Last Thursday, I broke the Internet. I caused priceless and irreplaceable mental effort, belonging to 183 actual, sad human beings, to be diverted away from countless worthy ends and toward quite possibly the least worthy end in the universe: commenting on a Notgraphs post. According to reports, the tremor of futility was registered on sensitive instruments as far away as China; the dumbing, experts say, may be irreversible. For this I will shoulder the blame entirely.
Little did I suspect what a maelstrom of emotion I would unleash by broaching such an innocent-seeming topic as Curacaoan nomenclature. There was cheekiness (“Baba Cowlonius,” “Titi Teebww”, “Schwammelton Schooscha”). There was indignation (“What about the name: Go fuck yourself”). There was hysterical hyperbole (“One of the top 10 Notgraphs ever”). There was name-calling (“ignore this hemorrhoid please”). There were poignant confessions (“I am a 69 year old male who has never had any homosexual tendencies nor do I look like a cute little dog or a French prostitute”). There were inventive similes (“our sheer linguistic perversity is just like the shell of a delicious lobster”). There were calls to action (“If no one makes a web application to automate this in the next 24 hours, we have failed as a nation”). There were ominous prognostications (“behold to curse offspring or yourself in your own name, the rules here have exceptions”). And there was Papiamentu. Lots and lots of Papiamentu.
Chastened and enlightened, I came away from this experience with the realization that something had to change: that the turmoil occasioned by my post was merely a symptom of alienation and confusion that ran far deeper. Because I created, or at least exposed, this mess, I humbly accept that I should be the one to begin cleaning it up. And so it is that I am nominating myself for the office of Official Notgraphs Ambassador to Curacao.
Given the current state of relations, I think it will be best to start with the absolute basics. So for my first term in office, I will be concentrating on an initiative to foster communication between our two great nations: an imaginary nation of emotionally stunted baseball nerd humorists, and an actual tiny island nation off the coast of Venezuela. There is so much common ground between us that a failure to communicate can only be attributed to a failure of effort.
The very first step will be the institution of a new feature here at Notgraphs, to be called Papiamenting the News. On a semi-regular basis, our staff of translators will be rendering selected Notgraphs content into the official Curacaoan tongue of Papiamentu. Below, we present Robert J. Baumann’s “From Vance Law, With Love.”
Fo’i Vance Lei, Ku Stima
Kerido internet users,
Ami ta no vance lei e former mayor league baseball player, ma ami ta un fictional persona kén ta wòrdu evoking vance lei ban ami skirbi (what ami spera ta wòrdu regular) internet letters ku bo aki riba esaki chikitu strand di e mundu anchu web. Sin further babel, ata un karta mi tin written ku bo!
Ami ta noticing lately esei ami ta un meticulous hende. Kuandu ami wipe e spots fo’i mi bril, e mester ta ku un limpi sarbètè, pa si e sarbètè ta sushi, ami lo surely sushi mi bril ku mas than net e finger-smudges í water-spots esei ta ya anti them. So despues wiping e bril hasi ami laga myself na aplikashon e mescos sarbètè riba mi sweaty seha &c. Anto, it’s off na e laundry bin ku e sarbètè. Mi meticulousness accumulates altamente muchu towels na ta laundered!
Anke, ban ami buska na kultivá peculiarities í bira den complexity, ami asombrá si ami might esfuerso un distinto metodo di sarbètè usage: drying mi seha prome pa tin un clearer vision pa wiping mi bril — aínda ser sigur na konservá un skina di e sarbètè pa e bril. Ariba henter, ami kere bril mester ta cleaned ku un unsullied portion di fabric; ma di kasi igual importance ta na enkontra e task di spectacle cleaning ku un unsullied mental focus — í unobstructed aspekto.
Na esaki punto den mi bida, mi tin abided í enacted so e former rubric di sarbètè uzo. Awor, having reconsidered esaki editá den mi prome karta ku bo, ami mira clearly e advantages di e latter metodo, í ami kere ami lo purba e. That’s drechi, kerido internet users: no ta pensando esei ami ta tal un steif homber esei ami kier nenga na revise mi habits hasta based riba zona reasoning. Net pasobra mi nomber ta lei no kier men ami no ta birada! Ami ta un astute editor di karakter!
Ma kon strabagante prome impression ami mester ta giving abo. Kon kaminda na solicit bo benidero audience! Ami spera esei e mundanity di e ariba reflections no kier chumbu abo na kere ami ta un pober o thoughtless amante. Ami ta un sensual homber ku un limpi kara, í ami mik na hasi unico, detailed stima na kada di bo den due tempu.
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