The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Reading the news today, I’ve been unsure about whether we’re getting some articles for tomorrow today. After all, who would believe a new TV series about a former governor who decides to become a crime fighter and builds a secret high-tech crime-fighting center under his house in Brentwood, or Google being so blatently copycat as to introduce a “like” button. But those stories are true. Here are some other ones that caught my eye:

  • Jhon Royal Underwood Returns. We’ve all heard about how, in this “digital generation”, good-old-fashioned records are making a comeback. For some of us, they never went away (I was just recording vinyl last weekend). But that’s not all that’s coming back. The digital generation is embracing… the typewriter. Kids today are fetishizing old Underwoods, Smith Coronas and Remingtons, recognizing them as well designed, functional and beautiful machines, swapping them and showing them off to friends. At a series of events called “type-ins,” they’ve been gathering in bars and bookstores to flaunt a sort of post-digital style and gravitas, tapping out letters to send via snail mail and competing to see who can bang away the fastest. As I said earlier today, you can’t make this stuff up.
  • Only the Young. We’re all aware we’re a culture of youth and beauty. A survey that came out today indicates that women consider themselves over the hill when they reach 29; whereas for men, the number is 58. Women evidently consider themselves to be old once “assets go south”. Men? Decreased libido/not as ‘able’ in the bedroom. (As for me, it was when Nell Carter died at age 56, and I went “She was young”). But we do know that sex sells. Another survey that came out today (which I expect to see on “Wait Wait”) shows that women with larger chests get bigger tips (you know, there’s no good way to say that). Better service? A step up on a 1-to-5 rating scale of customer satisfaction translates into just a small increase (say, from 15 to 16 or 17 percent of the check). Who would believe it?
  • What a Past. They are creating museums for almost anything these days. In Las Vegas, a city that could no longer support a Liberace museum, there are going to be not one but two museums celebrating Vegas’ history of organized crime. The museum at the Tropicana features life-size holograms of chatty gangsters greeting visitors and offering them a chance to get “made,” as well as the diary of mobster Meyer Lansky, Spilotro’s gun and family photos and home movies from other infamous criminals. Not to be done, the downtown museum features the wall from Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day massacre, the only gun recovered at the mass shooting and the barber chair where hit man Albert Anastasia’s life came to an end in a 1957 New York murder. No word yet regarding whether there will be field trips out into the desert.