Politics and Culture in the Comic Zone

Daniel Rigney

Daniel Rigney
New Texas, USA
August 01
free-range writer
In this writing workshop and citizen's blog I'm exploring various short forms, often from a satiric angle. My interests include politics, culture and the human comedy; old and new media; social theory and urban life; the commercialization, corporatization and tabloidization of everything; sustainability; Unitarianism (UU); coffee; and writing (sorry, I mean providing content). Turtle stamp is from Tandy Leather. Interested in republishing a piece? Contact drigney3@gmail.com.


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MAY 2, 2012 1:04AM

The Great American Tweet

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The Great American Tweet

By Daniel Rigney

I’m told there was a time when young scribblers in the United States dreamed of writing "the great American novel." It was a time when books were made of paper and ink rather than pixels -- a time when “text” was a noun rather than a verb, and “tweet” was something robins did.

But times change, and dreams change with them. Many of today’s future fictionists, not just in the U.S. but around the world, might sooner make a great world film or youtube video than write a great national novel. Even the very notion of a national novel now seems dated in the swirled world of globalization.

Some (like me) might be satisfied to compose a great blogpost. Others might dream of creating a timeless tweet, or a great ephemeral text message.

Messaging nowadays seems to come in ever smaller bites and shorter bits (e.g., blogs, tweets, text messages) even as the sheer quantity of content expands. It's as though we're assembling an ever-larger puzzle out of ever smaller pieces. I'm sensing a paradox here that I can't quite articulate.

But truncation continues. Social critics of the future might write ever shorter critiques of the miniaturization of media and the abbreviation of meaning. Book critics might become blog critics, and blog critics tweet critics, and tweet critics txt critics.

Eventually, if we follow this truncation trajectory forever, we'll come to that moment that Macbeth called "the last syllable of recorded time." Then, at long last, there will be utter silence. But it will be a great silence. An infinite silence.

It might sound something like this:








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Very funny. The best approach: keep laughing, I agree and I'm a guy who just spent four years writing a novel that I'm now trying to sell. Give me strength.
Thanks, Ben. I know people who have been working on their novels for a lot longer than that! Very best of luck. You're a fine writer, and I have a good feeling about your manuscript.