If you're like me, you hear voices when you read. If you're familiar with the author and his or her tone, you hear a familiar voice; if not, or if the piece is anonymous, the right voice gradually develops - and it is most definitely an audible sensation. So it can really fuck you up when you think you're reading one person's words but you're actually reading another's. I had just such an unsettling experience earlier this week while reading this blog recap of Billy Jam's excellent live-at-the-Knitting Factory radio show from May 23rd. I made the mistake (which I often do) of looking to see who posted it before reading it. Liz Berg posted it, so I heard Liz Berg's authorial voice as I read it. I missed the crucial "Billy Jam says:" way up at the top of the thing. Hearing Billy Jam's words in Liz Berg's voice (and not knowing it), I actually felt a bit of planetary shift in my confusion - it was just all wrong! Sure, there are probably greater distances than the one between Billy's and Liz's blogging / speaking / writing styles, but theirs still packs a disorienting wallop. The closest comparable experience I can think of is a bad acid trip in the company of a couple who're fighting, to a soundtrack of "The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes". Been there, brothers and sisters - great music, nice people, baaad trip!
Or I can share the experience. Jump the flip to enjoy four very distinct New York newspapers reviewing one egregiously New York-identifying movie with legs as unbreakable as the presidential campaign of one New York senator. All four reviews appear (in excerpted form) anonymously, so as to maximize your potential to confuse, say, New York for the New Yorker, or the News for the Post. (The Times chose to remain above it all, natch.)
I hate people who use "natch" in conversation - if there's an "ersatz" to follow, then I declare this post hijacked!