If the assignment editor for the Features Department of the New York Times newspaper just happens to read this column he may be very glad that he did if he gets a "heads-up" about an art story that he can assign, but what about everybody else in the world with access to the Internets? Is it possible that a citizen-columnist might be the first writer to notice a story that is that good? Or is it more likely that people will be very amused by the opportunity of seeing a self-deluded fool in action? Isn't that the very same reason why the news coverage (such as it is) of the Republican efforts to get their party's 2012 Presidential Nomination is so fascinating? Don't those folks realize that JEB has a lock on it?
Columnists, much like journalists, are trained to turn on their cultural radar the moment they wake up and keep it scanning the contemporary scene until they drift off to sleep that night.
Were the college kids on KALX the first to play a trend setting song of the future on this morning's program? Did a local Berkeley CA web site break a story that will resonate with all the young people staying at the Sydney Central Backpackers Hostel? Would it be worth the effort to buy a brand new book at Moe's Bookstore, read it, and then review it for the entire world?
Is it possible that a columnist could visit the used bookstore run by friends of the Berkeley Public Library and find some new (and shocking?) information about the Bush Junta in a book by Laura Flanders (Bushwomen Vero hardback) that was published outside the United States (in the American colony called London?) in 2004? Isn't Bush-bashing out of date? Isn't it too early now to be of relevance to the next installment in the saga of the Bush Dynasty?
Suppose that a columnist notices what seems to be a local trend in graffiti?
Artists in California have tended in the past to be at the vanguard of new national fads in many areas of contemporary American culturd. Aren't most of the journalists in Cali, who work for a nationally known media headquartered in Manhattan, especially keen to find a trend-spotting story? (and thus get an "attaboy" from the home office?)
After purchasing a Nikon Coolpix digital camera, about a year ago, we were anxious to try out the close up setting and so we began to notice small examples of graffiti in the form of stickers affixed to inconspicuous locations around Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Since this columnist isn't well versed in botany, and since flowers tend to vibrate in the wind, and since stickers don't; we began to concentrate more on collecting images of the stickers.
Some seemed to be mug shots of John Wayne Gaycie. Was that a subtle political statement? Are capitalists eating the poor? Is it a call to action? Is it an expression of a bit of sarcasm?