Modern Fears

From Schneier on Security: the winning entry in contest he suggested, a litany of modern fears, in the style of the late great Edward Gorey:

The Gashlycrumb Terrors, by Laura

A is for anthrax, so deadly and white.
B is for burglars who break in at night.
C is for cars that, with minds of their own,
accelerate suddenly in a school zone.
D is for dynamite lit with a fuse.
E is for everything we have to lose.
F is for foreigners, different and strange.
G is for gangs and the crimes they arrange.
H is for hand lotion, more than three ounces;
pray some brave agent sees it and pounces.
I is for ingenious criminal plans.
J is for jury-rigged pipe-bombs in vans.
K is for kids who would recklessly play
in playgrounds and parks with their friends every day.
L is for lead in our toys and our food.
M is for Mom’s cavalier attitude.
N is for neighbors — you never can tell:
is that a book club or terrorist cell?
O is for ostrich, with head in the sand.
P is for plots to blow up Disneyland.
Q is for those who would question authorities.
R is for radical sects and minorities.
S is for Satanists, who have been seen
giving kids razor blades on Halloween.
T is for terrorists, by definition.
U is for uncensored acts of sedition.
V is for vigilance, our leaders’ tool,
keeping us safe, both at home and at school.
W is for warnings with colors and levels.
X is for x-raying bags at all revels.
Y is for *you*, my dear daughter or son
Z is for Zero! No tolerance! None!

Don’t ignore the (prolific) original writer- artist either; here is a link to one appropriate work, The Gashlycrumb Tinies: “B is for Basil, eaten by bears”. Betsy, Libby, and I were all separately Gorey fans, and I still have some first editions from Betsy. Peculiar grew up on these as well as outdoor adventure, but I don’t think our odd ideas about children’s lit warped him too much…

3 thoughts on “Modern Fears”

  1. A friend of mine put me on to Edward Gorey a number of years back, and I've loved his stuff ever since.

    Sometimes I run across those Anchor books that feature his illustrations but I never seem to find his books in the used bookstores I frequent.


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