Tuesday, July 27, 2010
There’s a new website that’s getting a thousand, maybe a hundred thousand, hits a day. Some of us are just that desperate.
“I Write Like” invites you to plug in your own cherished bit of prose and then spin the wheel. In less than ten seconds you’ll be told you have the makings of the next James Joyce or Mark Twain.
The one match you'll never get from “I Write Like” is You Write Like crap.
Reminds me of that era when people were paying good money to be told they were Cleopatra or Thomas Beckett in a past life. You ordered the building of the pyramids; you didn’t push the rocks, wash the camels, or clean the dunnies.
I knew this guy, Kenneth, who used to pay a mystic $200 an hour for a reading on his past lives. And this mystic would morph from Brad, the gay surfer dude, into Eckton, a spirit from another planet who sounded strangely similar to Jonathan Harris in Lost in Space. “I can see you once lived in the island lands,” is one Eckton phrase that sticks in my mind. Kenneth taped all the sessions and used to play them at his dinner parties. (What can I say? His paella was to die for.)
If you want to have fun with I Write Like, plug in something by a published writer. Fitzgerald’s last graph from Great Gatsby? Ursula Le Guin. Shakespeare’s Tomorrow speech from Macbeth? Charles Dickens.
This gets addictive. Harper Lee? Ernest Hemingway. My Canon user manual? Stephen King. Ok, they might be right on that one.
Can you tell I’m trying to avoid some real work right now? You can? That’s because you’re smart; smart like Einstein, Fineman, or Hawking.