By Paul Ford
Posters in Manhattan.
Some people I know have 953 unique 11"x14" posters of dead U.S. soldiers, one soldier per poster. At the bottom of the photo
is a name, and a fact about the soldier. They're going to put the posters up in stores, or where the movie posters usually
go, so that Republicans and protesters alike can see them. This is the Not Just a Statistic project.
I shuffled through a stack of 300 posters today, going through the faces. Most of the soldiers were younger than I am. Not
the Abu Ghraib reservists pointing at the naked piles of Iraqis, but guys next door—Paul Ray had a star named after him. Chad
Eric was the life of the party. Jose Antonio Gutierrez came to America on foot. Eric Bruce had milk-chugging contests with
his brother Jared. They were just people. A lot of them loved to fish.
The basic idea is that this war should be over now, and the soldiers should continue to live on both sides. What the organizers
need are people to help put up posters in the city, between now and until the convention ends. If you want to help, drop me
a line, firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll tell you where to go to get some posters. You need to be able to handle a roll of tape and possibly some wheatpaste.
You should be at least 11 inches tall.
Please do not write me to debate the merits of this war.
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at email@example.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley.
Welcome to the Company.
“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.
An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
Antilunchism, by Paul Ford.
Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.