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January 2022

A Good Idea Reborn: Year-End Special Issue

Back in the last century, when I was working for CMP Publications, I noticed that there was very little technology news available between Christmas and New Years. Weekly publications always struggled to fill that year-end issue. Plus, as far back as college, I realized that “real” professionals don’t work that week.

At Information Systems News, I came up with the idea of a year-end double issue that consisted of an index of all 50 previous issues. Since full-text search wasn’t yet a thing, it was both useful and gave the staff a year-end break.

The idea is back, in a way. I keep a file that journalists call “evergreens,” items that can run any time. I call it what columnist Herb Caen used to call it; pieces of string. Well, the section on humorous memes has become prodigious. So, in addition to the regular features this week, I am running multiple humor memes in what is going to become an annual tradition: THE HUMOR ISSUE.

This is Fine Meme

In a recent issue of Private Eye (see description above), the whacky public school boy authors had Boris Johnson (who probably can’t turn on a computer) reference a meme with which I wasn’t previously familiar. I looked it up. It is great! The meme comes from K.C. Green's Gunshow comic #648, actually titled The Pills Are Working" or On Fire, originally  posted January 9th, 2013. This indicates I am a little late to the party.


Humor: Sitcom Translation Scenes

I have set myself the task of watching all of Frasier. When I got to the second season episode, An Affair to Forget (1995). I enjoyed the scene in which Niles speaks in English to Frazier who translates in Spanish to Marta who translates in German to Gunnar. Then I realized I’d seen it before, done better. Clearly I don’t remember seeing it when I was four, but I have seen at least a half-dozen reruns of I Love Lucy: Paris at Last (1956). The words of a French police lieutenant are translated into German by a detective, from German into Spanish by a civilian in the police station, and lastly from Spanish into English by Ricky.

In fact, as one of my readers will recall, I lived through this. I spoke English to Beth, who spoke French to Neddie, who translated to German for Annie, enabling me to communicate with both my Swiss second-cousins. It’s not as funny in person as it is on TV.