arranging letters into interesting combinations

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.


Fri 08

How Stripy Is My Jumpsuit

Max My daughter has a thing for buttons. She’s fascinated by them. Especially buttons that light up or make a beep when you press them—those can keep her occupied for ages—but keyboards are fun, too. She seems to have a particular talent for finding obscure functions or keypress combinations; she’s sent text messages, made phone calls, and locked up my computer.

Now Fin has made a movie. She was playing with the mobile phone, and it has a camera function, and somehow she recorded a short video clip. I have no idea how.

I don’t want to hype it up too much, because she is only 12 months old. But I don’t think I’m exaggerating to say that it’s probably the most insightful, spiritual, brilliant, and meaningful piece of cinema ever made. The ending… well, I won’t spoil it. Judge for yourself.

If you’re not seeing the vid above, you can view it here or here.


This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Machine Man subscriber Jarrad (#837)

Location: Hobart
Posted: 4786 days ago

Blair Baby?

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: ""
Posted: 4786 days ago

I love the last shot. You know she totally planned it.

Adam A. (#256)

Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Quote: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." -George Carlin"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Definitely better than most of what Hollywood puts out.

Colette (#324)

Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Quote: ""The good Earth — we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy" -- Kurt Vonnegut"
Posted: 4786 days ago

I wish I was that technologically advanced.

Narain (#824)

Location: Los Angeles, right between civilization and a desert
Quote: "NI!"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Sheer brilliance. Will she be doing Syrup next?

thewylddream (#1191)

Location: Montana USA
Quote: ""Always forgive your enemies -- Nothing annoys them so much." ~Oscar Wilde~"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Heh. So cute! (But I am a little dizzy!)

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 4786 days ago

I was left in suspense throughout and now I'm wondering if there is a sequel.

Kids will be kids, eh?

Phill Sacre (#1822)

Location: London, UK
Quote: "Computers are like air conditioners. Both stop working, if you open windows."
Posted: 4786 days ago

Fin has much to teach us...

Kalle (#1278)

Quote: "Sex is herital. If your parents never had it, chanses are you'll never have it either."
Posted: 4786 days ago

I see deep traces of geekyness in her already! Will she be a movie director, or just one of those people who video-blog?

austin (#2462)

Location: rhode island
Quote: "hmmm...bleh..."
Posted: 4786 days ago

Wow. I can't even figure out how to do that. Just a question, why did she have the phone in the first place?

Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 4786 days ago

She does stuff with a phone you can't figure and you claim to be a linux geek? lol

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Kubrick eat your heart out. That David Lynch guy can go hang too. Overhyped? No, really, you're understating her talent.

I could say more, but not until after your cheque clears.

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Maybe the clip has enough plot in it to turn it into a Hollywood picture with Samuel L. Jackson in it.

Snakes on a plane had...

Jeffrey (#2286)

Location: Right here
Quote: "Mathematics is a powerful language. Just look at how mathematicians destroyed the housing market."
Posted: 4786 days ago

too cute. I can really get a sense of her artistic point of view lol.

David (#1848)

Location: Texas
Quote: "Delighted!"
Posted: 4786 days ago

It's all fun and games until she gets her hands on your head-shaving thingy...well, that will be funny, too.

I think the world would be a lot more interesting if we all wore jumpsuits and footy-pajamas all the time. But it can't just be me and Fin...we need the rest of y'all to suit up, too, or we'll just be peculiar. Well, I guess SHE can get away with it for a few more months.

Who's with me (and Fin)?

Monkeywright (#1732)

Location: Los Angeles, Californi-YARGH!
Quote: ""China is Here?" I don't even know what the hell that means! - PS - visit scenic"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Truly a Heartbreanking Work of Staggering Genius. My review follows forthwith:


Baby nostrils are the best...

Fionut (#467)

Location: London, England
Quote: "Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else."
Posted: 4786 days ago

Profound, she's definitely got the talent, can I have her autograph now before there's a run on them?

