How A Little P Became A Big P

Posted on March 24, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor, language, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

No!  Definitely NOT a physiology class.  More of a chemistry thing.  Previously, we left Yohan (as his buds called him) nursing a world-class hang over, possibly resulting from a bad guilt trip over his soon-to-be-realized ripple effect on global societies.  Or, maybe, from a cheap wine called Thor’s Thunder Juice – 100% Natural.  Can’t corroborate that because history, like expensive PC software today, does suffer considerable “corruption” of its records.  Unlike software (a planned obsolescence product) you cannot buy an upgrade of historical data because — like the software license disclaimer states no one is taking responsibility for lost data.

Judging from the long-term nausea engendered by printing on demand, I have to conclude that Yohan took time out from his copy of Victoria’s Secret (the cookbook) for a late-night assignation with a mysterious vixen called Dora, only to find out later when he clumsily knocked her “jewelry” box off the bed stand that her full name was Pandora, of Greek descent.  Thunder Juice or no, Yohan got down on the floor with her and they both groped around trying to get those little squirmers back into the box.  Yohan did notice that one of the escaped critters seem to blow him a kiss as it disappeared from view.  He described it later as having button-like studs all over it and a little window displaying the letters “xoxo” (there is but one brief account of this in a moldy, later edition of Victoria’s Secret (the cookbook) under “Letters to the Chef).  Yeah.  That’s my story, and…

Now, about the pP thing.  Back then, it was guys that made the world go around.  And, always with guys, size is important.  In the printing business, I’m sure those inkers were very keen on owning the biggest press available, and, over at the local watering hole that catered to printers, et alia, the boast “my press is bigger than your press” got a lot of laughs.  Rapid printing meant that you could get away from printing slow-changing text books and those old and tired authoritarian government edicts and actually blab about something in almost real-time.  These new blabbers called themselves reporters, an obvious ploy to redecorate the term gossip-monger.  Vying to get the best gossip,,,   story...    to the public first, caused an epidemic of swollen egos floating their pride in lots of suds at the local pub.  But, the competition did not end with the longest belch; out back, at the walled trench that passed for a public rest room, the contestants lined up to see whose puddle had the biggest head of foam on it.  The prize:  the winner could now truthfully boast, “My pee is bigger than your pee!”

Back in the press club, this spore group that would propagate like fungus to become reporters, paparazzi, columnists, anchor persons, journalists, bleah, bleah, bleah, came to a common conclusion:  they were BIG in every way.  Big printers, big egos, big pee, big mouths.  It was inevitable that one of them would see the word press and subconsciously realize that “since my pee is bigger than Ed’s pee, the p in my press ought to be bigger than the p in his press.”  So, whenever you see the phrase “The Press,” you are not seeing a claim to elite status, but a brash boast that the touter has come out on top in an ancient, drunken male ritual called a pissing contest.

Next up:  An update on my cynicism

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Meet The Press

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, History, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Not the pompous, condescending one;  rather, the simple mechanical device that put thoughts down on paper or another medium so that multiple copies of an idea could be stored, distributed, then re-read later as originally conceived.  And, introduced the plititicians’ catch-phrases “I was misquoted” and “That was taken out of context.”

It was a grand improvement over the quill and ink pot by increasing copy output enormously while, at the same time, cutting down on between-scroll coffee breaks.  These were required to east the pain of scriber’s cramps, a special problem in the full-page, hand-drawn illustration department.  There were probably other occupational hazards associated with scribing, such as annoying calluses and author-itis.  Production moved at a snail’s pace in those writing rooms.

Enter Johannes Gutenberg, a German of the Holy Roman Empire.  He grew up in a time (mid 1400’s) when the brew screw (a.k.a., the wine-press) was a top-of-the-line techno device and the buzz on the grape-vine was that the printing press was a spin-off from that basic schematic.  Gutenberg grooved to the tune, and — half way through a Saturday night keg and totally engrossed in his Victoria’s Secret book (a cook book of little known culinary tips) — he envisioned letters swimming around in his snoop and thought, “Wow!  If I just move this “p” and that “n” around, I could be using a “spoon” to eat this stuff.”  That thought was punctuated by the sound of his head thudding against the hay-strewn floor as he slipped into an alcoholic stupor.

Sunlight can be cruel, especially when you peep through red-rimmed eyelids to expose blood-shot eyeballs, all to the music of Thor’s hammer richocheting around the inside of your skull.  But, our hero was a metal worker and innovator, enamored (if only a little) with the printing business.  To his credit, he held tight to the snoop-spoon revealed in his wine quest.  His sobered-up version made for the quick and accurate mass-production of moving metal type.  So, to summarize:  Gutenberg got hammered, humankind’s social path got forked, and, not so coincidentally, so did humankind.

Gutenberg’s hammer (pun intended) thundered through the printing industry of the times, and echoes even today as we “lol, omg, u2, bff, xoxo and :)” through that red light back there.  Information, regardless of its source, veracity, or pertinence, is almost instantly available to anyone — and there is the rub.  (Hamlet probably hasn’t slept well since I started hacking at this web log.)

Oh, crap!  A note from Wikipedia We don’t know where you are finding this information, but if you are going to put our name down as source, at least use some of our information.  Fair enough;  the time period and his name are correct and wine press is spelled correctly.  Kudos to Wikipedia.

Next:  How a little “p” became a big “P”

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