Usually as we’re going through our “All New Items” tab on Google Reader and come to a batch of HuffPo articles, we scroll down as fast as possible for about 10 seconds while closing our eyes and clutching our loved ones, hoping that afterwards we may have finally broken through the hurling asteroid cluster of things like, “Alec Baldwin: UN Trade Envoy Could Talk Up Long-Term Interest Rates” or “Arianna Huffington: This Is Actually Another Publication’s Article That We’ve Copied Wholesale Onto Our Website So As To Get Top Google News Placement.” But today we came across this one called “Terrance Heath: America’s Mountaintop Moment,” and we’ve been trying to scroll through it for seven hours with no end in sight! It is about HMM GUESS WHO, and it’s generative enough for a fun game!
Here’s the initial conceit: black person Barack Obama was made President of America last week.
And then it’s ALL TERRANCE HEATH, baby:
It is an America where, at a school for the deaf, a black student was held against his will as “KKK” and swastikas were drawn on him with magic markers.
It is an America where four teenagers beat and attempted to drown a black college student, after calling him “nigger” earlier.
It is an America where a Latino teenage boy was beaten and tortured for five hours by four white teen boys. He was knocked unconscious, dragged outside, stripped, kicked with steel-toed boots, burned with cigarettes, and brutally sodomized with a plastic patio umbrella pole that was kicked several inches into his rectum, and a swastika was carved into his chest — after the sister of one of the boys said the Latino boy had tried to kiss her.
It is an America where many suffered anti-gay violence in 2008.
It is an America where Ecuadorian immigrant Jose Sucuzhanay was beaten with a bottle and a baseball bat by four men yelling anti-gay and anti-hispanic slurs, while on his way home from a bar and walking arm in arm with his brother.
It is an America where Lawrence King, a gay teenager who sometimes feminine attire and identified as “Leticia” was shot to death by a classmate.
It is an America where a lesbian in California was brutally gang-raped by four men, who saw her getting out of her car, which had a rainbow sticker on the bumper, and who later commented about the victim’s sexual orientation.
There are a full 700 million trillion of these little anecdotes, each of them linked out like the dickens (as though readers wouldn’t know how to use Google News for themselves, which, again, is how they all got there in the first place! This Terrance Heath article itself is probably from Gizmodo or something), and each of them creating a wacky juxtaposition with the initial conceit! They don’t teach hot-shit writing like this in school, everyone.
Now we all can play! Ahem:
It is an America where this guy, whatsisname, Bob, killed a black person in Mississippi because the black person was an electrical engineer and he built a robot version of this same Bob, with artificial intelligence, and nobody could tell which was the real Bob, because the programming was so good, right?, and then one day Bob’s wife went into the bathroom of their house to take a piss and Bob was in there — he had forgotten to lock the door, whoops — reprogramming his robot face with the latest “real Bob” memory codecs and lasers, and Bob’s wife was like “Hey now where’s my husband you damn robot??” and robot Bob said back “It has been me all along, mortal, now cook me Robot Eggs,” and Bob’s wife had no idea how long she’d been with the robot instead of her husband, or if they were both robots, it was very postmodern, a copy without an original, and then the other Bob showed up and challenged the robot to a duel, but during the duel it was impossible to tell which Bob was which, but one of them definitely killed the other, and then he went to the black electrical engineer’s place and killed him too for causing all of this tomfoolery. The national news eventually picked up this story and called it “The Jena Six.”