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Bruno Solar System’s First News Now Reporting on the Planet Sardon

In recent Solar System news, the National Treasury of the Sardonian people has been unsealed, not for its yearly accounting, but for a printing of new funds at a volume never seen before.

“The underground presses were literally glowing with warmth,” our National Treasury correspondent, A. Fraser, reported by interplanetary wire. “The smell of newspaper and ink was overwhelming to the senses. I swooned. It was as if great works of literature were being churned out by the millisecond.”

As we’ve reported before, the Sardonian economy is kept afloat by scraps of official paper fibers over which words are printed in special government fonts. Being an extraordinarily complex system, only three economists understand the full spectrum of values the currency possesses. The average Sardonian simply attempts to keep up with the effect of market forces on those words found most frequently in his vocabulary. For example, the poorly educated comprehend all too well that articles, conjunctions, and other insubstantial one-syllable words are of little value (even if they don’t know exactly what the current low value is), while a confusing handful of one-syllable words contain such historic significance (e.g. tongue, horse, and moon) that they are priceless and, consequently, also of little value to anyone but esoteric historians.

By extension, most middle class men happily languish in workaday jobs to earn two-syllable words, such as balloon, python, and monkey, which suffice as exchange for words that put dinner on the table. However, due to the plebeian uprisings of 3024, the two-syllable word marrow–which represents the staple diet of the people–has been downgraded to the value of a conjunction so that the impoverished may also feed their families by trading lesser-fonted marrow coupons for grade B vegetables.

Why are they printing so many new words? The economic fate of the Bruno Solar System seems to hang on this very question. We asked A. Fraser, and he responded, “For more than a century, the Sardonian women have suffered oppression under the Primogeniture Word Act. They’ve been forced to subsist off strict word allowances belonging to their husbands or supporting male relatives. It’s all color of law, but it’s been practically illegal for women to own words of any kind (for more, see A Social History of Gender Inequalities). After weeks of silent protest by the women, which involved doing nothing but playing hand signal games with their children, newly elected President Grayhall pushed a landmark bill through the senate to give women back their own kinds of feminine words.”

Our interplanetary wire being cut from too much congestion, A. Fraser sent us this late, breaking news by old-fashioned quantum telegraph: While the senate spends the next fifty years defining what constitutes a feminine word–almost impossible because the language, itself, has evolved morphologically in the neuter–Grayhall has, in less than five minutes, met with advisers to finesse his healthcare reform plan. Throughout his private advisement meeting, his personal security officers leaned out the upper story windows at five second intervals, throwing out buckets of newly minted words for the women below to catch in their arms.

“It was beautiful,” one security officer remarked. “They were like blooming flowers with their arms wide open, catching a rainstorm of petals.” After that, the officer shut up because he had used his entire savings account in that one poetic sentiment.

And it appears the government has not only used all its stored words, but has caused a debt bubble as big as the planet itself. Nobody can quite get an accurate figure of words printed, but the estimates have ranged anywhere from 8 billion to 700 trillion, not to mention the words printed in a rush at the end for the sole purpose of repairing the smoking presses, which are estimated at ρ 5,000,000 paper cost.

We tried to contact A. Fraser by wire again for a badly needed verbal update, but were unable to do so. We did receive one last entangled particle telegraph from him, detailing the Chief Governor’s theory that President Grayhall printed all these beautiful words because he hopes the women will use them in support of his healthcare reform plan. While this may seem like a bright idea, A. Fraser teleported, modern Sardonian women aren’t the idealized oracles of ancient times. How could they be? They haven’t had any practice at it. Some men have reported hearing nothing but female voices, tinny from disuse, wasting currency on cupcakes, but I would question such rumors. One man claims he had to lock up his wife in a silencing room because she wouldn’t stop muttering the word chocolate, which is one of the most expensive luxury words available. But, again, that’s, as yet, an unsubstantiated rumor.

