Blog Topic 10: Givethanksing

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm

This is the first blog prompt that was a no-brainer for me. It would be all to easy to mentally scroll through the litany of sites I hit on a weekly (ahem, daily) basis and ponder deeply on which provides the greatest utility to my typically quirk-laden and oft-inane life. But it would all be for naught. Because the only site that would debilitate my sense of self by suddenly vanishing into thin air is the one that graces my screen the moment I log on — http://www.nytimes.com, my hallowed Page of Home.

I know, pathetic. A news site. And not even on that lies off the beaten path! I would feel ashamed if it weren’t for the fact that the NYT is so…awesome. Even my adjectives are clichéd. But I don’t care. I just don’t CARE! You could abscond with my black-and-white cookies, snatch my Ingrid Michaelson anthology, set ablaze my Bette Davis DVDs, trash the fallen branch I picked up on Broome Street when I was four that looks like Perry Como, take Bones off the air (…please God don’t!), erase from the planet such cinematic gems as Boeing Boeing and The Right Stuff, shut down Cost Plus World Market, and retroactively convince J.D. Salinger to open a bodega instead of write novels and IT WOULD ALL BE OKAY…just let me keep http://www.nytimes.com! And for the love of all that is holy, please don’t make me pay (or else I will be forced to peddle aforementioned tangibles at below-market-value prices on eBay).

How is it that someone (for the purposes of this particular post, me) so averse to news of almost all kinds holds a news website in such high esteem? Because, dear reader (…dear void?), http://www.nytimes.com is so much more than news. It is a zeitgeist. A lifestyle. A guide to living. A tsk-tsk, finger-wagging pseudo-mama reminding you to eat your cabbage not only because people are starving in Xanadu, but also because it’s one of the 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating. A safe haven for sardonic thoughts to find good company and assuage the bi-product of said sardonicism: guilt at being so sardonic.

Take, for instance, the comforting column that greeted me on Thanksgiving Day. I had woken up to the sound of ( jolly?) bickering over the theme of this year’s Christmas tree — my mother, typically, wanting nothing to do with anything colorful, arguing on behalf of a palette that could at best be called, “classic creams and golds,” at worst “I stole Christmas not by jacking Cindy Lou, but rather by eradicating all semblance of ROY G. BIV from the face of the living room.” My father, meanwhile, was arguing not for the opposing team, but rather advocating for the devil, proclaiming the need for a flamboyant model train beneath the tree and colorful classic transportation-themed ornaments (of which we have a total of none, thus posing the additional problem of climbing a summit of financial output before reaching the peak of not-s0-angelic tree-topping). He might as well have informed my mother than he had won a Major Prize and installed it prominently in the front window. The tree, I noticed, looked apathetic about the whole thing, and bent at a slight angle that said, “No amount of water will revive my original zest for my once-promising life of potential longevity.”

In other words, I was feeling somewhat short of gratuitous, and wasn’t even in the zip code of thankful. So it was like a pat of solidarity to read the following:

Oh, nytimes.com. How you bolster me. I could give thanks for disfunction! For cynicism! For quiet internal dialogue! For the ability to spin locks of mundaneness into something less bland just by finding humor! And what’s more, you offer me this as a bonus prize! Ode to Joy! Hark, the Herald Times Angels Sing!

Even on days that do not require holiday anxiety relief, nytimes.com offers me a plethora of regularly scheduled treats. Dowd-isms. Bittman bites. Crosley comforts. Practicality. Semi-practicality. Comedy. now if only the NYT would somehow link to McSweeney’s, my online life would be streamlined and nearly unassailable.

So, http://www.nytimes.com, come December 16, I may return home to a Christmas tree drowning in its own mauve-tastic boredom. I may find a seasonal homage to Amtrak. But hey, kid, I’ll always have you.

  1. Kate! Love love love this, and agree completely. NYTimes is the best news site by far. And I love the inclusion of your favorite things, and the reference to the leg lamp. Can’t wait for Christmas Story to run 24/7!!!!

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