In today’s feature I’d like to discuss the concept of “guerilla writing,” first cousin of guerilla art.
This guerilla writing concept is not all that new honestly, I’m just not sure there’s a consensus turn of phrase for it … yet. Besides, I believe a few guidelines and a strong purpose can stray it away from its predecessor Wiki Edits.
If you don't know, Wiki Edits are pretty much amaze. Rogue Wiki editors redact pages on Wikipedia to make a joke, to call someone out, etc. then somebody screen captures it before the Wiki bots restore order.
Here's a couple of examples:
After Wiki Edits, the second and third most notorious examples of these guerrilla writing forefathers can be found posted on Yelp and Craigslist (not to mention Amazon product reviews).
Fake Yelp reviews have been around since Yelp started, and SLOTH ALERT: it’s much easier to access Yelp as opposed to becoming an editor for Wikipedia. So that’s the road I traveled down for this particular adventure.
Just to refresh, ICYMI, I started my own journey with guerilla writing only recently with the launch of Fort Worth Noise back in early December when we wrote Martin Shkreli an email; sent it, screen captured it, and posted it to this very website and my personal Twitter account.
Now, back to my Yelp review. I decided to target a Trump hotel on Yelp. 'Twas easy enough to find his properties because something like 20% of the accounts Trump follows on Twitter are accounts for properties he owns (surprise).
Without further ado, I give you my Marcy Playground "Sex & Candy" Yelp review of a Donald Trump property:
If you go back and look at the lyrics online you should catch nine lyrical references in my piece.
To my delight the post lived for a full three days on the internet before I received the following from Yelp (note the time stamp on both screen captures):
I want to make this crystal; every other form of writing is more important to the resistance than this nonsense.
But I’m no Alpha. Never have been.
I’m not an investigative journalist or reporter, or an editor at a vital news outlet. I’m not an amazing novelist or storyteller or poet or humorist or songwriter and I'm definitely not something akin to a climate change researcher writing the next mind-blowing report on climate science.
Imma B-Team af goofy ass fiction writer (sometimes poorly done prose poetry) and a local music blogger.
So what to do???
I’m not suggesting it, but… what if the B-Team ran a parallel campaign within the resistance that fought absurdity with absurdity? What if all we B-Teamers 'Wiki Edited' the shit outta this fucker y’all?
He’s so petty that if enough of us were to create works like this and Yelp review his shithouse properties everyday, all day, it would reach him! And it WOULD piss him off! And conversely, it would make us laugh.
If we were to commit such a collective act, the B-Team could merely compliment the badassery of the above mentioned hero writers of this new Orwellian age. I was born a jester, I ain't tryin' to be a prince. Making someone laugh in these times can make a difference.
And I'm not suggesting that the above Yelp/Wiki/Craigslist examples are what to shoot for. I'm thinking of something different, some form that has yet to be forged. I've done an email and Yelp review, like big deal, whatevs.
If this guerrilla writing were an actual thing - not saying it is - the tenets would look something like this:
1. The content must be completely unbelievable (sound familiar?), like completely fucking fake scenarios. If you're all serious and trying to argue against these dinosaurs with facts, you're just a good ol' fashion troll in their eyes. The aim is to humiliate+shame them with a viral guerrilla writing piece.
2. It must directly or indirectly be sent to the person in question (ex: email to Shkreli, Yelp notification to business owner, lolz. Note that Wiki Edits to one's Wiki profile do not count as they do not alert the subject of the Wiki page in question).
3. Under this paper-shredding delete-happy administration, the writing action must be screen captured for historical preservation. (You think I'm joking? I'm screen capturing this article!)
4. It cannot be written on a wall, street sign, etc. because, as mentioned, that's called guerrilla art. This fella Banksy is pretty good at it if you haven't heard.
5. It must be shared on social media. Provide links (for as long as they live) and screen captures (for when they die).
Again, not saying we should do this on a large scale or in no way am I encouraging you to do this, but if one were so inclined, this local Texas State Rep. might be a good place to start.
Now that you've made it here, let me ask you something. Do you have B-Team angst?
about the word writer person:
Prewitt Scott-Jackson writes Dad poetry & short fiction when he's not hyping and typing for Fort Worth Noise. His writing can be found in Ghost City Press (New York), Five 2 One Magazine (Los Angeles), Prairie Schooner (University of Nebraska Press) and Sick Lit Magazine (Texas), among others. He prefers short walks on the beach because – and I quote – “It’s really hard to walk on sand.”