While the internet is very much a toppling pile of useless digital trash, every so often, when the source tags and codes align just right, it produces something truly wonderful that we didn’t realize we needed. That said, how we ever got by without a song whose lyrics are auto-populated by a combination of Morrissey's words and customer reviews of P90X on Amazon is a mystery.
Botnik Studios, the Seattle-based tech startup, has used predictive keyboard text to create wonderfully inane AI comedy in the past. They let a predictive text keyboard program write an episode of Scrubs which included the line, “You are the mean me janitor. You got all the John Dorian potential with none of the flowers and dead dog.” They also autogenerated a Coachella lineup poster of fake acts that actually looked more appealing than the real thing. Now, they have created their oddest online monstrosity yet.
The idea came about when Botnik’s Jamie Brew wrote a scraper script to pull text data from websites, he says. He made one that pulls all the Amazon reviews of any given product and another that pulls all the lyrics from any artist. Once he did that, he had to figure out the most practical application of these scripts. “At some point I must have asked myself: ‘What product would I like to hear Morrissey review?’ and my answer must have been: ‘I would like to hear Morrissey review the P90X home workout DVD system,’” he says.
He pulled text from the two and compiled a song’s worth of lyrics, which include the lines “I’ve gotten bored with this desire to get ripped” and “I’m so sickened oh my god it really works.” He then sang them over a jangly “This Charming Man”-style melody and set it to a deranged CGI-animated video. The result is, in no uncertain terms, art. Art in its purest form. When asked what lesson he learned from all this time spent merging the worlds of Moz and P90X, Brew said, “Fitness enthusiasts and Morrissey aren't as different as the media likes to make them out to be. I believe peace between these two factions is possible within our lifetime.”
We’d love to interview Morrissey to get his take on this creation while simultaneously hearing some of his trademark thoughts about how Hitler was overlooked as a chef or whatever, but we do have the next best thing. Botnik also synthesized an exclusive “interview” with Morrissey based on text from all the interviews he’s done in the span of his career. So, below is an AI-generated interview with "Morrissey" based on press he's already done. Truly, artists and journalists are soon to be obsolete. (To see to that, Botnik is also working on The Songularity, an album blurring the line between musician and machine.) Enjoy.
What was it like to play with the famous international playboys, The Smiths?
Morrissey: It was humiliating to be popular simply because we were considered popular. In music, publicity is merely the question of how to waste your lives in public with others.
Why did you think about sex in your lyrics?
My music is a pigsty of life and soul. It is blustering romance with a tangerine stare. The songs I write are repressed love letters to dismal teenage pretending. I hate them.
A young person in Hollywood asked about why you can’t feel sad the same way we can.
That is not true, I feel sad about violence and more. I feel so dismal that I mistakenly cause the world to kill me.
Your relationship with Johnny Marr is notorious. What is that all about?
Johnny and the Smiths were never even remotely similar. He was always attracting the police. For example, in Germany, I was looking for my cat and Johnny entered the ghetto to do a debate with the police. He grabs the police car and he orders the police to do a debate on the streets. He stood still shouting with the police in Germany and it was humiliating and I was shattered. Part of me wished to be hacked into chocolate by a teenager.
As someone who stands on fugitives for political reasons, have you been swallowed whole?
Everyone disappears down a great black throat at least one time, because of the national darkness, but I'm not very enthusiastic about it. I saw all the Smiths totally gone in a few short seconds, and I thought "Goodbye the Smiths, but not Morrissey." I don't understand why people think that’s tranquility. It's only lunch with no future.
Can you describe what it is to be animals?
I believe animals should be born but not lost.
What was it like to achieve everything?
I have never been popular with the elderly, so I have done nothing of worth whatsoever. But there is a certain therapy to pride. It lifts me beyond the constraints of glamor.
What would you like to achieve in the years to come?
Morrissey knows too much to explain to the world beyond, but I can tell you what I said to the British press: neither the audience or the police can ever trust a great star, especially when I'm the one who we’re discussing.