April 2020
@shampooty 100 gecs 101 Things To Do With Your Modem 1080p 1969 1990s 20 is the new 40 2000s fashion 2012 2013 2013: Appropriating a 2013 2014 3D Animation 3D Cool World 5.4 A Guide to Buying Haunted Items A. G. Cook A.I. aaron carnes Abelton Abner Jay abstract art abstractionists absurdism acoustic action action figures Ad Hoc Adam Harper Adult Swim Adventure Time advertisements advertising aesthetic aesthetics Afterschool Specials AI art Alain Delorme Alan Vega album art alcohol Alejandro Jodorowsky Alexandra Rowland Alissa Timoshinka Alt Space altered states alvin & the chipmunks ambient American Apparel analyses analysis Andre Ulrych Angelina Jolie Angus MacLise Animal Collective animation Ann Steel Anthony Bourdain Anti-art anti-consumerism anti-fashion anti-virus software anti-war anxiety Apophenia Appropration Aquarium Drunkard aquariums architecture Architecture in Helsinki Architecture of Utopia archive ariel rechtshaid Army of Trolls art Art Bears art installation art museum articles artificial intelligence artist artists ASMR Astral Weeks Austin Psych Fest 2013 auteur authenticity Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response avant garde Avey Tare and Panda Bear b-movies Babette's Feast Baby Blue Baby Cartoon Rhymes bad operation Barf-O-Rama Barstool Sports baseball cards BASEKetball bass guitar bath salts Battle vs Death Battle bbrainz beautimus Begotten believers Ben Butcher Bernard Dumaine Berndnaut Smilde Bertolt Brecht Betamax Plus Bill Doss Bill Murray Billy Childish bio-dynamic biodegradable urn biosonic MIDI technology Black Dice Black Flag Blackest Rainbow Records Blackout Blade Runner Blockbuster blog Blow Job: An Extreme Wind Photoseries Bob Marley Bob Ross Bongwater Boo Boo books bootleg toys Bradford Cox brain tingles brains Brand New Wayo Brian Brian Eno Britt Brown Brittany Murphy Broadened Horizons: The Ultimate Shit List Bruce Goff Bruce Nauman Brushy Brushy Brutalist Architecture Bubblegum Bass Bubbly Bulbasaur Building the Bridge Burger bus stops butterfly Cadillacs and Dinosaurs Can cannabis career motivated Carl Sagan Cartoon Network Casino Night catbite Censorship chandelier Charles Grodin Charles Thomson Charlie Brown Cheddar Goblin children children's books Chillwave chopped & screwed chris cutler Chris Jordan Chris Maggio Chris Marker Christopher Columbus Christopher Reimer Christopher S. Hyatt Christopher White Chrysta Bell Church of the SubGenius cinema click and point games clothes Clothes of the year 2050 Clouds Coci Cocteau Twins Cody Meirick collaboration collage Collateral Damage collections collectors items comedy albums comedy films comic books communication Comus condition consciousness consumerism content drift conversations cooking cookwear copyright cosmic jazz costumes cottagecore cover band Cradle of Filth Crass creepy criticism Crock Pots crown shyness cult films cult movies cultural movements culture Culture Jamming Cyber Secrets #3 Dada Daevid Allen Dallas Observer Damien Hirst Damo Suzuki Dan Lam Daniel London Daniel Lopatin Danni Filth Danzig dark database Dave Allen David Bowie David Henry David Lowery David Lynch David Toro David Zucker Dean Ween Dean Zeus Colman December Decimus 4 decline Definition of Hunk Dennis Flemion dental calendar design Destroy All Monsters Detachment and the Spiritual Life Diane Cluck dick jokes digital art Digital DIY Labels digital trends Dimensions of Dialogue Dimitri Tsykalov Diplo director directory DIS Magazine disco Discogs Discordianism discussions distaste DIY DJ Dog Dick DJ Evangelion Fan Theory DJ Warlord documentaries dolphins Donka Doka Dope Diglett Dopesmoker Doug Ferguson Douglas Hill Dr. John drawing Drinkfy drone drone music drugs Duane Pitre dub Dudeism