I believe I need a new blog post category – called for example art created from collections of words and phrases spit out by computers. Or is Pop Culture just fine?
So far we had spam poetry and search term poetry – but these might not be the only art forms eligible for the new meta-category!
A quick primer for those new to this:
The following is a hybrid search term + spam poem (spam in italics), all collected from my WordPress stats and spam queue. You are allowed to add titles (in bold). Search terms and spams must not be reused in different poems.
i wasn’t aware of the many ripples and depth to this story
there is a special day
why do particles radiate from the sun
can a mouse get into a microwave
this site is ruthless to others
Now I have just stumbled upon the following WordPress error message, actually triggered by my (careless) attempt to empty my spam queue – filled with more than 100 spams that will not morph into poetry any more.
This is poetry in its own right – no more tuning required:
Something has gone wrong with our servers.
It’s probably Matt’s fault.
We’ve just been notified of the problem.
Hopefully this should be fixed ASAP,
so kindly reload in a minute
and things should be back to normal.
Generally, error message art might rather be presented ‘as is’ and does not require that much creativity.
I do remember the best out-of-office reply I have ever received. Though this is not strictly an error message I believe it falls under the same category.
This is not 100% verbatim, but the last sentence is – burnt into my neurons for later re-use. The time is now:
<some business-y explanation, see corporate art below>
I might not be able to respond to e-mails as quickly as normally.
But what is normal?
Geeky art can be quite rude as well, comments in source code used to contain strong language. And error messages used to be close to source code comments in the old times when there were no usability analysts yet.
On the other hand there is corporate error message art which is funny accidentally.
Typical corporate error message art comprises OOF replies similar to the following (real-life example):
Normally, we respond to all email messages within one business day.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to meet this goal with your message,
because of the large number of questions and requests recently received for our support staff.
We have sent you this note to confirm that your message is in our system
and to let you know that we will respond
with a personal response as quickly as possible.
This is very close to Mike Daisey’s take on this – in 21 Dog Years – Doing Time @ amazon.com. He explains how his friend Warren, the Jonny Cash of customer service finally explained customers he would sacrifice his first-born son on an altar of his own making – to compensate for the late delivery of the Harry Potter book.
There is also a sub-sub-category called corporate policies art. This is more similar to Samuel-Beckett-style dialogues.
I can recall my attempt to create a Google+ account:
The true art part in bold, the rest is just explanatory comments – much like this version of Worstward Ho with comments.)
I tried to use Subversive Element as a name.
Your name does not meet our Name Policies
Tried to upload the picture of my iconic virus.
Are you sure people will recognize you in this photo? It does not seem to have a face in it?
I finally succumbed to The Guidelines and uploaded a ‘normal’ image.
This image seems to be rather small. Do you have a better one?
Finally accepted though. The next step suggested by Google is