It’s a drug, it’s a cult .. and I think I like it

WE’VE already established that a million monkeys randomly tapping away on a million typewriters for a zillion years are unlikely to produce the complete works of Shakespeare or anything like it – but what would these strangely conscientious literary simians actually come up with?

You can get a peak at the first fruits of the initial 20 years of this ongoing, open-ended social experiment courtesy of Alphainventions, a blog aggregator which allows viewers to see a seemingly endless cycle of frontpages from the far reaches of the mechanical webnets.

Like some gargantuan two-dimensional online tower of Babel almost entirely populated by psychotic apes on drugs jabbering at each other without even realising they’re not talking the same language, Alphainventions might seem a little wacked out to the casual observer. And also the not-so-casual observer.

You’ll find any number of tedious religious zealots trying to impose their rather narrow worldview on the rest of the humanity via banal and poorly punctuated prose that nobody ever reads.

You’ll meet gun fetishists, entomologists, someone called Elvis Jedi and a man whose life’s work is to explain that very few things are actually worse than Hitler.

You will also be introduced to the Somali ex-pat community in Switzerland, people with ME, hot babes and Wild Dervishes. You’ll read about one woman’s journey from high-powered computer geek to Buenos Aires tango teacher. You may even meet the odd kindly soul who just likes making really nice soup.

You’ll get clued up on renewable energy on the Mendocino Coast and the views of Imam Bukhari on the kissing of hands and feet, you’ll learn about the Fuel Cell Market Report, how to restore wolves to the Rocky mountains and vegans of color (“because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue”).

And if you have time after perusing the marvels of the Hijda Eunuch blog and Frank H Jump’s photo blog about fading advertising hoardings, you could try some Three-Minute Bible Study. Or you could fight the good fight with Combat Queer instead. Or maybe just kick back with some sad Urdu poetry.

I don’t know how the site works but I don’t know how Google works. Or cars or planes. Some kind of mechanical ju-ju, no doubt. Either way, Alphainventions is, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking nuts .. and I think I like it.

David Peace’s writing is also fucking nuts and I definitely like it.

I’m getting very, very excited about Red Riding: The Trilogy, which is adapted from his fantastic Red Riding Quartet and stars a virtual who’s who of British acting talent in the shape of Paddy Considine, David Morrissey, Maxine Peake, Warren Clarke, Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall, Mark Addy, Sean Harris, Gerard Kearns, Daniel Mays, and a few more people I can’t remember right now.

Make a date with your telly and Channel 4 for 9pm on Thursday 5 March. In the meantime, here’s David Peace writing about the books. And here’s an excellent interview with Peace from the Observer.

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14 Comments

Filed under expletive undeleted, hyperbole

14 responses to “It’s a drug, it’s a cult .. and I think I like it

  1. I agree with the Tower of Babel comment.

    In today’s World. the language problem is still relevant and I believe that the World, now, needs a common, non-national, neutral language!

    Why not teach a common neutral non-national language, in all countries, in all schools, worldwide?

    The contest between English and Esperanto seems to be a David & Goliath situation. But don’t forget who won in the end

    If you have time, please check http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU as well as the Esperanto website, http://www.lernu.net

  2. smith3000

    Well, the vast majority of the blogs on AI are in English but my point was that there’s so very little actual communication on there, everyone may as well be speaking / writing in different languages. At least I think that’s what my point was.

    I do like the idea of Esperanto on loads of different levels – not least the fact that, to an outsider’s eyes, it seems like a bit of a lost cause – but I also like diversity of language.

    The way we express ourselves is part of who we are and it would be a shame to lose that national/regional uniqueness. Not that you would advocate that, I’m sure.

    It’s definitely an interesting idea. I already have a real problem getting my head around Spanish but I will have a look at the website.

    Thanks for the comment and links Brian.

  3. David Curtis

    Until I was forty, in 1966, I knew nothing of Esperanto but that it had died a natural death because it was artificial and had no culture. This misinformation was spread about by the leaders of teachers of modern languages, to protect their jobs. Intent upon providing British children with a second language, I took the trouble to actually learn Esperanto instead of criticising it. I tested it on many kinds of foreigners, including Chinese, by staying in their homes and hosting them in mine. It is an absolute miracle that an ordinary bloke like me can converse at any level with people of umpteen different nationalities; so to all doubters, especially language-teachers, I say: “Get stuck in, and you’ll find a whole new world opens up for you!” Best wishes, David Curtis, 7 St Judes Terrace, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS22 8HB.

  4. David Curtis

    Forgot to tick the box for follow-up comments by email!

  5. smith3000

    A conspiracy of modern languages heads? I like your style very much David! Is Esperanto common in places like China?

    Can’t help you with the follow up comment email thing – way too technical for me – but there may be more Esperanto enthusiasts out there so it might be worth checking back in a few days.

    And are you sure you want your full address on show for all to see?

  6. Bill Chapman

    Where are the female contributors here? Here’s a comment from another male.

    I’ve been using Esperanto on my travels now for many years, and I recommend it to anyone with interests beyond their backyard.

    At present I’m in Cameroon, and it through Esperanto that I first stayed in the home of an African couple.

  7. smith3000

    The lack of female contributors isn’t the first thing that strikes me as slightly odd about these comments Bill.

    I don’t really understand how a fairly innocuous remark about the tower of Babel led to so much comment about Esperanto, but I’m not complaining – it’s not something I know much about so it’s interesting. You guys are really into this stuff, aren’t you?

    Hope you’re having fun in Cameroon, Bill. And thanks for the comment.

  8. I could pull some females to your blog smithy. Just get me for promotions and the job is done.

    I went on a date with a girl thousands of miles away from me because of my blog when we went back to chicago. She thinks I’m nuts but then again she is too.

    Tell you all about that if I make it to Manchester this summer.

  9. smith3000

    I dread to think what your promotions campaign might involve JR .. Thanks very much for the offer though.

    No thoughts on Esperanto then?

  10. The promotions campaign would probably involve some sort of insane mock British/American history presentation done by myself.

    Like the Statue of Liberty and King George III having sex with each other in some sort of parking lot over there.

    Esperanto is boring and thats why it will never work. You will have better luck getting everyone to speak Mandarin Chinese.

    People don’t need to communicate they need they need understand each other. fuck words.

    ^ probably my most insane comment yet

  11. We need to save the world Smithy, via the central location of the Manchester music scene.

  12. “..All God’s angels beware, all you judges beware…you sons of chance take good care..for all the people not there”

    I think I’ll refine the sign to “homeless American looking to save the world via the Manchester music scene”

    Oh Smithy I’m sorry for cluttering your blog, hopefully someone will get a chuckle from my spam

  13. One more spam comment… how awesome is this girl?

  14. You talk an awful lot of sense, JR. Fuck language! Yeah! Let’s communicate through shapes, colours and smells! I like your style.

    Hmm. There could be a Manchester International festival commission in this somewhere.

    Last time around, we saw a tableau by Matthew Barney which was not unlike the scene you describe above .. drop MIF a line! Your holiday work worries could be over!

    And she’s not that awesome.

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