So, my first mistake here was trying to trick the technology. Apparently, YouTube’s closed caption function is flawed enough on its own that I didn’t need to challenge it with a nonsensical recording. I chose to read aloud Shel Silverstein’s “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too” from Where the Sidewalk Ends because it is a short poem that I have loved since I was a kid. I had memorized the poem in middle school and wanted to read it aloud for this caption fail project because it as a fun, silly, sing-songy rhythm. There are almost no matching words from the YouTube closed caption to the actual poem, so I’ve posted the actual words to the poem here:
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Went for a ride in a flying shoe.
“It’s time we flew!”
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
And higher they flew,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the sun and beyond the blue.
“I hope we do!”
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle too
Never returned to the world they knew,
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
So those are the silly words I was hoping YouTube would capture. I think the captioning is so inaccurate for a few reasons. First, I was recording my reading in a public space with people walking around and talking, which the captioning seems to have picked up a bit of. Second, I read the poem really fast (even this small bit of performing made me nervous!) and with that sing song-y rhythm I had first memorized it with. Finally, the names and the content of the poem in general are nonsensical. I guess the rhythm and silly content are important to the poem as a work of art and to my interpretation of it though, and YouTube’s captioning has lost that importance.
I’m not sure this video poem constitutes a “Stir Fry Text” as Andrews defines it, though I do think it may be an example of a cut-up. Andrews says of stir fry texts that their “spastic interactivity” give to the texts a “unified character or personality even in its transformations.” In other words, stir fry texts work through “meaningful association, not just widely combinatorial permutation.” The idea of a unified character and meaningful association seems an out of place description for what YouTube has done with this particular video. Perhaps in another video post where the captioning was a bit more accurate to the audio recording you could consider the captions and the audio a kind of meaningful, unified stir fry text, but not here because there are hardly any points of meaningful associativity between the audio and the captions in this video.