Duppy Gun Dustin Wong Dux Content DVD dysmorphia dystopia Earth Eartheater eBay echo chamber edible fixtures eichlers electronic music electronica Eleh elevators Éliane Radigue Elias Mehringe Elizabeth Hart ELO Emily White emo fashion Energy Entourage Ephermeral Work Eric Copeland Eric Lumbleau esoterica essays etienne conod Eurock Evan Prosofsky events Excepter exercises exhibition experimental experimental cuisine experimental music eyesight fake toys Family Fan Fiction Fandom Music fashion fast food FDA feature films Felicita fiction film film reviews films fire place glass Fire-Toolz Fishing Floating Flying Spaghetti Monster Foetus FoFoFadi food food porn Ford Four American Composers: Robert Ashley France Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fraud Fred Camper Freddy Got Fingered free Free Blockbuster free jazz Fun Boy Three furniture future pop gadgets gallery Gang of Four Gen Z Generation Y Generation Yawn Genesis P-Orridge genre George Harrison George Plimpton Germany GFOTY Ghost Capital Ghost Modernism Ghostcapital III ghosts Ginny Arnell Giorgio Moroder Glenn Branca Global Village Coffeehouse golden retrievers Gong Goosebumps (TV series) Gorilla vs Bear Goth graphic design grooming Groundhog Day Gruff Rhys Guest Mix Guest Mixes guide guides Guillermo del Toro guitar tunings gummy bears Guo Yi-Hun Guru Guru Gustav Holst GVC hacker culture Hackers hacking Haircut Halloween halloween mix hallucinatory hallucinogens therapy handcrafted objects Hannah Diamond Happiness Harmony Korine harry sword Harvey Milk Hausu Mountain healing HEALTH health & fitness Health Goth hearing loss Hella Hellraiser Hem Sandwich Henry and Glenn Forever Henry Cow Henry Darger Henry Rollins Hippos in Tanks hipster culture hipsters Holger Czukay Holly Herndon holograms Holotropic Breathwork holy fuck Holy Warbles Home Alone homes Homestuck hope hopepunk horror horror movies How to Have a Zen Attitude How to Keep Healthy httpster humaity humanities humor Hung I-chen Hunk Hunk uniform (loosely) hyper connectivity hyperreal Hyperreality I Have No Idea What I'm Doing Iasos ice cream identity Idrissa Diop and Cheikh Tidane Tall Igor Wakhevitch Illuminated Paths Ima Read imagination Important Records independent movies indie fashion indie rock indie sleaze industry news Infectious Disease Balls ink inspiration inspirato Instagram installations interior design internet Internet Archive internet art interview interviews intoxicants inverviews IRL Glasses irony it is most definitely art Ivan Cash Iván Diaz Math J Henry Fair Jabberwocky Jack Black Jack Long James Blackshaw James Bridle James Ferraro James Wines Jan Svankmajer Japanese Bug Fights Japanoise Jared Davis Jeff Bridges jeff rosenstock jer Jessica Chen Jessica Ekomane Jif Peanut Butter Jimmy Buffett John Brien John Carpenter John Fell Ryan John Hamblin John Lurie John Lytle Wilson John Maus John McAfee John Olson Johnny Lee Miller Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Julian Cope Julian Koster Julien Pacaud junk food Junk Food Dinner Kane West Kazumasa Nagai Keippah Kelly Reichardt Kevin Ayers Kevin Champeny Khelifi Ahmed Kickstarter Kids Incorporated Kids Toys Adult Issues kill lincoln Kim Laughton King Frog KinoVino Kiyohiko Senba and The Haniwa All-Stars Kleenex Knitting clock Krautrock Krautrocksampler Kria Brekkan L.A. La Croix LA Vampires Land art Lauren Boyle law of attraction layout Les Claypool Lester Bangs Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone Life During Wartime lifestyle lilangelboi Lindsay Cooper liner notes linguistics link rot Lipgloss Twins lists literature Little Dolls live reviews live streaming lockdown Lol Coxhill London Longest Recorded Echo Lou Reed Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars