Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Like, Really?

I decided to try the "I Write Like" meme that's circulating right now, both in apparently sincere and obviously détourned form. First I submitted my partially autobiographical piece on the passing of Big Star's Alex Chilton, which includes the following paragraph:
That realization has prompted me to reflect on the social uses of popular culture. If the mind is capable of defending against loss in the same way whether it be proximate or far removed from our personal lives, maybe our reaction to the misfortune of celebrities is more complicated than it initially appears. Could it be that we cultivate attachments in the public sphere, not only as a means of escaping reality, but of preparing ourselves to confront the blows it inflicts on our psyche?
Here's the response the meme engine returned:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Then I submitted this poem I recently posted to my Live Journal:
You’re right: you made me feel
so good about myself that I wanted
to punish you. When you held me,
I was scared. I struggled to do enough
to please, self-destructively. We came
to fear causing displeasure, centered
on the wrong things. Root out the
blame! Our mutual commission to
descry symptoms was not sharing,

just scheming for power. Did you
understand why I was trying to express
that I wasn't good enough as I was?
I never wanted the attention. Pressure
to connect was enormous. And tedious.
You were frustrated by my seeming
inability to assert a worldview. But
I saw myself reflected in your hurt.
And here's what the meme engine responded:

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Finally I submitted the piece I wrote on Tortoise and post-rock last summer, one which I think of as "stealth autobiography," because it was written in the wake of a horrible experience that had me up all night. Here's a sample paragraph:
Fear is an inevitable byproduct of uncertain times. Just as the penetration of modern thinking throughout the world has inspired panicked attempts to return to a solid foundation – fundamentalism, in other words – the massive changes that have come to the domain of popular music make many people long for sounds with which they are already familiar. To be sure the consequences of reactionary musical taste are not as significant as those derviving from reactionary political or religious taste. Nevertheless, it is worth taking the time to consider Jacques Attali’s thesis from the other side. If new sounds can presage a new socio-economic order, what might the retreat to old sounds foretell?
And this is what the meme engine offered up:

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

While I was intrigued at the journal-keeping software that is apparently being promoted by this "I write like. . ." business, the stupidity of the results make me thing twice about giving it a try.
Tags: humor, meme, writing

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