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The Automatic Poetry Machine Generator

There is too much instant communication and not enough time to contemplate or enjoy it. There are too many things to know and too many things to do and still nobody seems to know anything. There are too many mechanisms and too many gadgets and none of them are the right sort of gadgets that we have any control over anymore. If I had a hammer….a simple real hammer, not a hammer that is glorified staple gun or a working man’s Ouzi, but a real solid Craftsman hammer that I can hold over the head of the ten-penny nail of reason in my little fist of fury, I would drive that nail deep…drive it like a stake into the heart of the vampire world in which we dwell.

Both technology and temperament conspire against us, or, me. The unlimited world in which we live…the wired and wireless universe…is no where near as limitless and boundless as we’d care to believe. Communication which should be more expansive since any fool with a machine can reach a audience unimaginable in the Police Brutality Days of the late 60’s and early 70’s, is actually taughtly controlled by the vehicles we most commonly use to communicate. Twitter limits me to 140 focking characters or less. Not 140 words, 140 characters. Useless as a turd unless you’ve been arrested on visit to Azerbaijan, or have fallen down a crevasse after being chased by a polar bear…then it’s useful I suppose. But too many people ((that’s the REAL problem with the world, there’s just too many people and they’re no damn good)), find a urge to tell the world that they’ve got a boil on their bum. Facebook is even worse. You get to see the pictures. There seems to be some limits to the amount of characters as well. And while Twitter’s fascist chokehold on communication is fairly benign, Facebook seeming knows no bounds. But I’ll save that prize number 12 for another day. Sorry Malcolm Gladwell and those of short attention span with too much of the wrong sense of time on their twitching texting hands, with ME you have to do all 2,500 words, pictures, and the 2-10  minute musical outro.

There are no shortcuts to actuality. I found this out a long time ago when I attempted to program a computer to write poetry. Unlike some of the computer geek types at the time who took it way too seriously (and still do), I wanted to embrace the machine world and bring a new and terrible poetry to life. So I devised a program in FORTRAN, of course, and banged away at the punch cards as though I were some college boy/man prodigy flogging his way through The Goldberg Variations on a Bosendorfer piano. A world, well…a little world, more like a satellite of Mars than a satellite of Jupiter…of words and phrases and other utopisms filled numerous boxes of cards. And when the punchcards were fed into the IBM 1620 in Green Bay and sent off to the Univac mainframe in Madison and the machine was set in motion, the idea was that poetry would emerge as though the machine were a modern day Walt Whitman or William Blake or T.S. Eliot. The conceit was that the machine would have a (programmed) mind of it’s own. The machine was writing the poetry. The random, mechanized, aggregation of words, verbiage, phrases would have a brave and terrible beauty all their own. The problem, ofcourse, is that the machine DID have mind of it’s own….a mind that wandered into some nested DO loop never to return. When, in my strange powers employ, the machine found it’s way out, the epic realization on my part was that while the machine had a mind of it’s own, it clearly had no soul.

Now it would be nice if I could just look at Facebook and Twitter and say, “That damned machine!!”  But unfortunately, it’s people, not machines. As they say, accordians don’t play “Lady Of Spain”, people do. Now maybe those people know something I don’t know. But unless what they know is the meaning of John Dryden’s poem Absalom and Achitophel, I guess I just don’t want to know. And meanwhile and meanwhile and meanwhile from MY stupid Twitter feed, me and my 12 followers and my 8 followees….some dude wants to fight Shaq, Yoko Ono babbles about changing the course of reality by interception, and Justin Townes Earle wears earplugs when flying to drown out the sound of the low rent suits. I’m with Justin Townes Earle on that one, the low rent suits.

But enough of this shite…let’s get on with the other shite… the motorsports and the football and the beer.

Danica Patrick will NOT be saving NASCAR anytime soon. ®

This has been a confounding season in both IRL and Nationwide for those of us who follow the careening career of Danica Patrick. I’m all for it but I’m wondering to myself what piece of the puzzle is missing. It can’t be just the team, since lately, Danica’s mates at Andretti have been outperforming her. Even though, overall, Andretti Autosport has been performing like shite compared to Ganassi and Penske when they should in the mix with them every week consistently. But Danica has been missing something.

And maybe it’s something that’s been missing all along. Something that her beauty and raw talent have been able to disguise up until now. At least to outside eyes. What I’m been noticing, and I probably should have been noticing this all along, is that Danica is VERY reluctant to be confrontational ON the track. Not that IRL boys trade paint, but she backs off when she should be more aggressive. I don’t why this never occurred to me earlier, but the obvious can oftimes be elusive. The ah-HAH moment for me on this was an article I read earlier this morning that summed up what I’ve been seeing almost to a tee.

