A century ago, after the unthinkable slaughter of hundreds of thousands on their home soil, European artists like Duchamp and Picasso and Eliot responded with what came to be called absurdism. In a world where life was clearly not bound by the established rules, artists proclaimed that the only way to remain sane was, in some sense, to recognize life’s insanity.

after the shooting

In our current century, Americans have witnessed the unthinkable slaughter of hundreds of thousands on our home soil – to gun violence. Again and again and again we have heard the refrain from defenders of the status quo: “If we outlaw guns, soon only outlaws will have guns.” In the spirit of the ground-breaking modernists of ten decades ago, we offer 100 equally coherent – or absurd – responses:

1. If we kill kindness, soon only kills will have kindness.
2. If we dig fossils, soon only digs will have fossils.
3. If we doctor photos, soon only doctors will have photos.
4. If we drink liquids, soon only drinks will have liquids.
5. If we shoot weapons, soon only shoots will have weapons.
6. If we flag our stars, soon only flags will have stars.
7. If we tire horses, soon only tires will have horses.
8. If we ride people, soon only rides will have people.
9. If we dog fleas, soon only dogs will have fleas.
10. If we stop violence, soon only stops will have violence.
11. If we show weakness, soon only shows will have weakness.
12. If we spin in circles, soon only spins will have circles.
13. If we book messages, soon only books will have messages.
14. If we bag items, soon only bags will have items.
15. If we fire pistols, soon only fires will have pistols.
16. If we handle teapots, soon only handles will have teapots.
17. If we paper differences, soon only papers will have differences.
18. If we water plants, soon only waters will have plants.
19. If we plant seeds, soon only plants will have seeds.
20. If we seed destruction, soon only seeds will have destruction.
21. If we play actors, soon only plays will have actors.
22. If we smell scents, soon only smells will have scents.
23. If we fly coach, soon only flies will have coaches.
24. If we cry tears, soon only cries will have tears.
25. If we light filaments, soon only lights will have filaments.
26. If we frame pictures, soon only frames will have pictures.
27. If we exchange dollars, soon only exchanges will have dollars.
28. If we leave branches, soon only leaves will have branches.
29. If we hollow trees, soon only hollows will have trees.
30. If we farm livestock, soon only farms will have livestock.
31. If we park cars, soon only parks will have cars.
32. If we pass chauvinism, soon only passes will have chauvinism.
33. If we place rules, soon only places will have rules.
34. If we rule places, soon only rules will have places.
35. If we lock keys, soon only locks will have keys.
36. If we key locks, soon only keys will have locks.
37. If we convert friends, soon only converts will have friends.
38. If we friend converts, soon only friends will have converts.
39. If we question answers, soon only questions will have answers.
40. If we answer questions, soon only answers will have questions.
41. If we call names, soon only calls will have names.
42. If we return gifts, soon only returns will have gifts.
43. If we watch clocks, soon only watches will have clocks.
44. If we count pennies, soon only counts will have pennies.
45. If we break bread, soon only breaks will have bread.
46. If we work themes, soon only works will have themes.
47. If we permit regulations, soon only permits will have regulations.
48. If we need advice, soon only needs will have advice.
49. If we stick landings, soon only sticks will have landings.
50. If we store firearms, soon only stores will have firearms.
51. If we shape points, soon only shapes will have points.
52. If we fashion responses, soon only fashions will have responses.
53. If we form opinions, soon only forms will have opinions.
54. If we study statistics, soon only studies will have statistics.
55. If we offer cash, soon only offers will have cash.
56. If we spill oil, soon only spills will have oil.
57. If we battle armies, soon only battles will have armies.
58. If we chair meetings, soon only chairs will have meetings.
59. If we air grievances, soon only air will have grievances.
60. If we share stocks, soon only shares will have stocks.
61. If we bear difficulties, soon only bears will have difficulties.
62. If we square pegs, soon only squares will have pegs.
63. If we tear fabric, soon only tears will have fabric.
64. If we love each other, soon only loves will have each other.
65. If we rock stones, soon only rocks will have stones.
66. If we misdirect reveals, soon only misdirects will have reveals.
67. If we box popcorn, soon only boxes will have popcorn.
68. If we shit bricks, soon only shit will have bricks.
69. If we shout “help,” soon only shouts will have help.
70. If we raise salaries, soon only raises will have salaries.
