While Dowd Central has been shuttered for Spring Break, Maureen Dowd has taken to traveling the highways and byways of this great nation hobnobbing with the common people like Silicon Valley billionaires to get her hand on the pulse of the nation, among other places. Let's catch up on the tour and see where she's been.
Striking It Poor
JAMESTOWN, Calif. (April 8)
Single Sentence Synopsis: Panning for gold is harder than digging for quotes.
Classic Dowdism: A Movies With Maureen® Moment as she goes all Fred C. Dobbs.
I’d seen “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” the 1948 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and directed by John Huston. (“Badges? ... I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”) That movie was the best meditation on prospecting for gold, and falling prey to greed, ever done — until the Bernie Madoff story.Cocktail Reference: Ramos gin fizzes and a lemon drop martini
Amazing Insight: Her foray into Kirsten Gum territory is a bust. Maureen's going to have to find another way to fund the 401(k)
Demi in Des Moines?
SAN FRANCISCO (April 12)
Single Sentence Summary: Ames is the new Castro Street
Classic Dowdism: With Iowa allowing gay marriage, Maureen makes with the Dowdversion™.
Now it’s flyover country that’s starting high-flying trends.Celebrity Source: Max Mutchnick, the co-creator of “Will and Grace"
Cocktail Reference: “Vitamin V” vodka
Her Amazing Insight: Gay people are just like her. Single and envious.
Dinosaur at the Gate
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (April 15)
Single Sentence Summary: Google is destroying newspapers just in time to keep Maureen from retiring in luxury.
Classic Dowdism: A double Alliteration Alert™ over Google's gameplan.
Google is in a battle royal over whether it has the right to profit so profligately from newspaper content at a time when journalism is in such jeopardy.Celebrity Source: Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google
Cocktail Reference: Wheat-grass shots
Her Amazing Insight: The effort required to program a DowdBot is trivial, only nobody has bothered to do it yet.
The Aura of Arugulance
BERKELEY, Calif. (April 19)
Single Sentence Summary: Peace can be reached through peas.
Classic Dowdism: Quoting a coined word and making it her own.
[Alice Waters] says wryly: “I’m just put into that arugulance place..."Celebrity Source: George Lucas (explaining that Dick Cheney is too evil to be Darth Vader, he's really the Emperor)
Her Amazing Insight: I don't know, but the column made me hungry.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet
SAN FRANCISCO (April 22)
Single Sentence Summary: Twittering is amazingly annoying, especially in column form.
Classic Dowdism: A formatting conceit that can be loosely described as clever. In this case, doing the interview in Twitter length questions and answers. Sample exchange:
ME: If you were out with a girl and she started twittering about it in the middle, would that be a deal-breaker or a turn-on?Celebrity Source: Biz Stone and Evan Williams, founders of Twitter.
BIZ (dryly): In the middle of what?
Amazing Insight: At ages 35 and 37, the Twitterers-In-Chief are prime cougar prey.
Taken individually, these recent columns can be seen as an innocent way to expense a trip to the Left Coast. But here at Dowd Central we sniff book deal research disguised as Friedman level reporting. Can Is Silicon Valley Necessary? be far behind?