Chris and I collaborated on our final presentation for Reading and Writing with Electronic Text, which we titled, “Showetry.”

There were two parts to the performance. For the first, we programmatically searched the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” using the subtitle text file to find any referenced to ‘nerd’ or ‘nerds.’ Then, using a combination of Popcorn.js and HTML5, we essentially created a real time clip reel of each instance and played it sequentially (video coming soon). Since the titled of the evening’s performance was “Hello Word,” we also changed the text from ‘nerd’ to ‘word’ in all of the subtitles as they appeared.

The second component of our performance were a series of poems that we read.

Our Python script generated these poems automatically by analyzing the subtitles of 50 YouTube videos based on the keywords that we provided.

When it found the word or phrase, it returned the line in the closed captioning from where it was found. What I love about these programs, in addition to the randomness achieved through pulling the same words from videos in a range of contexts, is the imperfections of the transcriptions themselves. Here are the texts of the two poems that I read:


I need you to survive.
And I’m like, “Oh UGH! Why did I need coffee now?”
That way to I can actually go
ahead and carve out that area that I need.
Since I need this to kind of come up in an angle
I’m going to start at an angle.
I’m fall and then I’m going to see where I need
to adjust my line. I’m not going to use any.
I realized I had a lot of very difficult memories
that I need to let go of.
Is what I need to do right now while listening
to good music. You don’t even wanna see.
I love you, I need you, yeah.
I love you, I need you, oh, babe.
And I need you like a heart needs a beat.
That’s why I need to search for you.
I need a new car.
Charles Please marry me, Fiona.
I want you, I need you, I love you.
I need you.
I’ll lend an ear.
To find out what I need to repair.



I think in this economy these voters.
I think maybe those are the fastest guys we got.
WTF? I think I’m having an stroke,
Suffering a white guy overload.
Speed of light in a vacuum, and actually,
now that i think about it.
And I think maybe I should faint. But I don’t. NO.
And I think maybe I should faint. But I don’t. NO.
Making juice at home a pain.
Well I think that’s why the Easy Go Juicer…
I think Iraq will be a dominant
issue. It is the issue of our era.
Ron Paul: Well, I think the party has lost
its way, because the conservative wing…
Ron Paul: Well, the lower the taxes the better,
and I think cutting taxes would be beneficial.
No I think the…
Yeah I…
Yes, I think so.
Guys without the capital.
I think this guy in the dark so it’s pretty good
they came too,
Well kid that’s my analysis.
And I think that that’s…
I mean I-I think that that’s I think that
now that the show is over,
I think we can put our differences behind us…
Arsenio: I think you were his inspiration.
Ali: Do I think??
He…I think he likes it.
Hank, I thin that’s why, in the end, all
we can really do is be kind to each other.
Joe the plumber,
I think he’s really shiny.
I think this is an ignoramus statement.
Umm, I was even a person who thought…
I think we should grow
That’s…No, but I think
that’s exactly the problem.
I think that goes against
the idea of American exceptionalism.
Actually, Liz, I think you
wanna jump up to Robert.
yeah if I had you, ya, ya, ya you, ya, ya, ya,
you, ya, ya (I think he’s having a seizure)
I think I am going to leave now.
Wait, aren’t you going to try to
I think a lot of people just hope these people will die.
I think you’re right. -But, you know, worst case scenario
It provides a very important
I think talking about you don’t need God for
existence? I think it is too audacious a remark.
I think I’ll press the iBlend button.
Nah dude, I think this is clear enough.
It’s been really fun to watch, a this point,
I think I ought to clarify a few things. First
I think I have to puke again.

The audio of the performance is here:

Final Performance by aaronu