In a shocking instance of dereliction of duty, I’ve failed until now to mention the best tech-related news of 2011 (so far): Last week, Google added Spy magazine–“The New York Monthly”–to the ever-growing collection of magazines available for free in Google Books. (According to Spy co-founder Kurt Andersen, half the issues are up now and the rest are on their way.)
When Spy debuted in 1986, its quirky, snarky, endlessly inventive sensibility was unique. It soon influenced just about every other magazine on the planet, and you can still spot traces of its attitude everywhere. In fact, the entire blogosphere has a Spy-like feel, including reams of stuff written by people who have never read the magazine and might not even be aware of its existence.
Spy made an indelible impression on me: In fact, browsing through Google’s archive, I immediately identified the first issue–October 1987–which I ever encountered, and remembered perusing it at my desk during lunch.