Love (sculpture) LSA LSD Luca Yupanqui Lucie Thomas Lucky Me Luke Wilson Lumen Lydia Lunch M. Geddes Gengras M. Sage Macauly Culkin Macintosh Plus magazines Magic and Superstition magic mushrooms maintenance art Majestic Casual Malcolm McLaren Malcolm Rebennack Male Chef Mandy Manicure Records manifesto Manifesto For Maintenance Art mannequins manz Marco Roso marijuana marine life Mark Prindle Mark Schultz Martin Short Mary Steenburgen masterpieces Matt Furie Matthew Lutz-Kinoy Matthew McConaughey Max Headroom Max Payne 3 Mayan Apocalypse McDonald's MDMA Mean Clown Welcome Meat Clothing media media culture Meditation memes Men Without Hats Meow Wolf merchandise Metal Machine Music Mica Hendrix Michael Nesmith MIDI Midjourney Mike Hughes Mike Kelly mike park mike sosinski Mike Stoklasa Mindfuck mindfulness Minecraft Miracle Legion miscellaneous Mist Mister Mellow Mix Mixes mixtapes modern music analysis modernism Molecular Gastronomy molly Monkees monkeys monoskop Moon Glyph Moth Cock movements Movie Promotional Merch Unlimited movies movments Mr. Impossible Mr. T Mr. Tinglemittens Mrs Doubtfire Mukqs murder music music charts music community music downloads music journalisim music journalism music marketplace music software music videos music websites Music with Roots in the Aether: Robert Ashley mustard plug Mutant Sounds My Bloody Valentine My Little Pony My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs my sharona Myles Byrne-Dunhill NASA natural Natural Materials & Structures: Trend Analysis nature Nautipuss negative influencer neon lights NEST HQ’S GUIDE TO NIGHTCORE new age music New Mexico New York New York Times news Nickelodeon Nicolas Cage Nicolás Romero Escalada Nicole McLaughlin Nightcore Nightcorey Nimbus Njena Reddd Foxxx No Use for a Name No Wave No-Neck Blues Band noise NOP Nora Ephron Normcore nostalgia Not Not Fun Not The New York Times NOWNESS NPR Nu Twee nudity Nurse With Wound Nurse With Wound List NY NYC HELL 3:00 OBEY obituaries Obvious Plant ocean oddball music Oingo Boingo Old Joy Oliver Rowe Olivia Newton John Oneohtrix Point Never Online Underground Op Art optical illusion optimism Organ Armani Ornette Coleman Otto Muehl outsider art P.T. Anderson Pacific Rim packaging paint paint flowers painting Painting With John paintings pandemic pandora's box Panos Cosmatos paranormal activity paranormal objects parody Party Pills pastoral Pat Murano Pat Pollari Pataphysics Paul Reubens Pauline Oliveros PC Music peace pedalstare Pee-Wee Herman Penny Rimbaud Pepper Mill Rondo perception shifts Perfect Lives performance art Perma personal growth Pete Swanson Peter Shumann Ph.D. Phil Connors philosophy phonebook Phonocut photography pig-snails Pilgrim Simon pitchfork pitchfork-bashing pizza planetary chocolates plates Plonk art Plop art Plug.DJ plunderphonics podcasts Pokecrew Pokemon Polaris politics Polluted Water Popsicles Pollution PON STOP NOP Poolside Radio pop art pop culture popcorn_10 popsicles porn post-internet posters pranks predictions Primer Procrastination Principle products prog rock Prolaps promo psilocybin psychedelia psychiatry Psychic Ills Psychic TV psychology public art Public Art Fund punk punk cd commercial punk rock puppetry Quasimoto Questlove quotes R Plus 7 R.I.O. Radio Broadcasts radio stations Randy Gilson Randy Warhol Randyland rastafarianism raw meat Ray Lynch Raymond Pettibon Readful Things Real Love recipes recommended records record label record labels records recycling Red Bull Music Academy Red City Noise reel big fish reggae reincarnated Religion Rem Lezar Remodernism Remote Viewer Repo Man retro reviews Richard Beck Richard Sears Rick Moranis Rick Springfield Ricky Allman Rinse.fm RIO Rob