making america, again

I have a really hard time with election years. All the uncertainty, speeches, opinions, oppression, monies: I get nervous, cranky and depressed. This year – this moment in history seems particularly poised for an even more dynamic emo rollercoaster. So to make it through the next six months (and beyond, eek) – I made a twitter bot.

It might not be a solution to encroaching xenophobia, unjustified military action, economic instability, the prison-industrial complex, crumbling educational systems, depleting natural resources and the general impeding doom we face every day. But – I’m trying to learn how to program. So I made it for more smiles sake and to see what my computer makes of all this.

It’s a simple python program. Here is the code on GitHub. Using my own computational capacities, I sorted the emojis from this enormously helpful cheat sheet into two categories. I put all the icons that were mostly blue or mostly red into two lists. At first, it was all whales and hearts. So I loosened the definition of “mostly red/blue” to allow for a diversity of emojis. The script picks one blue and one red emoji at random and prints them out in formation that looks somewhat like the American Flag .

A short works cited because I can not stop thinking them:

Robert Frank, Parade—Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955 , From The Americans

They Dream Only of America – John Ashbery

David Hammons’ Untitled (African American Flag) (1991/2015)
Jasper Johns, Flag 1954-55   “I tend to like things that already exist.” Jasper Johns
Gertrude Stein photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1935 The Making of Americans