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 4786 days ago

I can just hear the dramatic, resonant voiceover for the trailer to this...

"In a world that keeps spinning around her, one baby is determined to make herself known worldwide via the mystical power of the interweb. Join us as we journey up her stripey jumpsuit, in through her nostrils, and deep into the human psyche... Finlay Barry in... My Baby Stole My Mobile. Rated PG."

Lori (#2288)

Location: Seattle
Quote: ""Never play ping-pong with mental patients that's all they do and they will kill you." Amy Hempel"
Posted: 4786 days ago

Remenisant of Warhol, only without Lou Reed or the skinny models on drugs. That is a great baby.

Stryde Tamashii (#2617)

Location: South Australia
Quote: "there's 2050 members on this site yet im #2617???, stick to your day job max XD"
Posted: 4786 days ago

-Studies the video, stroking a ridiculously thin goatee whilst wearing a beret and boasting a highly convincing french accent-
"I find zis video to be filled with much emotion. ze elaborate use ov dolly camera movements is razer pleasing, alzough it also seems to be an attetmpt to distract us away from ze linear plot.
'Owever, i believe it iz well casted."

Cupie (#1396)

Location: Seattle-ish
Quote: ""You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." -Dorothy Parker"
Posted: 4786 days ago

She's Gorgeous and talented!

SilverCloud (#2038)

Quote: "Fortune Favors the Brave"
Posted: 4786 days ago

One evening quite late I could hear muffled noises in the other room...I tip toed into the hall to see what the matter was.....too my amazement my computer was on and my 3 cats were watching Animal Planet while sitting on the key board...a true story....they also made phone calls before I got a flip phone....
Maybe I should leave my cell open so they too can take photo's and videos.
Thank Heaven for little girls they get smarter every day...
Bless you Max for being a wonderful Dad..and Bless Mummy too.

Andrew (#1279)

Location: Texas
Posted: 4785 days ago

Her Film making is soo inspiring.

Machine Man subscriber eldpollard (#1687)

Location: Blighty
Quote: "So it turns out the only only way to stop the butler running is to cut off his legs."
Posted: 4785 days ago

sheer genius. the lighting! the sound! shurely tis a joyus rapture for the senses.

austin (#2462)

Location: rhode island
Quote: "hmmm...bleh..."
Posted: 4785 days ago

Maybe Fin should film the Syrup and Jennifer Government movies.

or maybe not.

Kate (#422)

Location: Over there, on the left. No, wait, your OTHER left!
Quote: "I like Vin Diesel's man-boobs. They appeal to the lesbian in me."
Posted: 4784 days ago

As a future film student, I would like to say that I could write a doctoral thesis on that piece. I would re-make it, but I fear even I could not reproduce the quality.

Justin (#2009)

Location: Halfmoon, NY
Quote: "Max(x) is awesome!"
Posted: 4783 days ago

That is beyond cute :-)

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4783 days ago

Tues September 12, 2006


Well, It was approximately 4 and 1/2 years ago that I discovered Max Barry. Shortly after my first high school computer class, one of my friends told me about this online computer game where you got to control your own country, Nationstates. The next day in that same class, my friend was on that game in class. So I decided that I would check it out and create a nation, and call it "The Constitutional Monarchy of The Robot", named after a saxophone player from a band called The Aquabats!. There were only 5 million people living in The Robot at that time. Now, there are slightly more than 7.5 billion compassionate, intelligent people!


One day I was on nationstates and some random person sent me a telegram that said:

"I hate you and hope you die by lethal injection or having your alay alay ripped off. you steer lover."

The person who sent it has since been deleted; however, I thought the telegram was rather humorous, so I didn't delete it. Yesterday, that telegram had it's 1000 birthday.

-adam speicher

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 4777 days ago

You celebrate NS telegram anniversaries??? Adam, man, you need to get out more.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4776 days ago

Poetic, Adam. Very nice.

Merin Mathew (#1333)

Location: San Francisco, CA
Posted: 4712 days ago

If you are getting into comics --try Y The Last Man

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