Saturday, February 22, 2014

Off Topic

Last July I gushed, wildly and irrelevantly, over the emergent events at Pronunciation Book. Things over there had gone all Secret World. There was a count down. It had 66 days to run.

Apparently 66 days is about 44 days longer than my attention span. I kept checking Pronunciation Book for a while but then I began to forget and then I forgot. Whatever happened on the 66th day apparently wasn't that earth-shattering because nothing popped anywhere in my field of vision to remind me. The world span on.

Last night I was flipping idly through my back pages as I often do and I happened to bring up that post. It was late and I was about to go to bed but curiosity kindled and I googled to Pronuciation Book.

This is what happened on September 24 2013.

Horse_ebooks is another internet phenomenon that passed me by (I really should stay in more...oh, wait...). It seems both Pronunciation Book and Horse_ebooks, internet darlings and meme-generators extraordinaire, were art projects, set up in secret and maintained for years by a guy working at New York based social news and entertainment website BuzzFeed and one of his pals. (Nope, never heard of it, either).

The backstory gets a skim-read in this New Yorker article. (Now, The New Yorker I have heard of). That piece skates over the furor but apparently The Internet didn't take too well to being duped for years by some New York media pros pretending to be semi-sentient spambots as this rather po-faced piece from New Republic makes plain. The Atlantic (is that anything to do with The Atlantic Monthly? I am old. I am old...) was more impressed, as was I. If nothing else you have to admire the commitment.

So anyway, there I was, up to speed after midnight and with the onward link to what this was all leading to, right there in front of me: Bear Stearns Bravo.

And what, pray tell, is Bear Stearns Bravo? It's a choose-your-own-adventure video game, of course! And what else would it be, after all those years of careful preparation and secrecy? All that time, effort and angst for this! Truly we are living in the end times.

It's pretty good, though. I was up 'til half-one in the morning playing through the first part.

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