South to the Future's World Wide Wire Service

By Bond, Becky; Marquez, Jose | Style, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

South to the Future's World Wide Wire Service


Bond, Becky, Marquez, Jose, Style


South to the Future writes and distributes news online. Like the Associated Press (AP), South to the Future makes its stories available to newspapers and Web sites. Like those of the AP or other news outlets, stories from South to the Future feature statistics, expert opinions, background details, and quotations from sources. Like the AP's, the stories are generally considered to be "true."

Unlike other news outlets, however, South to the Future incorporates fictional elements along with documented facts. Stories from South to the Future make their own sense; their hybridity, like that of the mule, serves only to make them stronger, heartier, more durable.

INFORMATION COMMODITY

INFORMATION ART POLITICS

NOISE NEWS

HISTORY NEWS NEW

Benjamin Franklin did it. In the 1720s, the printer, inventor, and statesman wrote a series of articles for the New England Courant using the identity of a woman named Silence Dogood. It was not uncommon then for writers to take on other identities for the purpose of pressing a point or expressing a point of view. Irony was certainly not lost on the newspaper reading audience in the early eighteenth century.

Like Franklin's, South to the Future's newsy yet fantastic blend of fact and fiction is true to itself. It looks simultaneously to the past and the future. It embraces the commodification of information and then proceeds to turn it into art.

But what is the South to the Future World Wide Wire Service? How can a fiction be considered a truth? What does consuming information commodities have to do with knowing what's going on. And how can distributed networks and virtual communities give a story life by making it their own?

We'll start to answer those questions by looking into what's at the bottom of this.

The South to the Future World Wide Wire Service is a weekly feed of technology, news, commentary and satire. Quotations attributed to public figures who are satirized are often true, but sometimes invented. Some fictional statements may, in fact, be true. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

Thus reads the disclaimer that follows each weekly installment of the World Wide Wire Service. South to the Future has been distributing his new kind of news story via the Web since 1996.

Headline: "Christian Anti-Gambling Campaign Targets Wall Street."

Headline: "Ghetto 2000: Smart Public Housing."

Headline: "Camping Gear for the Homeless Article upsets some."

Headline: "PETA protests pet prozac: A petcare worker is arrested for taking custody of animals being fed antianxiety drugs against their will."

Headline: "Computers linked to illiteracy."

Before the World Wide Wire Service was picked up by the online edition of San Francisco's alternative weekly newspaper, it was distributed electronically to a mailing list of around 200 journalists. The stories mimic the style of an Associated Press dispatch but take their cue from the likes of Mark Twain. The idea was to create entertaining, sometimes apocalyptic news accounts based on current trends and events in technology, politics, and culture. Essentially literary "porno for journos," South to the Future set out to create a "trickle down effect," that is, to spark mainstream journalists to cover the critical issues ironically posited by World Wide Wire Service stories.

Journalists, however, tended to get stuck on our first question, that is, how a fiction can be considered a truth.

Prisoners Demand Cyberrights, Requesting Free Speech not Free Weights

This Associated Press-style story details the particulars of "Esteban Caliban and Ed Douglass v. the California Department of Corrections." With the help of attorney Michelle Foo-Kwo, two inmates serving life sentences sue for access to personal computers and the Internet.

Date: 31 Oct 1997

From: kelleher@hotwired. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

South to the Future's World Wide Wire Service
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.