Monday, July 20, 2009

Virtual Insanity

On one of the 476 flashing Times Square signs, I saw a call to visit Times Square's official website:

So I took a virtual stroll over there today and:

I'm only showing a portion of this site for fear of sending my readers into epileptic shock. I really can't afford to lose any of you.

I don't know why I'm surprised that my virtual stroll through timessquarenyc would be ANY different than my actual painful trudge through Times Square NYC.

I counted 37 separate homepage promos*. This is not counting the navigation, weather widget, news ticker, interactive map promo, countdown to 2010 clock, or the pointlessly animated logo.

And then there were three different ways to sign up for Times Square updates. You know, in case you have a burning masochistic desire for the information overload to find you...wherever you are. (Which, I believe, is the perfect segue into reminding you that this blog too can be found on facebook, twitter, RSS feed, or e-mail subscription!)

Just for the fun of it (and by that, I mean in order to make fun of it), I clicked on a random pixel on the page and got to the Events calendar. Here's a smattering of what July has/had to offer in ye olde Times Square:

On July 1st, from 7-9 PM there was 'A Tribute to MEAT LOAF + FLEETWOOD MAC + TOM PETTY.' Why so few artists, Times Square? You sure you don't want to cram, oh, maybe some Bette Midler, Ted Nugent, and O-Town in those two hours? No?

In case you doubt the versatility of the venue that's housing the above, on July 12th there was something there that is simply called 'Atheist', which apparently is a band that feels like it's possible to have the phrase "quality Heavy/ Thrash/ Death Metal" used in a sentence. To which I say, paraphrasing the immortal words of Journey, way to never stop believin', Atheist.

And then, on, July 26th, there's Pat Martino**. Not being familiar with the name, I clicked on it and got this description, which is either a really really poor edit of his bio or the flapjacket of the latest Jodi Picoult novel:

'When the anesthesia wore off, Pat Martino looked up hazily at his parents and his doctors. and tried to piece together any memory of his life. One of the greatest guitarists in jazz. Martino had suffered a severe brain aneurysm and underwent surgery after being told that his condition could be terminal. After his operations he could remember almost nothing. He barely recognized his parents. and had no memory of his guitar or his career. He remembers feeling as if he had been 'dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed...naked.'

I particularly like the fragmented sentence 'One of the greatest guitarists in jazz' placed smack in the middle of what I think is the harrowing story of some sort of medical issue. It really adds a free-form poetry element to the bit. I also like the use of periods instead of commas. I can only assume it's meant to be taken as a subtle homage to poet e.e. cummings, who famously eschewed capital letters and punctuation. Thanks for the high-brow literary lessons, copy editor and/or Jodi Picoult!

* I think that's accurate but my vertigo would only allow me three attempts to count properly. If anyone wants to take the plunge and see if they can conclusively count the number of promos, feel free to leave said number in the comments section.

** Fine, I admit that I only clicked on this because for a second I got excited and thought it said Pat Morita.

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