Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Raymond Queneau & the Amockalypse

Technically I could be “sampling” the poems on this combinatorial generator for another two hundred million years. If the GR (Goodreads) master server is still working in the year 200,002,012, I would like to make a few apologies on behalf of us, The Agents of the Amockalypse.

The texts that put such a strain on the GR server and led to the nature of your present reality—A Game of Thrones and Fifty Shades of Grey—originated in our time. Over the years, these sacred bestsellers acquired so many readers who would pass the texts down through the generations, that the GR server fattened to an area the size of Wyoming. This resulted in the destruction of Wyoming to make room for another billion reviews of these texts and their five-billion-and-counting combinatorial sequels. Gradually, the GR server required an area the size of North America to cope with the demand for the poisonous reviews of the computer generated Fifty Shades et al sequels until North America was assimilated into the GR server, its inhabitants cohabiting with the reviews they’d written on the books they had partially read for some vague sense of belonging.

Reviewers were forced into a perilous digital reality, where Fifty Shades reviews constantly streamed around them in a sort of passive-aggressive, sneery talking-head opinion matrix. Blunt dismissals of the texts’ literary merits told in homespun, telling-it-like-it-is sarcasm killed thousands of citizens. Unfunny gifs of movie clips and lolcats blinded the entire state of Ohio. Deadly, unmerited likes flew like scimitars in the air, mauling people in unimaginably horrific ways, but mainly straight through the gullet. Many drowned in page after page of excruciating analyses of these “worthless texts” written by people who’d spent a month of their reading time proving systematically these texts were worthless, aware of their making millions for the author and assisting the publicity department in their “see what all the fuss is about” campaign but devoted to making “personal studies” of these texts under the guise of cultural research regardless, as though blind to basic logic in their fact-gathering frenzies.

Locked in these prisons of endless, babbling opinion, all speech broke down into criticisms of these texts, so ordinary commands such as “pass the salt” became “WTF that Christian is a pig” until ordinary meanings became impossible. Speech was soon abolished. As the GR server expanded across the Atlantic, mass suicides were popular. Those that remain today, those that may catch a fleeting glance of this apology as it streams past their eyes and crashes into a bilious outpouring for Fifty Shades #672,822,828,727, will hopefully take some comfort in this apology in their hopeless world. And finally complete these poems.

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