Tyner Robedoor Robert Anton Wilson Robert Ashley Robert Greenberg Robert Indiana Robert Smithson Robin Arnott Robin Williams robots rock in opposition Roddy Piper Roger Ebert Roky Erickson Runzelstirn and Gurgelstock Ryan Hemsworth Sally Fields Salvador Dali sampling Santa Fe Sarah Davachi sausage scams scans scary Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark sci-fi science science fiction Scotland Scott Shaw sculpture Seatec Astronomy self improvement self portrait serious? Sesame Street Seth Cohen Seven Figures Severed Heads sex sex tapes sexy Shane Caruth Sharkula Sherman Hemsley sherpas shoegaze short films sign offline signs Simpsonwave Site-Specific Art ska ska against racism skateboarding skeptcis skull slackers slang Sleep Slime Cake sludgefest Slyme Records Snoop Dogg Snoop Lion So You'd Like to...Be an Anti-Gen Xer (Part 1) So You'd Like to...Be an Anti-Gen Xer (Part 2) social networks Soloman Chase Sonic Wonderland Sonic Youth Sopa Pipa Sophie sound sound archives sound art soundcloud SoundSelf space space plates Space Trips Spencer Longo SPF420 spirituality spoof sports St. Bernard's Sports Star Trek Star Wars Stephen Colbert Stephen Gammell Stereo Mood Steven Stapleton still life stoner comedies stoner metal stoner movies streaming Stump Subcultures subversive humor Subvertising Suicide summer Sun Araw Sun Ra Sunday is Raining sunglasses sunshine pop surrealism sustainable fashion Swans synesthesia System Focus T.V. Shows Taco Bell Taiwan TALSounds tattoos technology Television Ten Steps on How to Become a Slacker Terrence Malick thc The 13th Floor Elevators The Adventures of Pete & Pete the angles of comfort The Apples in Stereo The Art Box The B-52s The Baseball Card Vandals The Beach Bum The Big Lebowski The Birthday Party The Black Madonna The Bread and Puppet Theater The Coen Brothers The Congos The Day My Kid Went Punk The Family International The Frogs The Great Puke-off the handmaid's tale The Illuminatus! Trilogy The Incredible String Band The Jetsons The Last Trick The Life Stains The Lounge Lizards The Master The Master Musicians of Joujouka The Music Tapes The Now Age The OC The Odd Recommendation The Oh of Pleasure The Olivia Tremor Control The Red Shoes The Relative Band The Roots The Shape of Jazz to Come The Shining The Simpsons The Strokes The Sweet Homewreckers The Sylvers The Tubes The Velvet Underground The Wire therapy Theses on Punk They Live Thibault Zimmerman Things Organized Neatly things that would never have happened until they happen This is how NASA wakes up astronauts Thomas Newman Throbbing Gristle Thurston Moore Tinashe tiny hands tips To the Wonder Todd Solondz Tom Green Tony Futura Tony Sly Toro y Moi Tox Modell toys Trans Air Records trash Treasure Hunt trees Trevor Cox Trevor Reveur Trey Parker and Matt Stone tribute Trippy Turtle tromp l'oeil Tron tumblr Tupac turntable.fm Tuxedomoon TV Operas TV shows Twee twitter udi koorman UK underground art underground music unicorn unknown unpublished Unresponsive Design upcycling Upstream Color Urban Dictionary urban legends Urban Outfitters URL shows V/A - West Indies Funk 3 Val Kilmer Van Morrison vaporwave vapourwave vegan Velvet Underground VHS video Video Art video edit video games video rental videos Vince Guaraldi Vine vintage vinyl Vinyl Marketwatch Virtual Reality Wabi-Sabi Want to save your eyes? Change your light bulbs. Warp Records Washed Out Waterpark weapons websites WEDIDIT Weird Al wellness Wendy's WFMU What Makes A Bad Movie Enjoyable? WHTEBKGRND wifislilangel Wikipedia Wild Man Fishcher Will Oldham Williams Street Winston Riley Wolf Eyes Women Woods Yellow Swans youth culture youtube YouTube Poop Zebra Katz zen Zen Filmmaking Zim & Zou Zin-Say Zonal Zoom Lens

