The American Association Of Patriots Presents: How To Talk To Your Cat About Gun Safety And Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, And Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives, by Zachary Auburn
Being fond of cat humor , I picked this book up from the library, but it is definitely not a book I recommend for others. This book attempts to skewer conservative thinking by making up a phony organization and using bad logic to direct what would normally be aimed at parents of children to owners of cats. I judge this to be a largely unsuccessful effort because when I read the book I thought to myself that if the book had been seriously written with serious arguments (as opposed to straw man logic) that I would have wholeheartedly supported the purported approach of author. This is a failure on the part of the writer. When one is writing effective satire, like Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal, the point of the satire is to support something so out of bounds that no one would support it, which causes the reader to wonder the real point of the satire and realize that their own political worldview is as horrible as that being skewered. Unfortunately, this book is one where the right ideas are argued deliberately badly to try to make them look ridiculous, but it’s an approach that will only work with those who are already inclined to laugh at conservatives and to ascribe the worst kind of reasoning for their worldview.
This book is written as a mock political pamphlet and is divided into eight chapters as the authors create straw man arguments concerning how to talk with one’s cat about gun safety, evolution, abstinence, online safety, drugs, puberty, postapocalyptic survival, and satanism. Throughout the authors appear to lack self-awareness, not realizing that many of the pokes they make in ridicule of conservatives can equally rebound to them and look at least if not more ridiculous when one looks at attempts to silence intelligent design in schools because of fear that people will be persuaded away from evolution, to give but one of many such examples. At the end of the book there is a discussion about further reading that adds a conspiratorial flair to much of the author’s pretend thinking (9/11, chemtrails, or the moon landing) or is just plain odd (why is it that humorous like making fun of the Reimann Hypothesis so much?). At least the photo credits are funny, but they are just about the only entertaining parts of this book.
This book perhaps unintentionally reveals what is so wrong about much of contemporary satire, and that is a lack of self-awareness as well as a lack of love and concern for the honor and dignity of the people one is writing satire about. Again, the example of Swift is instructive here, as the satire was ultimately aimed at serving the dignity of the Irish that it was on the surface proposing to serve as food for wealthy and cannibalistic English gourmands. This book simply tries to use the humor seemingly inherent in cats to make fun of conservatives by trying to pretend to be one and failing badly at it. Again, this sort of approach is only humorous to those who agree with the author’s genuine worldview (as bad as it is) and who share the author’s contempt for those who have the worldview that the book is pretending to endorse. If anyone believes that conservatives have the sort of belief system portrayed in this book, they are far more idiotic than they think conservatives to be. It is little wonder, if this was the case, that the author and others of his ilk are continually surprised by the rhetorical success of the arguments they hold in such derision, since they have failed to engage those they disagree with honestly and at their strongest points.
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