Outside it was New York and beautifully snowing. Inside snug and evil This shit ain't beautiful. It was simultaneously raining and snowing when I ate lunch today; by the time I left, the snow was coming at us sideways, like Queens was bailing out ice water into Manhattan. Instead of retreating home, though, I went down into the East Village for a happy hour gathering of writers and bloggers I was invited to secondhand. I think I passed animals being loaded two by two onto a giant boat, but I was too busy dodging the rising puddles to make sure.
I was seriously out of my league. These were reporters for the Economist, New York Times--people who have seen every play out there, been next to people who have been shot, been by-lined as "foreign correspondent," or hate Ben Brantley on a personal level. The woman I came with, for instance, was slightly skittish the entire evening because she didn't entirely feel she was prepared for the interview she is doing tomorrow with the Coen Brothers, Carter Burwell, and Charlie Kaufman (surely, when such a concentrated collection of Coolness accumulates in one room, entire countries will be left bereft of hipness for balance--don't be surprised if all of Belize is wearing pleated khakis and muttonchops tomorrow to compensate).
All I really had going for me was the thrill of letting them know I wrote for an undiscovered treasure--some people go crazy about finding out the cool things out there before anyone else, only to abandon them after they break into the big time.
"Blair Witch Project" the first two weeks of release? Very cool. Now? Tired and hackneyed.
The Shins "Oh, Inverted World"? Awesome. The Shins post-"Garden State." Oh, yeah, them.
"The Catcher in the Rye." 'nuff said.
It becomes a quest to find the most obscure but thrilling things out there, introduce as many people as possible to them so people inextricably connect you with the cool obscure shit, and then move on to the next craze just as it breaks, affecting weary condescension about the entire affair. In an effort to out-obscure everyone else, a friend of mine occasionally skips the search for new stuff and just makes up band names and music genres. "Oh yeah, I've been really getting into The Pain Quotidian these days--they're really the best Guitari group out there. Oh, you haven't heard of Guitari? Think 'guitar' and 'Atari.' I saw them and Paranoid Freud open for 21cm Spin Flip a couple of weeks ago."
So I was happyrobot's ambassador to the print world. And no, I didn't get smashed and dance on the bar, though if it would earn me Comments, I'd be happy to next time. And if it would get me an opportunity to tell Joel and Ethan about seeing "Fargo" on the screen at the "Fargo Theater," I'd do just about anything.