The building has a music act every Wednesday, and today if you left your office to stroll around for lunch, you had a guy playing an original ragtime tune.

Even in its diminished state, the serendipity of downtowns is always there. When I got back up to the office, though, I was struck with an emotion I haven’t had since the Great Withdrawl.

The office was mostly empty, and I was sick of it.

Tired to the point of disgust. As in I don’t want to be here. I know, I know, that’s at odds with everything, from my daily trips to the office to my general desire for the resurrection of downtown. But nothing seems to have changed around here in two and a half years. Every space that was abandoned is still in the same condition. There’s a book on Elon Musk that has been sitting in the same place for two and a half years. Pictures of babies who are probably walking and talking.

When I was in the suburban office structure last week for the panel, it was like stepping into a futuristic city, something left over from the pre-COVID commercials. A big two-story lobby on the other side of security, with well-appointed lounges and coffee shops, people walking around with purpose, or chatting in twos. It seemed like a place where things got done, and where people were content to do them. I almost expected droids to be running along the floor, drones to be buzzing overhead.

There’s just nothing up here anymore, and sometimes I hate it.

On the other hand, after I made coffee, one of the hardy fellows who comes in a lot was heading up the stairs with his mug, and I said I'd just made some, and he said he hoped I had. He was counting on me! So there's that.

Filed a column and went to the gym. Major muscle weariness from bumping up all the weights. I'm in such great shape I can hardly walk.


This week in Detritus: What the hell

People in the Twitter replies are mostly creeped out, as they should be. I had to poke around to find that these creatures are crash-test dummies, part of an attraction. You really can’t tell that from this, can you? THRILL IMMERSION MODEL. Oh yeah, that. Got it. They look like emojis brought to life by some monstrous experiment.

What the hell, pt. 2:


Everyone loves drag queens because they’re fun and bring happiness”


  These parodic impressions of Actual Women cross a line at some point and head deep into Clown Country. I mean, those are clowns. They have a podcast!

They wrote a book. Amazon:

Drag superstars Trixie Mattel and Katya have long captivated fans with their stunning looks, onscreen chemistry, and signature wit. In Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood, the pair channel that energy into an old-school etiquette guide for ladies.

Publisher bio:

Katya Zamolodchikova is a woman in her early forties looking to fall in love in the next three to five weeks. She lives in Los Angeles with her ex-husband Glen and her four beautiful daughters. This is her second book.

Wait a minute, wait a minute . . . Drag Superstars, plural, so Katya is a drag queen, except Katya is a woman? Reminds me of the Mary Tyler Moore episode where Mary says that a woman can do everything a man can, and Rhoda disagrees, citing the job of “female impersonator.”

Except no, that’s the persona. The performer’s real name is Brian.

In January 2018, McCook announced a hiatus from drag for mental health reasons, and his comedy tour as Katya, "Help Me, I'm Dying", was postponed until spring 2019. Returning to Twitter in March 2018, McCook announced that the tour would likely be renamed due to his recovery.

In the first episode of Whimsically Volatile in March 2018, McCook discussed the hiatus in detail. He described suffering a psychotic break after a methamphetamine relapse and briefly returning to live with his family in Massachusetts before entering a rehabilitation center in Arizona.

Also, Trixie Mattel’s real name is Brian. What are the odds.

Anyway, some people find drag queens the human equivalent of a liquified Skittles enema. All that camp and kitsch. No, no, it’s fiercely bitchy! Whatever.

What the hell, pt. 3:

  If you’re not following the ups and downs and downs and more downs of the Web3 / NFT culture, the news reports look like a different language.

And, in conclusion: It is time for “cringe” to be replaced by “wincey,” which is more elegant and sophisticated. A man does not cringe at the sight of someone doing something embarrassing; a man may wince, slightly, perhaps even inwardly with no outward manifestation, while saying “oh, my dear fellow, no” in a mid-Atlantic accent.



This is wincey. When brands use “online” language and styles, they always look like David Brent dancing.

That’s not the proper use of that style. It’s meant to mock someone who says something stupid, or, more likely now, to pre-mock a statement you’re sure a stupid person would say.


No Construction this week, because there's nothing to show you but the glass on the new entrance to the hotel, and I think we can live without that.

Somehow I think there are easy explanations he might have invented.

YOU'RE LYING! Maybe he isn't, but that works some times. Solution is here.



We're closing out the year - in fact, closing out this feature for the foreseable future, after the end of 2022 - with some marvelous WABC sounders. It's from the Mitch-Miller massed male chorus era of middlebrown music.


I love that stuff. It'll give way to groovy rock before it knows what hit it.

This year we're counting down the top hits . . . of 1922.

The King was all over the top of the charts. One hit after the other. This is "Stumblin'."


As usual, it has a jaunty charm. Wouldn't you have loved to have spent a day in New York in 1922? So familiar and so far away.


1954 car ad campaign had big, big budgets.






Thanks for stopping by! See you on Monday - but first, more Bygone People to peruse.




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