Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Brevity For The Sake Of Sanity

I've volunteered to help Big Orange with his homework. He has been tasked with creating a culture for his small group project. Even though it is very thorough and interesting, I don't think you can expect the other people in his group to read and digest this 3,398 word tome. So, I've agreed to edit it down to 500 words. I think I've been successful.

Assignment: Invent a Culture

Name: The Omegas

History: The Omegas are the last generation of humans, the race having become sterile. This last generation is markedly different from its predecessors: all are blue-eyed, quiet and super-intelligent. They reject their non-omega family members. As the population died off, most people abandoned remote locations and moved to cities, the exception being a group of Omegas called the Red Hands, who became nomadic and aggressive.

Language: The Omegas speak their own invented language. It is presumed that the Red Hands have a different but also invented language of their own.

Education: City-dwelling Omegas are apathetic towards education. They are fast learners and the last generation on earth, so they see no need for study. The Red Hands also see no need for education.

Work: Omegas prefer leisure and rely on an aging population of "regular" people to see to all the manual labor. The Red Hands' work includes attacking "regular" people.

Play: Omegas play quiet games of chance. Their sport includes challenges of accuracy rather than complicated rule-bound games like football. The Red Hands beat people up for sport.

Pets: Omegas don't own pets, rather they co-habitate with animals and livestock, in particular: cats.

Religion: Omegas don't believe in a higher power and tend to ridicule the beliefs of those "regular" people who do have faith. The Red Hands have a faith which requires them to offer "regular" people as human sacrifices to amuse their gods, it is presumed.

Sex Roles: The sexes of the Omegas seem to keep with the classical themes of art and figure drawing where women have more curves and appear to have “volume”, whereas men have more straight lines and appear to have “angle.”

The Omegas are sensual beings. It’s suggested that all Omegas are at least partially bisexual, based on how easily they touch, kiss and hold each other in mixed groups. However, in a world where no one can get pregnant and the world is dying, sex has become uninteresting, and instead flirting and being sensual has replaced sex.

Both male and female Red Hands are often only partially clad or fully naked, usually streaked with paint, mud or blood. Red Hand women are as violent as the men, perhaps even more so-- accounts of Red Hand women beating motorists to death are common Red Hand sex has been observed during attacks as a sort of ecstatic, state of consciousness experience that might be some sort of ritual.

Taboo: Anything the "regular" people do, the Omegas avoid. They also don't ask the question "What do you do?" to other Omegas; they just don't care.

Concept of Time: They spend their time as they please.

Family Ties: Family no longer holds meaning for Omegas, as they cannot reproduce and families are a "regular" people concept. They prefer the company of other Omegas.

Food: Omegas prefer the fine and fresh food and drink provided by their gardens.

Holidays: The Omegas recognize the full moon as a time to celebrate.


  1. holy shit, my original was 3k words? DAAAMN I'M GOOOOD!

    I think you have both done a fine job of putting my essay on The Biggest Loser to trim off it's love handles. However, like any good writer who's too verbose for his own good, I cant help but if nearly excercised it to death and practically flayed it alive. I think my cowokers will probably approve your version hands down in favor of my e-pistle, but I have to say I liked it a bit better when it's chubby. Then again, in our health-conscious world, maybe it's all for the good 'cuz carrying around all that extra baggage is never good for the heart.

    My feelings aside, this is a fine editing job... Oh that *I* should learn how to do this.

  2. OH, meanwhile I just caught the title, esp. the reference to "sanity." I can only hope you meant the sanity of my fellow teachers not your own? I'd hate to think that what I thought was pretty good writin' made you half mad...

  3. No, I did this for the sake of your classmate's sanity, not mine. I had a blast!

    You can offer your longer version for background, if anyone is interested.