No. 309: "Lost in Translation"

No. 309: "Lost in Translation"

No. 309: "Lost in Translation"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Sept. 24 1999 3:30 AM

No. 309: "Lost in Translation"

" 'EIN Nod: Bodlonrwydd Llwyr I Gwsmeriaid' is not the snappiest slogan to those who speak no Welsh. Yet the banner inside General Electric's aero-engine servicing department in South Wales--'_____________'--is a fair approximation of what GE has been up to in Nantgarw since it bought the business from British Airways in 1991."Fill in the blank in this lead from the Economist by translating that slogan from Welsh to English. (Question courtesy of Andrew Solovay.)

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Send your answer by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Wednesday's Question (No. 308)--"Praise With Faint Damns":

According to remarks made Tuesday, it is characterized "by greed and lust for power, by hot-blooded hatreds, and stone-cold hearts." Who was describing what?

"Janet Maslin, both Hollywood and the New York Times."--Matt Sullivan (Ann Gavaghan had a similar answer.)

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"Leonard Stern spotlights the selling points of the Village Voice."--Daniel Radosh

"Anyone describing Pat Buchanan's new book."--John Tyrrell

"Everyone, high school."--Noah Meyerson

"Frankly, I think the Jamaican Tourist Board should go back to that old 'Come Back to Jamaica' slogan."--Tim Carvell

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Randy's Wrap-Up

If News Quiz responses are any guide to popular taste--a ludicrous proposition, but play along--the two most greedy and lustful and savage realms are backstage at the Miss America pageant and inside Pat Buchanan's head. So here's my pitch to whomever replaces Jamie Tarses (and I pray it will be well reviewed by whomever replaces Janet Maslin, even though she reviews movies not TV shows). Beauty-contest time travel: like the Jesse Owens story but in heels and with virgins. Berlin. 1936. Miss Universe contest. The only two finalists with any kind of a shot are Miss America--a surprisingly leggy Pat Buchanan--and Miss Germany--an unexpectedly amiable Adolf Hitler. During the swimsuit competition, while helping Hitler glue his modest one-piece to his modest ass, Buchanan learns that his rival is a pretty nice guy who wants to do no more than conquer Europe and kill all the Jews. Not such a terrible thing, thinks Buchanan, and certainly nothing to start a war over. So World War II is avoided, millions of lives--you know, the right sort of lives--are saved, and history is transformed in ways so utopian, you'd never recognize the present. Two small samples: high-speed maglev trains that run on water, Alan Sorkin TV shows that aren't sentimental twaddle. Brave new world. Bold new ABC. (Did I mention that in the second season, Buchanan travels back in time to kill Lincoln even deader? After a romantic interlude? A three-way with Jefferson Davis?)

Stepping on Some Mighty Big Toes Answer

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President Clinton was describing the 20th century. Apparently he doesn't like it. Or, more disturbingly, does.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, the president moved beyond vague generalities and into comforting platitudes as he discussed poverty (against it), health care for all people (for it), and outbreaks of widespread killing (should do something to stop them). Courting opprobrium, the president raised the touchy issue of weapons of mass destruction and bravely declared that it would be bad if they were used.

Inspiring Yet Empty Extra

Participants were invited to provide campaign slogans for these presidential candidates whose Web sites lack such soul-stirring baloney.

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John McCain

"McCain, McSaw, McConquered"--Juris Odins

"You Want a Piece of This, Pal?"--Tim Carvell (similarly, Dwight K. Lemke)

"Not an Idiot Like the Other Republicans"--Francis Heaney

"Trust Me, After the Viet Cong, Those Candy-Asses at Philip Morris Don't Seem So Tough"--Andrew Solovay

Dan Quayle

"No, really."--Steve Gisselbrecht

"Quayle 200!"--Greg Diamond

"Now with more tomatoes."--Clyde Gibson

"Marilyn, Not Hillary"--Juris Odins

Elizabeth Dole

"I'm Giddy for Liddy!"--Tim Carvell

"Free me from that albatross around my neck."--Clyde Gibson

"Spontaneous From 11:55 to 12:00 Every Day!"--Dwight K. Lemke

"Blow-Free Elizabeth"--Ellen Macleay

Al Gore

"Hey, look, I only work for the guy."--Clyde Gibson

"Ah, Why the Hell Not"--Andrew Solovay

"He didn't brand his fraternity brothers' buttocks."--Tom Crawford

"So you think I'm dull and cautious? I'll show you dull and cautious, you goddamn cocksucking motherfuckers!!"--Noah Meyerson

Any Candidate

"Meaningless Rhetoric for a Better Tomorrow"--Francis Heaney

Historical Perspective

"You didn't ask, but my all-time favorite slogan comes from the 1991 Louisiana governor's race between Republican (and former KKK grand wizard) David Duke and Democrat Edwin Edwards, an (ahem) ethically challenged Democratic candidate who had been indicted--but not convicted--for mail fraud, obstruction of justice, and public bribery. The slogan? 'Vote for the crook--it's important.' "--Andrew Staples

Common Denominator

Miss America, Pat Buchanan.