One of the most revered texts of the Sardonian people is Johnathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Scholars have studied and translated Swift’s writing for more than five-hundred years, ever since Dr. Rastmuck, progenitor of the Veil of Microbes religion, claimed the microbe god L. Bulgaris inspired him to spirit-write a copy. Although historians have debated the accuracy of Rastmuck’s claim, citing evidence demonstrating the book’s earthly origins—such as the wood-chip fiber of the paper, the typesetting, and the ghastly cover image—Rastmuck’s followers insist none of this was impossible for L. Bulgaris to replicate. Or, as one devotee put it, “L. Bulgaris is invisible to the naked eye, but he is in and on and around us, healing and replicating all matter.” One early legend counters that the words inscribed inside the cover of the original Gulliver’s Travels, To John with love, indicate an English-speaking tourist left the volume during the surge of Love Tours when Earth men longed for the early modern Sardonic matriarchal society.
Modern Sardonians endlessly debate which Swiftian societal structure L. Bulgaris meant for them to follow. In the first century post Rastmuck’s prophetic spirit-writing, religious thinkers considered each society as a step forward in the evolution of consciousness. Rastmuck deemed Brobdingnab as the first order of development, even though he followed Swift’s faulty order when spirit-writing the book. The idea of the Small Man in a society of giants is a prime Sardonian koan. Because Sardonians worship a God who is part of the microbiome, they must become small in order to become large. Using the honed Sardonian skill of understanding all words literally, in that first century—the Enlightenment years—thousands of men stood under compactor machines (These were used to preserve and store large vegetable marrows before the advent of genetically modified miniatures. See Agriculture, Small Planets, Sardon) which irreversibly shrunk them to the size of five inches.
Because Sardonians in those first Swiftian days still clung to their early matriarchal order, large women coveted and fought for the Small Men, storing them in mini houses, as described in Swift’s writing. Most of the Small Men on the market soon became pleasure models, to be dropped for play between the pendulous breasts of wealthy temple dames—again, all in accordance with Swift’s scriptures. Most of these men died young, though a study of their death certificates fails to elucidate whether they died of complications, disease, or bodily harm, or whether they simply disappeared. Rastmuck’s followers added each one to his Book of Martyrs, an ever-developing body of work that remains in the underground libraries to this day. To add a martyr, modern Sardonians fill in a short form and pay a servicing fee, and although this price has nearly quadrupled in the last decade, it comes with a coupon for one free mashed vegetable marrow.
It isn’t the point of this entry to provide an extensive social history of the Swiftian epochs, but rather to provide a framework for understanding the current gender issues of the Sardonian peoples. As the society has developed and evolved to the Laputan era, it has also shifted to a heavy-handed patriarchy, as was more common in the early modern Earth. Most Sardonian religious scholars now claim that patriarchy is the will of L. Bulgaris, and the very reason he inspired Dr. Rastmuck in an age of wanton matriarchy. The women might protest this explanation, or join in the religious debates, if they had any words to use as currency. Politicians and religious leaders have interpreted their collective silence as contentment with their appropriate gender role, as well as general agreement with the Laputan order, instead of the truth as has been published in short form by poor Sardonian sociologists.
When the stock market crashed at the end of the Houyhnhnms era—that is, the years when Sardonian political leaders imported millions of horses to the planet, despite its lack of grazing land, in order for this higher order of person to teach and rule the people—the government underwent a ritual slaughtering of all four-legged beasts. As a means of curbing the outpouring of philosophical, mathematical, and scientific treatises inspired by the horses, President Jory Kagel offered these treatises to the masses, cut into word pieces, spilling the millions of words over city streets, where men and women alike gathered them in bags to cart home.
President Kagel proceeded to save the wrecked economy by declaring words as the new currency, a policy that earned him the Sardonic Peace Prize. The citizenry could use their words to buy, sell, and speak. Due to the language adeptness of female Sardonians, however, women “hoarded the planet’s riches, stealing any and all forms of manly rhetoric and reasoning.” This was the complaint and/or rallying cry of male citizens, albeit one not currently accepted by poor sociologists. Nevertheless, it was used as an excuse to outlaw a woman’s right to work and earn currency and invest capital. Further, the nuanced portion of the law hinted that women had no right to the word currency at all—that, by the will of L. Bulgaris and in respect of Dr. Rastmuck, women could only be endowed words by their fathers or husbands.
This policy has left millions of Sardonian women in impoverished conditions, unable to buy or sell or speak their minds, unless their male protectors give them a reasonable allowance. This policy has also shut down the work of poor sociologists, most of whom only have a few words left for their own survival, and who are, therefore, unable to offer aid or support to women. Obviously, those with the most words use them to uphold this new social structure. They also waste them on trivial love poems and erotic role-playing fantasies, with the excuse that these are special gifts to help them more fully love women and to eulogize the feminine roles of babysitter, maid, cook, and helpmeet.
This author, often accused of being a waster of words, is now using his last
[The author was hauled off to debtor’s prison and was unable to finish this piece, which is scheduled to be torn up and the words transferred to the Poor Little Rich Boys’ Education Fund.]
See also: The Planet Sardon: A Travelogue