Sunday, October 30, 2005

One year later, or near enough

Thought for the day:

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”

Well, no shit, Ecclesiastes.

Then again, it’s difficult to be stoic these days. At least it feels so to me, has done for the past 800 years or however long it's been since the Shrub has taken root.

“Banality of evil” is one thing; but here we’ve crossed over into full-on dorkitude of evil. Even as apparently the whole lot of them is fragmenting before our very eyes...probably...which warms my shrivelled little heart, don't get me wrong...the fact remains that the motherfuckers got in as far as they did in the damn first place. Which is incredible. It goes against Social Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Maybe it's Boneheaded Design, I dunno. I sure as shit can't see the providence here.

And so, speaking of banal, as we head toward yet another Election Day, I ask, once more, with feeling:

How, God? How did this happen? Twice?

No, okay, specifically:

Sometime during that Tuesday last year, I forget when exactly, the sun was still out, I’m walking along the street, thinking my thoughts, when I see this piece of it looks like blank paper, lying in the gutter. Not exactly an unusual sight, here in New York City, but for whatever reason I just have this...feeling, as I’m walking past it. I can’t quite name it; I’m sure the Germans have a word for it. “Unterheimlichschmertz,” perhaps: the dawning awareness of a still-dormant-but-slowly-surfacing nausea and/or gutpunched feeling. Something like that. So I stop in the middle of the sidewalk. Then, feeling only slightly ridiculous, I go to push the piece of paper over with my foot. It’s just a rudimentary homemade poster on computer paper; it had been lying face down. On the flip side, it says, in big black font:


I stood there for oh, maybe a good minute or so. It was a rather nice day, for early November. Bluish sky, pale sunshine, crunchy red leaves, the odd squirrel here and there.


Dear God.

I mean, I suppose it’s possible that someone out in deepest Utah came up to Manhattan, dropped his or her little billet into the street, and then I don’t know, went home, or maybe stuck around, took in a show, got a clandestine blowjob in a backroom, whatever, the POINT is, okay, at least just tell me that that wasn’t a New Yorker who made that. Because to think that somewhere, in this very city, the one that was actually attacked, the one that actually saw the whole unbelievable thing happen, SOMEONE, that’s been living here since then and seen exactly how much “help” we got from the federal government, to think that a NEW YORKER, any New Yorker, even that junkie kid who screams and howls on the corner while wearing nothing but a garbage bag, could actually really believe


... well, one simply doesn’t think such things, because that way madness lies.

So what I did then, was, I stomped on the piece of paper. Hard. Several times. Till it ripped. Then, I stood on it with both feet and jumped up and down. I think I may have screamed and swore a little. This is one of the great things about New York, that you can do such things in public and everyone will pretend not to notice. Although, later on, while I was eating lunch, some British guy came up to me and said, “You must have really not liked that poster.” He seemed mostly amused. Now he has a story to tell his friends when he goes home, I suppose. Then they can all laugh and drink their tea and make some ever so dry remark about those wacky Americans, you never know what they’ll do next, throw tea into the harbor (but not this lot, ahahaha), pitch temper tantrums at inanimate objects in public, re-elect a man who not only managed to kill off peace and prosperity in a mere four years but is dumber than a truck full of chickens going to town, not that the British would use that expression. And, started a war with the wrong country, based on a lot of made-up shit about weapons of mass destruction that ooops, they never had; and still doesn’t see what the problem is. And, last but not least, and to bring us back to the original point, who WAS PRESIDENT DURING THE WORST FUCKING TERRORIST ATTACK THAT HAD EVER HAPPENED, not just “on American soil,” as if that were all that mattered, but anywhere.

Bush was president. When 9/11 happened. Not before. Not after. During. Which, putting all tinfoil theories aside, would at least seem to suggest that he and/or his administration, you know, fucked up, bigtime. And yet, somebody, somewhere *in New York* not only believes that


but went to the trouble to flyer the sidewalk with that sentiment on Election Day.

Now, it’d be nice to have been able to dismiss that little message from Bizarro World, except that apparently, a lot of people, who may or may not all be crazy junkies, do, in fact, believe this. Anyway, they believe something; because, against all laws of common sense and superstition and pollsters, Bush was rewarded for his murderous incompetence with another four years, of which we have yet to serve another three. Maybe not everyone voted for him that are on record as having voted for him (*cough*Diebold*cough*); but, regardless, a lot of people did. So the 64 million dollar question remains, of course, what the hell were these people thinking?

And what the fuck does it take, finally, to get them to think something else?

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