Muskrat News In-Depth Reporting
Mobile phone novels are selling phenomenally well in Japan.
According to a recent story in the Sydney Morning Herald, five of the
country's top 10 bestselling novels in the first half of 2007 were
written on mobile phones, selling an average of 400,000 copies apiece.
New Botext craze sweeping MFA programs.
Botox for foreheads was bad enough – but for forearms?
Texting and Pretense collide.
Some observers of the glorified pyramid scheme that is the world
of American MFA and creative writing graduate programs are reporting a
disturbing new trend in chemical abuse. The new craze?
"Botexting" – using injections of the cosmetic form of botulinum
toxin into one's forearms to deaden the ulnar nerve, which cause the
patient to lose sensation and the ability to control his middle and
ring fingers and pinky. "It's kind of weird, but you can still
use utensils, if a little awkwardly," said one botexter who wished to
remain famous. "The real benefit is that you can't type."
Left with the use of just the index finger and thumb on each hand,
messages must be composed on PDA-style devices and cell phones, using
the keyboards and techniques of SMS texting. And that's the whole
point of this bizarre procedure. It forces authors to use the
popular but cryptic stylings of text messaging. LOL.
CUL8R. BRB. Kthxbye. BFF. It's a patois hugely
popular with youth all over the planet. And now some writers are
willing to do anything to master the style. In other words,
Botoxers voluntarily get themselves shot full of poison to look young. Botexters do it to write young.
"We all admire Moby Dick, but
it's not going to be a best-seller today," said one MFA student.
"Look around you. The future is text messaging. In Japan
they're writing whole novels on mobile phones. You want to know
what I'd do to sell 400,000 copies of anything? This is a
no-brainer. As is my latest novel, Sk8 Prk Angst"
Although he says he cannot agree to such a radical procedure,
literature professor Smooth Hawley reluctantly agreed that he could see
the logic. "Sure, you have a few niche authors that can still
crank out 500 pages of dense prose and still get a good review in the Times,
but if you want to sell more than a few dozen copies, you need to cater
to the modern attention span, which is limited to what people can read
between subways stops on their Blackberry. And the easiest way to
turn a budding Thomas Pynchon into a minimalist is to force him to type
with just his thumbs. Hacking the hands off completely works,
too, but we find it interferes with the MFA students' ability to work
catering at campus events."
As with regular Botox, the injections wear off after a few months,
allowing the aspiring writers to return to the workforce at the same
time they get their degrees and have to return to their old jobs at the
library. There appear to be few side effects at this time,
although some writing students suggest that, if they had the
money to own cars, the impaired hand skills might have affected
their driving. A similar cloud of uknowability for lack of data
surrounds the procedure's effect on the average writer's bedroom
One author who had made his money in pre-texting days sniffed
"I've always said editors were like plastic surgreons -- they both use
a knife to make us look better. This is just cutting out the middle
man. And the adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, and a few of the
nouns. Besides, lots if writers have abused chemicals. Hunter
Thompson, all those French Absinthe hounds, heck, Bill Burroughs used
to shoot smack into his arms. At least these punks won't be able to
play WIlliam Tell after using the stuff."
Of course, just as regular Botox is often mocked as
producing an immobile countenance, capable of expressing no feeling or
emotion, the texts produced by Botexters are similarly described by
some as "sterile," "heartless," and "lacking the expressiveness of a
good limerick, much less Shakespeare." Smoot spluttered "How can
you compare ‘ a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man
in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife’ to
‘USER 88603:LOL, kbye.’??
Asked his response, a prominent botexter replied "$$$."
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