March 29, 2011

Ideas on Tuesdays 6: Secretly Saying What You Mean

A regular feature on POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAYS, rather than irritating you, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them -- and that you can post in the comment section.

STAR TREK, MASH, Aesop's Fables, the Parables of Jesus...all of these are famous for saying something profound or critical of the regime under which they were written without raising the ire of that regime -- because they spoke in metaphors and euphemisms.

A familiar metaphor like "mortgage meltdown" or "troop surge" or a euphemism like "passed away" is used to make a comment on a situation more easily imagined or making a negative comment on one situation while meaning the comment to be for another situation which might be deemed tasteless or get you in trouble if you talked about THAT thing...

Confusing. I know.

So today's idea is to take a headline from recent history:

(or the idea of your choice)

and create an alien world or a dark (or bright) future where you can create teen characters who can DEAL with this issue and resolve the way YOU think it should be resolved. Do this all without raising the ire of the political parties, underrepresented, "bashed" or otherwise offendable groups involved with this issue.

And do it PEACEFULLY...

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