21st Challenge No. 35

Practice random acts of brevity

By Charlie Varon - Jim Rosenau
Published August 4, 2000 7:09PM (EDT)

Inundated by data? Overflowing with info? Our neural pathways clogged, we naturally seek relief. Some respond by multitasking, others by retreating on a media fast. But why not stop churning out so many words in the first place? What if we cultivated terseness?

At the Webby Awards winners are permitted only five words for their acceptance speeches. Why not apply a similar limit to this year's presidential candidates' speeches accepting their party's nomination? Or to any other significant political speech, past present or future. Care to have a crack at the Gettysburg Address or "I Have a Dream"?

Readers are permitted up to three entries, each no more than five words. Make the most of them!


Send your submissions via e-mail only to salon21st@salon.com. Please include your full name and an accurate e-mail address so we can contact you if you're a winner. By submitting your entry you give Salon Technology permission to publish and reuse it. Deadline for entries is Aug. 11, 2000.


The winning response will receive a copy of Salon Technology senior correspondent Andrew Leonard's book, "Bots: The Origin of New Species."

In two weeks we'll publish a winner and some selected entries -- then start over a couple weeks after that with a whole new challenge.

Charlie Varon

Charlie Varon is a humorist and playwright. His works include "Ralph Nader Is Missing" and "Rush Limbaugh in Night School."

MORE FROM Charlie Varon

Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau is a writer, editor and software designer in Berkeley, Calif. Jim and Charlie are also co-founders of the citizens group Californians for Earthquake Prevention and partners in Mockingbird Media, which offers a full line of comic services.

MORE FROM Jim Rosenau

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