I was reading once, I think it was in an article that Douglas Hofstadter (“Doug” to us intimates) wrote, in the New Yorker of all places, about the art of translating literature from one natural language to another. At least, I think it was Douglas Hoftstadter, but maybe that’s just my fixation shining through. Maybe the article was by Dan Hofstadter, or by somebody else altogether. Puns, of course, present a great challenge to translators, and I remember the clever instance sited therein: in a translation of Alice in Wonderland, a pun on “axes”, as in, the earth spins on its axes–speaking of axes, off with her head– was turned into a pun on revolutions: each day the earth makes a revolution– speaking of revolutions, off with her head. Now that I check my Project Gutenberg, however, I can find no such instance, so maybe, like Alice, I was dreaming.
But that’s got nothing to do with Wetmachine’s being a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards!
Here’s what esteemed Wetmachiner Harold Feld had to say about the nomination (Harold: fair use! fair use! Please don’t sue me for lifting verbatim from your livejournal!):
Starting 2009 Right!
Wetmachine has made the finalist round for the Weblog Awards in the Best Technology Blog of 2008 category.
I confess I’m a little surprised that we were classed as a “technology blog” rather than a “law blog.” In a way, given that there were many more nominations in the tech blog category, it means we beat out a larger field. It also recognizes the work of other Wetmachine Bloggers, whereas I’m the only one who does law specifically. OTOH, I expect to get totally slaughtered by the professional blogs such as TechCrunch, Ars Technica, and Gizmodo.
It’s kinda like being nominated for a Hugo against Neil Gaiman, Lois McMasetr Bujold, J. Michael Strazinscki, and Terry Pratchet.
Still, the fact that we as amatuers made the cut against profesisionals makes me feel pretty good.
[. . .] Don’t forget to vote on January 5!
In private correspondence, fellow Wetmachiner Howard Stearns had this to say:
Cool beans. Mazel Tov, Harold!
While Weblogawards.org chose (or slipped up!) to broadly list “Wetmachine”:
– The href in the link is to [Harold’s sub-blog Tales of the Sausage Factory], as is the RSS signup.
– The intent of both nominators was explicitly concerning Harold.
Now, it would be all gracious and magnanimous of me to grant that the nomination probably most accrues to Harold and not to Wetmachine as a whole. But fuck that shit, as we North Caldwellians are wont to say. Wetmachine is the nominee, so all of Wetmachine gets to bask in glory. So sez I and so say we all, or at least most of us. Or some of us.
Now, New Years is a time for making New Years Revolutions & I’ll have more to say about 2009 revolutions both for me & for Wetmachine soon. But as usual, I’m running behind, so in the interests of expediency I think I’ll just fair use my own bad self and blockquote my new years revolutions from this time last year. Not bad, sez I, not bad. That is, they’re not a bad set of revolutions. Not that I did much towards accomplishing them, but as a freestanding bit of art I think they’re pretty OK.
[. . .]
Resolutions aside, I do have a Wetmachine goal for 2008, and that’s to increase readership by at least a factor of ten over 2007. While leaf-raking, I came up with some startling ideas about how to do that–starting with a free toaster for every single one of you who clicks on a “Read More” link, and including:
* an upgrade of the Bonehead Computer Museum to Croquet 3-D space
* podcasts of my novels as radio plays featuring William Shatner, Kay Parker, and Tom Hulce
* “Bloggers of Wetmachine” swimsuit calendar
* switching to lolcat dialect for all entries about software or writing
* Videoblogging Harold Feld vs Kevin J. Martin in steel cage ultimate boxing match
Stay tuned, as somebody around here said. This is going to be the best year yet, for you, and you, and you! Amen.
P.S. Details on that toaster coming soon.
To paraphrase a wise man, Stay Tuned, and here’s hoping that 2009 is the best ever for all of us. Amen, selah, inshallah, amen.
Speaking of Alice …
I once wrote a term paper on translations if “The Jabberwocky” — it was full of Saussurean semiotic wankery. There’s glory for you!
Here’s a semi-serious notion: a “Best of Wetmachine” page, where you can collect and display some of the more epic, stunning, controversial, or insightful stuff that’s ever been atored in your database. Or, you know, however you want to define “best.”
Hey there, We’ve been nominated as well, and we expect to get slaughtered by the big names, even though we’re at around 50 votes by now..
It will only take Gizmodo a single post about the event to get 5000 + entries.
Oh well, I guess that just the fact that we’re listed among those big name is an honor in itself.
I was just checking out your site and was going to ping you tomorrow. I like the site! I have questions about how you do some things. And I want you to review my novels!
Talk to you soon, and thanks for stopping by.
I could polish my monocle and get the Wetmachine crew out on my yacht next summer, and snap them all in dishabille for the calendar.
I went to vote, and on a completely different subject, found myself happy to be voting against Lifehack. It’s a great site in many ways, but it gave me my first ever case of feminist rage and I had to stop reading it. Took me 45 years to have it happen, so I guess that’s impressive of them.
In more positive news, congratulations, Wetmachine and Harold!
Your neutrino status seems to me to be somewhat parlous. I feel you gaining mass. Why, in no time you’ll be posting here again, like in old days.
Gary, Harold and I met on New Years Day. Look for a report of same. We have some stellar ideas. One of which involves beating you with nurf sticks until you agree to post more regularly once again. I’ll call soon.