The Electronic Labyrinth

Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse: Script as Poetry

In "Toward a Paradigm for Reading Hypertexts," Stuart Moulthrop analyzes John McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse, a multimedia piece involving photographs, letters, audio, video, and HyperCard stacks. Of particular interest is the stack "Porno recursion," which contains the following script:

on mouse Up
Global thermoNuclearWar
put the script of me into tightOrbit
put tightOrbit into eventHorizon
put empty into first line of eventHorizon
put empty into last line of eventHorizon
put eventHorizon after line thermoNuclearWar of tightOrbit
set the script of me to tightOrbit
put thermoNuclearWar + 10 into thermoNuclearWar
click at the clickLoc
end mouseUp (67)

Not only is this a functioning script, it also acts as a type of abstract poetry, a "probe into the dark undertones of HyperTalk's utilitarian vocabulary" (72).

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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