05 February 2007


It's time for a new search engine, one that could counter the dire news that constantly dribbles into our consciousness during this Information Age. We live in a time of rampant paranoia. The list of terrors seems to be typed in larger and larger fonts - atheists, evangelists, Muslims, child pornographers, global warming, globalization, hidden credit card fees ... Our nerves are on edge.

Into this milieu of paranoia it is time to interject some levity. I propose a new search engine, one that returns humorous, cartoonish, or just downright silly material in response to any search. One of the supposedly popular uses of GOOGLE is to enter items found in the refrigerator along with the word, "recipe" and find ways to turn, say, jello, pork, and cabbage into a tasty meal for two. GIIGLE would offer a similar feature, allowing you to put terms like, "rabbi, priest, and cabbage," into the search box and it would return jokes about same. Imagine that you have to give a speech before a group of bored 8th graders on the topic of textiles - you could enter "puberty, clothing, and bored," into the search engine and find a list of opening jokes sure to get the attention of students and teacher alike.

I don't pretend that constructing such a search engine would be easy, but neither was putting a man on the moon or building the Great Pyramids. There is no reason that one of our 2008 presidential hopefuls couldn’t propose to fund such a tool as a way to become distinct from the rest of the pack. If someone already had, I could finish this posting with a snappy joke. Just enter, " distinguished 'presidential hopeful' 'budget proposal,' and cabbage," and I would have my choice of dozens of closing jokes.

The GIIGLE project would have countless unintended benefits. Humor is one product that can be produced without contributing to greenhouse gases. Humor is the only weapon proven to distract and even defuse suicide bombers and terrorists. And humor unites people of every faith – farts are funny in any culture.

The GIIGLE project. It’s an idea whose time has come.

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