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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

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"No, it wasn't non-payment of the gravity bill. That's silly. Here's what happened.

"First McDonald's trademarks The Arch. Didn't seem like a big deal at the time. You depict an arch with similar proportions to The Arch, McLawyers came after you. Build an arch too similar to The Arch, and McLawyers came after you. Robble robble robble.

"With me so far?

"Anyway, the courts took their side. The McSide. Probably fries."


"Nevermind. Stupid joke. Anyway. Established a pretty clear precedent, stood for years unchallenged. Then. Remember a couple of years ago when Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp gave up any pretense of, you know, hiding their biases? Came out of the Right Wing closet, so to speak?"

"Yeah, maybe."

"Well. NewsCorp trademarked The Right Angle. Since then everything's been slanted."

"I don't get it."



Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

18th Jul 2008, 17:09   | tags:


For posterity:


18th Jul 2008, 17:28

Dhamaka says:

you do these so well. Which comes first - the image or the idea?

18th Jul 2008, 21:17

Thank you! In addition to being a Zelazny fan and a Murakami fan, I really really really like Jorge Luis Borges and Lord Dunsany — both of whom were famous for super-short vignettes. Goes well with my American attention span. :)

As for which comes first... it's a toss-up. In this case, I wanted to take a picture of a speeding car and write a story about that, but one wouldn't happen by in range of my camera. So I went out to the parking lot and tried to take a picture of a car in the lot while swooshing the camera around, but that only took a slanted picture.... So then I was stuck writing a bit about a slanted building and warped car, because I was out of time for trying to take a picture.... And so it goes.

I do well adding a story to existing pictures, especially if they're unusual pictures. If I come up with an idea first, it can be really hard to take a picture to illustrate it. I'm trying really hard not to "borrow" pics from elsewhere or reuse any I've already posted....


18th Jul 2008, 21:57

Dhamaka says:

Cool and thanks for the explanation.

I'm completely with you on Borges but the context within which I first read Dunsany still spoils him for me. Not the same thing, but what do you feel about Neruda's work?

19th Jul 2008, 08:12

Dhamaka says:

*struggles and fails to think of smart comment regarding American attention spans

19th Jul 2008, 08:15

Helen says:


19th Jul 2008, 12:16

Neruda and Borges and Murakami all make me wish I could read them in their native languages. Neruda's word-choices survive translation amazingly well. I love what I've read of his work. I've read other great poets (and even hung out a bit with David Kirby and his wife Barbara Hamby, both of whose poetry benefit enormously from their own voices reading it), but Neruda's twisted fire tops the best If read so far. There's certainly no way any of my own comes close.

There's not much clever to be said about the typical America attention span.... except maybe on the lines of the disturbing trends trying to turn the 30-second commercial into some form of modern haiku. With occasional success.


19th Jul 2008, 16:39

Viv says:

this made me laugh - thanks :)

27th Apr 2009, 01:35

Anytime. :)


28th Apr 2009, 05:20