A collection of literary maps from lands both real and imagined—

"A Humble Suggestion"

I wrote this for my English class, it’s a satirical essay that mimics Johnathan Swifts’s “a Modest Proposal”. I was pleased with it, so I decided to post it on the internet for kicks.

Today, our country faces huge economic problems that have plagued us for a long time and might continue to plague us for longer still. The value of our dollar is decreasing and we’re in the worst economic trough we’ve been in since arguably the depression. It could be said that the person who could solve our current situation would be immortalized in textbooks and possibly even in stone, brass, or marble.

It is my belief that the solution that I’m about to present to you will not only solve our current predicament, but will prevent any future form of economic problem from ever forming ever again. I, being a mature and studious person, hope that you will be unbiased towards the proposal that I am about to bring forth. I have spent a majority of my time for the last several months toiling away at a solution and after thoroughly analyzing my thoughts and ideas I found this to be the most logical solution to the current state of our economy.

Through calculations, it has come to my attention that an ear of corn is equal to five American dollars. It is my intention to ultimately replace our current form of currency with corn. sixteen kernels will be worth one tenth of a unit of currency, Cobs (one fifth of an ear) will count as one unit of currency, an entire ear will be worth five units of currency, and a bushel will be worth a hundred units of currency. Any larger amounts will be counted by metric units of weight.

Firstly, by replacing the American dollar with a cob, we will be able to effectively control the rises and falls of our market and ultimately maintain an equilibrium. Since corn is an unlimited resource, we can grow as much or destroy as much as we see fit to control inflation and contraction. The peaks and troughs of our real GDP will eventually cease to happen over a long period of time.

Secondly, we will no longer need to take from our resources of cotton, paper, zinc, and copper in order to produce currency. These raw materials can go towards construction and international trade. Our coins can be smelted down to be made back into these raw materials and our paper currency can be turned into wallpaper, much like the Germans did in the 1930’s.

Thirdly, seeing as how a majority of our corn will go into our currency, there will be a large decrease in supply for corn and corn products on the international market. The corn shortage will cause the price of these products to skyrocket. Since the demand for corn is incredibly high, major countries and corporations will have no choice but to buy corn at the increased price. This will put more crude oil and gold into our reserves, making our country incredibly rich and allowing us to pay off our tremendous debt.

There are problems that come with this meager alteration, but I, being the highly intelligent scholar that I am, have found reasonable solutions for all of them. My primary concern is counterfeiting, so the corn must be genetically sterilized. All growing of corn will be controlled by the federal reserve and no food companies will be able to buy, sell, or grow corn intended for currency. To defend against biological warfare our reserve for corn will be heavily fortified. As for the rapid deterioration of corn, all records of how much corn a person has in a bank will be recorded both physically and digitally, so that we may restock that amount when the corn deposited becomes withered and mold-ridden.

This is the only way we will be able to fix our current economy. While others may think that lowering taxes or putting more government spending towards reforming our economy, it is plain to me that if my proposition is not made a reality, free-market trade, as well as society itself, will fall into ruin. While I am very pleased with the solution I have created, I will not be able to see it through for I am moving to Europe within the next month.

Laputa - The Floating Island

At the Centre of the Island there is a Chasm about fifty Yards in Diameter… The greatest Curiosity, upon which the fate of the Island depends, is a Loadstone of a prodigious size, in shape resembling a Weaver’s Shuttle. It is in length six Yards, and in the thickest part at least three Yards over. This Magnet is sustained by a very strong Axle of Adamant passing through its middle, upon which it plays, and is poised os exactly that the weakest Hand can turn it…

By means of this Loadstone, the Island is made to rise and fall, and move from one place to another. For, with respect to that part of the Earth over which the Monarch presides, the Stone is endured at one of its sides with attractive Power, and at the other with a repulsive. Upon placing the Magnet erect with its attracting end toward the Earth, the Island descends; but when the repelling Extremity points downwards, the Island mounts directly upwards. When the Position of the Stone is obliqe, the Motion of the Island is too.

By this oblique Motion the Island is conveyed to different Parts of the Monarch’s Dominions.


Dublin-City of Writers by Michael Bierhup

One of the most unique things about Dublin City, is the fact that it was the home city to some of the finest and most famous writers in history-James Joyce, Johnathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw, and of course Oscar Wilde. Each of these were vastly different writers. James Joyce’s work centered almost entirely of his home city recounted in works like Dubliners, and Ulyssess. Johnathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral wrote biting satire in response to the brutal rule his native Irishmen suffered under British rule-such as A Modest Proposal, and “A Voyage to Laputa” in Gulliver’s Travels. George Bernard Shaw produced some of the most witty plays such as Pygmalion and Heartbreak House. Oscar Wilde another wit, who wrote a variety of things from comic plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, to classic fairy tales like The Selfish Giant, The Happy Prince, and The Young King , to his classic gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Such an achievement is remarkable and yet fiting. Irleand after all has long been renowend as the “Island of Saints and Scholars” (and artists), and it seems perfectly logical that the country’s capital should’ve the home of such talented writers-writers who made an impression not only in their time, but also in the years when they’ve been long gone, their writings have become classics, and mandatory, yet very good reading in your average English class. While Belfast’s legacy is one of politcal turmoil, Dublin has a more cheerful and more meaningfull one of classic wit and literature.