A Lighthearted Look at a Tough Year

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2001-12-31

Stretching back in his easy chair in front of the fire, pen and pad in hand, brandy on the table, Spencer spent a few thoughtful moments reflecting on the turbulent year that was. Luckily for his editors, though, he soon found himself chuckling over some of the sillier moments and jotting them down.

For example, perhaps the funniest dot-com name El Gato heard this year was the URL for Protocol Driven Healthcare: mybladder.com. "I always thought in e-biz that content, not incontinence, was king," cackled the Kitty.

On the celebrity watch, his Hirsuteness never expected to see rocker Pat Benatar on stage during the opening keynote for the RSA security conference at San Franciscos Moscone Center last April. The keynote seemed like a sad episode of VH1s "Behind the Music" when Ms. Benatar launched into a rewritten version of her hit "Heartbreaker," now retitled "Codebreaker." The Katt cringed as he endured such new lyrics as "Youre a codebreaker, crash maker, file taker. Dont you mess around with me."

Back in May, Spencer wondered if eWeek would foot the bill if he flew to Prague to check out Czech President Vaclav Havels rage firsthand. Havel was attempting to sue the owner of a porn site named after his wife, Dagmar. The former subscription site, www.dagmarhavlova.cz, reportedly offered sexual acts featuring a dead ringer for the Czech Republics First Lady.

"Hopefully, they called in WIPO before they needed NATO," groused the geopolitical Grimalkin.

Spence recalled hearing about some genuine newspeak in October during the Gartner Symposium at Lake Buena Vista, Fla. As Microsofts Steve Ballmer was describing how the Liberty Alliance Project was no threat to products such as Redmonds Passport, he came up with an analogy that left more than a few attendees scratching their heads. He invented an imaginary product on the spot that he called Jhole, (apparently riffing on the Java, JavaBeans and J2EE themes from Sun) and created a scenario illustrating how he felt Sun starts initiatives that address only a part of a problem and do not work well with the rest of the world.

"I never took the economics class where they discuss Jholes," mused the Mouser. "We hypothesized only about widgets."

Ballmer was also immortalized in a video spread across the Web in 2001. Recorded at a sales conference, Steve is shown screaming, "Give it up for me!" as he skipped around waving his arms in the air. After stubbing his toe on the podium and nearly falling, he stumbled to the podium, composed himself and bellowed, "I have four words for ya: I ... love ... this ... company. Yes!" "Now thats entertainment," laughed the Lynx.

Spencer Katt can be reached at spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com.

Rocket Fuel