She tees it up tonight at Kentucky from the 17th spot….Marco goes off in 15th….but Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan are dead ass last. Hunter-Reay didn’t even take a qualifying lap since he spun and hit the wall on his first attempt. So I don’t know what to make of this. And neither does anyone at Andretti evidently. As always, by the time some of y’all read, we’ll know how well, or if, this has worked itself out. Meanwhile, I wonder if Joey Barton writes love poems about Danica Patrick in his spare time. Perhaps he should…It would spare me the agony of typing all those damn punch cards next time.

Here comes Jennifer Jo Cobb and Justin Allgaier to save the day!

Something else or someone else is going to have to save NASCAR. It won’t be Danica Patrick and it’s definitely not the Chase. The Chase has almost become a boring afterthought. Almost. Not quite, but ALMOST. It’s not driving ratings or fans. It’s like yeah yeah yeah…another focking Beatles Greatest Hits CD or I-Pod download with a long lost Ringo Starr out-take slapped on for good measure. Paul McCartney, the good Beatle is mired in 9th at the moment. John Lennon, the Bad Beatle is in 1st. George Harrison, the most interesting Beatle…well, that’s anyone’s guess. I’m going to have ponder that one for a bit…since George Harrison and NASCAR…well….I NEED TO FOCKING PONDER!!  Ringo, ofcourse, never made the Chase and never will…but that’s okay…he’s likeable and does well at what he does. Pete Best, the Beatle that was kicked to the curb, well…he’s out there in 13th or something like that, depending on your perspective…or substitute Pete Best for Ringo in this little allegory if you prefer. Just put the tedious, over-played Beatles songs on mute for a bit while I PONDER!!

The lads tee it up at Atlanta Motor Speedway tomorrow night. And the Chase casts it’s lonesome shadow over it all. There is more gloom and trepidation than joy in this psuedo-Southern 500….psuedo because it SHOULD be raced at Darlington instead of Atlanta. It’s more about Chase Clinch Scenarios than actual racing. With only Richmond to go after this, it’s a matter of who can clinch now. Paul Mc Cartney COULD clinch IF he finishes 10th or better, no laps led
11th or better, at least one lap led or13th or better, most laps led…he might have to wait until Richmond to actually lock it up, or until “Hey Jude” finally focking ends, whichever comes first.

Race for the Chase! Race for the Chase!! Race for the Chase!!!

As bang this out my Adler j-5 at The Firehouse, the Nationwide qualifying is on. That’s going to be a good race this evening. The spectre of the Chase doesn’t hang over it. Sure, there’s a few Busch-wackers in it….Matt Kenseth is running in this one, in the #16 World Financial Group Ford Mustang ((#16….WTF??!!)). Josh Wise will be piloting Danica Patrick’s #7 Go-daddy Chevrolet. But it will be all about RACING!!  It’s will about the JOURNEY more than the destination…and that will make the destination all that much sweeter ((this time, I use sweeter in the modern SLANG sense….not in the sense of the magic that suger can provide to ice tea, nor in the sense of the great glam-rock band, The Sweet…no ball room blitz here, just the jackassery of the modern day)). Kasey Kahne has secured the pole. And it looks like the #04 Boudreaux’s Butt-Paste will be the one going home. Onward.

The Chase-bound zombies will be shambling down the road a bit later this afternoon. I’m not even giving odds of a rook as to who will grab the pole. 26% of the races were won from the front row. The other 74% weren’t. Bobby Labonte won the race in 2001 from the 39th position. I don’t believe he will do that on Sunday. Nor will anyone else. I would LOVE to see Matt Kenseth get the pole and win wire to wire leading EVERY focking lap. I would be as happy as a little girl if he would do this every race for a whole season. Show ’em the meaning of the word consistency!  But not bloody likely I’m sorry to say. The Packers winning the Super Bowl and Chelsea winning the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League are all more bloody likely.

In other Zombie news, David Gilliland and his team-mate Dave Blaney/Tony Raines have switched crew-chiefs. Hmmmm. Looks like Blaney won’t be startin’ and parkin’ for awhile. Our 3rd favourite Hendrick Motorsports driver, who made his first career start at Atlanta 18 years ago,  will be teeing off in a car that was designed by his 3 yr. old daughter Ella at Sam Bass’s studio. And Joey Barton wrote a poem about it. ((No he didn’t)). And as long as Kyle Busch doesn’t mistake the #24 Papa’s Car for a Sam Bass guitar, all will be sort of well with the world, as well as it can be in this fallen world all things considered.

