Category Archives: Short Blog Posts

Flarf Poem: I’m Paul Simon, and you’re not

lol Chevy Chase

Chevy looks like my Uncle…

Chevy Chase sort of looks like John Cleese.

Omg he soo looks and reminds me of Will Ferrell !!!!


How tall is Chevy Chase?

I can’t tell if Chevy Chase is a giant or if Paul is tiny

I spent the first few years of my life thinking Paul Simon was tall.

Paul’s so short beside Chevy

i never realized how tall chevy chase is

Chevy chase is a giant


I wonder if Mr. Chase was the “class clown” back in his younger days?

Paul Simon looks and is infinitely cooler and more genius than Chevy Chase ever was

its chevy chase dumb asses

take that negativity somewhere else man, there’s no need

What a shame that is; Paul’s pissed.


After our class discussion about the publicity of comments on open media blogs such as YouTube, I decided that I would gather my flarf content string of a song. The poem above was built entirely from comments of the music video of Paul Simon’s You Can Call me Al. I chose the song randomly by shuffling through a playlist with hundreds of songs.  As I was reading the lengthy list of responses to the video, I noticed a trend. The topic of many of the comments had nothing to do with the song, but rather Chevy Chase who co-stars in the video with Paul Simon. I pulled as many comments about Chevy Chase as I could find, and re-organized them to sound more like a thought process or conversation, while keeping the original punctuation and words.

Short Blog Post 3: Country Night Summer

He’s taking a sideways stroll down a country road

Come summer, the Land of the Midnight

Take time to enjoy the wonder

What if you knew you only had one chance?

Love is my religion


Slow nights, summer love

He comes by his country influences naturally

Seamless background, Cartoon landscape

enhanced by a solid oak, race track style dance floors

Enjoyed by young and old alike

Music transcending all ages


Old Country, New Country,

Barbecues, pool parties, long days, warm nights

Lots of sun, its summer nights, babe!

Life’s too short to live in the past

My name is Summer, since you didn’t ask


These are the moments we can share

Come on let me take you there

You say you wanna see the city lights

They shine so bright

Before you go you need to know

Think it over before you turn the page


Artist’s Statement: My approach for writing this Flarf poem was (as discussed in class) to source the Internet with three random terms and refine the descriptions of the search results to create a work of writing. In addition, I clicked on several of the links and copied phrases that stood out to me, such as a lyrical line or title.


“Fluffy Sheep Soup” Flarf – Short Blog Post #3

Fluffy Sheep Soup


Visualize white, fluffy, plump sheep.


The fluffy sheep is as gentle as it is soft.

Crispy crust with fluffy middle.

The skull leaving the brains (fluffy clouds) and eyeballs floating on the top.

Shrek the fluffy sheep….Dirty sheep, no soup for you.


#smelly #sheep #cute #fluffy

Make a super cute fluffy lamb cake.

They get super fluffy and you know they’re ready to eat once it floats.

Rainbow Fluffy Sheep.


Cutting a sheep’s head in half and

Oh fluffy sheep are wonderful.

Nuclear Sheep and The adoorible kitten fluffy: BAAAAAA!!!!

You will be eaten by the Soup dragon!


Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep and

Soft and fluffy lamb testes arrived at the table.

All that is missing is a few fluffy sheep.

Falling-off-the-bone lamb shanks for 4 in only 30 minutes!


Sit back in the sunshine and take your time over a bowl of hot butternut soup

For Arthur the Fluffy Sheep was a very happy little lamb.


To find the words/phrases used in this flarf, I entered “fluffy sheep soup” into Google.  The intent was to dichotomize human uses of sheep.  For children, these creatures are cute, cuddly, and comforting whereas for adults, they are ingredients in an elegant meal or things to be shorn for profit.

Blog Post Prompt: Uncreative Writing/Flarf

As we discussed in class today, your blog post this week should be either:

(1) A work of uncreative writing or a Flarf poem (of any length of your choosing), with a 50-word artist’s statement. You can disclose as much or as little of your method and sources in the 50-word statement as you’d like.  If you wish, your artist’s statement can be fictional.


(2) A 200-300 word explanation of why you opt out of the assignment.

Tim Guthrie’s 10:01 – Art Imitating Life (Second Longer Blog Essay)

10:01 began as an ambitious print text by Lance Olsen that explored the thoughts and inner demons of a variety of characters attending a movie in an AMC theater in the Mall of America one afternoon. An excerpt provided by Olsen’s website delivers much of the novel’s intentions: a cataloging of external and internal reactions to various stimuli and memories unfolding ten minutes and one second before the feature presentation begins.

I assume 10:01 conjures up high degrees of visual content even without its hypermedia version. The descriptions embedded carefully in Olsen’s meticulous prose beg to be dissected and supplemented by the reader’s imagination. In the linked excerpt (which serves as the novel’s start), moviegoer Kate Frazey enters the theater with the same attitude as the words that introduce her, remaining in control of her physical being (seated comfortably in “row three, seat nine”) and surveying emotional and mental states as astutely as the narrator (with her employment of a “crane shot” that scans her fellow moviegoers for neuroses and nuances).

Tim Guthrie’s hypermedia version of 10:01 allows those that interact with it to assume the roles played by both Kate and the narrator. The hypermedia experience relies on an all-encompassing, highly malleable experience that complements the sense of narrative omniscience quite well. Once the e-literature finishing cycling through its introduction, a substantial epigraph that collects quotes that marry intimate human experience with the detached nature of film, an experience begins that attempts to write human interaction and thought processes with as much tension and explosion as characters in a screenplay, with the user as the all-knowing “audience” from above.

