The news, movie trailers, infographics... these things provide information. They're meta. A recent trend is on meta-meta (such as lists of lists). In the case of these below, the information uses the very same equation (system, method) used in the meta (the movie trailer is in the movie trailer style, the news is told in the reporting style and the infographic is an infographic). Now if only we could get a pop song that just had lyrics like "I'm a tool and will do anything for money, you like me, so give me your money 'cuz you're worthless." It'll happen.

Note: Because most of these methods actually work, people do not often realize what it is that's doing the working on them. By using a method to explain a method, it is like showing a person the invisible arrow in the FedEx logo. Once they see it, they always see it. Need to get some people to use politics to show the method behind the illusion they're spinning. Onward... enough words...

by Phil Gyford

Feel free to leave others in the comments.
...It'll likely end up on this list.

Eviction Notice

"Eviction Notice" by Megan Kennedy (FallenIdle)

Dear Mrs. Singleton,

I'm sure you don't remember me. I may have been one of many students who felt the sting of your proverbial whip, past and present; I may be the only one. I'll never know. You may even be dead by now, and for that, speaking ill of the dead will no doubt upset a balance I'll have to right at some point. I accept this, because I am done giving your teeth a place to rest in my dying body.

Being as old as you were, I'm sure you'd long forgotten what it was to be a child, and how badly things in society had changed since your day, when people were actually afraid to get divorced and kids didn't come home to an empty house. No doubt, this effected your ability to understand that some students in your classroom were far less fortunate than others, in ways they didn't cause or comprehend, and adjust your sensitivity accordingly. Or maybe you were just at the end of your crotchety old life and had stopped giving a shit.

But my secrets are done being kept. Whatever your reasoning, you have to leave me.

I can't remember the name of the book, now, that you were reading aloud to the class. But I was 100% sure that at some point, you uttered a word that I'd gotten my mouth washed out with soap for saying; something not meant for 5th grade ears. I was scared, but my mother had always taught me to tell the truth and if I was uncomfortable, to say something. That I had every right to stand up for myself, and she would always back me up if I believed in it.

I did the only thing a mind that little could think of: I went to your teacher, Principal Foote, and told him how upset I was. I remember walking into that big, dark office, shaking in my Power Rangers sneakers; it didn't help that Principal Foote was a lovechild between Merlin Olsen and a lumberjack. But he was a kind man; when I wrote a Fairy Tale about him years earlier for a class assignment, word reached him and he asked me if he could keep the story, he loved it so much. How would he react to this, though?

I told him what had happened. Sitting on the edge of the chair, squirming and fidgeting like I still do today, almost as if I'm afraid to stop moving lest I keel over and die, I told him what you had said and that I didn't think it was appropriate for a classroom. I remember saying that: "appropriate for a classroom". I didn't know if he felt like laughing or yelling. He knew I wasn't a troublemaker, because this was only the second time we'd met. I don't think he knew what to make of me.

Oh, but you did, didn't you? You made me out for what I was: A spoiled little shit trying to smear the good name and reputation of a dedicated teacher in the golden years of her career. A liar, a failure. An outcast. You screamed at me after Principal Foote called you into his office, shook your long skeletal finger at me and said "How dare you! How dare you accuse me of this!" And when my mom finally came (I still don't know who called her, or why), you yelled at her. You scolded her for raising such a disobedient daughter, for raising a liar. But my mom looked right at you and said, "She doesn't like attention. If she says she heard something, she heard something. Does she look like she's enjoying this to you?"

But you, Mrs. Singleton, you weren't about to be distracted with petty logic or rationality. No, you had a war to fight, a war against an eight-year-old girl bold enough to not be afraid of you. Did you even realize what a threshold all your students stood on, or had you forgotten in your long years as an adult? Because each and every one of us dangled over a vast canyon of darkness, and at any moment, our safety line could snap.

You had two roads before you that day: A defensive shield, an arrogant knee-jerk emotional response to show your horror at the accusation; or, you could slow down and consider that, perhaps, the entire exchange was a big misunderstanding. The class room is big, with so many distractions; maybe this little girl is just mistaken, and a few kind words and a promise that you'd never talk like that to students would fix everything. You chose the former, and you changed everything. So often I've cried, wondering what would have happened if you had chosen different.

It's not hard to break a child, Mrs. Singleton. It's not hard to make a child believe in an unreality of your creation, simply because it is what you want them to think, or because it keeps them quiet and complacent. But, as you must be aware, breaking a child's spirit and mind is easily the moral equivalent of beating or sexually molesting them; perhaps even worse, because the psychological signs disguise themselves much better than bruises or blood, and fester much deeper. I fear on the other side, you will find no hands to shake, congratulating you for your success, your resilience, your ability to handle dissent. For that I pity you, because then you must stand before whatever god and power is there, and explain exactly why you chose to break me. I hope that he shows you my life, shows you the consequences of my own choices based on the fear you put in me; not to blame you, for I chose my own path, but to fully illustrate to you the beauty of this universe and its flawless interconnectivity. For one thing I've learned is that many of us take for granted the ripple effect our actions take on others, and I've done my best to remember what power I have, the same power you abused so carelessly.

