THE DAWN OF A BOLD, NEW AGE merits bold, new changes . . . hence, WIT MEMO '77, the snazzy new name for confidence in the coming era of worldwide prosperity, universal web access, and everyone zipping to and fro in their own personal jet-packs and gyrocopters. WIT MEMO '77 kicks off the twenty-first century with TWO THOUSAND WORDS FOR 2000: a good, ol'-fashioned, chatty WIT MEMO like from way back when, featuring the WIT MEMO Man and Woman of the Century . . . the Funniest Line of the Millennium, and the First Line of the Twenty-first Century . . . Why The Sopranos' Second Season just might SUCK, and WIT MEMO kudos in 1999. But first, ripped right from the headlines . . .
was just STUNNED by LUCIA GAROFALO's arrest in Vermont for
terrorism and links to AHMED RESSAM, that Algerian "national" (why
are foreign suspects always "nationals?") caught in Washington State with
nitroglycerine in his trunk. We've been her fan for years and years, and
based on the "slacker" persona she's affected in great stuff like "REALITY
BITES" and "THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW," we thought she didn't have
any particular strong political allegiances of any kind!
A GOOD, OL'-FASHIONED, CHATTY WIT MEMO LIKE FROM WAY BACK WHEN . . .
The day that at least one calendar recognized
as the last day of the last millennium was stunningly gorgeous in DC, as
beneath a brilliant blue and cloudless afternoon sky WIT
MEMO went for the bicycle ride, along the river and past the
monuments, that has sustained us these last twenty years or so. Traffic
scant, hundreds of geese took advantage of the quiet to lounge along the
shore next to the MEMORIAL BRIDGE, by that statue that honors JOHN
ERICSSON, creator of the screw propellor and pioneering Civil War ironclad
Monitor. Seven or eight pleasure craft anchored together as a barge
just upriver from the 14th STREET BRIDGE comprised the
first outdoor party in progress. Heading onto HAIN'S POINT we were
overjoyed to espy THE JOHN F. KENNEDY ETERNAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN living
up to the name we'd given it, dispensing its unending arc of silvery water
as it had for many, many years before being repaired and refurbished towards
the end of last summer. Across the ship channel from the slip of the tourboat
ODYSSEY, the eternal fountain has long been a WIT
MEMO stopping point: if the freshness and cleanliness of water
bear any proportion to the length of time that the spigot has been permitted
to run, then this is surely the freshest and cleanest water in town. We
gulped the cool water reflecting on the handsome young President whose
mysterious murder established a sensationalism standard that, as the first
century of the modern era came to a close, the new tabloid electronica has been
unable to equal in the decade or so since finding its legs.
Somebody at the Post or Salon mused that ALBERT EINSTEIN didn't warrant Timeweek's Man of the Century crown because he preceded television. WIT MEMO's memory is much shorter: we're pretty vague on anything before tabloid TV. Moreover, we've always felt that the truly great don't aspire to greatness, they have greatness thrust upon them. In that spirit, the clear choices for WIT MEMO's MAN & WOMAN OF THE CENTURY were JOHN WAYNE BOBBITT and MONICA LEWINSKY.
would like to send a shout out to the first runners-up, KATO KAELIN
and TONYA HARDING, and second
runners-up WINSTON CHURCHILL and MOTHER TERESA. Jolly good
show, and better luck next time!
Funniest lines from past millenniums:
0-1000 A.D. - no winner
WIT MEMO's NEW LINE OF THE CENTURY
WHY THE SOPRANOS' NEW SEASON just might SUCK.
Once upon a time, there was a TV show that was the best TV show we'd ever seen; a dramatic series of murder and intrigue tinged with dark humor, that was so cool, so hip, so unlike anything that had come before that we were rapt and awed; we watched it religiously, taped it, discussed episodes and swapped killer lines with friends. Then, the second season came along, and after a deceptively strong start, the show soon sucked Major Moosecock.
Of course, that show was TWIN PEAKS, David Lynch's flawed masterpiece from 1990-91,and we're literally praying that a similar fate doesn't await our CURRENT fave show of all time, THE SOPRANOS, the show HBO calls the show everyone's talking about, which begins its eagerly awaited second season in just two weeks. Regular WIT MEMO readers remember our anguish back in May when DC Cable finally cut off the free HBO we'd been receiving for years. Now that we've gritted our teeth and shelled out the shekels like all the other poor slobs out there, just to be able to see The Sopranos, we hope our beloved Jersey gangster family saga won't devolve into the insult-the-fans mire that was Twin Peaks' second and last season, when the writers, having already solved the show's sustaining mystery, gave up and started foisting off absurdist crap like BENJAMIN HORNE's delusion of being a Civil War general. (We reminded of that nonsense when we attempted to actually watch an episode of ALLY MCBEAL, and were confronted by a bevy of high-priced lawyers conducting a funeral for A FROG.)
We wouldn't have these worries about The Sopranos if not for a disturbing Lynchian note during the final minutes of the last episode: during a terrific nighttime thunderstorm, TONY SOPRANO rushes to DR. MELFI's office, only to discover that his prone-to-short-skirts shrink has heeded his advice and gone on the lam. As Tony stands in the warmly wood-paneled office, deserted except for a maintenance man, the lights begin flickering weirdly, signaling the coming power outage . . . nothing recalls David Lynch so much as that sort of thing. So here's hoping that The Soprano's can sidestep sophomore slump and pick up right where they left off without missing a beat this January 16 when WIT MEMO and the rest of the cognoscenti huddle with bated breath before their TVs.
But if Tony Soprano's mother-from-hell LIVIA starts talking to a log, we're outta there!
THE WIT MEMO DECADE
1999 was WIT MEMO's
best year yet: Aside from launching the website,
which has been hit literally many times since its inception, WIT
MEMO is pleased-as-punch pink to have been quoted a coupla times
by "THE HOTLINE," the NATIONAL JOURNAL'S widely-read online
daily political news service, and we're moreover grateful for the plug
on the 12/17 episode of the HOTLINE TV SHOW, nightly at 6:30 on
AMERICA'S VOICE (DC Cable channel 23). If you're looking for entertaining
insider political analysis without the agenda or the egos, this is the
MEMO NOW IN PRINT!
A WORD ON WIT MEMO PRODUCTION -
never had any Y2K worries, 'cause WIT MEMO
is the ONLY web site that isn't composed on a computer . . . truth
be told, WIT MEMO doesn't even OWN
a computer! The entire WIT MEMO text
is banged out on a vintage L.C. Smith typewriter used by legendary
Baltimore wit H. L. MENCKEN to complete the first draft of 1918's
"In Defense of Women." We insert HTML codes manually as we type,
and then the completed pages are shipped off unedited to the WIT
MEMO ISP for scanning and uploading to the server. What that
entails we have no idea; as long as we come up with the twelve hundred
bucks they charge each month to keep the whole shebang running, they pretty
much stay out of our hair!
And what's in store for '00? Look
for WIT MEMO to take the lead in shedding some much-needed
light on the shadowy world of BOXING KANGAROOS!