Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monkey Tuesday: Urkobold Foundation to Defund Research Program

Taintsville - March 4, 2008 - The Urkobold, head of the Urkobold Foundation, famed über troll, and respected scientist, announced today the defunding of the so-called Simianspeare program. Simianspeare, started in the late 1960s, was an ambitious initiative intended to generate the entire works of Shakespeare. . .directly from the mind of one or more monkeys.

Since the beginning, Simianspeare has been mired in controversy. Initially, detractors attacked the program due to its high cost--over $100 million in its first year alone. Later, however, Simianspeare was criticized when monkeys leaving the program complained about abusive tactics, low pay, and the bizarre sexual antics of some monkey named Mr. Steven Crane. "I just couldn't take it anymore--the incessant typing, the bad food, the long hours, and, and that awful, awful monkey!" frantically gestured a source who asked to remain anonymous. Despite these seeming setbacks, Simianspeare withstood its various critics and continued to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, and a surprisingly large number of individual donors.

So it came as quite a surprise when rumors began circulating last week that Simianspeare would be closing its doors. The Urkobold admitted that he was disappointed but that after forty years, he was forced to admit failure: "These monkeys are useless. In four decades, they've produced not so much as a soliloquy. Bah." When asked whether there had been any promising moments in the program, the Urkobold issued a categorical and unprintable "no." After several minutes of incomprehensible ranting, the Urkobold revealed that "[e]arly on, we thought we were getting somewhere when the monkeys began typing English words. Hold on, here's something they typed:
In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income.
"What the h--- does that mean? That's not Shakespeare!" The Urkobold called over the former Research Director, Dr. Lev M. Brace, and asked him for another example of what the Urkobold called "a godforsaken false alarm." "Well," said Dr. Brace, "there was the cryptic piece that was typed six years ago:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
"What garbage. We preferred it when they just typed 'xsdtgd dsge455364wfsfdg;', frankly." The Urkobold abruptly terminated the interview, stating that he needed something called "Weibskoboldian satisfaction."

Simianspeare will wind down operations and close its doors at the end of April. At this time, no plans have been announced concerning the disposition of the monkey staff, though inside sources indicate that they may be given to Mr. Steven Crane for some sort of new breeding program.


highnumber said...

...the so-called Simianspeare program.

Later I read:

Simiansphere will wind down operations...

This matter will be referred to Continuity Director Nick M.

Pro Libertate said...

Oops, fixed. I kept thinking, "Don't type Simiansphere!" I was fine until I edited the danged thing. It's a natural mistake, given the Urkobold's other monkey project, involving the launching of monkeys into space in a giant, clear sphere.

Nick M. said...

Ah'll allow it!!

VikingMoose said...

fantastic! wow!

Pro Libertate said...

Precisely my reaction, VM. Who knew that the Urkobold Himself was behind that monkeys-typing-Shakespeare story? It also explains why He makes Mr. Steven Crane walk around holding a skull in one hand and waving his other hand around.

VikingMoose said...

what about the yam in his tony llamas?