It works like this, so far: several people receive envelopes, which contain a $10 bill (hence the name), a cheerful letter, and a tiny slice of a larger story. Participants have been working on it in a distributed, ARG-style way.
Fearsome digital media meets real-life Gothic horror in Mexico, as criminals executed a woman for her social network writing.
The message found next to her body on the side of a main thoroughfare referred to the nickname the victim purportedly used on the site, "La Nena de Laredo," or "Laredo Girl." Her head was found placed on a large stone piling nearby.
"Nuevo Laredo en Vivo and social networking sites, I'm The Laredo Girl, and I'm here because of my reports, and yours," the message read. "For those who don't want to believe, this happened to me because of my actions, for believing in the army and the navy. Thank you for your attention, respectfully, Laredo Girl...ZZZZ."
The letter "Z'' refers to the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel, which is believed to dominate the city across from Laredo, Texas.
By 2025, young people on both sides of the border may struggle to understand why their parents' generation built this huge fence.
...the net flow of illegal Mexican immigration northward has slowed to a trickle. With fewer children to support and not yet burdened by a huge surge of elders, the Mexican economy is doing much better than in the past, giving people less reason to leave.
Recall how often Gothic tales site themselves in locations of old, decayed power. Abandoned forts, disused houses, ancient abbeys are where secrets hide, villains skulk, and from which heroines flee, pursued.
America's Gothic has had a creativity tricky time with this, since our built environment isn't as old as Europe's. So we set tales in Europe (cf Poe and Lovecraft's inheritors), fantasize about buildings here, or invent new versions: wilderness sites, haunted houses, or the perennial Indian burial ground.
Net neutrality Gothic? Yes, everything gets Gothic, sooner or later: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on net neutrality and the FCC, from earlier this year:
There's no such thing as hospice for federal bureaucracies. No quiet corner where bureaus who have outlived their usefulness can go to bravely face the end. The undead need no such niceties; not when they can leap vampire-like upon the next great sector of American life and proceed to suck it dry in the name of "public interest," "fair play," or any other euphemistic glamour the Executive and Legislative branches can be lulled into…
The undead feds can be either withered or sexy, like Stoker's Dracula.
Note the American emphasis, drawing on the 19th-century notion of vampires as foreigners.
But Blackburn then connects vampirism with... Santa Claus, yes:
Just four days before Christmas, the FCC will make its vampric leap from its traditional jurisdiction—the terrestrial radio and land line telephones that have fallen into disuse; onto the gifts piled neatly under our trees. The iPads and iPhones, Androids, Wiis, Webbooks, and WiFi will all feel the federal bite in a way they never have before…
Which is easily the most disturbing image Infocult has seen all day.
Blackburn continues, reaching back to vampires, but, alas, to Twilight, before bringing all the metaphors together:
Industry and creative content providers who were coerced into this deal by an over zealous FCC Chairman should take heart. Like the breaking of dawn, the new Congress will prove a swift antidote to the federal bloodsucker you found at your throat this Christmas.
Vampires, bureaucrats, Santa Claus, Edward Cullen: that's an impressive mix.
This development is based in part on a shift from transportation to communication functions, but read the whole thing, as they say, to get the idea. Eric's writing is, as ever, a marvel of economy, and resists easy extraction.
Last month Gilberto Martinez Vera and Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola used Twitter and Facebook to hoax their neighbors. They built a story about a kidnapping in their community, using tweets and status updates.
They pled innocence through an absence of physical harm, while Veracruz's governor dubbed them terrorists.
We'll see if digital storytelling receives a fearsome reputation. I first suggested this in my 2011 book.