Ansley Asher

writing thoughts

Writing Exercise 2

I love Jonathan Coulton (sorry, my dear SO). You can probably already tell if you checked out my Lastfm widget on the sidebar of this blog’s main page. His songs are hilarious and oh, so singable. My favorites are “Creepy Doll,” “Ikea,” “Mandelbrot Set,” “First of May” (NSFW), “Chiron Beta Prime,” “Bacteria,” & that Portal song, “Still Alive.” (I have a lot of favorites, okay?) What’s interesting to me is that in “Skullcrusher Mountain” and “Still Alive,” both singer-main characters are talking to people who are only ever referred to as “you”:

You like monkeys, you like ponies
Maybe you don’t like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

In “Still Alive,” it’s thus:

Look at me still talking when there’s science to do.
When I look out there, it makes me glad I’m not you.
I’ve experiments to run, there is research to be done
on the people who are still alive.

But it’s quite clear in both songs who each “you” is (a woman “rescued” by a mad scientist, and the protagonist of Portal, respectively). This technique lends itself to comedy by making the lyrics appear to be spontaneous and irreverent thoughts.

Now, it’s your turn. Write a piece–a poem, a song, a paragraph, whatever you choose–from the POV of an unusual speaker who is talking to a “you.” Make it clear who the “you” is indirectly, through the speaker’s tone, word choice, and anything else that makes sense (and fun!).


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