Seven for the Staff Writers in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Freelancers doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark computer chair
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Think Piece to rule them all, One Think Piece to find them,One Think Piece to bring them all and in the darkness bind themIn the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
The One Think Piece was forged by the Dark Lord Sauron during the Second Age to gain dominion over the free internet users of Middle-earth. Disguising himself as Annatar, or “Lord of the Clickbait,” Sauron assisted the Editors of major publications in the creating of the Think Pieces of Power. Sauron’s One Think Piece was intended to be the most powerful, ruling over those who published the others. Since the other Think Pieces were themselves powerful, Sauron was obliged to place much of his own brainpower into the One, which cost him long nights, and also an abundance of coffee and junk food.
Writing the Think Piece gave Sauron great power, but simultaneously made him weak, having lost a lot of sleep researching his argument. As long as Sauron had the Think Piece he had power over all other Think Pieces, but because of this he became dependent on it. Without his name credited under the Think Piece, he would become significantly less powerful and no one would care about his opinion on any subject.
Before Sauron could send the it out for publication, he was killed and all his ties to writing the Think Piece were severed. Instead of destroying the Think Piece, its new owner, Isildur, kept it as a weregild for his father, who lost his job after the print publication he worked for went out of business. Later, Isildur lost the file for the Think Piece after getting his laptop stolen at his local Starbucks.
The Think Piece was now under the possession of a college student named Sméagol. The Think Piece corrupted Sméagol’s mind, making him think that just because he read the Think Piece, he was more intelligent than anyone he got into an argument with. Every time Sméagol spoke, it came out as gibberish. This annoyed everyone who came upon his company.
Later on in the semester, Sméagol lost the laptop after smoking too much weed and was found by a freshman named Bilbo. But in order to fully control the Think Piece, Bilbo was required to play the Riddle Game. He would be granted access to the Think Piece if he could answer three of the computer’s riddles. Bilbo was able to guess each of the answers of computer’s riddles with little effort, which were:
“What was your childhood dog’s name?”
“What is your favorite food?”
“Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?”
Bilbo held onto the Think Piece for many years into old age until reading it left him feeling stretched out, thin, and out of touch with today’s way of thinking. He handed it off to his adopted heir, Frodo. Along with a band of friends that didn’t think any Think Piece should have so much power over today’s political dialect, Frodo was able to destroy the Think Piece in the fires of Mount Delete. Middle-earth was free from its reign and internet users went along forming opinions of their own on various subjects.
Luke Pohjala is a writer living in Ohio.
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