How many angels dance on the head of a pin? How many Homunculi fit in the head of a sperm? I consulted Dr. Hubert Sorel, eminent virologist, of the University of Mumbai on that very question. Dr. Sorel co-authored a forthcoming paper in next month’s issue of Turgid Alchemical Viewpoints. The piece, “Confronting Spermatozoa Double-Boundedness in Homonculean Populations: An Apollonian-Dionysian Synthesis,” asserts that standard alchemical practice and international law have not adjusted to the challenges faced by Homunculi communities. The results are worthy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
“There is simply too much pornography,” asserted Dr. Sorel. “We found disturbing parallels between masturbation habits in the public and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.” In his weekly New York Times column, noted phrenologist Paul Krugman suggested that this was not an issue of “excess capacity,” but rather a result of “structural testicular inefficiencies” that may cause internal scrotal displacement for Homunculi. However, Dr. Sorel disagrees: “with all due respect to Dr. Krugman, you can sever the scrotum or reform the EU, but does that really address the root cause of displaced populations? I call that blaming the victim.” Ms. Atwood went on to say that Homunculi face a “double-boundedness,” both within the scrotum and within individual sperm cells. “They are, it’s no exaggeration to say, the most underprivileged beings in the world.” Due to their transnational nature, the UN Convention on Refugees specifically exempts Homunculi from the right to seek refugee status.
None of this suggests, however, that masturbation is genocidal. The genocide of Homunculi has been extensively theorized in the contemporary literature. “Oh no, no, no! Quite apart from that; Homunculi view the process of masturbation as politically emancipatory,” Ms. Atwood claims. “The problem is states don’t view Homunculi as having the right to self-determination. They recognize no right to autonomy from the spermatozoon; it’s akin to forced labour!” These findings were based on Sorel-Atwood’s exhaustive interviews of Homunculi and pools of semen, as well as vigorous data analysis of multi-ethnic masturbatory control groups. They found that both masturbator and Homunculi found onanism politically orgasmic, yet migratory patterns suggest institutions are lagging behind this epiphany.
However, their study has not been without controversy. Several Homunculi expired when exposed to psychoanalysis, due to their surprising lack of a subconscious. This unfortunate result took a personal toll on the researchers, who felt blindsided. “Honestly, I didn’t know if we were going to continue after that,” said a visibly distraught Sorel. The researcher team believed their study had a strong theoretical grounding in Freud’s monumental final manuscript, “Libidinal Discontents and the Horse God Semen,” a staggering work on Homonculean civilization and psychology. Perhaps a consultation of Lacan’s multi-volume Homonculean Sexuality could have evaded this tragedy, though it was lost in the Alexandrian Fire.
The ramifications of the duo’s research are, nonetheless, tantalizing. Can Homunculi be viewed as beings of wholly undivided ego, and what are the ethical implications of releasing them into the world without adequate social assistance? Can piloting spermatozoon be designated an essential service by the state, thereby removing the Homunculi’s right to strike? Human rights lawyers have, ironically, found these issues too large to contend with. Further ethnographic research needs to be done into their reported customs of ritualistic sacrifice, aggression parties, and fetal friction. Additionally, future biogenetic research has been suggested to determine whether gene therapy might turn useless infants into fully functioning Homunculi, though there will likely be significant bioethical obstacles to overcome once ethics committees are apprised of Sorel-Atwood’s methodology.
In addition to her article with Dr. Sorel, Ms. Atwood’s recent novel Detective Moose Who Was Topiary, addresses similar themes of place, time, and femininity, but through the lens of Canadian identity. When I asked her to summarize her time working with Dr. Sorel, she said simply “how has the sun grown so dark to me?” President Leo IX, who has openly compared masturbation to the Armenian Genocide, is expected to make a statement on the status of Homunculi at next month’s World Economic Forum in Davos.