The Buffalo News reported that GEICO Insurance, a mainstay of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway empire, is considering opening a call center in Amherst. While this is welcome news, supporters of regionalism and downtown might lament the fact that, once again, Buffalo’s loss is a gain for the suburbs.

No doubt the management of GEICO does not take into consideration factors that would benefit a sister company such as The Buffalo News when choosing office locations. So it’s not necessarily a case of do as I say and not as I do. It’s probably more akin to the strict “Chinese wall” that exists between advertising and editorial departments at every newspaper in the country, especially The Buffalo News. So while the office tower for Adelphia’s world headquarters will never make it off of the drawing board, at least some of the low-wage jobs that John Rigas and company promised may now materialize. Of course, GEICO will require generous tax breaks to move here as opposed to some other post-industrial backwater. It seems that tax avoidance has surpassed polo as the passion of the wealthy, so why not grab every break offered up? Let someone else deal with the waterfront and downtown. Buffalo is not GEICO’s problem or Warren Buffett’s, either, for that matter. Sgt. Lipsey’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Following the trend of other newspapers, The Buffalo News has been running major features in its Sunday editions on high-tech dating services. This is the sort of story that tends to draw people in while generating interest in the paper’s “Buffalo Singles” classified ads. “Be more aggressive. Market yourself. Fitter. Happier. More Productive. Comfortable. Etc…”

Dating advice, like horoscopes, the weather, and sports, is often the most popular section of a newspaper. Perhaps this is true because the news has become so grim that no one wants to read it. Or maybe corporate interests in this country have manipulated the media so much that thoughtful analysis on political issues no longer has a place. Maybe we’re all just getting a lot dumber, more complacent, or apathetic. For whatever reason, many dailies have become little more than news magazines, providing infotainment. (Editor’s Note: Reader! Insert your very own Chomsky whine here!)

In this, they are mirroring the weekly “alternative” papers that have sprouted up to counter the monocultural trend of monopoly dailies but which soon found more profit catering to suburban chic and boutique elites. In this mindless media cultural environment, it’s not surprisingly that some people apparently need some sort of oracle to tell them what is cool. Writers at The Buffalo News are more than happy to help. One recent lonely-hearts article tracked down a DJ who advised singles to play a compilation called “Crime Jazz” or perhaps some Ursula 3000 at a party as a means of attracting a mate.

This directive requires analysis. First of all, Crime Jazz was important, like five years ago, after Portishead sampled “Danube Incident.” Secondly, Ursula 3000, like the Crime Jazz disk, and pretty much everything you’d hear on Spylounge (if you have to ask, we’re not going to tell you) is geared toward a very specific musical taste. Thirdly, and this is perhaps the saddest point of all, if something gets labeled as “cool” by The Buffalo News, it isn’t.

The joke is on you, reader. Crime Jazz is not romantic music. It’s frenetic, shrill psycho jazz that was recorded in the bucolic fifties, allowing the deep anxieties of that era to bubble through the tranquil Ozzie and Harriet façade and into the ears of a domestic security state that was obsessed with nuclear Armageddon. What’s out is in again except, this time, it’s terrorism and WMD, apparently.

If the average lonely Jane or John Doe put Crime Jazz on at a party in Williamsville or West Seneca, the guests would think that their host or hostess had gone over to the dark side or was secretly reading Alt or something. Chicks and dudes alike would not dig it. People would stop talking to you. You would not be cool because we are not cool. The next time that you read something about how to be cool, remember: you are a loser for believing that someone else can tell you how to be cool. You are a loser for even believing in the concept of cool. So be cool. By John McMahon

Dogs Sleep With Cats, Buffalo News Parent May Invest in WNY As we were going to press, it was as if hell had just frozen over, not with us in it because of our controversial cover but because Warren Buffett, our favorite monopolist, may actually be on the verge of putting money back into the Western New York economy.