71. If we mind changes, soon only minds will have changes.
72. If we attempt empathy, soon only attempts will have empathy.
73. If we challenge paradigms, soon only challenges will have paradigms.
74. If we bank goodwill, soon only banks will have goodwill.
75. If we train our citizens, soon only trains will have citizens.
76. If we hunt animals, soon only hunts will have animals.
77. If we collar cats, soon only collars will have cats.
78. If we gun for safety, soon only guns will have safeties.
79. If we ferry passengers, soon only ferries will have passengers.
80. If we dance the funky chicken, soon only dances will have funky chickens.
81. If we brush hair, soon only brushes will have hair.
82. If we demand accountability, soon only demands will have accountability.
83. If we champ bits, soon only champs will have bits.
84. If we doubt testimonies, soon only doubts will have testimonies.
85. If we fight the system, soon only fights will have systems.
86. If we move furniture, soon only moves will have furniture.
87. If we paint colors, soon only paints will have colors.
88. If we cross Jesus, soon only crosses will have Jesus.
89. If we loan money, soon only loans will have money.
90. If we promise improvements, soon only promises will have improvements.
91. If we plan for success, soon only plans will have success.
92. If we sign words, soon only signs will have words.
93. If we start ending, soon only starts will have endings.
94. If we master urges, soon only masters will have urges.
95. If we bite apples, soon only bites will have apples.
96. If we phone assistants, soon only phones will have assistants.
97. If we picture red-eye, soon only pictures will have red-eyes.
98. If we test incentives, soon only tests will have incentives.
99. If we hammer nails, soon only hammers will have nails.
100.75. If we train our citizens, soon only trains will have citizens.
76. If we hunt animals, soon only hunts will have animals.
77. If we collar cats, soon only collars will have cats.
78. If we gun for safety, soon only guns will have safeties.
79. If we ferry passengers, soon only ferries will have passengers.
80. If we dance the funky chicken, soon only dances will have funky chickens.
81. If we brush hair, soon only brushes will have hair.
82. If we demand accountability, soon only demands will have accountability.
83. If we champ bits, soon only champs will have bits.
84. If we doubt testimonies, soon only doubts will have testimonies.
85. If we fight the system, soon only fights will have systems.
86. If we move furniture, soon only moves will have furniture.
87. If we paint colors, soon only paints will have colors.
88. If we cross Jesus, soon only crosses will have Jesus.
89. If we loan money, soon only loans will have money.
90. If we promise improvements, soon only promises will have improvements.
91. If we plan for success, soon only plans will have success.
92. If we sign words, soon only signs will have words.
93. If we start ending, soon only starts will have endings.
94. If we master urges, soon only masters will have urges.
95. If we bite apples, soon only bites will have apples.
96. If we phone assistants, soon only phones will have assistants.
97. If we picture red-eye, soon only pictures will have red-eyes.
98. If we test incentives, soon only tests will have incentives.
99. If we hammer nails, soon only hammers will have nails.
75. If we train our citizens, soon only trains will have citizens.
76. If we hunt animals, soon only hunts will have animals.
77. If we collar cats, soon only collars will have cats.
78. If we gun for safety, soon only guns will have safeties.
79. If we ferry passengers, soon only ferries will have passengers.
80. If we dance the funky chicken, soon only dances will have funky chickens.
81. If we brush hair, soon only brushes will have hair.
82. If we demand accountability, soon only demands will have accountability.
83. If we champ bits, soon only champs will have bits.
84. If we doubt testimonies, soon only doubts will have testimonies.
85. If we fight the system, soon only fights will have systems.
86. If we move furniture, soon only moves will have furniture.
87. If we paint colors, soon only paints will have colors.
88. If we cross Jesus, soon only crosses will have Jesus.
89. If we loan money, soon only loans will have money.
90. If we promise improvements, soon only promises will have improvements.
91. If we plan for success, soon only plans will have success.
92. If we sign words, soon only signs will have words.
93. If we start ending, soon only starts will have endings.
94. If we master urges, soon only masters will have urges.
95. If we bite apples, soon only bites will have apples.
96. If we phone assistants, soon only phones will have assistants.
97. If we picture red-eye, soon only pictures will have red-eyes.
98. If we test incentives, soon only tests will have incentives.
99. If we hammer nails, soon only hammers will have nails.
100. If we face our problems, soon only faces will have problems.