My favorite thing about the internet is that it isn’t the newspaper. Or actually, it’s that it isn’t TV. It isn’t either of those things because it is so much weirder than those things. Think about it, what’s the weirdest thing you’re likely to see in the newspaper? Some story about a guy who uses Pez dispensers to rob banks or something like that. Yeah, that’s weird, but it’s only like one step above a Jay Leno bit. And TV? “Twin Peaks” was pretty weird, granted, and every now and then something like this happens, but the truth is, it’s pretty freaking boring. One of the great ironies of the reality TV era is that it has somehow managed to suck the spontaneity right out of television. Nothing’s scripted but everything’s planned.
But the internet? The internet is weird. And I’m not talking about the little niches and tucked away corners of the thing either; no, the mainstream internet is really very strange. And thank god for that. Take, for example, this column on the fairly mainstream website The Awl. This is a column written by the rockstar/poet/painter Ryan Adams (or D. Ryan Adams or David Ryan Adams or D.R. Adams or however he’s billed). The subject of the column, as least so far, is 1980s arcade games. It contains paragraphs like this:
I found these few handhelds at VideogamesNewYork on a tiny stretch of sidewalk on 6th Street. Just across the alleyway that runs behind that new futureshock building I could hear the rumblings of folks falling out of McSorley’s. Oh me! The store is packed with tons of old Nintendo and out-of-stock games. They carry used new stuff too. I found my handhelds on the second aisle all the way in back next to an amazing Voltex LCD screened system which they more than happily plugged in for me. RockBand (some weirdo new game where you press buttons of fake instruments) was on and the imaginary Beatles were on that thing. Some kid made a rude joke about one of the members of that band and nobody laughed but nobody cared either. Most people in a game store are out of touch with their feelings or have too many. Or maybe that is everybody, or maybe everybody is well-adjusted. How should I know?
And there’s a postscript to the column that simply says “Danzig,” and links to a music video. I can’t entirely decide whether this column is genius or completely insane (or maybe both). I don’t much care; I enjoy it, regardless. God bless The Awl, god bless Ryan Adams and god bless the Internet. Have a great weekend, everybody!