Friday, January 20, 2006

Pop quiz: why are you such a Pussy? A Moment of Silence

Back in the early 2000's, there was a wonderful tool called the Burn Maker. It was a sophisticated text filter. The Timid You would enter some benign text into a form, and hit the "Oh Yeah?" button, and your mild mannered text would be transformed into a wonderfully ribald, obscenity-laced version, revealing the Fucker Inside.
For example, here is a Burn Maker version of a friend's business letter to her bank, converted by the Burn Maker to reveal her inner fucker. The letter dates from 2001, I believe.


I received a motherfucking letter from you and your hand-job today to fuckin' confirm our phone conversation regarding direct deposit, along with the fucking letter for my stupid ass to sign agreeing to that shit.

Unfortunately, fucking what you and your sluts refer to in the fucking letter is a "wire transfer" which is not fucking what I requested. Fucking what I requested was direct deposit, and I would still like that piece of shit to be done that way. Savor the brimstone. I presume this bullshit can be done through ACH. I also (in addition to the fact that you're a shit) imagine this bullshit would save us the fucking "wire transfer" fee.

I do not want a wire transfer. Pop Quiz, why are you such a pussy? Please set that bastard up as direct deposit as we requested. Are you ready to burn? I'll follow this bullshit up with a fuckin' paper letter with a motherfucking signature so god-damn you can go ahead and proceed with this bullshit.

Also (in addition to the fact that you're a bastard), the fucking letter I received today was addressed to fuckin' Madam "Little pussy" B--- L---. For the fucking record, my fucking name is Ms. "Has-been fuckmonster" B--- L---.

You are a fuckmonster.
Thank you,
B--- L---

The Burn Maker was put together by the founders of what is now SparkNotes, Chris Coyne (and Justin Kester?), then undergraduates at Harvard. The Spark was quite a fun site - there was the "Date My Sister Project" and a variety of quizzes and personality tests. Very humorous. What was nice about the Burn Maker is that it was more than a text filter like "jive" or the Swedish Chef filter (bork bork bork), but it actually had a relatively sophisticated algorithm to parse the grammatical structure of the source text and substitute/insert appropriate (or inappropriate, if you will) phrases.

In 2004, tragedy struck. OK, not necessarily tragedy for the founders - the mission of The Spark was apparently always to have an educational component - but at some point in that annus horriblus The Spark was acquired by Barnes and Noble and it became SparkNotes, a purely educational site, for teens, and other young impressionables, who, I'm sure, had never ever had their sensibilities assaulted by the obviously damaging language that the toxic Burn Maker was built from. The language of the Burn Maker could obviously lead to the eventual decline of America into some subservient colony beneath the heel of a prurient gutter in today's developing world (AKA the nation states of tomorrow's Great Overlords).

As far as I can tell, the Burn Maker intellectual property is completely owned by Barnes and Noble, and not for sale. I can only hope that somehow, somewhere, a new Burn Maker can arise from the ashes. But frankly, unless somehow someone can take a huge number of Fucker Inside texts and reverse-engineer the conversion algorithm, I'm afraid we will have to be content with our fading memories of this brilliantly important web tool, snuffed out before its time. The graphics can be found at, but like an online Terry Schiavo, the brains of the Burn Maker are no more.

Rest in Peace, Burn Maker, I ought to slam you and your monkey's ass.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Here we go.

OK, making some progress here. I suppose my obsessions will begin tomorrow. This is my first blog! I kept asking myself, what should I blog about? The things that happen to me every day? Good gosh, I can't imagine anyone would be able to stay awake after the first couple of posts. I could blog about the things that go on in my workplace, but I'm sure HR would come by with a hard copy of my posts, so NO.

One idea I had, was a blog about the RING OF FIRE. Yes, about the Johnny Cash song and all of its covers. But also about, well, how should we say, the after effects of eating food that's way way way too spicy. I'm not talking about the heat when you eat, I'm talking about the BURN several hours later. You know what I mean, and if you don't, it's probably better that way.

But jeez, how much can anyone write on that one subject? So instead, I'm just going to write about whatever my latest obsession turns out to be. If you don't like my current obsession? Wait 10 minutes.
Testing testing. I haven't figure out what I'm doing here yet. Stay tuned.