The irony of Twitter bots, and a poem about RoboCop

I finally watched RoboCop last night. I know, I know, I should have seen it long ago, but the film was so 80’s in its gratuitousness violence and depictions of cruelty, I don’t think I could have handled the movie at a younger age. (My empathy levels when I am not sober are off the charts…and I am anyone.)

If it wasn’t for the occasional punchy joke, experimental depictions of masculinity and futuristic metaphors, I would have abandoned the film this time too. But I didn’t, and when it ended, I sat in the dark imagining the satisfaction growing inside what remained of the man-machine Murphy.  The movie made me laugh, made me cry, and before the credits rolled, made me nod with a sense of peace.

Before I watched the movie, I tweeted my intention to do so and a Twitter robot programmed to tweet one quote from the film responded to me immediately.  (As if I ever doubted this movie was an important part of our cultural lexicon!)

I hadn’t started the film yet so I hadn’t viewed that line, but from the robotic actions, I knew this line was important and a  joke I was supposed to laugh at. You could say I was culturally obligated, if not socially programmed, to laugh at line now. (I admit, the line would have been way funnier if that bot didn’t tell me of it beforehand, but I can’t disparage the bot’s existence either, it being a cultural artifact at this point.)

Later I would come to appreciate the Twitter robot even more when characters within the movie used that line – which comes from a fake commercial – as a pop culture reference.   Read the rest of this entry »

Little girl loses her hamster JubJub: a YouTube story in 4 parts

There is one notable narrative in The Mckenzie Ivey Web Show (which had only 16 episodes): the loss of her Russian hamster JubJub.

Appearing in “MY HAMSTER PIMP 333” on September 4, 2010 , Jubjub is promptly lost on September 19. kenzieivey once again chair dances to Souja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag” in “jubjub where are you,”  as if to lure the hamster out.

And then almost like an afterthought, the 10ish-year-old girl uploads another video with the same title, this time explaining her predicament.

Jubjub is not to be found, however. kenzieivey lets the people of YouTube know, in “the hamsters gone,” uploaded on October 17th. Jubjub has been missing for more than a month.

kenzieivey lost interest in The Mckenzie Ivey Web Show shortly thereafter, and joined an elite list of tween YouTubers I wouldn’t mind having as my younger sibling.