Backwards Writing Assignment: (A Story Written in Reverse to Make a Point)
Using the lyrics to “We Are Winning” by the Flobots, and the selection that I read in class from Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut draft your own story wherein you make a statement/point concerning an issue that you care about by writing the story in reverse.
Here’s how Vonnegut did it:“…American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation...
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into mineral. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody again.
The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby. Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve…”
In the Flobots’ song “We Are Winning” we saw a form of “reverse” thinking by how they put two contrasting ideas together:
“Rival gangsters sit down to plan an after school program.”
“A policeman makes reverse 911 calls instructing residents to take to the streets.”
“Roses sprout from empty lots and sidewalk cracks.”
“Pacifist gorillas move undetected through concrete jungles.”
(Wanna listen to the song? Click Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpuamG9HjT8
Here are the complete lyrics in case you need them:"We Are Winning"
A religious fanatic posts footage of an interfaith service project.
A group of teenage boys watches a video of a father playing catch with his son.
An adult film star paints thumbnail portraits of elderly couples fully clothed an smiling.
A record executive records a demo of his apology.
A patriarch reports for duty.
She's wearing an orange jumpsuit and holding a picket sign.
She's ashamed of her birthplace, but retreat is not an option.
Women and Children
Stand and be counted, wounded, stationed
In the belly of the vulture watch your back
Theres no civilians
Front line listen
Consider this a distant early warning
The fires imminent
Pollution gathering dust particles
Funneling through smokestacks, airways, bandwidth
This information tube fed
Check the labels
Delete the virus
Alert the masses.
Butterfly wing cross wings. send black hawks toward hurricane survivors.
Roses sprout from empty lots and sidewalk cracks.
Pacifist gorillas move undetected through concrete jungles.
New forms are beginning to take shape.
Once occupied minds are activating.
People are waking up!
The insurgency is alive and well.
Rise of the flobots
The new American insurgent
Rattle and shake the foundations of the world order
Assembly line incent, resist, refuse
Direct loved one's to the trenches
Suit up forge rubble into fortress's
Plaster, cloth, aluminum
Burn blood stains from decompressed diamonds
Hammer the battle cry into braille studded armor.
We are building up a new world.
Do not sit idly by.
Do not remain neutral.
Do not rely on this broadcast alone.
We are only as strong as our signal.
There is a war going on for your mind.
If you are thinking, you are winning.
Resistance is victory.
Defeat is impossible.
Your weapons are already in hand.
Reach within you and find the means by which to gain your freedom.
Fight with tools.
Your fate, and that of everyone you know
Depends on it.
So, find an issue that is important to you (or at the very least interesting to you) and write a story about it in as much detail as possible, by writing it backwards (in reverse) like Kurt Vonnegut and the Flobots did.
Due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, 5 October 2010