I decided, for today, to try and write a short essay in response to some of those writing assessment assignments from public schools. Enjoy!
- A wealthy donor plans to build a new facility that will benefit young people in your area. It could be a swimming pool, a theater, a skateboard park, an art school, or any other facility that would provide young people with constructive ways to spend their time. The donor is not sure what kind of facility would be most useful. Write a letter to the donor in which you identify the type of facility you would like to have built, and persuade her that it is the best choice. Be sure to support your opinion with convincing reasons and evidence.
First off, let me just say that you, the donor, are very generous to give so much money. I mean, I’m a kid, so I’m almost certainly unaware that you probably made your money in a terrible way, and also that this project is probably a tax shelter of some kind. I don’t yet understand that the rich stay rich because they know how to dodge The Man.
There are numerous “classic” projects that would work. Schools, parks, libraries, recreation facilities. I bring these up both to let you know that I’m aware of these ideas and to point out why they are not the best fit for this particular project.
At this time, I’m not a huge believer in the improvement of human societies through the construction of various things. I think we may have confused a lot of the above things, the signifiers of a functional society, with the catalysts for one. In other words, you can’t build a park in a lousy neighborhood and all of a sudden it’ll be better. The more likely reality is that building something of high value will either have no result or result in being a step towards the gentrification of an area, which isn’t really an improvement for the whole of society but just a shuffling of the deck.
And because I don’t feel that society is necessarily “bettered” by efforts such as parks and ballfields, I’d like to suggest a pivot towards making society more interesting. If we can’t make it overall better, it might still be possible to make it more interesting. It’s my opinion that something of high interest will do more to serve the youth of today than a bunch of goddamn volleyball nets or some such shit.
Not to mention that you, as a donor, will be immediately forgotten if you create something common. Your name will be on a plaque outside, probably bolted onto a goddamn rock. Big deal.
The lasting legacy is in interest.
Let’s discuss my idea:
Funding a Death Hotel To Be Run By A Particularly Interesting Serial Killer
If you built an opulent hotel of death, that would seem like a typical business move, and later it would be revealed for what it is. Now, consider the youth growing up in this area. They will learn a valuable lesson about things not being what they seem on the surface, and they will forever be vigilant, looking for those things that appear goodhearted and are actually fronts for something awful. They will question every good motive as something used to hide something terrible. Society becomes more interesting.
You could also lay down the breadcrumbs so that the hotel’s true nature is investigated and revealed by a group of child detectives. The existence of child detectives and their cracking a case like this would also make the world a more interesting place.
Finally, you would be remembered forever. Think about it. Lots of us know about H.H. Holmes, the serial killer from the Chicago World’s Fair. Does anyone know Carter Harrison Sr., the then-mayor who was also assassinated during the fair? No. How about Josephine Cochrane, inventor of the dishwasher, which was debuted at the fair? Nope. We remember H.H. Holmes. Not because he was the best person, not because he had the largest impact on the largest number of people. We remember him because his campaign made the world a more interesting place.
This is the premise behind the very existence of the ID Channel. People love this stuff.
If you want to dump some cash into the community and make a big change, make it a more interesting place. Build a murder hotel.