SPF420 Are Internet Stoner Punks Who Want To Change Live-Stream Clubbing

"There's no cover charge, there's no bar – and you can bring your own drugs.”

(since SPF420 has returned we have decided to reprint this old article on HUNK, and be sure to scope the 4/20 show; flyer posted below)

A few years ago, I may not have found watching a killer line up of DJs on an A/V live stream hard to imagine, but maybe to the extent to which Boiler Room has done. Remember back in 2010, when Hudson Mohawke played? One camera in a student digs-looking room with people hanging out, listening to hip hop? Since then, Boiler Room has proved that old quip about modern art - "I could have done that..." "Yeah, but you didn't, did you?" - by taking available technologies and a DIY mind-set to bring the music straight to us. 
I've heard people complain about these streams ("No one's dancing!", "The sound's crap!"), but that's overshadowed by the fact that kids in countries where clubbing is either shit or non-existent can watch world-class talent play in a room thousands of miles away, and it's all live. There's something beautiful in that - and the late 2000s has seen this sentiment drive a rapidly expanding enterprise. From friends mucking about on Ustream to Boiler Room's globetrotting events, streams like these are now a largely accepted facet of electronic music culture, and have created shifts in attitudes towards the realities of clubbing: about what clubbing should deliver in an age where anyone with an internet connection can "get locked in" - and host. 
Two weeks ago, I watched a crew of kids host a live stream called SPF420Ryan HemsworthSaint Pepsi and half a dozen others flinging themselves around on a live stream via YouTube (which got killed off because of "copyright infringement issues"), then on TinyChat; playing the kind of high energy stabs of electronic pop that have made vaporware A Thing, getting stoned, and freaking out about every last transition in the chat room.
It turns out that SPF420 are Liz and Chaz, from North Carolina and Illinois respectively, who have been running these live streams from multiple locations ever since they started chatting years ago on Turntable FM. "We would all hang out and listen to whatever; Lil B, Salem sped up 33%, sometimes our own tracks", explains Liz. They're "super close, real life friends" - who had never met until a fortnight ago. "Except for this past week at SXSW, we did everything online together. We are close, real life friends - just, on the internet."
Liz and Chaz are two self-confessed introverts. Speaking to them, starting SPF420 seems the logical next step for a generation who have grown up with multiple identity-shaping platforms (LiveJournal and MySpace in the early days, Twitter and Facebook now necessary appendages), and use the phrase "IRL" in conversation – which they do constantly. It's a habit that seems to stem from a fairly rigid separation of what is and is not an experience guided by the internet for them. "I used to book IRL shows" says Liz, "but I got tired of them. I got tired of house shows. I got tired of the North Carolina scene. It's basically just a big cock-fest. I'd go see bands and end up hating it; people just yelling, harassing, being super drunk. You're always being looked at. I feel IRL shows just aren't enjoyable because you're not comfortable."
Chaz goes one further. "I hate IRL shows because I can't go to them. I'm underage. I'm 19. I've had to turn shows down. If I went, I wouldn't be able to go out and smoke a cigarette and go back in - even if I was playing. IRL shows just suck to me." Would you not just sneak in, if an artist you liked was playing your town? "Well, the producers I love don't play everywhere. Some of them don't even play shows. I'd rather see them online than fly to NY to see them play in the corner of some terrible warehouse party." 
Yet, doesn't sitting in your room listening to music not compare to the immediacy of a sound-system and - romantic as it sounds - a room full of people who are all experiencing it in real-time? "Of course, I love the sound of live music in an IRL setting", says Liz. "Everything is so enhanced and beautiful. I just don't like live atmosphere. There's so much going on that could distract you from the performer. Why would we do that to ourselves?"
So, the live experience of clubbing can be divorced from club music for you? "The funny thing is that old punks will think of us as little bitches; who 'Don't know what real music is till they see it live', but they're old farts", says Chaz. "We're the new punks, who sleep all day and smoke kush. I like listening to music in my room, and I like listening to music with friends online. So, SPF420 is perfect for me." 
Liz's investment in the stream is partly out of a desire to create a social environment in which people can enjoy club music in a new, more individualised way. "I like SPF420 because I can talk to my friends and feel safe", she confirms. "I can promote artists I love, and read what my friends are saying. At an IRL show, you either can't or don't talk to the few people you're there with. Online, you can talk. There's no cover charge, there's no bar – and you can bring your own drugs."
