This is it, guys. Fin. The end. We all thought it would be because of nuclear war or climate change. Hell, we even expected the apocalypse to come in the form of murderous alien hordes. But apparently none of us got it right. The real danger was sitting right next to us, digging into their salad bowls and arguing about the overarching relationship between honey consumption and mass slavery. Yes, the apocalypse came calling when the vegans finally turned feral and started eating everybody. With a life time’s worth of healthy diet and an impressive kidney function to boot; vegans, it turned out, were the ultimate predatory force of nature. Civil society broke down, global conflict arose, billions died. And as you already know by now, you’ve survived. You my friend, you are the cockroach that made it through Nagasaki, the fine dining restaurant that recorded profits in a Malayali neighborhood, the arthritic grandmother who ordered an ivory studded dildo from Myntra. You are truly a multicolored snow flake that is special beyond any quantifiable measure. However, with this great feat of survival comes an even greater responsibility; the need to create some culture of your own. From the scratch.
Why We Have To Do It
Have you noticed that your next door neighbors have started making out with each other? Yes? And you don’t mind? Oh that’s cool then, because they don’t mind the fact that they are siblings either. How about the Ted Bunty impersonator upstairs who cripples ants and makes wall art with their legs as a hobby?
Even though we are a community of people who are living together, we don’t have anything in common with each other. There is nothing holding us together except for survival. In the long term, this will undoubtedly lead to chaos and anarchy. This is why we need to construct a culture of our own. We need a set of ideals and moral codes that will act as the common thread that unifies us as people.
How We Will Do It
Folklore is the answer. These are simply the means by which a society expresses its ideas and beliefs. This is usually done with the help of art, music, dance and stories. For the purpose at hand, we will choose stories as the premise from which our post apocalyptic society will be built.
Folktales are stories that are passed down from generation to generation orally. They exist to pass on the pre-existing values and ideals of a community to its younger members. Modern literature is actually just a more sophisticated version of Folktale telling. The problem is that modern literature is currently useless to us. While the premise of a magical orphan battling a magical neo-Nazi over the course of 7 books is intriguing, at this point we are in urgent need of the simplest of narrative forms. Stories that will help your children grow and traverse this world better. The kind that will be told by one generation to another.
Different Types of Folktales
Folktales are an exhaustive genre with different subtypes. These are as follows.
Legends and Epics: about heroes, individuals, or kings who lived before written record; embellished over time.
Myths: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
Tall Tales: This is a story type with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Stories such as these are exaggerations of actual events.
Fables: These usually feature animals that behave and speak as human beings, told in order to highlight human follies and weaknesses. A moral or a lesson for behavior is woven into the story and often explicitly formulated at the end.
Fairy Tales: a story type that always ends happily; animals may speak sometimes; wishes come true as a result of a test or struggle.
Agenda Is Everything
There is a popular short story you will need to remember while writing your pieces:
Man goes in search of the truth. He looked everywhere and failed. Until finally one day he finds out that truth is a wizened old crone living in a deserted cave. The man becomes her disciple and lives with her for a year’s time in order to gain knowledge. After learning all that truth had to offer, as he was getting ready to leave, the man asks truth if there was something he could do for her. Truth looks up at him and smiles before replying, “When you tell people of me, tell them I was young and beautiful.”
Just as Truth had a specific agenda in the above story, you will need to have one as you write yours. The story of Snow White told the world that vanity and jealousy will lead to ruin. Hansel and Gretel literally advised little children not to be greedy little shits. The story about the three little pigs was all about hard work and enterprise paying off in the end. However, contradictory to these, your stories will need to be imbibed with morals and truisms from the 21st century. A few of those are listed below:
- Kissing your boss’s ass is important for career growth.
- Hypocrisy is a valuable tool for survival.
- FOMO will help you make plenty of friends.
- Being an idiot doesn’t necessarily mean that you will fail in life.
- Everyone loves honesty until it contradicts their own beliefs.
- Fame is everything.
- You are just another brick in the wall.
- Being a cynic helps you avoid disappointments.
- Having no ideals can get your far in the world.
- Aggression is the mother of getting things done.
- All stories need to start with “Once upon a time”.
- Write in very simple language.
- Remember that the moral of your story is more important than how it is packaged.
- Folktales are an oral tradition; they must sound good when read out loud
There is a little Goebbels in all of you. Embrace him and let the propaganda flow. The children of our future aren’t going to turn into assholes all by themselves, you know? Write a story. Help them along a little. Be kind and spin a yarn.