Love Anne Frank. Love labor, mad-cow disease…
God: cancer, Anne Frank?…
Haruki Murakami Rape-Bubbles.
Haruki Murakami: love god, war god?
Online education drones Miley Cyrus, giving editing.
Anne Frank, Anne Frank! Running books love Anne Frank; our fields like.
I’ve put up another Video Poem: TALK. And, whereas the other two were pleasant if incomprehensible, this one’s annoying as well as incomprehensible.
Not in the mood to be annoyed? Here’s what it is:
I ran a Google search for “What we talk about when we talk about” and made a poem of the results words, in order; grouping of words, pronunciation, and, at times, meaning was changed from the item found in the search. Then I read it over a slow scroll of the 39 pages of results (no, the timing isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than I’d thought it would be) and added an “underdrone” track of me reading each search return: yes, I really did say, “What we talk about when we talk about love What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank What we talk about when we talk about love What we talk about when we talk about labor What we talk about when we talk about mad-cow disease What we talk about when we talk about God What we talk about when we talk about cancer What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank What we talk about when we talk about God What we talk about when we talk about Love What we talk about when we talk about Haruki Murakami What we talk about when we talk about rape What we talk about when we talk about bubbles….” for all 374 results, though not all in one sitting (and I used Audacity to speed it up and fit in the same time it took to read the poem made from the results words).
Yes, it’s annoying; it’s supposed to be. It’s even self-referential since one of the results is “lame headlines” pointing to an article complaining about how so many articles use this title, and you know neither the writers nor the readers have ever read the original Carver story.
Here’s where it came from: while ranting about TNY’s nondisclosure of the “tribute” nature of Chinelo Oparanta’s “Benji” in a post last November, I mentioned the proliferation of titular take-offs of Carver’s original story. To do that, I had to google around, seeing what was out there. I got interested.
This list isn’t final or definitive; I did another search a few weeks ago and found things that didn’t show up the first time. Part of that may be the “filter bubble,” one of the scariest things about technology today. Part of it’s just a matter of timing; at the time I did the original capture, the Paris Review blog hadn’t yet published their article, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Ill-Fitting Doll Suits.” I would’ve loved to have done another capture, but that would’ve meant starting all over again, and anyway, I would’ve had to give up “Melancholy God buying sex gypsies, Los Angeles.” Everything’s a trade-off.
It’s not pretty like my previous efforts, “A Forest From Some Trees” or “When MOOCs Collide” (neither of which are pretty, really, since they’re more or less PowerPoint presentations; I have little technical expertise, can’t draw, don’t have a decent video camera and won’t buy/learn fancy software so this is what I’ve got). But it was something I wanted to do, and now I’ve done it.