Aside from wanting to just get stoned in their bedrooms, SPF420 seems to have been born out of natural introvertedness, a gradual disdain for the accepted social experience of clubbing  – and genuinely interesting takes on what producers should and should not be expected to do as performers. "We want total artist freedom because I'm well aware that at a lot of IRL shows, you're basically just putting the artist in a corner", says Liz. "I don't like that. The producer isn't necessarily  a DJ. I like the artist doing what they want to do. We had Tobacco come and play pretty much all unfinished demos of his new album. It was fucking dope. Bear Face wanted the 'Bound 2' video looped on repeat. If that's what you want to do, we'll do it for you."
How has SPF420 grown since you met on Turntable FM? "Producer friends of ours wanted to join us after the first stream, which was just us, so we just did another, and another", says Chaz. "Sometimes we'd cold-call artists we like and ask them to play - if we think they'd fuck with it." And how has that worked out? "We've not had any negative responses towards the idea of it from anyone we've approached, especially the community aspect. When we break it down to an artist, either they love it or they might get confused by it. The cold-calling can be kind of difficult. They usually seemed interested, but puzzled as to how to do the in-the-bedroom thing."
So if a producer can just log in from their home to be part of the stream, what's the aesthetic pull for those playing, and the audience watching? "Our shows are tailored fit to each artist", explains Chaz. "We don't just throw 5 people together and say, 'Let's do this'. It's a concept that blossoms. We ask one artist who they'd like to play with, then we think, 'Who would we have to accompany this artist?' We ask a visual artist - we're a crew of about 15 or so right now - and without their visuals and flyers, we wouldn't have a strong enough tone for the shows."
In a culture where these live streams are populating the internet at a rapid rate, what makes SPF420 different from a Boiler Room or Just Jam session? "Well, I promote the artists in the chat during the stream. We moderate, and people can chat to each other via the TinyChat format", says Liz. "It has a more lively atmosphere. What sets us apart from ventures like Boiler Room and Just Jam is that those shows can only happen in one place. For SPF420, every artist can be in a different city in their own rooms. They just, log in and play. With other streaming sites, you just turn up and do a DJ set. Last November, Ryan Hemsworth played in his bathtub for us."
Speaking to them, it becomes clear that the separation of SPF420 from other ventures isn't what sells the stream at all. It's the very possibility of being one of many. Billions of people have access to the internet, and only a few hundred at any one time were watching the March 11th TinyChat stream. It's a global enterprise, rendered niche. Liz and Chaz become animated at the thought. "It's not like if Boiler Room does it, we can't do it, says Chaz. "There can never be too many venues online. There already are a lot of places you can watch music on the internet, were just filling our own little niche. The way people say 'Which club do you want to go to?', people will say 'Which channel do you want to stream tonight?', or 'Which website do you want to log onto tonight?'"
"I want that", agrees Liz. "SPF420, Boiler Room, Just Jam – we should be just three of the many channels to watch for online performance. I take everything show by show. I don't like to plan ahead because there's a shelf life for everything. I'll do SPF420 until I feel it is not worth doing for our community anymore. That hurts to say, but only having one channel like this would be wack. There's lots of very underground events in smaller groups than us, and we support every freaking one of them. That's also why I'm not concerned by shelf life, because I support every artistic endeavour like ours. As long as you have a positive mission, go for it."
SPF420 took the step from URL to IRL when they hosted a party at this month's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, after Ryan Hemsworth suggested they make the trip. "We hooked up with a label called Imaginary Friends, who came to us wanting to collaborate on an event for SXSW. We wanted to give an indication that it was not at SXSW, though. To play with the idea of it not being at a concrete location." So, maintaining that almost anti-IRL mentality, in an IRL setting? "Totally", insists Liz. 
"Not only was the space we played at not feasible for 500 people to show up to, we could only invited 3 people per artist and per person. It was a 75 people show. It was at someone's house. We really didn't want to be so forward about it being in Austin: We don't know where this is – it's on the internet!' I loved that event because it kept in touch with our ethics: a house show with ten artists who are like family to us. I can't explain how beautiful it was to me." So SXSW was just the beginning? "For sure. Watch out, because were going to put in 110%. If you care, hit us up."

