An Emoji Activist Envisions a World Beyond Words

[phone typing]

My name is Henry and I’m an emoji activist.

Four years ago, I stopped reading and writing entirely.

Henry believes that humanity is trapped

in what scholars have called the tyranny of meaning

and that emoji based language might be a means

for us to escape those shackles.

Words no longer makes sense. Emojis can do it all.

[message sends]

One of my main goals right now

is to shut down all literacy centers.

That’s her, that’s her.

Leave me alone. Shame on you. Shame on you.

He will reach out to my students

pretending to be a free private tutor

and then try to sabotage everything that we have worked on.

I admire countries that have low literacy rates.

Afghanistan has 28%. I mean, what a dream.

[Angela] Leave me alone. Shame on you, shame on you.

Books with words have become totally useless.

I’ve taken it upon myself to translate

the great works of the past into emoji.

With my emoji-rations,

you can read the classics in just a few seconds

and it hits just as hard.

Bomb. Dove.

War and Peace.

Kevin told me you took him out of school today, again.

Yeah, I had to. Henry.

I had no choice. They’re poisoning him there.

When Henry first became an emoji fanatic,

I wasn’t thrilled.

What are you doing with a book? No more books.

Emojis, okay.

Maybe one day the world will all be emojis

but right now our son is falling behind.

No, no, no, it’s the world that’s falling behind,

the world. I can’t do this anymore,

Henry, I can’t do this anymore.

No, no, stop it, Henry, No.

I will admit as difficult as this project has been for us,

the coy monkey emoji has saved our marriage many times.

No.

[receives message]

[message sends]

[receives message]

[message sends]

Words, they fall short

but the monkey emoji expresses who I am and how I feel.

[Gabriel] You see that’s the danger of emojis right there.

They seem cute and fun on the surface

but they insidiously modify our behavior over time

until you find yourself suddenly just turning into a monster

like Henry.

[tense music]

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