There are serious artists who get paid serious money by museums and galleries, with opening night of their shows featuring all sorts of wealthy moguls and supermodel types surrounding the Artist in his black turtleneck as he unveils his latest “installation,” which is an indictment of consumerism.
What is this art? A toilet glued to the wall above a pile of trash.
But it is ARTFULLY ARRANGED trash, you see.
If you think I’m kidding: A janitor in London got himself in serious trouble for seeing such a pile of trash on the floor of the gallery and sweeping it up. Because, you know, janitors sort of get paid to clean things up. And this horribly uncivilized and uneducated janitor ruined, just ruined, an Art Installation from a serious Artist paid far more than what the janitor makes, all to arrange trash on the floor.
In the spirit of showing how silly this stuff is, I took a spam comment and went all Gertrude Stein on it, turning it into a high-brow (obtuse), dense (nonsensical) and difficult (incoherent) Poem. (Read it here: Is this high-brow poetry — or pretentious garbage?)
The funny thing is how little work it took. Maybe two minutes.
It would have been easier, and made for a far better Pretentious Poem, had I taken a full day to (a) ponder the pointlessness of life, (b) watch a marathon of Jason Statham films, (c) translate a book into Sanskrit, (d) kill half a bottle of bourbon and THEN (e) take two minutes to turn comment spam into poetry.
The spam comments are interesting. Is somebody writing this stuff? No. Can’t be. It has to be some kind of program that strings together random sentences or words. Or somebody in the Ukraine who knows English well enough that he can order a Big Mac without getting McNuggets, but not well enough to write a paragraph without sounding insane.
Here are two actual pieces of comment spam:
1) My spouse and i still cannot quite think that I could become one of those reading through the important ideas found on your blog. My family and I are seriously thankful for your generosity and for providing me the chance to pursue my chosen career path. Thank you for the important information I got from your web page.
2) I’m honored to obtain a call from a friend as soon as he discovered the important recommendations shared in your site. Examining your blog publication is a real excellent experience. Thanks again for thinking of readers just like me, and I wish you the best of achievements like a professional surface area.
They’re just a bit off, aren’t they?
I think it’s because if they did have a human write paragraphs that made sense, the spam filters would catch them even quicker, so they have to be somewhat random. Which makes them even less effective, like a bullet that misses the target by ten feet instead of ten inches.
But they’re interesting. Some idiots must be clicking on the links anyway.
And decades from now, after this post gets forwarded around the Series of Tubes and garbled a bit, some English literature PhD student will find fragments of THE CIRCLE and write a dissertation debating its true meaning.