Meeting The Robot: A Conversation With @Classical_ebooks

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The founding of @classical_ebooks was a big moment for us at The Classical. It's a Twitter feed, so "big moment" is maybe not the perfect or most appropriate phrase, here. And what we're talking about is more or less what it sounds like: little bits of amusingly nonsensical out-of-context burp-ups from various Classical essays. There are a lot of these sorts of accounts out there, because Twitter is Twitter and this is what happens. There's one for Bill Simmons and a totally redundant one for Jose Canseco—redundant because he already exists in a perpetual state of Horse_ebooks-ian free-associative blurt, but adds HGH and old-school skeeve to the equation—and probably a @MrY_U_No_ebooks and a @FakeInspirationalWillSmithFeedThatSomehowHasOneMillionFollowers_ebooks. Twitter is good like that. There is somehow not, as far as I can tell, @DavidBrooks_ebooks, and that is just a damn shame for obvious reasons. Anyway: there is now @classical_ebooks, and we're proud as hell about it.

It helps that it is very funny, in the way that Twitter's many @[Thing Or Person]_ebooks accounts are funny. And we help with that, too, because our stuff is admittedly studded with the sort of go-for-it phrasings and weapons-grade adjective use that can readily look like (delicious, meticulously sourced) word salad when given an ebooks-ian uprooting. But there's also some real artfulness at work, here, which is why I reached out to the person behind @classical_ebooks. That person opted to remain anonymous—I didn't ask for a name, and he or she didn't offer one, although @classical_ebooks did mention that s/he had contributed to our Kickstarter campaign—but did acknowledge that there is in fact no bot programmed to do the ebooks-ing. "I wouldn't have any idea how to program one," @classical_ebooks allows. "I'll just pick a random article or clog post to comb through and cut+paste lines that I think would work." Which is certainly better than being satirized by a robot in some Ukrainian basement. I had some more questions for @classical_ebooks, who was kind enough to answer, but felt more comfortable answering in the native tongue.

So, tell us a little bit about yourself.

standing in the Dominion of Canada

I spend all day with myself

poor, undereducated, more a physical than a mental specimen

above mere man and below only Christ, and maybe Steve Young

And how did you decide to get into the _ebooks business? Was there a particular piece that you read and thought "this would be a really good thing to grab like five words from, and then tweet those words."

limp and unambitious

I heard the panicked screams of those pointing toward the horizon

a bunch of rebellious young kids being creative and ambitious

breaking down societal standards, and destroying personal property

the joyous celebration of violent and bloody revenge.

on a trife society that was holding us back

their stylistic revolution is

short thoughts

What are the best and worst things about this sort of _ebooks-ian excerpting?

swank three-piece suits

the privilege of hosting annual Hollywood-purgatorio draft-night parties

a 14-minute interview with Noel Gallagher

A tiny version of former NFL coach Dennis Green screams at you

"learn how spell dummy!!

Ah, you're all alike, you're all yellow!"

a deluge of longboarder hate mail and comments

a cycle of sanctification and outrage we’ve grown accustomed to

I’m kinda ready to just let the whole thing drop dead

nobody even mentions that somebody will shit themselves in front of you

Finally, and feel free not to answer this one if it's too personal, but what do robots eat?

liquor bottles or handguns or grenades

Our ice-cold Yuenglings go down smooth


I'm not trying to tell you what to do—it's your life, and you need to make your own choices with regards to your own happiness and such—but you should probably follow this person.

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