Powerpoint a threat to national security


— 12:38 AM on April 27, 2000

OK, so maybe that's overstating it a bit, but the Pentagon is at the very least annoyed. It seems the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued an order to the U.S. Armed Forces worldwide telling them to quit including fluff graphics and transitions in their Powerpoint presentations. Apparently the extra crap was actually slowing down military network connections.

Powerpoint is also blamed for alienating lawmakers, among other things. It's apparently so disliked that it's spawned new vocabulary words: a "Powerpoint Ranger" is a derogatory term for a bureaucrat who does nothing but sit on his butt and do Powerpoint presentations all day.

My favorite by far, however, was the Powerpoint Ranger Creed, a parody of the Rifleman's Creed made famous by the Marine Corps:

This is my PowerPoint. There are many like it, but mine is [PowerPoint] 97. ... I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its fonts, its accessories and its formats ... My PowerPoint and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our subject. We are the saviors of my career.

It just doesn't get any better than that.

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