|From Traffic by Kenneth Goldsmith|
The transcriptionist poet Kenneth Goldsmith recently read excerpts from his book of transcribed 1010-WINS traffic reports at the White House to a smiling President Obama. Growing up in southeastern Connecticut, it was CBS-880 on the AM radio. I'm not exactly sure why, since, in all other ways, we were a Boston (or at least Rhode Island) leaning family. I guess my mother liked the way they covered the news, especially the lengthier and grislier murder trials (Claus von Bulow is a classic). So the BQE, GWB, LIE and Pulaski Skyway were already in my consciousness long before they had any material reality. I can almost recall the names of the traffic reporters in the "CBS Chopper," but not quite. I do remember how the whirring of the blades provided a white-noise backdrop to their reports. With the advent of iPhone traffic aps, will this genre too be lost to the vicissitudes of time and doubtful progress?