Is the Chief Governor’s theory correct? As soon as more information arrives via telegraph or wire, we’ll have late-breaking coverage on the debt bubble, President Grayhall’s healthcare reform plan, as well as a few human interest stories on how the men are coping with hearing the new sounds of their wives’ voices.

First News Now.

For related posts, click below:
The Planet Sardon: A Travelogue
The Planet Sardon: On Ethics, Morality, and the Greeting Card Fund
The Gillilander Pituitary Scale of the Male Out of Eden Complex

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The Planet Sardon: On Ethics, Morality, and the Greeting Card Fund

It has been said that morality on Sardon is determined through riddles, some of which contain no answers. In fact, the vast library of spiritual and inspirational guidebooks resemble Earth-based 1980s joke paperbacks mixed with collections of chiastic expressions. In one tome, this journalist discovered that the morality tales hidden therein create palindromes, leading to the ultimate wisdom on the last page: Always do right backwards to cover your tracks before committing justifiable wrongness when you face forward again. In similar fashion, one terrible joke of unknown moral message asks, What says oh, oh, oh? The mysterious answer seems to be Santa walking backwards. Sardon, having a complex web of requirements to become sainted, is virtually bereft of them, but this joke could lend a clue as to why these few, well-fed men perpetually walk backwards, hooting oh ho! whenever they run into vehicles, people, or furniture.

Notwithstanding, the state of warfare fares better when the state is left standing after the war. This peculiar chiastic expression is inscribed on the dedication page of their “Jolly Book of Military Jaunts”. Thereafter, the passages in said book create their own individual chiastic paragraphs and chapters. Likewise, each chapter leads with advice of this sort: Go deliver a dare, vile dog! And this: Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era? The image illustrating the latter palindrome demonstrates that drawing onward involves sitting on the enemy wards of the state while using tattoo guns on their shirtless backs.

Recently, owing to Sardon’s continued obsession with using old-Earthian technology to inform their religion and morality, they’ve taken to creating morality-based CAPTCHAs that act as guardians at computerized entrances into government buildings, train stations, schools, and airports. The rationale behind these CAPTCHAs is that robotic terrorists are unable to correctly answer moral questions and, ergo, anybody else who can’t answer them must also be a robotic terrorist, or might possibly be, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Sorry, but not safe is the actual result: Few beyond the educated elite are able to answer correctly, and even those at the peak of academic success often only stumble onto the correct answer by their third and final try. In defense of their failings, these holders of Sardonian doctorates claim the CAPTCHAs are too simple for their minds, that morality is much more complex than simple answers, which is why–of course–they must give a string of three to unlock doors. But the uneducated masses, cynical as they are, don’t buy their stories–literally speaking, due to the word-based currency. Unfortunately, this archaic technology has offset the economy, resulting in the government bailing out the affected industries to the tune of trillions of words (see this entry for further information on their currency). This abuse of word-printing has subsequently lowered all standards everywhere, in speech, literature, education, and, most importantly, travel to leisure spots. Hence, the gourmet vegetable marrow production has dropped to an all-time low, as well (see this entry for more on the staple diet of Sardonians).

As crises often snowball in ways nobody can imagine, so has this CAPTCHA crisis. Leading scientists have attempted to cope with the new poverty by inventing genetically engineered super marrows, but because they experimented with splicing Sardonian genes into the marrow genes to increase crop yields, a strange pollination has occurred. Many Sardonian people are currently being born with heads shaped similarly to what we know of as turnips. Conspiracy theorists wander around mumbling, if they have any words at their disposal, “And where do you think the dirty seed came from that spawned the beasts? Ah, the giant marrow monster’s done the dirty deed.”

This brings me to the Greeting Card Fund that I’m currently supporting and promoting, using the divinely free words of my planet. The Sardonian people are in an economic crisis, but more than that, they are in a morality crisis. As interest rates rise, and the government continues to print empty words, those with access to the libraries of ethics and morality are surreptitiously cutting out the most valuable words in the joke books to trade for black market goods, and for cheat answers to CAPTCHA riddles. The League of Planets has come to the conclusion that the Sardonians simply need to be nuked to prevent their spawn from reaching other planets in the solar system and beyond. I disagree.

