If you read my blog regularly, you know that I like to participate in the weekly writing challenges that WordPress sponsors. This week, they want bloggers to eliminate all unnecessary verbiage from some old writing, thereby enlivening it.
They’ve centered the challenge around a classic piece of writing advice and I would never say anything negative about the folks who will choose whether I’ll become freshly pressed one day. However, I also want to have fun. With that in mind, I present a new version of my longest post to date: “The New ‘Teen Spirit’ Insults My Intelligence.” I based the original on an observation I’d had: how interesting that we have an iconic song about teenagers that starts with the words “load up on guns and bring your friends.” The original post integrated the song’s complete lyrics to discuss school shootings and irresponsible sexual behavior. This time, the condensed style will amplify the message… in a manner of speaking.
They asked us to “be brutal,” so here we go:
Shooter: Me loser. Me find friends. We get guns.
Shooter: Horny girl stupid. Me no like horny girl. She no use condom. Boyfriends stupid too. Want “entertainment.”
Shooter: Life hard. People give me hard time. Me no deserve.
Shooter: Me horny too. Me want horny girl. Me no need condom.
Horny Girl: Me no loser. Me get laid before 40. Boys stupid.
Boys: We stupid. We popular. We no happy.
Shooter: We attack. They sad.
Boys: Entertain us. Now. Always.
Sick boy: Me see nurse. Balls hurt.
Teacher: Me no like kids. Me want drink.
Narrator: Shooter shoots. Shooter tackled. Shooter crushed.
Horny girl: Me no like sex no more. Me no stop.
Sick boy (to nurse): Me sick.
Nurse: You be OK.
Sick boy: Me sick. ME SICK!!!!!!!
Nurse: You be OK, me think. Maybe you die.
Horny girl: Me stupid. Me not important. Guidance counselors suck.
Sick boy: Me miss childhood.
Community: Old people innocent.
Community: We no worry. Kurt Cobain not sick.
Community: Culture sick.
Community: No can stop shootings.
Community: Why no stop shootings?
Community: We low. No way up.
Community: No can ruin life.
Community: All teenagers stupid.
Moral of the story #1: Cavemen aren’t always entertaining.
Moral of the story #2: There’s more to writing than conveying meaning efficiently. Do what best addresses your unique audience and purpose in a given situation. Don’t go overboard with concision.