Discover more from Blackbird Spyplane
Go G.L.A.M. Mode on 'em and emanate stillness
Take your time — it’s more kingly than scrambling
Blackbird Spyplane is YOUR no. 1 electronic-mail masterpiece.
Our interviews with André 3000, Nathan Fielder, Jerry Seinfeld, Tyler, The Creator, Emily Bode, Phoebe Bridgers, Matty Matheson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Kid Mero, Daniel Arnold, 100 gecs, Michael Stipe, Héctor Bellerín, Ezra Koenig, Action Bronson, Mac DeMarco, Danielle Haim, Evan Kinori, Steven Yeun, King Krule and more are here.
Every issue of Concorde is here.
— Jonah & Erin
Welcome to Blackbird Spyplane, where we remain New York’s sickest sletter based in California…
And where we remain undisputed high-speed M.O.D.E.Ms — Masters of Dope Epiphanic Mindsets.
So it’s only natural that a dope epiphanic mindset is what we’ve got for you today.
I (Jonah) can’t tell you how often readers write in asking, “Blackbird Spyplane, you’re a New York native, Brooklyn-born, which is tight, and you write NYC’s sickest sletter despite living in California. When you return to the city, king-like, what peculiar behaviors strike you about New Yorkers that you never noticed when you lived there?”
One funny thing about New Yorkers is that, although they live in the greatest city in the world and are therefore putatively mad cool, blasé, urbane, “street-hardened,” etc., they are incapable of encountering a “Don’t Walk” sign with any grace or dignity. At all hours of the day you will see grown adults standing fully 3 feet off a curb, right up against the edge of traffic, trucks whizzing past their d*mn noses, poised to bolt the instant the light changes… For what? To get to the other side ~1 second sooner?
And don’t get me started on when ppl are on the move and they see the “Don’t Walk” start flashing up ahead, counting down to solid red — I’ve seen MFs a half block from the corner launch into a GALLOP to try & make the light.
I used to be one of these people. It’s the way the city molds you. And, like many New Yorkers, when I traveled to other cities — not third-rate cities heavy on bozos who don’t know how to act, but cool cosmopolitan cities of the type that are mad dope where you would expect me to be — I was perplexed by the sight of ~100% of pedestrians patiently waiting for lights to change, as a rule. Even when there were no cars in sight.
New Yorkers will tell you (and tell themselves) that this is because they have “places to be,” they’re on their grind, “time is money” and they’re simply making power-moves with maximum efficiency.
But be honest, chief, how true is that really? Is your job transporting vital organs and if you don’t get to the hospital in time someone’s gonna die? Get real. Living and studying the semiotic & spiritual componentry of coolness outside of NYC, I now know that — athletic contexts excepted — when you do anything with rapidity you are 9 times out of 10 “moving goofy.”
People are so afraid of “wasted time” they forget the value of moments of stillness!!
Taking your time, on the other hand, is fire and pimp. Case in point: The other day, out running errands here in California, I was a few paces from an intersection when the light started to flash. I felt an old, New Yorkish twinge — Run! You can make it! But no. Rather than play myself, I kept my pace consistent, let the light turn red, and… just chilled at the corner like the man, humming beautiful Mac DeMarco One Wayne G melodies to myself and looking at the cars driving by in case any of them were sick. Before long the next green came and I kept it pushing.
Did I “miss the light?” Or did I go G.L.A.M. mode — and “Give the light a miss?” The improvement to my quality of life was immeasurable, both in the sense that it was tiny in the grand scheme, but also in the sense that if you do this enough, you will become an infinitely more patient, more relaxed, less-reactive person generally — and real talk I believe you’ll rack up fewer regrets.
You can extrapolate G.L.A.M. principles beyond traffic-light contexts, and let a mix of patience & pimpishness seep into all manner of potentially fraught scenarios…
For instance: You know that person when the plane lands who can’t wait to get the f**k off, so they try and bust their way past hella people who are further up ahead of them? Attempting INELEGANTLY to slip into the little gaps and clearances created as those people slowly fumble to collect their s**t?
Sometimes they’ve got a tight connection, sure, but sometimes this is just textbook fitfulness. You’ve shaken your d*mn head at this person and thought to yourself, “What a poor misguided soul.” Now imagine them, but this time they patiently wait “their turn” and they go one further and Give the Light a Miss by waving ahead the person across the aisle (ideally but not necessarily an old lady) and maybe even further delay their own exit by helping strangers get down their bags !!
You would find this G.L.A.M.M.E.D.-out person hot and wonder what other truths they’ve learned about life.
And going G.L.A.M. Mode doesn’t even need to be about moving through space at all. You know how waiters at restaurants always seem to come over and ask, “How is everything” when your mouth is full? And how you, compelled by some poorly calibrated sense of decorum, rush to reply with your phonemes garbled by wet morsels of foodstuff? Or maybe debase yourself and give the waiter a thumbs up like you’re Siskel and Ebert all of a sudden??
Instead, why not “wait for the next light”? Smile and nod to be polite, freeing up the waiter to get the f**k out of there, keep chewing, swallow, and then — in the unlikely event they’re still waiting around for a “verbal yes” — give your reply.
G.L.A.M. it up and with time you will look, feel and be treated like a wise don. You will emanate stillness, and as an indirect result, clothes will look even better on you. That’s the G.L.A.M. Mode promise.
Blackbird Spyplane takes money from no one besides our readers, so we keep some of our best material behind the paywall. Join the Classified Recon tier if you haven’t — Jonah & Erin
The Global Intel Travel Chat Room is here, featuring earth-spanning GOAT-locale recommendations.
The Blackbird Spymall, full of rare gems, is here.
Our Profound Essays, Mindsets and “Unbeatably Spicy Takes” are all here.
The Master Jawn Index, featuring earth’s best Spyplane-approved things, is here.