Think Most TV GIFs Seem Random? These, From “The Wire,” Were Made By A Robot

Programmer Darius Kazemi invented a bot that creates GIFs from The Wire indiscriminately and posts them on Tumblr–mocking the behavior of everyone else on Tumblr.

All actors and reality stars working today were recently given marching orders to be as “GIF-able” as humanly possible. Or at least it sure seems that way. What this descriptor entails is delivering every line as though they’re the juiciest sound bytes imaginable, and doing so with exaggerated face flair. The context doesn’t matter–some blogger will affix his or her own to it later–just as long as the end user can point to the sentiment being expressed, then chuckle and think, I guess we’ve all been there.” Choosing the moment seems so easy a robot could probably do it.


In fact, there’s one that already does.

HBO’s universally lauded, dearly departed The Wire already has a presence on Tumblr, and GIFs from the show do sporadically show up on people’s blogs from time to time. It’s not the traditional emphatic fare used to amplify points, though (think The New Girl or Real Housewives of Wherever), which is why Darius Kazemi chose it for his latest project. Recently, the programmer assembled a robot that automatically creates GIFs from The Wire and uploads them to its own Tumblr.

As Kazemi writes on his blog, the process is rather simple. His video of The Wire has a corresponding subtitle file, with time-stamped dialogue. The bot is programmed to choose dialogue arbitrarily, look up the time stamp that goes with it, make a clip of the scene, which is turned into a GIF, and then post it. The resulting GIFs, which arrive every hour, are all black-and-white with yellow subtitles. They seem as though they were chosen just as indiscriminately as those clips that adorn so many other Tumblrs. Consider it an opening salvo in the effort to take us back to expressing ourselves with ourselves.

“I ain’t too good at floating,” detective Bunk says, while shrugging in one typically unmemorable clip.

Well, I guess we’ve all been there.

H/t to Vulture