Dear Reader (and those of you who have this column performed for you by an interpretive dance troupe), this is the new Goldberg File. The old Goldberg File was sort of an ur-blog (coincidentally, that’s the name of Gog and Magog’s lesser-known cousin), that became a thrice-weekly column, that then became an occasional column, that then became a noun in such frequently heard sentences as “Hey Goldberg, when are you going to earn your keep and write another Goldberg File?”
This Goldberg File, however, is what most people call a newsletter. And no doubt, some will call it spam. And perhaps for reasons no one will ever be able to decipher, someone will call it Todd. But let’s stick with this newsletter business. The suits said I could either start writing a newsletter or start cleaning their gold-and-alabaster executive washroom. I chose this.
Like Japanese games shows, the format of this thing is going to be hard to pin down. The basic idea is that I’ll share some thoughts, point to and/or discuss some things that interest me on NRO or elsewhere, and get out of here before my real job kicks in. I’ll do short movie reviews, though don’t expect timely movie reviews as I rarely get to see stuff right when it comes out. And, because of Fatherhood, I tend to see a lot of kids movies. So you can expect me to give late-breaking thoughts on R-rated movies only after they reach pay-per-view — or you can read more timely takes on, say, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel:“ . . . Simon and Theodore were great, but Alvin simply wasn’t believable.”
Some of it will no doubt be self-promotional, linking to stuff I’ve written, announcing upcoming speaking or TV gigs, etc. But that’s okay. I’m not getting paid to do this, so the least you can do is indulge me a bit when, say, my new line of Flirty Pundit Dance Exercise videos comes out (watch this space). Moreover, if you don’t like whatever-this-thing-is . . . You Don’t Have To Read It!
Since this edition of TNGF is in part intended to help the web monkeys figure out how to layout this thing, I suppose I should think through how this will work. First, I think there will be sections set apart by headline-style font. Like this:
You Heard It Here Third: I’m Going To Write A New Book!
That’s right. I’ve closed a deal with Penguin Sentinel to write my next book. I’ll no doubt be blegging for help from you folks in the weeks and months to come.
What’s that? The web monkeys need another section-break headline thingy? Okay . . .
Would A Glossary Do the Trick?
The original Goldberg File had a lot of running jokes in it. Every time I reference one of them these days, lots of newer readers ask me, “Dude, what’s up with this ‘Couch’ thing?” Or even “Who’s Cosmo?”
So let me explain for the uninitiated.
The Couch, is quite literally my couch. But when I was single and living on generic-brand cheese products, I would sometimes use my Couch as an interlocutor of sorts. Sort of like Wilson the Volleyball in Castaway. My Couch doesn’t like me (you wouldn’t either if I sat on you all day). He likes to keep me honest. He will probably appear every now and then in here.
Cosmo is my Wing-dog. He is quite simply the greatest dog to have walked the earth. I am proud to say that when I just Googled “Cosmo” my dog’s biography was the sixth result, appearing before the Wikipedia entry on the Cosmopolitan cocktail. (Alas when I repeated this, it was no longer the case). Occasionally, he will do interviews for NR. As he did here and here.
Other possible phrases that might throw off the uninitiated? Hmm.
The Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu waza Banga of the world wide web.
And of course Airborne Laser Volcano Lancing.
The thing about that last one is that it is exactly what it sounds like. I think that we need to create a defense against volcano eruptions by alleviating the internal pressure with airborne lasers. It’s a long story.
Anyway, in the future The New Goldberg File will be less self-indulgent, which is not to say it won’t be way too self-indulgent. We’ll talk about in-house debates on the Corner, have reader trivia contests (quick: Who said: annallnathrach oothvas bethood dochyell dienvay”?), and have a grand time. I might even get the suits to allow me carte blanche to link to stuff beyond the legendary NR Digital Firewall, as a special treat to subscribers.
But as Tiger Woods said to the cocktail waitress, this should do for now.