Faroe Islands 0     Serbia 3

The qualifying group stages of Euro 2012 have begun. Yes…the road to Kiev in 2012 starts now. Being the Champion of Europe is almost as good as winning the World Cup without having to deal with Brazil and Argentina and those piss-ant Yanks and their bullocks. The Euro’s can kick back and enjoy the shit out of Luxembourg 0  Bosnia-Herzegovina 3  or Nederland’s 5-0 rippage of San Marino without any sort of tedious outside interference. Friday was the opening salvo. The surprise match of the day was Portugal’s 4-4 draw with Cyprus ((Cyprus is sort of like the David Gilliland of Euro soccer)).  The fackin’ cheatin’ Frenchies got boat-raced ((by a rowboat…but a boat is a boat, yes?)) by Belarus 0-1 at Stade de France on a Segey Kislyak goal at the 86th minute. Merry ol’ England, sans Terry and Lamps, turned Bulgaria into faggots and peas riding a Jermaine Defoe hatrick to a 4-0 spankage at Wembley.But Fabio Capello still needs to go. It was focking Bulgaria lads.

Tuesday will be the next set of games. Whoever played at home on Friday will be off to, well…England will be off to Switzerland!! They better not be too full of themselves. As I recall, Switzerland is home to the aforementioned Young Boys who diddled the Hotspurs on their home pitch in Berne 3-2…and the aformentioned Jermain Defoe plays for the aformentioned Hotspurs. So. Yes. Defoe will be bringing that ball right into the heart of Young Boys’ François Affolter and Scott Sutter and the Schweitzer’s defense.  Iceland, who lost to Norway 1-2 on Friday, will have a go at the Danes on Tuesday. I was VERY disappointed that none of our lads from Stjarnan play for their National team. Would be funny as hell to see their antics on a wider stage. Especially if Iceland were drawn in the same group as the French, which they weren’t. All this leading up to the grand finale in 2012 in Kiev.

And yes. I AM playing Euro 2012 Fantasy Football. I’ll be honest here. My first game day could have been a lot better. International football is not quite club football. I completely overlooked some matchups that could have nabbed me points. HOW could I have overlooked Bosnia-Herzegovina for a player or two? I missed other matches that were ripe for picking. And from England I had Theo Walcott upfront instead of Jermaine Defoe.  I’ll be leaving Walcott in for Tuesday, but I’ve transferred a bunch of lads out and have starters from Albania, Sweden & Isreal and Iceland in my midfield. None of the big name English German or Dutch midfielders. Walcott is joined by Robbie Keane upfront. The defense is anchored by Kompany from Belgium, Lahm from Germany, Dunne from Ireland, and Mcmanus from Scotland. Since Spain is not playing Tues, I transferred out Iker Casillas and moved in Italian goalie Salvatore Sirigu. Hey…Italy is playing the focking Faroe Islands. I like the Faroe Islands and all but they won’t score a goal.

Time for a beer.  SPATEN Oktoberfest. And on we go.

I must, as usual, disappoint you. I still have not figured out which NASCAR driver corresponds with George Harrison. And I am not going to and will not reveal the ancient code I used to create a poetry machine.  Nope. It’s lost for ages, and maybe just as well. After all, there are a lot of new languages these days that are more adept at bringing these quixotic notions to life. I also have none of the poetry that my machine generated….in fact most of my early poetry has been lost to the memories of the descending series of moments. But the idea still has a certain magic appeal…a benign little machine that generates some actual real poetry….maybe it could be a vending machine…you put a quarter in and get a poem, or get 5 poems for a dollar!!  Well…you’ll most likely get what you pay for. But it would be nice, someday….but most likely not. Paltry insipid college-boy poetry is bad enough. Paltry insipid machine-generated poetry that you’ve PAID for would most likely be insufferable.

Man and machines are better left to the race tracks I guess. And speaking of which, Denny Hamlin is on the pole for tomorrow’s Emory Healthcare ((SOUTHERN!!)) 500. Ryan Newman joins him on the front row. Papa’s Car rolls off 18th. Matt Kenseth is mired in row 15…teeing off 30th. No one has won at Atlanta from the 30th position. In 1980 Dale Earnhardt won it from the 31st position beating Rusty Wallace by 9.55 seconds. So there is hope for the #17 Crown Royal Black Ford. But…not too bloody likely I’m afraid.

I’m SO glad I’m not playing Fantasy NASCAR this season. And so are you.


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