It’s also nice to see, in a publication dedicated to some seriously weighty topics, such a brilliant use of witty humor to point out the absurdities in modern “morality.” For example, in one of several fake ads sprinkled throughout Salvo, we learn about the plusses and minuses of the latest in “suicide technology,” such as the “CoGenie.” (“Plus: The two carbon-monoxide generating chemicals pack a wallop, and the nasal prong fits comfortably without undue pinching. Minus: The tube connecting chemicals to nose can be unwieldy, especially during those annoying death spasms.”)
Clearly, this isn’t your grandfather’s magazine.
But that’s the point: Salvo is meant to appeal to young people whose main source of information is from a world gone mad. As in our euthanasia example, if you can show the unattractive side of “mercy killing/assisted suicide” in an irreverent way, you might get them thinking. From there, it’s a short step to the realization that religion isn’t just a bunch of made-up regulations. As Maddex notes, “Christianity has logical rules of behavior. It’s not arbitrary. There are concrete reasons one should behave morally.”
Those reasons are presented by what Maddex calls “young writers on the front lines,” writers who are “barraged by cultural influences” and who use those influences to turn a mirror back on the society that spawned them. After all, they’re trying to reach not only young adults who have fallen away from their traditional roots, but those who never enjoyed a traditional upbringing in the first place. The writers and editors “use the style and the language of the culture at large” to raise questions about where we’re headed as a society.
We live in an age filled with technological wonders. But those wonders -- if managed by those who lack any mooring in traditional morality -- could prove to be our undoing. Too many people seem content to step, worry-free, into a “brave new world” of science, confident that answers about what we should or shouldn’t do will come to us magically. Wrong. The time to pose hard questions is now -- and the editors of Salvo are determined to ask them.