When you made me move away from the other children, because I was a 'distraction', you made me paranoid and sure I was meant to be alone. Your actions told me I wasn't good enough, and I believed you, because you were still an elder I was commanded to respect.

When you made me re-do papers with no direction as to what I did wrong, or graded me unfairly, you taught me that sometimes my sweat and smarts mean nothing, if a person in the right position of power chooses it to mean nothing. You should note that after this incident, I got the first non-As of my life, and after I had left you my grades returned to normal. Even a child can understand that.

When you denied me participation with my friends by keeping me in recesses to "search that book for what you thought you heard", or rejecting my applications to be in school plays, or stealing away the one dream I had to play in the Students vs. Faculty basketball game, a once-in-a-lifetime goal that you gave to students younger than me just to keep me out of it, you showed me that not only are authority figures wrong sometimes, but there is nothing preventing them from acting more childish than children. You showed that for me to trust another authority figure would be a stupid, stupid mistake; I trusted you, after all, at one point. And now, it's difficult for me to hold a job, because of how hard it is for me to be blindly obedient to even the slightest appearance of someone who thinks they have power over me. I have no problem obeying someone I trust, but once that's lost, I cannot in good conscience follow and relinquish my power to another, and society doesn't exactly understand that. So often I find myself in that same chair you had me in, being scolded for doing what I think is right, punished for standing up for something my apparently misguided brain mistook for being important. And how do I explain it to the husband depending on me when I have to report my failure? Does he understand when I tell him every instinct I had told me to fight? Are my instincts right, Mrs. Singleton? You hold the answer, because you took it from me that day, and I've never gotten it back.

When you made me cry in front of the class during a weekly meeting because I'd asked a classmate for time to play with my best friend alone, without her, you showed me true cruelty for the first time in my young life. You made me a social outcast, a joke, and the taunting that began after you threw me to the wolves would not end until I was forced into a mental hospital just to survive. You sold me out to pre-teens, Mrs. Singleton, kids trying to scramble their way to the top of the social ladder with everything they've got. And what do you do? You toss them a sacrificial lamb.

Your terror made me retreat inside myself, and I almost drowned in the darkness I found in there. I used to slice my arms open just to let some of it out, and relieve the pressure, and I will forever bear the scars and curious stares. I want you to feel that, too. I want to take you by your liver-spotted hand and lead you into eternally shadowed forest where that little girl ran away to, after you tore open her heart. I want to show you the beasts that stalk me, and the ones that I stalk; I want you to see the moon in here when it glows red and evil and turns the black oceans into a quiet mirror of blood and death. I want you to hear the monsters as they breathe, crawling closer and closer; I want you to hear your own hyperventilating as you wonder if they will reach you this time.

And when we emerge into a dark, cold city, I want you to feel the stares and laughs and taunts. I want you to hear all the terrible things they say about you, the wolves who smell your fear. I want you to feel them circling and snapping and drawing blood, a little at a time, as you cry and beg for mercy. Then you will scream as they drag you away. They rip you to shreds, and others rebuild you like a rag doll and pump you full of numbing drugs and send you stumbling like a zombie back out into the world. And you will never be as afraid as you are in that moment, even though the clouds gathering at your feet are still as dark as ever, and you know it isn't over. Now every god, prayer, devil, promise, lover, friend and dream has a dark secret buried in its belly. Now nothing is a true friend to you, because you understand how deep minds and truth and reality are; you know they have monsters, just like you do, and how do you trust a monster? How does anyone trust you? Are you here, Mrs. Singleton? Are you real? Did you know, this is all a foolish dream?

As you writhe in the arms of insanity I would tell you, this is not a punishment. This is an education, just like the one you gave me. Universally, truth has always been the most painful of all burdens to bear, and yours will be no different. And you can soothe yourself afterwards with all the stories of people who, no doubt, loved you till the end of their lives, thought you were an angel from god, and remember that all is not lost. It's true, Mrs. Singleton; all is not lost, nor is it simple to understand.

But before you go into that good night, I must implore you to take all your truths with you on your way out. Too long your disease, your fear, your terrible mistakes and ignorant arrogance have feasted away at my soul and pulled me back down into the darkness I've fought tooth, claw and nail to escape. And you are done. You chose to make yourself a part of a child's life, and you failed her.

The very least you owe her is a second chance.

I am the queen of this forest, and however dark it may get, these monsters are mine and mine alone. No longer will you rule them.

So take your claws and your hatred and be gone from my fucking mind. Because the sacrificial lamb you created is become the wolf, and she is done with your lies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.