The Face Overhead


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Post December 10, 2007, 10:11:20 PM

The Face Overhead

"One Good Satire Deserves Another"

The announcement was quite a shock. No one believed it at first; all crazy statements require extra-ordinary proof. Since the proof was efficiently delivered, it changed from "incredible" to "Post-Surreal". The kid submitting the thesis paper suggesting the name got an A. After all, thesis papers were still allowed.

After the knees were bandaged from the falls, Notes were traded. Literally. Mitch Kapor ...almost... called IBM. Instead, he sent a messenger with a spare shrinkwrapped copy of Notes and his suggestion: maybe Internet Messages were exempt. Two convicts on death row were recruited after the lawyers agreed that their potential punishment was less cruel than methods already in use. Four rebellious teenagers in some town with the wrong proportion of consonants and vowels declared it as a new way to end suffering in this world.

It worked. The owners of the sent Notes survived. Enthused by this success, someone took a rock concert public address system, borrowed some of a bank's voice promp database, and thundered at the Something-In-The-Sky: "You blew it. You had your one commandment, and now you're done. Don't even think of blasting us for this, because A, we're not talking, and B, we're loudly not talking AT YOU, not to ourselves."

Wizards of the Coast in Washington State encouraged its gaming population to break the commandment in as many ways possible. The card "Aura of Silence" shot through the roof in retail value.

In the midst of all this, a search went on for The One, who would end the menace. The Estate of Philip K. Dick sold a million extra copies of Eye in the Sky. More thesis papers were written.

Margo Ford was smart, and so avoided being Found On Road Dead. When the missiles were fired, Bill Haley's son wrote a song in honor, called "Flash Around the Clock".

And this is how, two days after a lovely little story was posted, one mind inspired another, and the battle of literacy against entropy was furthered.

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Post December 14, 2007, 10:36:19 AM

Re: The Face Overhead

A pleasantly amusing little story. My wife and I would have been OK - we both know sign languaage.
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Post December 27, 2007, 05:38:45 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

I seem to be missing several important IQ points this afternoon as I read this story.

This is cute and all, but what exactly is it a satire of?

Help!

Nate
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Post December 28, 2007, 03:28:51 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

"We know what's best for you." That was the central tenet of the Face's rule, and indeed, with the Face preventing crime, war, etc., the world as a whole functioned better. viz. White Man's Burden, Pax Romanorum, Pax Britannica, American Manifest Destiny, etc. ... or the neo-con New World Order, where U.S. law applies everywhere (unless it's inconvenient for the U.S.), but a U.S. signature on a treaty means nothing.

"We know what's best for us -- and them." The rebels felt that eliminating the Face and going back to their old ways justified nuking most of the planet.

In both cases, the underlying trope dates back to the Vietnam-era declaration, "we had to destroy the village to save it". The feelings of the villagers on the matter were considered to be irrelevant.

Or ... think of it as a satire on (say) Heinlein's "Fifth Column", except in this case, the brave and ingenious rebels destroy much of what they purportedly wish to liberate. (Or suppose all the cities on Luna had been ruptured in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", but Miguel and Wyoming still declared victory.)

RM
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)
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Post December 28, 2007, 03:31:46 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

A pleasantly amusing little story.  My wife and I would have been OK - we both know sign languaage.


Ah, but it has been pointed out (was it Crichton in "Congo", or maybe Streiber in "Wolfen") that there are many versions of sign language, and they are sufficiently different that an American and a Brit or Aussie might find each other mutually incomprehensible. You know, sort of the way it is now with spoken language...

;D
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

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Post December 28, 2007, 06:06:38 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

I hope the author saw and enjoyed my little tribute. The piece struck me as a dead ringer successor for PKD's Eye in the Sky, which is why I gave it a plug.

On the larger scale, I took a big part of the theme as being "this force is a tough opponent, but phenomenally careless - any grade D movie villian could do a better job." Faced with a completely incomprehensible but apparently clear directive, we have mostly evolved past cowering in terror at Terrible Forces while mumbling pleas for mercy. After the shock wore off, the global village set out to find as many ways to follow the letter of the law while pulverizing the spirit of it.

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Post February 18, 2008, 09:52:10 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

8-)
I seem to be missing several important IQ points this afternoon as I read this story.

This is cute and all, but what exactly is it a satire of?

Help!

Nate

Commenter

Posts: 8

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 18, 2008, 09:52:45 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

8-)
I seem to be missing several important IQ points this afternoon as I read this story.

This is cute and all, but what exactly is it a satire of?

Help!

Nate

Commenter

Posts: 8

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 18, 2008, 09:55:49 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

8-)
I seem to be missing several important IQ points this afternoon as I read this story.

This is cute and all, but what exactly is it a satire of?

Help!

Nate



Mary thinks she chose the wrong word; should have used "spoof" instead of "satire." Author intended to write a "scary" but couldn't stop laughing so she decided this was not really a serious scary story, but a "tongue-in-cheek" one of all scary stories.

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Posts: 8

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 19, 2008, 01:11:20 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

"One Good Satire Deserves Another"

The announcement was quite a shock.  No one believed it at first; all crazy statements require extra-ordinary proof. Since the proof was efficiently delivered, it changed from "incredible" to "Post-Surreal".  The kid submitting the thesis paper suggesting the name got an A.  After all, thesis papers were still allowed.

After the knees were bandaged from the falls, Notes were traded.  Literally. Mitch Kapor ...almost... called IBM. Instead, he sent a messenger with a spare shrinkwrapped copy of Notes and his suggestion: maybe Internet Messages were exempt.  Two convicts on death row were recruited after the lawyers agreed that their potential punishment was less cruel than methods already in use.  Four rebellious teenagers in some town with the wrong proportion of consonants and vowels declared it as a new way to end suffering in this world.

It worked. The owners of the sent Notes survived. Enthused by this success, someone took a rock concert public address system, borrowed some of a bank's voice promp database, and thundered at the Something-In-The-Sky: "You blew it. You had your one commandment, and now you're done. Don't even think of blasting us for this, because A, we're not talking, and B, we're loudly not talking AT YOU, not to ourselves."

Wizards of the Coast in Washington State encouraged its gaming population to break the commandment in as many ways possible. The card "Aura of Silence" shot through the roof in retail value.  

In the midst of all this, a search went on for The One, who would end the menace. The Estate of Philip K. Dick sold a million extra copies of Eye in the Sky. More thesis papers were written.

Margo Ford was smart, and so avoided being Found On Road Dead.  When the missiles were fired, Bill Haley's son wrote a song in honor, called "Flash Around the Clock".

And this is how, two days after a lovely little story was posted, one mind inspired another, and the battle of literacy against entropy was furthered.
Thanks; may a shower of orange blossoms float your way

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Posts: 8

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 19, 2008, 01:19:30 PM

Re: The Face Overhead

8-)
I seem to be missing several important IQ points this afternoon as I read this story.

This is cute and all, but what exactly is it a satire of?

Help! Mary thinks she should have used the word "spoof." Help me, I'm making a big mess of this--Orange Blossom I'm not doing it right.

Nate



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