Modern Ideology in Miniature

by Luke Buffini

[Editor’s Note: This piece is part of the “Topical” series, with each piece solely submitted to and chosen by the Final Reader Pietra Dunmore.]


“Hello,” said the representative of historical hierarchical white male heterosexual privilege.

“Hi,” said the apex of historical hierarchical black oppression and victimisation.

“Where are you from?” said the climax of centuries of oppressive western patriarchal culture developed purely to benefit white men and oppress and exploit all others.

“I’m from here. The UK,” said the embodiment of incalculable repression and victimisation, clearly offended, robbed of her identity and possibly victimised (though she would have to decide later somewhere in a Twitter thread).

The symbol of all injustice, inequality and power laughed, and said: “Oh. Yeah. No. I meant: where are you from in the UK. I assumed you weren’t from Birmingham because who goes to Uni in their own city? Like: I’m from London.”

“Oh,” said the girl, “right. Sorry. No, I’m from London too.”

“Oh cool! Where in London? I’m Conor, by the way.”

“I’m Aurora. Like, South London? Do you know Tooting?”


Luke was born in Hammersmith, London, in 1992. He grew up in a suburb called Hillingdon and now lives in Highgate, North London. In recent years he has worked as a postman, a football coach, a legal recruiter and a tutor. Luke has an upcoming publication in Short Fiction, and has previously been published in Earth Island Journal, the Hillingdon Literary Festival Anthology and The Decadent Review.


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What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Modern Ideology in Miniature”?

I experienced a very similar misunderstanding years ago at a bar in my University town. That gave me the hint of an idea. Then recently, I’d been thinking a lot about some of the contesting narratives and ideologies we have in the world right now (Jordan Peterson did a lot for me on this). In order to make some of these narratives fit, you need to conceptualise other people in quite a strange way. The idea of someone doing that at all times struck me as absurd. Framed in the kind of mundane setting I’ve put in the piece, all ideologies look a bit silly. That’s what I wanted to show.


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