Spoofing The Times

Former journalists at The New York Times describe a parody of the paper in 1978 and the secrecy surrounding it.

During a newspaper strike in 1978, a group of literary pranksters put out Not The New York Times. It had the tone and design of the real thing.
Credit...Andrew Sondern/The New York Times

By Alex Traub

In mid-October 1978, two months after a strike by pressmen shut down New York’s major newspapers, a broadsheet bearing the words “New York Times” appeared on newsstands.

Newsstand shoppers found some peculiarities. “Sleepy Village’s Dull Anecdote Is Grist for Reporters’ Mill,” read one headline. “Universe Very Old,” read another.

The bylines, too, seemed off. “Joseph Toaster” was not quite the same as the foreign correspondent Joseph B. Treaster, and “William Satire” was one letter away from the columnist William Safire.

This was not The New York Times; and that, in fact, is exactly what the parody called itself: Not The New York Times.

Rapturous coverage in national magazines and on television credited celebrated writers of the time, including Nora Ephron and George Plimpton.

Yet an article in Time magazine gently suggested the parody’s success came from more than the literary talent of its contributors. Brief tributes published every decade or so occasionally made the same allusion.

The fact has been hiding in plain sight: Not The New York Times was an inside job.

The parody featured three full sections, 24 joke advertisements, 73 spoof articles and 155 fake news briefs, all meticulously edited to mimic The Times’s style. Even the thick curls of the font used on the front page and the neat spacing of the headlines exactly replicates those of the real paper.

Months of research and interviews led me to former editors, designers and a copy boy at The Times who had provided critical help to a parody of their own employer.

“All the Times people had to be available,” said Christopher Cerf, one of the spoof’s ringleaders.

After the strike ended and the Times journalists returned to work, they hid their satirical moonlighting from their colleagues. As the years went by, they kept quiet.

Steven Crist, 63, the former copy boy, who later covered horse-racing for The Times, wrote a memoir that discusses the 1978 strike but passes over in silence the weeks he spent working on the parody.

Mr. Crist said his fear in 1978 of a “purge” of employees who had contributed to the parody lingered into subsequent decades, even though he stopped working at the paper.

Contacted in Belgium, over 30 years after he left The Times, the designer Richard Yeend, 75, was taken by surprise.

“It was one of things I wanted to ask you,” he said to me: “How on earth you found out that I was involved with Not The New York Times.”

I found contributors like Mr. Yeend by scouring the accounts that have been written about the parody and by reaching out to a colorful array of sources, including a British comic book company, a news and betting service devoted to horse racing and The Santa Barbara Independent, a California newspaper.

The three former Times employees I interviewed seemed eager to speak on the record for the first time about their involvement.

Not The New York Times’s masthead. “We had a lot of time on our hands,” one contributor said.
Credit...Andrew Sondern/The New York Times

“There’s no code of omertà on something that’s 40 years old,” said Glenn Collins, 75, a longtime Metro, Business and Style reporter who started as an editor at The Times Magazine.

Though Mr. Collins, Mr. Yeend and Mr. Crist recalled details of their work, all spoke more vividly about the excitement of collaborating with others.

“We’d just all sit on the rug and ideas would get kicked around, and we read each other’s stuff, and laughed or didn’t laugh — but we laughed a lot,” Mr. Collins said.

A sense of urgency supercharged the banter.

“We were afraid it would all be for naught if the strike suddenly ended,” Mr. Cerf said. “We were racing against time.”

Somehow, the parody transformed from an amusing notion to a newsstand hit in just around a month.

I had hoped to learn which articles Times employees wrote and which were by luminaries like Ms. Ephron. But the frantic, ecstatic ensemble that produced Not The New York Times appears to defy conventional notions of writerly credit.

Fading memories and yellowing press clippings do connect certain writers with specific stories. Still, singular attributions miss how much everyone had a hand in everything.

How did New York writers, generally known for competitiveness, achieve such a high level of literary teamwork? Was it the fake bylines? The mad dash to the finish?

Reflecting on the freelancers, humorists and temporarily out-of-work Times employees who made up the staff, Mr. Yeend proposed a theory for what bound everyone together.

“We all had a lot of time on our hands,” he said.
Credit...Andrew Sondern/The New York Times\


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.
Javascript DisablePlease Enable Javascript To See All Widget