On Saturday, I clicked on nytimes.com hoping for two simple things: an insightful piece marking the 50th anniversary of the murder of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, and an efficient rundown of the World Cup group standings and a preview of the day’s matches.
I found neither.
Instead, in SATURDAY’S nytimes.com, I found a preview of FRIDAY’S Italy vs. Costa Rica World Cup match. To repeat: a preview of FRIDAY’s match in SATURDAY’S paper. For the love of god, have they COMPLETELY stopped caring over there?!? Is Corky from Life Goes On editing the weekend sports’ section?
As for my modest hopes that the Great Paper might have a piece marking the anniversary of one of the most symbolic events in the Civil Rights movement (the Sheriff-authorized torture and slaughter of three college students who were helping African Americans in Mississippi achieve their constitutionally protected right to vote), instead I found a front page piece on something REALLY important: this REALLY COOL 30-something couple got a WHALE of a deal on an apartment on the Lower East Side! You JUST HAVE TO BE WILLING to look below Delancey!!! Since I read ntytimes.com and I am a MODERN New Yorker, isn’t THAT what matters to me?
I mean, is there ANYTHING more TIMELY than ANOTHER story about how WONDERFUL it is to be a kind-of young couple with OODLES of extra income getting an INCREDIBLE DEAL on an apartment in Co-op Village below Grand Street on the Lower East Side, and how LUCKY you are that there now diners near you that don’t JUST serve kosher food, and oh my oh my how SCRUMPTIOUS it was of that WONDERFUL Robert Moses to tear down those icky tenements and build these terrific BIG BRICK TOWERS where you can practically STEAL a two bedroom! Oh, all that AND a preview in SATURDAY’S paper of a major sporting event that took place on FRIDAY! Now, THAT’S JUST GIVING UP. And seriously, NYTIMES, on the 50th anniversary of one of the FUNDAMENTAL socio-political moments of the 1960s, MAYBE, just MAYBE you could have put something about THAT on your front page, instead of Amy Chozick’s offensive piece about finding a great deal on 1,200 square feet in Seward Park Cooperative.
I am sure Amy Chozick is a perfectly nice person who likes the Dum Dum Girls and gets sad when Sara McLachlan coos over pictures of abused puppies, but if I see one more piece by someone reminding us how cool and cutting edge the east fucking village was ten or fifteen years ago, I will remind them that some of us remember the East Village when it resembled Haiti after one of Papa Doc’s particularly gruesome bunga-bunga parties (yeah, I know I am mixing up some regimes there, but you get the idea); and listen, nyfuckingtimes, don’t even THINK of having someone tell me how “real” the East Village used to be UNLESS they are old enough to remember this handy acronym, dispensed as truly life-saving advice when I was a sprout during the Reagan administration: Avenue A means you’re Adventurous! B, Bold! C, Crazy! D, Dead! FDR: Found Dead in River.
Chozick’s piece reminded me of something Prince Charles, no bunga-bunga party thrower he, once said about the horrific modern architecture encroaching on London: Ol’ Charles – well, he wasn’t so old then – said that modern architects were going to finish the job the Luftwaffe started, and ruin the great old city. And you know what? The Chozick’s of the world, hot on the heels of endless years of Bloombuialani making the City safe for Russian Billionaires and Disney, are going to finish the work of Robert Moses, that hater of everything ethnic, rough, indigenous, and neighborhood-y in New York City. I know it’s really took late to save Manhattan, but I would rather the New York Times not rub it in my face every day.
Oh, and back to the World Cup: At the very effing least, I expect to open the goddamn paper of record (I said, THE PAPER OF RECORD) and see reasonable timely previews – NOT FUCKING PREVIEWS OF FRIDAY’S MATCHES IN SATURDAY’S PAPER (someone should really be fired for that), and I would have liked to see the group standings. But publishing the standings of this ENORMOUS world-wide sporting event was just too much for the widdle bitty Times to handle; apparently, the Times sports writers exhausted all their brain power writing those sixteen fucking pieces on California Chrome and needed to lie down with a Pamprin and an Enya CD, and therefore they can no longer be reasonably expected to meet even the MOST MEAGRE requirements for timely or accurate coverage of THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR SPORT.
And as for not mentioning the 50th Anniversary of the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner…that is a desperate, shivering shame.
Timothy Sommer has achieved some degree of notoriety working as a musician, record producer, MTV/VH1 VJ, journalist, club and radio DJ, and music industry executive.