My satire (short story): “The Hybrids”   Leave a comment

This is the story about how I became a hybrid.

It all started when the Papermen established Paper Town, which was eons ago with the invention of the printing press and when nomadic cavemen were just starting to evolve into modern, civilized Homo Sapiens. These Papermen followed a system of reporting daily news: gather information, interview people, and fact-check. Tourists who visited Paper Town continually consumed the Papermen’s news. This method worked for the longest time, until…

Down the road, a group of reporters who called themselves the Digiversans established the town of Digiverse. That wasn’t the worst part; here is the worst part: the Digiversans reported their news through this bizarre and intangible world called the Internet. They rarely fact-checked and rarely interviewed people face-to-face. Instead, they used these systems called electronic mail, blogospheres, a book about faces, and an avian carrier called Twitter to communicate and report. How could their method possibly be right? It was appalling! Their very existence threatened the Papermen. Many Digiversans took pride in their work and felt the Papermen’s methods were growing obsolete. It wasn’t long before competition for the tourists’ attention ensued.

One day, the Digiversans paid a visit to Paper Town. The tourists dropped their newspapers and quickly became seduced by the friendly Digiversans and this world of the Internet, which before then, the tourists had just heard about but had never been able to access. The Digiversans explained everything about the systems that they called “social media,” and the Papermen’s tourists just hung onto their every word. They grew addicted. Once the Digiversans left Paper Town, the tourists followed, leaving the Papermen behind in shock. What was worse was that some of the Papermen became so fascinated by the Digiversans’ reporting methods that they migrated to Digiverse and converted, ridding of their Papermenism.

Since that fateful day, the tourist population decreased significantly in Paper Town. The Papermen pouted, stuck out their tongues, tucked their notepads and pens into their shirt pockets, and crossed their arms in jealousy and contempt. Like stubborn children who refuse to take their baths, the Papermen continued to report the same old way they’ve always reported, because their method is the only way and the right way to report. I echoed this sentiment, until I thought to myself, Why are we competing with each other when we both have the same goal? Why are we pitting one method against another, when it benefits all of us to fuse the methods and work together?

Now, whenever tourists arrive at Paper Town, they are no longer interested in the Papermen’s work and medium. Instead, the tourists hear about the news published on the revolutionary Internet, an outlet that allows them to read their news from wherever they are, and they move forward to Digiverse. Convenience and speed were key: the tourists didn’t need to make a trip to Paper Town to pick up the newspaper and turn the pages; they could relish the luxury of the Internet and the speed in which stories were updated from the comfort of their own homes.

The answers to those questions led me to embrace the Digiversans’ method. But doing away with Papermenism was certainly not an option. As an alternative, I make use of both the Papermen and the Digiversans’ methods of reporting. Thankfully, I was not the only one of my kind. We hybrids are a steadily growing population.

That is the story of how I became a hybrid. This story continues today, until one day the Papermen stop being tenacious and standardized and become more open-minded to the Digiversans’ method of reporting, which is not wrong in anyway, just different.

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Posted November 21, 2011 by chinlinpan in Uncategorized

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