The work of television is to establish false contexts and to chronicle the unraveling of existing contexts; finally, to establish the context of no-context and to chronicle it.
George W. S. Trow, Within the Context of No Context
Trow was born three years earlier than I and lived in Greenwich at the same time as I. He had a splendid time, although I’m not sure you’d know that from his writings, which to me seem as dense as osmium. He went to Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard and wrote for the National Lampoon and The New Yorker. He might have been the reason I disliked reading the magazine for all those many years. He quit when editor Tina Brown asked Roseanne Barr to develop an issue focusing on women.
Wikipedia says of Trow’s only novel that it:
did not impress critics. They were put off by its minimalist style and lack of plot, narrative momentum or involving characters.
One of my grandchildren is a curmudgeon of sorts and seems to enjoy being in the company of adult curmudgeons: he understands their references and under-the-breath snideties; I suspect he would have feasted with Trow.
While Trow seemed to long for the good old days, his analysis of television in the 1950s is full of insight with contemporary application.
I left rain in Oregon to find even greater quantities of it in San Miguel. During the flight from Orange County to Mexico City a band named Los 5 played a two-song concert for passengers.
On arrival in Mexico City the immigration official questioned me more closely on entrance than had officials on previous trips and the customs official was suspect of my duffel bag. Did I sense that Mexico is looking at Americans somewhat differently now that Trumplicans are dancing around their campfires? Or is it just that I’ve come and gone so many times that they wonder what I’m doing here?
The taxi fare from the airport to the bus terminal in Mexico City (234 pesos) seemed to be about 10 percent more than on my previous trip.
The taxi driver in Mexico City pronounced The Donald’s named troomp, so at first I didn’t understand his questions about the candidate, especially because we’d been talking about the weather and the traffic, which was mid-afternoon horrible. The driver thought troomp was “loco.” The San Miguel driver pronounced Trump’s name as it’s pronounced in English, but drew circles in the air around his ear to indicate what he thought of the man.
I had picked up a copy of the March issue of the magazine More to read on the plane and on the cover was the teaser: Mexico’s Hidden Gem, an interview with a French-born artist and designer about her life in and love of—San Miguel. Now San Miguel isn’t exactly a hidden gem anymore, especially since Condé Nast Traveller called it the #1 city in the world a few years ago, but I’m sure it was or is an unknown locale to many. Thankfully none of my haunts was mentioned, but I’m sure the overflow tourist crush will drift into my little spots.