We come from a long line of very lazy people. In fact, our family tree is not real, it’s artificial with one of those rotating lights that give it all sorts of different colors and stuff.
But as lazy as we are – and we are – we would not likely go down the slippery slope that is automated blogging.
We never knew there was such a thing until it jumped off the Google News site and bit us in a very metaphorical manner.
We have about 90 Google News Alerts to keep up to date on the latest in Magic and other important topics. For instance, if there is something going on in the Vegas Magic world, our Alert “Vegas Magic” will flash on the screen. We can then quit our Bejeweled session – if it is a really important news flash.
But sometimes, because you cannot save your progress on the free version of the popular game, we just let it go.
That’s because we are lazy and obsessive compulsive. We should see a doctor about the latter illness but in the psyche that is us, laziness trumps OCD every time – and we do mean, every time. That’s because we are obsessive compulsive and lazy. We would have a hand-washing obsession if it wasn’t so much work.
So the “David Blaine” alert sounded as we were trying to hack into Popular Science’s image server – we need stock images of wood putty for a project we’re trying to finish. We left the putty search for the article link.
Now we don’t feel so lazy. We found a site that just throws words together automatically – because it would be too much work to make a tossed salad of phrases manually – to generate articles geared to bring in visitors and boost click-based ad money.
The site is called Online Flash News. It is at least a third correct, it is online. The flash and the news aspects were not evident in the article just posted, “DAVID BLAINE-AN AMERICAN ENDURANCE ARTIST AND MAGICIAN.”
Takes your breath away, don’t it. Fortunately, we don’t like to expend all that energy on inhaling and exhaling so we use a respirator when breathing becomes too much of a chore.
The headline screams something but we aren’t sure what. But it does scream as evident by the ALL CAPS typography.
The author is named “Jake Sheffield.” Even in the relaxed, non-judgmental era we enjoy, someone named “Jake Sheffield” would raise eyebrows and curiosity. We doubt a person called “Jake Sheffield” could check into most hotels or cash a check. Betty Crocker sounds more authentic to our lackadaisical ear.
Jake’s article is a wonderful mélange of words (nouns, verbs, adjectives and prepositions but almost no adverbs) slammed together by a WordPress plugin to look just like a real article. Here is the first paragraph:
David Blaine-An American endurance artist and Magician: David Blaine is an American ability artist. He is best accepted for his aerial contour feats of endurance, and has fabricated his name as a aerialist of artery and close-up magic. He has set and burst several apple records. Magician and stuntman David Blaine believes what he does to not alone be works of art but additionally claimed challenges to prove that what can’t be done absolutely he can do it.
Maybe we’re just too lazy to read it correctly. Perhaps it is a free-verse jazz ditty and we just cannot hear the skins and bass. Or maybe Jake Sheffield isn’t real.
We checked out his other articles on the site. He is prolific alright. But he shares our OCD. We noted that every article written by this phantom of the press is published at 8 minutes after the hour. The last two stories were posted at precisely 1:08 am (Mystic Hollow Time). The ones before came at various hours but always 8 minutes after.
We may never cut our nose hair or clip our toe nails or open a door with our left hand or pour milk in our cereal bowl from the front or wear anything with black stripes or brush our canine (incisor) teeth or fail to multiply the numbers of every phone number we hear by the number 7 or carve anything that smells of cheese or wear a sombrero under our t-shirt or fail to perform a five second jig we saw performed in River Dance each of the 62 nights in a row we watched from the same seat at the Mystic Hollow Theatre for the Performance of Arts or other things that we dare not mention or the clowns will eat us whilst we sleep. But at least we don’t write total nonsense; or if we do, we do it intentionally.
For fun, we tracked down the phrases used in the story about David Blaine the American Endurance Artist and Magician. Many are taken from Wikipedia and some from sites that have been crawled by Jake or his spider-bot.
So, what is the point of this article? That we are better than poorly written software? That we have nobility in a field where nobility is automatically translated by some software packages to mean “no ability”?