by Amy Crocker

According to the Wall Street Journal, it's increasingly likely that Mountain View-based Google will cancel operations in China as negotiations with the government over censorship stall. There's a lot of legal drama in a story like this and we think it is much more fun when imagined as a Western showdown.

Taking ten paces to the left is Google, the American outlaw who wants to play by his own rules. And on the other side is China, who has been the lone sheriff of these parts for a long time now. The sheriff's cronies have warned Google that if he don't toe the line and quit blabbering on about unapproved nonsense, he'd "have to bear the consequences." And though 36% of the townsfolk have already clamored to Google's side, the young gunslinger's rakish grin won't give him an extra bullet.

Their hands are hovering at the holster. Women are weeping into white handkerchiefs as tumbleweeds blow by. This score will be settled within weeks.