This isn’t a novel technique by any means, but that speaks more about the text itself than the technology that encapsulates it, which offers a more unique, customizable experience.

Continue reading Tim Guthrie’s 10:01 – Art Imitating Life (Second Longer Blog Essay)

Blog Post #3: H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds

The venerable group that’s taking on H.G. Wells’ science-fiction masterpiece War of the Worlds is none other than myself (jamescassar), Eric (ericweitzner), Ally (allyouellette), and Yura (yurakim). Our project will be available over at (eventually).

Check out our collection of texts, both visual and digital, after the jump!
Continue reading Blog Post #3: H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds

Google Books

Because our projects involve well-known works in the public domain, Google Books is a resource applicable to all groups. If you search using Google, web results will include a few from Google Books; thus any person who uses Google Search is already familiar with using Google Books. But Google Search can be limited simply to Books, as well. In addition to searching for our source texts, Google Books allows students to search for other, related texts to investigate.

While the use of Google Books has become ubiquitous through individuals’ use of Google Search, it is important to understand how the service generates results. While the goal of Google Books is “to create a virtual card catalog of all books in all languages”, it is not complete. Books and magazines come from the Partner Program and the Library Project. The Partner Program helps publishers promote their works by providing them for searchable indexing. The Library Project digitizes the collections of partner libraries (including the University of Virginia), allowing users to search many out-of-print texts.

If a text is in the public domain, such as our source texts, then a pdf will be available for download. But if a text is under copyright, varying portions of the text will be available. In some cases a user can browse a few pages at a time; in other cases, only a few snippets as allowed under fair use laws may be available at a time. Additionally, other sources such as Gallica and the Internet Archive may contain texts which Google Books has yet to index. Google Books hopes to digitize all of the approximately 130 million unique books by the end of the decade.

Advanced Google N-Gram Use: Abuse

I first attempted to investigate the prevalence of different types of drug abuse by using the advanced wildcard feature. I entered the search term “*abuse”. However, this yielded the following message: “If you meant to multiply, use parentheses in your search. Wildcards can replace only entire words, not parts of words. Skipping “*abuse”. No valid ngrams to plot!” Believing the ngram unable to plot wildcards which precede the search term, I instead tried a wildcard search using a part-of-speech wildcard dependency. From the search term, “abuse=>*_NOUN”, I was able to generate an ngram.

Still dissatisfied that my initial search did not work, I then decided to search the term, “*_NOUN abuse”, which retains the wildcard aspect of the search, but no longer includes the dependency relationship. This yielded an additional ngram.

The most striking finding from these searches is the fact that searches must follow minutely specific rules. Thus a desired ngram may be difficult to create simply because it must follow a very precise format. Thus, while “*abuse” does not generate an ngram, “*_NOUN abuse” does. Additionally, the two search terms, “*_NOUN abuse” and “abuse=>*_NOUN”, lead to slightly different ngram results. For “abuse=>*_NOUN” the top ten words are substance, child, drug, alcohol, neglect, Child, power, authority, trust, and confidence. For “*_NOUN abuse” the results are substance, child, drug, alcohol, Child, Drug, wife, cocaine, spouse, and men. Unfortunately, wildcard searches cannot be combined with case-insensitive searches, leading to difficulty in understanding the overall prevalence of a term as opposed to the prevalence of its case-variants. And what is the precise difference in meaning between the terms “*_NOUN abuse” and “abuse=>*_NOUN”? Ultimately, advanced usage of the ngram viewer demonstrates that how we search is just as important as what we search.

QGIS: Short Blog Post 2: Group B

QGIS is a open source GIS mapping system that links all kinds of data to geographical coordinates or points on layered maps.  The free QGIS program can be downloaded onto most operating systems and has the ability to create and read GIS maps and run installed plugins to enhance the features of the basic program.  GIS, or Geographic Information System, is a system used to organize data geographically, using points on a map as tags for specific data, thus linking the data to a certain location on a GIS map.  QGIS is a means of creating and reading GIS files.

The program can run and create two different types of graphics to display the data- vector graphics and raster graphics.  One simple explanation of the difference between the two is the ability to zoom in or out of a map created using each.  When using a map made with vector graphics, the shapes and images on the map are infinitely enlargeable (like images created in Adobe Illustrator), while a map created using raster graphics becomes pixilated when the user zooms in too far (like digital photographs.)  The QGIS program has the ability to link data in a database to specific points on a layered grid, whether those points are created using vector or raster graphics.

Although the QGIS tool would be a bit too advanced to use in a digital project in this class, it could prove useful as a literary tool if used correctly.  One specific way that QGIS could prove useful would be if incorporated into a work of literature as an interactive guide for the reader (for example, a map of Marlow’s journey in Heart of Darkness, or an interactive guide to the places in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.)  The tool would add the most value to a work of literature that included travel and or journeys between and among varied locations.

A second conceivable use for the QGIS tool would be to map important literary locations in a specific city.  The GIS file created could contain data about poets and authors who lived in that city (where they lived, where they wrote, where they were buried, etc.)  Thus, the GIS file could serve as a guide to bibliophilic tourists when they visited the city mapped, or simply as a manual for locals wishing to know more about the literary history of their region.