Tomorrow’s Daily Show Gags First
Memesteading, June 24, 2009: Seven Score Characters, The Gettysburg Tweet
The Daily Show, December 2, 2010: The Twittersburg Address
Their version appeared briefly at the end of a segment mocking Sarah Palin’s tweets.
At this rate, I expect the Daily Show to joke about the Facebook Likernet replacing the Internet by 2012.
They made different choices starting from the same concept, emphasized faithfulness to the original wording, but brutally abbreviated.
I chose faithfulness to spartan, cutesy tweetspeak – while translating the key points. So in place of the familiar poetry –”Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation…” (87 characters) – I favored clunky twinglish: “87yr ago natl dads…” (18 characters).
That helped me squeeze in, as “Battle hallowed ground > our words”, one extra shard of a salient Lincoln point: “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated [this ground] far above our poor power to add or detract”. But I still had to cut any form of the speech’s ironically unfulfilled prediction: “[t]he world will little note nor long remember what we say here”.
Well, I suppose both the Daily Show and I have ‘little-noted’ it, after all.
Once thought of as the best concise speech ever, the future may view the Gettysburg Address, at over 1400 characters, as yet another example of how Before Twitter, people took forever to get to the point.