Tue 10 Jun
Two anecdotes from my daily walk to the office: First, it was a beautiful morning to release a new Radiohead album; the skies were a calming, solid blue and the sun is finally, after weeks of miserable precipitation, pouring down clean, bright light again. There’s a Virgin Megastore at Union Square and as I walked past it I saw one satisfied consumer after another exiting its doors with a copy of “Hail to the Thief,” happily heading off into the springtime. I walked a little further into the park and I saw a young woman sitting on a bench beneath an old, old tree, already listening to the CD on her Discman and reading along with the lyrics intently.
Myself, I’m not sure if I really need another CD’s worth of Thom Yorke’s inner torment, but the quiet eventfulness of this album release impressed me. It was a little bit like watching the dissemination of an idea, each customer carrying off their discs into the city, spreading out the idea of a new Radiohead album incrementally, almost like an evolving rumor.
The second anecdote is less benign. Every morning I go to the same little deli on 27th Street and order an egg sandwich. They’re always nice to me there and they even let me bring Mister President into the store. But yesterday I heard one of the deli clerks make an off-color joke to another customer, injudiciously employing the racial slur “nigger.” It threw me off then but this morning, as I passed it, I realized that I can’t patronize that deli anymore.