Saturday, October 28, 2006

Slacking Off and "Shunning"

That's pretty much what I've been doing the last few days, at least in regards to blogging and writing. The last few days have been routine, nothing worth recording for posterity. Even today wasn't exciting: I did my chores around the apartment, and after dinner, Eugene and I went shopping. He bought some clothes at Marshalls while I bought conditioner and makeup at Ulta next door. At least we had ice cream at Ben and Jerry's afterward.

I've been trying to think of some new story ideas to inspire the muse again. (As much as I love the Lennon's Line and Season Lord stories, they've been in my brain for years. I feel the need for fresh meat.) One idea I've been contemplating has to do with shunning. If celebrities value fame so strongly, I think it would be an appropriate punishment to take that away from them. (And yes, I've been listening to Gilbert and Sullivan's "A More Humane Mikado" recently, but this idea was inspired by all the drama around Paul McCartney's divorce. Enough said.) The question is how could you enforce shunning in a technologically advanced society like ours? For example, even though Lennon's murderer is thought to have acted for fame, which is why Yoko requested that his name not be used, it's just as easy to find information about him as it is to find a newspaper article or encyclopedia entry that doesn't use his name. I'd think there would have to be some sort of SFnal element to make this work, such as a computer virus designed to eliminate all traces of a particular name or some spell cast over the collective public to make them forget the celebrity. But could you get an entire society to agree to something like this, and what effect would this have on the victim and anyone associated with the victim? (I picture this story as not being about the victim, but someone affiliated with him or her--say, a genealogist trying to trace his or her ancestry. I must be hanging around my husband too much. ;) ) There's still a lot to think about, but at least it helps me to put some of this down in text instead of carrying it all in my head.


Henna said...

Guy Gavriel Kay wrote a story about a sorceror who 'banished' the use of a whole society's name so that they lost their identity. Never being able to refer to themselves as a people any more, and if they did try to tell someone, that someone's mind would slip over the word. It was a very poignant story.

Sue C

Sandra said...

Hi Sue! I can't believe you started another blog! I'll put a link up to it later.

Henna said...

Well I needed it to reply to someone's blog who only allowed bloggers so I opened it. Then at first I thought Ha! nobody knows me. But it's awfully lonely on a blog with no answers lol, though some complete stranger did answer, so, perhaps I'd pick up a few anyway. I thought to make it more of a journal than the other one, but I don't mind folk like you knowing about it. :) Nothing on the internets (lol) is private anyway.

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