Time to start with a top three surveillance section, subtitled "why Gringcorp is so cool and observant"
1)Top broadsheet plagiarist Jayson Blair, walking through the Union Square Green Market, wearing a lot of jewelry, Monday morning. We're not usually this positive about such a spotting, especially since we were distracted by the brutal techno pouring into our defenceless ears. But the man seemed very eager to be recognised, staring around expectantly as the Wheatgrass-munchers milled around the stalls. Gringcorp's father used the very same standard to identify Terry Waite, and decided therafter that he didn't like the look of the saintly hostage-negotiator one bit. But if Jayson was actually giving a class in journalistic ethics at a benighted Southern communications school, we will be happy to correct
2)Top limey mullet- and real ale-fancier Alex Hall outside the Brazen Head, Sunday afternoon. Alex is justly thought of as a hero for his spririted defence of all thinks Cask. But we don't think that him and the Cheese lady from Bierkraft should ever be allowed to breed. You might think that this is a remote possibility, and that we mention this purely as a dig against someone who only wants her cheeses to be happy. But Alex distributes his Gotham Imbiber there, so we must be careful.
3)Top NY Senator (sorry, Hill) Chuck Schumer, pressing the flesh at the Altantic Antic, a couple of blocks from Alex and his beer-quaffing cru. Schumer is a hugely popular incumbent, a position that we, as a Mets fan, hugely distrust, and we do not think that he came off well from Nat Hentoff's examination of his Pickering filibuster. But Chuck was a machine, looking very tireless in a loosened tie, and affecting slightly rumpled demeanor. In fact we even shook his hand, knowing that this at least does not violate campaign finance laws. But, if you’re looking to try and identify Gringcorp from Chuck’s campaign pictures, think again. We were wearing a Barack Obama mask.
Little else to say about the Antic, except that it was better than most of the street festivals. Our main interest in it was as a conduit to Sahadi's, where we were hoping to score some pine nuts. There was even some live music going on, although we missed the likes of The Brought Low. Gringcorp used to do a walk of shame down Atlantic, and was pleasantly surprised by how many chi-chi restaurants the stretch has recently attracted. But there is something about it, and we're not fixating simply on Hank's here, that is innately shady.
And after the surveillance comes the navel-gazing. That New York Times thing on the bloggers. Yes, the article did focus far too much on the success/freedom trade-off, like the Times has turned into the Maximum Rock N’Roll of political commentary, or something (Sell out!). And it focused far too little on the role that the blogs have played in correcting some of the more egregious errors in the mainstream media (although they didn’t catch Blair). But the most interesting old to new media shot was the way the article was structured, an attempt to create intimate portraits of the bloggers themselves. As if to say, “this is what we do, children. We provide context and a backstory, rather than one-line carping about what f***tards [an interesting new elided swearword, no?] the Republicans are. Amusingly enough, the blogs seem to have decided it would be much cooler to fixate on what a gentleman called Billmon has to say on the subject.
Finally, Gringcorp is taking a Holiday From Guitars. And he’s noticed that the world of Techno is very funny. We were cruising Amazon for some leads on where to find the very sleek Kompakt 100 compilation, fresh outta Cologne (seemed easier to write than trying to do an HTML umlaut). Actually, we found that in Kim's, but was diverted by a review of the Dave Clarke mix album World Service. Why do Techno fans, who tend to be mild-mannered, wimpy people, need to go on about how brutal their music is? Even metal fans aren't that bad. Our theory is that going on about how certain tunes "kick you in the head", distracts from the fact that the music is rather similar to the soundtrack to fashion shows, and adverts for gay chatlines. And that wouldn't do. Either that or there's some delicious sub/dom subtext to which we are completely oblivious.