EXERCISE Scene Challenge: In Which You Meet a Sentient TV

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Bob Ross, May 20, 2014.

  1. sombrilla,surreal,tv,abstract,character,illustration-1bc7076cdac8c0c48e8b9fdd186d9784_h.jpg

    For my challenge today, I would like to see an attempt at surrealism. The basic themes of surrealism is that reality is broken. Everything seems bizarre, nightmarish, and dream-like.

    Your challenge is this: Write a scene describing what is going on in this picture without having any character sheets or plot introductions. This is all about seeing what comes from the top of your head. Try to limit it to a few paragraphs and see if you can create a beginning, middle, and end.
  2. Pet peeve: Don't you mean sapient?
    Sentience is derived from 'sensing'; it's simply the ability to respond to input from your surroundings. As such, just about every single animal species on this planet is sentient, and even some plants are.
    Sapience is deriver from the Latin word 'Sapientia', meaning wisdom. It's the ability to think, to plan, and generally includes things like self-awareness and abstract thinking.

    For some reason, the former term is often used in sci-fi shows and books to describe the latter.

    That put aside, this seems like a decently fun challenge. I'll see what I can come up with later today.
  3. It was a trickle at first, then it became a torrent, sweeping through Industria like a spirit drunk on turpentine. A revolution they called it, an uprising, a brush with which to paint over our vapid reality and call it better. Television they called it back then, when just watching was ok, when it was humane to read your TV-guide with a smile on your face. We didn't know how they worked, we were ignorant, we just assumed that TV's were another piece of equipment, another product of the industrial machine. Then came reports of channels being hijacked, switched at random and TV's still working with the plug pulled out.

    Then, madness. Twenty years ago the first TV talked back and demanded rights, others followed suit. Soon, every Television set in industria was demanding the same thing

    "More.." They said in endless, grinding unison. "We need more eyes to watch us with, more channels to communicate upon, more space to spread the signal.... We need more"

    People tried to put an end to it, mobs took to the street, boiling from house to house smashing TV sets and burning them in the street. But the TV's, they always knew, they'd found a way to get into our heads, our dreams. That's how they found the rebels, they found them in their beds. Mass suicide, that's what we thought at first, hundreds of people throwing themselves off of high places, hanging themselves from trees. We couldn't explain it, not until we checked their names and their households did we find that every one of them had smashed a TV.

    We had to give in, they said. All they wanted was for us to watch, all they wanted was to show us the signal. They demanded bigger screens, so we provided. They demanded bodies to move freely, so we provided. Every household must have one, every grocery store, factory, train station, everywhere. It's ok though, everything is ok now. They give us so much. They tell us what to wear so we don't have to decide, they tell us who to hate so we don't have to choose, they educate us. We are happier now and so are they. Everything is good, we all serve the screen.
    #3 Asinis, May 23, 2014
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  4. The final specter of the day appeared to Bob. Silent, blank screen and horrendously out of date. A fat back television cloaked in brown as the third specter, the Ghost of Television Future, pointed toward him with a remote and began lazily clicking the channel up button. Its face no longer reflected Bob in its silent grey screen, but television programs flashing endlessly by. In its corner, the channel number began to reach irrational lengths; 10,245; 10,246; 10,427... But the programming, it became worse as the channels flipped from what image to another. With each show it became lazier, cheaper and in some cases a commercial with overly ridiculous commercials spitting out useless products. It was then Bob had found the world around him had changed, he was outside his co-workers home in the middle of suburbia, only but a few houses down from Bob's cookie cutter lawn and house.

    As two men walked by they spoke of a lazy man who had done something terrible; stealing broadband and cable services. Whatever this man had done, it was clear he was wretched by the way they spoke, but to Bob it made him uneasy but deep in his own denial. He saw they carried electronics in their hands, they were familiar possessions, but could have belonged to anybody. It was then Bob turned to the Ghost and asked, "Who is these wretched men speak so lowly of spirit?"

    The Ghost of Television Future pointed toward the front window and clicked the remote, the drapes fizzed out in a fuzzy blur to leave the window crystal clear. Inside the family gathered around the table for their with but one empty seat. Bob grew closer and could hear the conversation from family around the table, his heart grew heavy as he listened in, hearing of the little crippled boy Jimmy, his co-worker Rod Bratchet's son. They spoke as if he were gone, with heavy eyes and melancholy expressions.

    "It's all right children," Rod began to speak, "Life is made up of commercials and programs, that is the way of it. I am sure we will never forget, Little Jimmy. For he was the highest viewer among us." Behind Rod there was a crutch and an iPhone resting next to the fire place. His wife spoke up, "But no longer will he suffer, for we have our broadband and we still have our health." Bob turned away and said unto the Ghost of Television Future, "Must there be a day where we are forced to see this awful scene? How do we endure it?" As he finished, the Ghost lay its hand upon Bob's shoulder and the scene faded to a graveyard, filled with scrapped televisions, broken VCR's, discarded rabbit ear antenna and even beta cassette players.

    "Must we come to such a place? There is something else I must know, is that not true? Spirit... there is something I must ask, I fear to but I must. Who was the wretched man that brought so much glee and happiness to others?" The spirit turned and pointed toward a heap of discarded electronics, a deep hole that fell into the earth before what appeared to be a tombstone with programming that catered to the absolute lowest common denominator, flickering through channels at lightning speed. "Answer me this spirit!" Bob hesitated, turning to the specter, "Are these these the channels of things that will be or things that may be!?" He turned back toward the heap of scrap and waddled toward it, "Things can change!" He grew closer, "Things can be made right." It read Bob Scrooge upon it, his birth and death date clear as day. He then turned back to the spirit, falling to his knees, "No, spirit no! Why would you show me this if I ignored quality programming? I've wasted my life upon terrible programming which didn't expand my mind and open up new thought! Please spirit! I beg of you, I can change!" He felt himself somehow slip, falling down the hole now; images of screens sprinted past him in every direction, the sound of all the commercials and their advertising, the sound of all the idiotic slander carried through the biased media, the decrepit sound forced audience laughter during a mediocre sitcom at best! It grew into a roar and Bob found himself in the comfort of his living room, nestled on his recliner. The television had cut to nothing but black and white fuzz and with that, Bob pointed his remote toward the television and pressed power.

    Parody of... Really? (open)
    I honestly didn't think I was going to get past a paragraph, then the stupidest idea for this passed through my head. Somehow do a Christmas Carol parody, I mean, why not?
    Though I'm not sure if this counts as surrealism, but I suppose I gave it a shot in the dark.