Measure For Measure

Excuse me, but you don't look the part, no bandoliers, holsters, more of a guy most at home in an athletic jacket, have a beer with at the local Elks.

Right, with banker at one elbow and welder at the other etc.

It's so true.

And now...all these dead.

I hated to see it come to violence. But the city was really under siege. Jamaicans, gangs, orientals, Cajuns. Add Greek and Russian and Sicilian Mafias...white, black and all other shades, Cambodians even.

So you hired the army of Ecuador!

Block that hyperbole! Part of your job, yes? But, at any rate, we only contracted the green beret portion thereof.

And look at the result!

And how much worse it could've been! We're not talking these militia clowns, bellies like hammocks. We're talking discipline here. These guys were originally trained at Fort Benning, Georgia. This is a unit, cohesive. Well I mean, they're not choirboys. But before you go on - and on - one can't rule out accidental excess in any endeavor.

Well I mean your net proved rather wide. You got I would guess most of the drug people but...fragments of hair and flesh in this cyclone fence...women and children.

We have computer program to handle that sh...stuff. We can supply a DNA readout from a hair!

Is that what the family gets to bury? A hair?

Come on now! Most of what's on this particular fence is not innocent! - but some is, of course. Hey! Get with it, media-type. A revolution is not a cookie and koolaid party. Nor is anything else worth fighting for.

And those charges of prostitution in the Times?

Yeah, you'd have to come to that. That's the REAL story, right? Hey! Since the operation took much longer than acticipated...well any American should be proud to have his daughter, uh, these fine young men! Well I answered that one! At any rate, let's not shunt aside the lighter moments: like we got a tank through customs by telling them it was for a Disney movie.

Freebie and the Slaughter?

See? Even you can laugh in your way.


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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 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


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

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...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

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. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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