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 ….