So, I just keep saying this but it’s totally true. I’ve been in this kind of new dimension that deconstructs your molecular makeup and sends it in a universe of directions without any assurance that it would every return to its original state again…and yet it has. It has emerged in Greenwich, Connecticut, of all places, the land of my childhood and youth. Defining this town can be done in a number of ways, but it all depends on where you come from and what you think of the town to begin with. I came up with one a couple of years ago:
One Sunday evening in mid-October of 2009 I went to my Yahoo! home page to get a quick rundown of what is going on in the world, the way I usually do several times a day. I was feeling bored and unenthused about life in general and listlessly perused the screen. I don・t know what it is about those moments, but they tend to get me in trouble of some kind. Anyway, after scanning the list of news headlines, I noticed something that puzzled me. I turned away and looked up at the wall at the other end of the table, staring at it until my eyesight got fuzzy. Something I had just read wasn・t quite right. Then I went back to the screen again and reread it in search of whatever it was that was making it seem a little askew, the way I do when I read a poorly written sentence, come face to face with most modern art or watch certain French comedies. I・t immediately put my finger on it, so I gave it another chance. And this time, bingo! There it was! There was no mistaking. I sat back in my chair and chuckled. Yeap. That was it.
I decided to copy and paste the list for keep・s sake on a file, and now I have copied it for you. So, allow me to put you to the test and see how you do. Here goes:
・Iran threatens U.S. and Britain after Guard bombing
・Nearly a third of Afghan president・s votes thrown out
・Obama offers Sudan incentives to end genocide
・Autopsies expected after 3 die during Detroit marathon
・Heene・s lawyer weighs in on the charges facing family
・Analysis: Is life tougher for biracial children?
・Rain cuts Greenwich dog show short ・ Greenwich Time
・Coach says 2 teammates with victim during stabbing ・ New York Post
・Queens neighborhood flooded after weekend of rain and high winds ・ New York Post
Did you see it? Did you pick it up? Something make you shudder? Was it the tragic deaths? The godawful violence in Teheran? The unending terrorism? The fate of biracial kids? Please. Not that electoral fraud and stabbings aren’t newsworthy, or that three fatalities in a road race don’t stand out as extraordinary and deserving of suspicion; and yes I did wonder about what kind of incentives the Obama administration was making to the Sudanese to reduce total annihilation of a specific ethnic group. Yet, as eyebrow-raising as they were, they didn’t quite match up to the bombshell somewhere in the middle of the pack. That’s right. You got it now. Rain cuts Greenwich dog show short. There you had it my friends. Looked at globally, a lot of pretty serious stuff was affecting the rest of the world at that very moment, I mean a lot, and yet in the southwest corner of Connecticut, there was a town, my hometown, a town drenched in personal wealth to a degree most people find unfathomable, a town which owes much of its national fame to its unmatchable excusivieness, which lamented the premature suspension of a canine festival due to the untimely arrival of excessive precipitation: Rain cuts Greenwich dog show short. I repeat.
Brilliant. That pretty much said it all. There is something pithy about that headline, don’t you think? Almost artistic, if you know what I mean. A haiku of sorts. A handful of words from a headline can tell us a lot about certain realities, I’ll have you know. Almost like a Warhol painting of a can of Campbell・s Soup. In fact, there was so much embodied in one single title that I decided to keep it. I printed it out and for a moment considered framing it as a statement about the world. A statement that screamed: This is Greenwich, Connecticut, Prepville, U.S.A. A world where nothing ever happens. A world apart. An existence oblivious to the harsh truths beyond its borders. These accusations may irk a large number of residents there, and I don・t blame them. Who wants to hear that? And yet whenever something like ・Rain cuts Greenwich dog show short・ pops up on the list of headlines aside homicide and ethnic cleansing, there is a tendency to want to say, ・See? I told you so.・
Which is why I paused and gave some thought to this all. Could that have been all that the town had to face that weekend? The only tragedy inflicted there? If that was its only problem then maybe it truly was a blessed land after all. Such was the despair that it stood out above any other piece of news the local paper had to post that day on my homepage. So, looked at this way, folks, it was newsworthy indeed. Newsworthy beyond all that is imaginable.
On a personal level, what was even more distressing is that Yahoo!, which monitors my reading and clicking habits, apparently felt that this was just the kind of news about my hometown that might interest me, me of all people! As if I had nothing better to do with my life than fret over the fate of some soggy poodle. It just might come up, you never know. It seems that the Greenwich Time placed this recent development high enough on the scale for it reach me 3,000 miles away, lest I should return in a few months and be unable to comment on it at my next dinner party. And sadly enough, I guess they were right. So, they hit it right on the nail. But maybe not for the reasons they suspected.