G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”
H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”
John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."
Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”
विलास सारंग: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
"When The New Yorker started its caption contest, in 2005, it quickly became the world’s most popular weekly cartoon caption contest. I don’t have any data to back this up, but back then, just having a weekly cartoon caption contest made us the world’s most popular one. Five years and more than a million and a half entries later, a Google search for “cartoon caption contest” yields about 292,000 results...
I’ve been pretty frustrated by all of them, not due to the copycat factor but because I haven’t been able to win..."
I can understand Mr. Mankoff's frustration.
I wonder when did the first picture (photo, cartoon...) caption contest debut anywhere in the world?
For me it started in children's magazine 'Chandamama'. Marathi version of it 'Chandoba' (चांदोबा) was launched in April 1952. (Past issues of Chandoba are available here.)
I don't know in which month's issue the caption contest was launched but when I started reading the magazine, c 1967, it was well established.
In Marathi, it was called 'photo jodanaave chadaaod' (फोटो जोडनावे चढाओढ). I think as a family we tried to win the contest by attempting it a couple of times but failed.
Here is a typical contest:
Contest: from January 1969 issue
Winning Entry: from March 1969 issue by Ms. Lata Kharade, Mumbai (लता खराडे, मुंबई)
"आपण दोघे मित्र जणू / शुभ्र वेषांत !" "मैत्रीचा गोड घास घे / तुझ्या मुखांत !!"
(p.s. Today they may get an entry saying that we shouldn't encourage feeding animals in captivity at zoo!)