I ask you–you may hate the Sardonians–you may hate marrows to the core of your being–but do you want this race of intellectual thinkers to vanish from the universe? Do you? If not, I humbly request that you donate greeting cards of upright moral sentiments to the Greeting Card Fund. These impoverished Sardonians need words, and they need words that express truth and love and joy and pure feeling.
Would you have a heart for those whom you may despise? My heart breaks for the poor turnip babies.

Help the cause! Donate today!

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The Planet Sardon: A Social History of Gender Inequalities

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

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The Planet Sardon: A Travelogue

This is taken from the travel guide to the Planet on the fourth elliptical plane, right after Pardon, although the visual rhyme happens to be a coincidence because both planetary names are jokes:

Sardon is one of the least lovely of the planets in the Bruno Solar System, due to a lack of water, comfortable hotels, and restaurants that sell meals that rise above the level of edible. All that being true, the Sardonians have a long and illustrious history as Classicists, and most who travel there do so in order to add citations to their scholarly papers.

In the academic realm, you will discover labyrinthine library corridors that have confused more than one of Earth’s elite intellectuals, although it has been said that the intellectuals who never return remain on Sardon because they have finally found their own particular idea of heaven. Those who escape usually do so with a few hastily scrawled citations; the exact citations in most cases don’t matter at all, even if the dissertation asserts to understand the morphing properties of Platonic Celluform, while the citation is taken from the encyclopedia of plant genetics. Any citation culled from the libraries of Sardon will pass muster with Earthly peer-reviewed journals.

The climate is dry and hot, and most residents live in underground caves. The Sardonians’ passably edible diet consists of root vegetables grown in mist houses. One restaurant boasts a “rainbow of marrows”, but reviews of such have claimed that the “rainbow” is simply another Sardonicism, otherwise known as the peoples’ idea of a joke.

Summer is the worst time to visit, and not because the weather changes perceptibly on Sardon. Rather, summer is when the Academics are on vacation and, therefore, on their annual pilgrimages to their many and massive underground cathedrals, which are not as aesthetic as an Earthling might hope, being little better than enormous dirt hollows lit by bare bulbs that swing over glass cases. However, the glass cases are filled with ancient religious texts. These annual pilgrimages leave any and all less-than-proficient hotels empty of proprietors.

If the traveler is a religious scholar, the massive cathedrals provide the necessary root vegetables in two varieties, mashed with salt or mashed sans salt, as well as cots that can be purchased by the hour. In fact, religious scholars from numerous solar systems have attempted studying the Sardonica, or the religious tomes under glass, but few have come away with any understanding into the divine, or even what is moral or not among the Sardonian people. The texts seem to be filled with pithy expressions advising various courses of action that the people never follow or, if they do, they do so under the auspices of a rigorous social understanding. The Sardonians understand what nobody else can: that is, why the advice must be or, conversely, not be taken seriously, and outsiders are likely to suffer ridicule when they fail to comprehend the difference.

Many of Earth’s religious pilgrims have returned from Sardon with startling testimonies of the planet’s popular entertainment sector, which involves the self-flagellation of foreigners. Through this venue, pilgrims have come to see the light–literally–as they emerge from the underground cathedrals followed by Sardonian mockers. Most foreign pilgrims are brought to their knees, crying for pardon–Pardon me for my crimes against knowledge! Pardon me for my crimes against beauty!–thereby giving the Sardonians the opportunity to yell their oft repeated punchline: For Pardon, take a left through the atmosphere, you’ll arrive in no time at all, while knowing full well that their tourists will burn up before they ascend to 10,000 feet.

In short, the planet Sardon is your destination if you’re looking to be the entertainment or your own lost tour guide, or if muddying the waters of enlightenment is your idea of clarity. In other words, this is the place for do-it-yourself intellectuals who have a talent for misunderstanding the finest Earthly logic.

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