I was kidding in a previous link about the NY Times stalking me. But now my referral log shows that the Times is running a link to my blog today: Guatemala News - Breaking World Guatemala News - The New York Times.
According to the little pop-up window, the editors of the Times monitor my blog and link to it intermittently, perhaps using a "robot" triggered by key words. I can only assume that a robot picked up my John Yoo post for their Guatemala page because I kept mentioning Guatemala and torture.
I'm tickled. They're paying attention to me! I have a strange psychic link to the Times, ever since I worked in its legal offices on 43d Street back in the '90s. I used to have epic dreams set in the Times building, and even years later, in California, I would find myself taking a night-time elevator to the board room. The most memorable dream while I worked there was when the elevator kept on going above the fifteenth floor penthouse and hovered over the building. ??? You can imagine the Times lawyers thought this dream was pretty wacky - because of course I shared it with them in the morning. I was a very fast and efficient legal secretary and I tried to express my intuitive side on the job, just to keep everybody awake.
In those days the boardroom was plastered with photographs of New York Times company owners back to the nineteenth century, meeting and greeting famous men (and women). I remember a picture of Herzl on a bridge. There were enormous color portraits of Sadat and the Shah, placed on a sideboard flanking an almost life-sized crystal swan. This was in early 1992 or so, and President G.H.W. Bush's portrait had its own spot at the head of the room next to an American flag. Sulzberger Sr., an ex-Marine, was the chairman of the board then and the photo placements were his doing (that and the candy dishes on the board table). To me these pictures say it all about the Times and its perceptions of the world.
So my feelings about the Times and its journalism are profoundly ambivalent. The Shah, Sadat, and Theodore Herzl are definitely NOT in my pantheon of history's heroes. Still I think it's cool that a little blog run by an obscure novelist and housewife in Oakland gets monitored by the editorial wizards at the Times website.
The internet is changing how information spreads.