Heh…”free time”…that’s a good one. No such thing. I guess I’d call it “time after my brain melts due to Calculus class that I use to regain my sanity”. Yeah that’s better.
As you know if you’ve ever been to this site, my personal site, or my twitter, or you’ve talked to me in person, I spend way too much time on social networks, specifically Twitter because it’s the best one obviously. I follow ~1000 people, most of whom I don’t know personally and who I probably followed because their real name was listed as “I AM THE MOON” or something like that. The average tweet I see on my feed is either from a bot or someone who is (either actually or posing as) a basement-dwelling, female-averse video game/anime nerd. So you can imagine what my feed looks like. It’s not pretty. If you’ve ever read my tweets then you might understand better. I’m compelled to tweet things that make no sense because that’s a huge part of what I see in my feed – kind of like I’m playing into the culture it creates.
Whatever, anyway that’s not the point. The point is that there’s this one bot account called @horse_ebooks that has spawned a bunch of knockoff accounts suffixed with ‘_ebooks’ that all ostensibly scrape online ebooks and tweet sentence fragments from them, generally resulting in some non-sequitur fun times. Apparently @horse_ebooks is now not *actually* a bot anymore, but I don’t know. I think it’s funny still. Stuff like ‘Shoes and footwear.’. Or ‘how to be a magnet’.
But look, @horse_ebooks is really popular. I think it has something like 15000 followers (no I’m not going to check right now, leave me alone). I went to Babycastles recently and there were a bunch of indie games that were named after @horse_ebooks tweets. Everybody who uses twitter regularly has probably heard of @horse_ebooks. The point is it’s really popular. Like, weirdly popular for a bot account that tweets nonsense.
I want @horse_ebooks to die.
Not because I don’t think it’s funny – it totally is. Hilarious actually. But I think I can do better. I started my own bot account, @space_dad, mainly to practice my python and learn how to scrape html and post to twitter programmatically. Those goals have pretty much succeeded, and it’s now just a project to see how funny I can make it.
The idea behind @space_dad is this: take a bunch of sources of text that would probably be funny out of context and make that text as weird as possible. @space_dad’s driving script pulls text from Urban Dictionary, bash.org (a compendium of funny and generally offensive IRC conversations), and a bunch of free HTML ebooks I found, mostly of the sci-fi/romance varieties. It occasionally picks a hashtag from the public feed to append to the end of its tweets. My favorite part is that every tweet has a 50% chance of being translated to and from Japanese a bunch of times…you can imagine what this does. The wording gets generally way funnier after this happens.
A few of my favorite @space_dad creations:
- Place a cotton ball toe while his partner is claimed. Discovery is committed two totally isn’t.
- Negative gay
- Can you Pat my back after we.
- she couldnt be trusted to make the effort #mimimimimimi
- Nazz, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust’s most magnetic fat means
- Start a huge door.
- Roll the chocolate cake,
- Implement your legs.
- Rub the face of baked beans, burned and I started. I said, darkly #humor
So I don’t know how @horse_ebooks does it, but I personally think @space_dad is close to being, on average, way funnier than him (her? it? they?). Maybe you should follow @space_dad. Maybe you should follow me. Maybe you should unfollow @horse_ebooks.