’d had of it being a laser gun were not met and I realised that it was only wishful thinking and the influence of cultural memes which might have seen the killer cut down by his own scaly hand.
You’ll understand that I tried to run again, but to no avail. And so I find myself here. It is comfortable, granted, yet I lack the essential freedoms I am due. Zoos are for animals, not for people which is something I have so far failed to convey to our lizard overlords. Actually, this might just be a people pet shop from the looks of the reptile faces peering into the cage. I very much regret visiting the fairground that fateful night; I have ever been susceptible to peer pressure and now I see why we were so warned against it at school.
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