The New Yorker, I think, was the first to break the news, and thus ruin the fun:
The Internet is full of mysteries. Two of the more intriguing ones have been a Twitter account, @Horse_ebooks, and a YouTube channel, Pronunciation Book, which have been running for the past several years. Both have the hallmarks of automation, chugging along anonymously and churning out disjointed bits of text in a very spam-like fashion. At the same time, their output has seemed strangely knowing and even portentous.
Then came the video that seemed to tie everything together, without having any of the charm of the originals:
The New Yorker continues:
Most of those questions will be answered today, starting at 10 A.M., at the Fitzroy Gallery, on the Lower East Side. There, the creators of the two accounts, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, will prove that they are indeed human, appearing in a performance that is the final flourish in this suite of conceptual-art pieces, weaving together Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book.
They’re BuzzFeed people, which really makes this disappointing. Something as odd and brilliant as Horse_ebooks really doesn’t belong on a site with stories Six Things Farrah Abraham Said While Getting Her Private Parts Molded.
But wait. Hold on. A Gawker writer went looking for the author of the site and found this guy.
But wait! Hold on. Gawker went to the event this morning, explains the previous piece, and reports from the scene. They made an art installation. Because it was really art.
This spoils it. Horse_ebooks was fun because it appeared to be a program spitting out random nonsense that stumbled on mystery, profundity, and manic comedy; you could read meaning into the meaninglessness, like finding pathos in a robot’s Chaplinesque gait because its programming went awry.
Someone in the Gawker comments suggested we should start reading Zizek-ebooks now.
Perhaps, the time has come to rehabilitate Khrushchev— Zizek Ebooks (@zizek_ebooks) September 18, 2013
I am only one handshake away from Hitler— Zizek Ebooks (@zizek_ebooks) September 15, 2013
In related news, the Minneapolis Police Department is concerned about your weight:
In less than 30 days lose up to 25 lbs while burning two or more inches with http://t.co/LXwKRWlyme— Minneapolis Police (@MPD_PIO) September 23, 2013
They said they were “hacked.” Which means someone guessed the password.
MILEY IS A TR FAN Rolling Stone has a piece about Miley Cyrus getting another tattoo. Granted, fashion icons do change over time . . .
And I suppose every era gets the fashion icon it utterly deserves. She explains one of her tattoos, a lengthy quote in all caps in case it’s noisy and you need to have her skin yell at you:
THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO NEITHER KNOW VICTORY NOR DEFEAT. "It's from a Teddy Roosevelt speech," she says. "It's about how people judge who wins and who loses, but they're not the ones in there fighting."
Here’s the relevant passage:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Yes, that’s a perfect description of Miley Cyrus, especially in the “spending one’s self in a worthy cause and knowing the triumph of high achievement” part. Yes, her tongue is hanging out on the cover photo.
TR, if you can't quite place the name: