Kodak CEO Antonio Perez has presided over a 97% decline in his company’s stock since 2005, and the 131-year-old company is just a click away from having to file bankruptcy, whether it wants to accept that picture it or not.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been amused by headlines using photography puns to capture the situation. You know like, “Not A Kodak Moment.” Or “Kodak’s Long Fade To Black.”
I soon realized photography is a language unto itself and started writing some of my own Kodak headlines, with a bit of help from Facebook friends. The result is this column “Taking A Shot At Kodak.”
Click here to read it on MarketWatch. Knowing I’d only begun to tap the possibilities for puns, I invited readers to send me some of there own Kodak headlines and here what they said:
“I shutter to think what the industry will look like without Kodak. Perhaps some good news will develop over the holidays.” – Unsigned.
“Kodak was a flash in the pan.” “Kodak is in the can.” “For Kodak it is a wrap.” – Robert Shanebrook, Rochester, NY.
“I guess Kodak just had a hard time focusing on the future.” – Stuart Sampson.
“Certainly Kodak has lost its focus. “ “Investor’s not seeing the big picture.” “The picture looks dark for Kodak.” “Kodak ‘lens’ itself to ridicule.” “Kodak moment lost.” – Brian Suveges, Old Tappan, N.J.
“Kodak not focused on success.” – DF.
“Kodak just doesn’t see the whole picture.” – Jim.
“Hell’uv a job, Brownie.” – Bob.
“If a picture is worth a thousand dollars, Kodak has a should sell its gallery. ” “Kodak – A snapshot of the past.” “Kodak changes its name to Kodark.” -Peter Caplan.
“EK phone home!” “”Kodak slides to new low.” “Kodak film-flam leaves investors overexposed.” “Kodak needs new kind of Insta-magic.” “Kodak’s Blurry Focus Leads to Negative Developments.” “Kodak’s Ink is Fading.” “Kodak Still Four Colors: Red Red, Red and more Red.” “Oh, Rochester? Would you please turn out the lights?” “Kiosk Krisis – Kodak exposed.” – Unsigned.
“Kodak, soon worth only a thousand words.” - Charles Bartulla.
“Just thought that you might be interested in other terms to develop puns for that we used in the industry: Dodging, Burning, Reticulation, Contrast, Overexposed, Underexposed, Chemistry, Lens, Shutter, Composition, Easel, Slides, Depth of field, Focal length, Focal point, 1/3 rule, Darkroom, Rinse, Stop Bath, Enlargement, Reduction. I could go on and on….but you are probably already losing focus (notice the pun). - Jay T. Carter, Cottonwood Heights, UT.
Puns, as a rule, are tacky and cliche. Understandably, some readers didn’t appreciate this column, viewing it as mocking the thousands of people who are losing their jobs. The column, however, was not intended this way. It was really as a mockery of 1) headline writers and 2) a company that refuses to honest acknowledge its situation and its gaffes in a technological revolution. But here’s what not-so-pun-loving readers said:
“I read your piece. What an a–hole you are! You seem to take delight on the fading of a great American company. Everything changes. But Kodak developed and manufactured the best slide film ever: Kodachrome. And what have you done that’s so important? Like you, the piece you wrote is a piece of sh-t. – Larry Merkle, Photographer.
In response to your article regarding Kodak’s bankruptcy. Creative, yes, but hardly sensitive for the many people losing their jobs. Kodak has provided for many American families (like mine) for generations. I was sad to see your article mocking the situation. – April.
All very funny of course but you and the rest of the media have had a field day with Kodak and in many ways contributed to their woes.
I lost my job there last year and there are still thousands of people trying desperately to hold on to theirs. Is it really so much fun to continue to poke them in the eye or rub salt in the wound? Is this what the media is all about now? You are not reporting any longer but acting as though you would be happy if your reports could actually bring the company down.
Sure, management has sucked for years and they have made some real blunders but will you media pukes not be happy until Kodak is gone?
Is this how you make your living? Sad. – David.
Your article on Kodak was not helpful in any way. It is a very sad thing when a company of this age and heritage goes down, not to mention all the people’s lives that are affected. It’s one thing when a company such as Enron does the Big One–we all want to get our baseball bats out, but even then all the employees that got hurt in that mess was a tragedy caused by the greed and deception of a few.
Kodak has certainly made some decisions that have proven to be totally wrong, and now they are pointed to bankruptcy as you aptly pointed out. They have tried many things to come out of this and have met with little success—but they are still fighting daily, I will guarantee you. The pressure on these people must be immense. It is sad and it is an overall loss to this world when a company who have brought us so far in so many directions ceases to exist.
I didn’t find anything remotely funny or clever in your article. It was damaging, hurtful I’m sure to anyone closely associated with the company, and if anything hastened the demise or lessened any slim chances they had of recovery.
You, as a professional writer, should be ashamed. Sincerely, Dave Flowers
A lot of people’s lives will be affected by this circumstance and all you can do is ask for the best jokes? Please, report the business news like an adult. – Michael Sharpe, Orchard Park, NY
I read your story on Kodak Headlines. You have way too much time on your hands. Have a happy holiday!! – Eric.