Clog in the machine: Orcs need a union, change my mind

This is a piece of satire.

Human rights and standards shift from government to government, yet we express little outrage at the abhorrent living and working conditions of the most vulnerable in our population, Orcs.

Orcs, the fictional species depicted in the prolific Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, are the victims of unseemly living conditions, human rights violations, and a shameful smear campaign that paints them as the oppressor, not the oppressed. They are practically bae if you like that victim of eugenics, foot soldier in a series of wars they don’t belong in, life expectancy akin to a fruit fly-type vibe. Incidentally, that is my type.

Orcs are born prisoners of war, by virtue of their existence alone. They emerge from this sickly, poorly ventilated stew of a lab-womb as fully developed adults for one purpose, and spoiler: it’s not to discover their love of arithmetic or sailing.

The sole purpose of Orcs is to serve soldiers in their master’s war. To this end, they’re born adults and male. No, their first word isn’t “Mama;” it’s “master.”

Orcs had their childhood bred out of existence like it was a coiled tail or floppy ears on a dog. Childhood doesn’t serve the war effort, so why bother? We have child labour laws, but somehow, Orcs don’t qualify for these standards. Is it because they’re born with all their adult teeth?

Everything about Orcs orient them to war. When you’re born in a dungeon-cave-laboratory, you don’t really want to call the Orc stirring your placenta-mud soup “Mama” or “Papa,” not even “comrade.” It just doesn’t feel right. They don’t have family, and that’s intentional. It’s so that they won’t have something personal to live for.

Female Orcs were also bred out of existence by eugenic practices because they did not serve their master’s war effort. When there is no love in your life, you’re more likely to march to your death in a war you only heard about around lunchtime.

Forced sterilization is such a horrible form of evil imposed on Orcs, as it impacts every corner of their existence. It’s also a human rights violation, according to the Geneva Convention. Canada, did you catch that? Ideally Canada would not do that, but you know how the saying goes — countries will be countries.

The Stanford Prison experiment studied the phenomenon of abuse in instances of unchecked power. We learned from this study that wrong actions don’t define Orcs’ personhood, violent circumstances do.

Take the shocking incidences of crimes against humanity inflicted on the prisoners held by American soldiers in Abu Ghraib during the polarizing Iraq war. American soldiers inflicted unbelievable mental and physical abuse on prisoners, from humiliation to blatant torture. These soldiers are labeled “a few bad apples,” and we carry on without criticism of the harmful structure that elicits these behaviours. When Orcs carry out similar atrocities, apples are just “bad” and structural context, again, gets lost in the shuffle of who to blame.

Orcs don’t have a cultural identity outside of war. All Orc names are about being good at war. One Orc leader is literally named Azgog the Defiler.

The languages Orcs speak are not their own, but are designed to facilitate war. Their system of governance is solely fear-based, with threat of punishment around every corner — all stick, no carrot, and the language they use, also created by their master, functions to organize war efforts, and nothing more. Orcs aren’t given an alternative, let alone a pension for their long career in defiling.

Orcs are a clog in the machine, and we are trying to pour Clorox down the drain. Considering all the fighting Orcs do, they weren’t given a fighting chance. They’re barely given a bathroom break. What are they, Amazon warehouse workers?


Graphic by Lily Cowper

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