Mac Lab Report

Salute to SatireWire

- 2002.08.29

Mac the Knife
MacAddict (online)

THE INTERNET - The list of our fallen comrades reminds us of the terrible price we pay for tech humor on the Internet. As we mourn the passing of our latest colleague, SatireWire, from our mortal ranks, it behooves us to remember the words of the late, great Mac the Knife, who said many words we cannot spell or pronounce. Among those words was the term "hegemon." He also said "mellifluously" on occasion, with or without provocation.

But this is not about a sharp utensil and his multiplicity of syllabaratti. No, it isn't about the ghost of Mac the Knife, the shining blade barely visible through a cloud of pop culture smoke; nor about our dearly departed ATaT, taken from us in a battle with an extraordinarily adept ninja infant. Nor are we going to do much more than mention the lost potential that was the morass that became, which finally went away after all.

No, my friends, we are hear today to pay homage to that Titanic fount of simulated press release humor, the one known as SatireWire.

SatireWire pulled a Bill Watterson on us this week, my friends, and it will be sorely missed. It is with a heavy heart that I remove the link from the Daily Planet of my Internet rounds. We who have lived through the Dark Times - as site after site fell by the wayside, stunted by the lack of ad revenue or blunted by the sword of Cease and Desist - remember those glory days of yore when Net humor from an email was fresh, when it required a dictionary to decipher the Utensil's ravings, when you could laugh right out loud at the nerve of that guy (you know the one), that guy, the one who wrote the thing.

Other people you don't know have been posting their lists of favorite SatireWire stories, and I will not question the wisdom of their selections here - besides being too lazy to cook one up myself. Instead, I will remind you that if you haven't yet read SatireWire, it is now too late, for its humor grows ever staler even as we weep.

Yet let us not pass quietly into the night. Let us remember the barbs, the voice of sanity crying out in the dot com hurricane, second only to Dilbert in piercing the underlying rot of the bloated American boardroom, but with far less marketing withal. Let us give silent thanks for the inspiration that made us think we could do that too, even though reality has long ago set in, anon.

We will not forget you, SatireWire. And while our literary skills are not the equal of your own, we will sharpen them anew at the whetstone of the Wigs that be Big, and we will cry out the names of our towns in all caps even as we seek out new life and new situations, to boldly go where you have probably gone before, if only we had the gumption to look it up and see for sure, so we could credit you when we really really had to.

Thank you SatireWire - and try not to let the router hit you in the butt on the way out.

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is a longtime Mac user. He was using digital sensors on Apple II computers in the 1980's and has networked computers in his classroom since before the internet existed. In 2006 he was selected at the California Computer Using Educator's teacher of the year. His students have used NASA space probes and regularly participate in piloting new materials for NASA. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and scientific papers. He currently teaches astronomy and physics in California, where he lives with his twin sons, Jony and Ben.< And there's still a Mac G3 in his classroom which finds occasional use.

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