How many of us roll our eyes at most mainstream articles about "the circumcision decision"? How many detest hearing circumcision called "the snip" and the foreskin called "a flap of skin"? Anyone get enraged at reading "anyway, most babies just sleep through it and never remember it"?
Then you'll enjoy the irony of this satire. If you have astute friends and family, they'll get it immediately, too. A friend -- who has specifically given me permission to share this essay here -- wrote it after reading an excellent tongue-in-cheek essay born out of frustration with treacly, distorted representations of Africa that so often appear in Western media. (I'm a regular visitor to the African continent myself, so I can relate.)
The checklist near the end is priceless. I hope it stops dozens of would-be authors in their tracks from regurgitating "balanced" articles about infant male genital cutting, and makes them think before writing. It's obvious Penn & Teller thankfully strayed far from the checklist!
Brant- I'll give you specific permission to relay to Hugh Young that he's one of my favorite brains on the planet. I love his wit and insight, he always breaks it down so beautifully. I had not seen this one yet- so thanks for sharing it here! I loved this satire- it's so true!
I have such a pet peeve about the banana graphic, I've been collecting a folder of banana jpgs to illustrate a critical essay of my own. I also hate the "antiquity" idea that is always push forth without any followup on why that is relevant at all. The other thing I have come to really detest about circumcision articles is the idea of a "balanced" list of pros and cons... where the appearance is given to the innocent reader that they have read an "unbiased" article because an equal number of bullet points on either side of the argument were presented - ... never mind that the pros are for doing the surgery, and the cons are FROM doing the surgery...
A bit of googling found
1,00,000 pages containing circumcision +"to cut or not to cut"
20,000 "to snip or not to snip"
50,000 "the unkindest cut"
These truly dominate the titles of circumcision articles.
Re antiquity, i hate the way people imply it was done by most of the world, when in fact it was likely done to less than 1% of the world's population.