Of all the smart if occasionally long-winded alternative histories culled in this week’s “What If 9/11 Never Happened” New York, our favorite has to be Tom Wolfe‘s:
By now a socialite would be any young woman who has appeared in three or more party pictures taken by Patrick McMullan for any of a dozen or so fat party-picture magazines. A local music genre called hip-hop, created by black homeboys in the South Bronx, would have swept the country, topping the charts and creating a hip-hop look featuring baggy jeans with the crotch hanging down to the knees that would have spread far and wide among white teenagersawed, stunned, as they were, by the hip-hop musicians’ new form of competition: assassinating each other periodically. How cool would that have been?
EARLIER: Tom Wolfe: Literary Pimp