Warning: someone may be monkeying with you


A while back I wrote about a quotation on my post-post-publication page by Truman Capote, “That’s not writing at all, that’s typing.” He said that about Jack Kerouac’s book On the Road, and he meant it as a slur.

Apparently this quote has appeared on other blogger’s pages as well, one of many randomly generated quotations about writing. So, it wasn’t meant personally.

However, no slight, real or imagined, is too small for me to take notice of, worry about, mope about, or whine about. It’s what I do.

And then, I had an epiphany, which sounds like a medical procedure, but isn’t. (I’ll tell you, Gertie, I don’t know why I waited so long to have that epiphany. I can see so much better now. It didn’t hurt a bit.)

Yearstricken hitting random keys for her blog (picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

Without knowing it, Capote was rephrasing the Infinite Monkey Theorem, which states that “a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.”

When I read that, I suddenly knew what light through yonder window breaks. And it isn’t Juliet, Romeo. It is the light from the computer screen of the Infinite Monkey. Let me break it down for you:

  • I hit keys at random on my computer every day.
  • I spend an infinite amount of time hitting those keys.
  • I like bananas.

Forsooth, I may have to change the name of my blog to Infinite Monkey. And you might, too, although it would be confusing if we all used that name. My point is that there are probably millions of us hitting random keys all day long.

According to my imagination, it’s highly probable that WordPress is run by a bunch of scientists who are testing out the Infinite Monkey Theorem. It’s not for nothing that your year-end statistics were brought to you by monkeys, right?

After you get over your alarm, I hope this encourages you. The next time someone reads some of your stuff and says, “Well, it ain’t Shakespeare,” you can answer, “Not yet, friend, not yet, but one of these days.”

Thanks for the encouragement, WordPress


How WordPress encourages those who write literary questions

Above is the new format WordPress uses to encourage you after you publish on your blog. Just like your mother, it’s there to tell you that you are awesome but you need to set some goals, oh, and you forgot to add these tags, but I’m not surprised really, you’re just like your father.

The best part, of course, is the quotation under your new goal, put there to motivate you. See the one in the picture above: “Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”  This was said to the author, Scott B., who has 13,686 friends but only 13 words. But not all pithy little sayings from WordPress are like that. For instance, this is what  WordPress said to me yesterday after I posted:  “That’s not writing at all, that’s typing.”

The quote is from Truman Capote, who said it about Jack Kerouac’s book On the Road, which chronicled Kerouac’s road trips with other members of the Beat generation. Truman was not invited, so he stayed home and  wrote bestsellers like Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and In Cold Blood.

Famous typist, Jack Kerouac (Photo by Palumbo via Wikipedia)

You have to understand  that Truman grew up without a first name (his parents borrowed the neighbor’s last name, Truman, and made him use that), so he may have been jealous about Kerouac having two first names: Jean-Louis. Since Kerouac was also a poet, he chose the nickname Jack, because it rhymes with his last name. Most people don’t know this, but I know all this literary stuff because I studied some literature in college.

Since Capote was only 5’3”, his ego couldn’t squeeze into his body, so it became his bodyguard and liked to get drunk and talk trash about other writers. Writers like Jack Kerouac, who had his own problems with fame and alcohol, but still managed to get his own Wikipedia page.

Now, am I making some kind of comparison and saying WordPress is short? Based on its font size, yes. Am I saying it has an overly large ego? No, just an overly large logo. I have no idea if it gets drunk, but I wonder sometimes when I read Freshly Hammered Pressed. It certainly talks trash about typists like me, who have their own problems that unfortunately have nothing to do with fame or alcohol.

Apparently, WordPress reads my blog and isn’t afraid to give me its opinion. I can hardly wait to see what it has to say to me when I publish this post.