My Chiseled Features

Ask and yea shall receive!  All I had to do was moan a spell in yesterdays blog as to why money is not magically finding it's way to my door.  What I blathered about in full facetiousness morphed into the literal earlier this evening.  Cold coin.  The film commissioner swung into my neighborhood to hand off a check (which had gotten lost in a labyrinth of  bureaucracy).  And it was the man himself, not some starry-eyed intern.  (So take that, Nikki — some people still enjoy my company.  Was it something I said?  Did?  Didn't do??  Don't shut me out, babe.)

Perhaps instead of hanging out at the house and wishing money onto my porch, I should be out on the tiles, placing my resume into kind hands.  But, had I been doing that, I wouldn't have enjoyed the half hour or more (trust me, it was more) playing with the Gender Genie.

This is a Java applet that uses a basic set of algorithms to search for the predominance of key words in a sample of text.  You copy and paste 500 words or more from something you (or others) have written, and then you click.  Almost immediately it will make a pronouncement.  The first time I encountered this site, I tried it on a short story of mine.  It came back “male.”  Hell, yeah!  This thing recognizes a hardcore he-man.  It's like the program could peer through my monitor and see the water buffalo head mounted on the wall behind me, just above the bookcase where I keep my complete set of Jim Corbett — and I fancy it could even smell the Old Spice wafting from my chiseled features.

And so today I thought to try a little experiment.  I would copy and paste about 3000 words from a work in progress where the narrator is a woman.  Was I a good enough writer to fool this amazing machine?  ALMOST!  I got a female score of 3463.  A male score of 3610.  Damn, that was close!  Try as I might, I just can't hide my natural maleness.

Then, I started running through my short stories posted on my fiction site.  But, wait!  The results were all over the place.  The program guessed “female” about half the time.  I decided to go back to my female narrator piece and put in the whole thing.  On the previous run, I had stripped out all the dialogue, mainly because I was curious just about the voice of the narrator herself.  This time the results were “female.”  4700 words.  Female score: 5928.  Male score: 5608.

What does this all mean?  I'll tell you what it means: I need to get out of the house more often.

Yeah, and, um, stop listening to all those Ani DiFranco albums.  Go get drunk and, I don't know, smoke a cigar at the dog track?  And leave the god damn crust on my sandwiches!

It's all spinning out of control ….  

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