I have an odd knack for coming up with Onionesque headlines––and so for my own amusement I’ve been writing up a few articles. Here’s a taste:
Best Book Infinite Number of Typing Monkeys Can Write Turns Out To Be ‘Twilight’
Cambridge, Mass––Researchers at Harvard’s Institute for Applied Nonsense announced on Monday that, thanks to significant advances in chaos theory and quantum computing they had succeeded in teaching an infinite number of monkeys to type on an infinite number of computer keyboards. However to date the most distinguished piece of fiction the monkeys have been able to complete is Twilight, Stephanie Meyer’s bestselling 2005 vampire romance novel.
“Of course we didn’t seriously expect to get the complete works of Shakespeare, or even Hamlet on the first run through,” said Institute director Samantha Brooks, “But we thought that we should at least have been able to manage The Winter’s Tale or one of Shakespeare’s early comedies. Unfortunately things haven’t worked out quite as we’d hoped.”
While many within the organization have argued that creating a copy of a phenomenally popular bestselling novel is a triumph Brooks admitted that the institute as a whole had hoped for better results. “I mean we’re not total snobs. If we’d managed to get The Importance of Being Earnest, or Catch-22 or something we’d be delighted. But Twilight? It has vampires. And not Bram Stoker vampires or even Ann Rice vampires. They sparkle for God’s sake. And Bella is incredibly annoying. And… Look an infinite number of monkeys should just be able to do better.”
The infinite number of monkeys project has been controversial since it’s inception in mid 2007 with funding from a Department of Homeland Security grant. “The whole thing is essentially a result of the military industrial complex run amok,” said blogger Andrew Moss who has criticized the program since it’s inception. “And now after five years and a billion dollars the best they’ve been able to do is produce a copy of a book you can buy on Amazon for nine bucks. Not that you’d want to.”
Animal rights activists and some physicists and philosophers have also questioned both the morality and physical possibility of forcing an infinite number of monkeys to type for twelve hours a day.
“Looks, it’s––hard to explain to anyone who doesn’t have doctorate in mathematics,” said Brooks. “We’re mostly just collapsing the work of the doppelgangers of a finite number of monkeys distributed across an infinite number of parallel dimensions down into a single reality. There are only like fifty of them in the lab. And they’re well treated. Only half of them are alcoholics, which is well below average for a group of writers this size.” However Brooks did confirm reports that a large number of monkeys were being treated for crippling depression after coming close to producing a viable copy of Blood Meridian.
The remaining output from the monkeys has been mixed. In June 2010 the monkey’s produced a torrent of gibberish that upon close inspection was revealed to be 89% identical to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake––wether or not this is a meaningful accomplishment continues to divide the literary community. Additionally in late 2011 the monkeys succeeded in producing exact copies of all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey but destroyed all three manuscripts after issuing a public apology, noting that the world should expect much more from randomly typing simians.