Can we just please for a minute put aside the knee-jerk heartwarming hogwash about how the disaster wrought by Hurricane Sandy is bringing out the best in New Yorkers, how they really shine when things get tough, yadda yadda yadda?
Because the fact that people have not resorted to citywide looting and pillaging and worse is in no way equivalent to people acting on their best behavior.
At this juncture, I would love to provide a picture or two of some devastation or desolation in downtown Mahattan, but I can’t, because THERE’S STILL NO POWER.
But there’s plenty of power uptown, and the New York City Marathon will go on as planned, because as some official said, “it’s good for the city.” They’ve got generators going in Central Park already. [UPDATE: Marathon cancelled.]
New York, though it did not start out as such, is as class-based a city as any you’ll find in India. And the brutality of this is never on display so much as at a time like this.
On Sept. 11, 2001, while city officials were busy thanking each other like so many dumb barking seals, thousands of people living north of 23rd street went about their lives as usual, oblivious to the madness and pain of what was happening a few blocks away. In some kind of urban schadenfreude, then as now, suddenly uptown becomes the cool place because it’s at a further remove from complete social meltdown.
But I think what is worse than the overarching greed of New Yorkers — and no, tourists are not going to understand just how avaricious most of them are — is the shame of a President who has done so little in this crisis to help alleviate it.
The odious Mayor Bloomberg — maybe call him Tomb-berg, as he puts on his trusty father act while New Yorkers starve and die — has now endorsed President Obama for re-election — whoa! Your city is sucker punched by a hurricane and you have time for politics?!
Ah, politicians. Greedy bastards all, I know. But please: Obama is President of the United States of America. In the USA’s greatest city, people are now eating out of dumpsters. Greedy landlords are keeping their tenants, some elderly and infirm, in the dark, because the power outage isn’t technically speaking their problem.
People have drowned in New York City, but of course it’s nobody’s problem.
For miles, the mean streets of New York are now dark, deserted and dangerous. What would it have cost Obama to truck in extra cops from Upstate or Vermont or wherever and plant them on street corners until the lights come back on, so 80-year-old ladies living alone can feel safe walking outside to buy a carton of milk (if there’s any milk left)? What would it have cost to provide city residents with vouchers for a free tank of gas to help get them through these difficult days?
And what would it have cost to ship in some sandbags ahead of this storm, to mitigate some of the worst flooding?
This is America??
And this is how the President of the United States protects an American city, the American city? As far as I’m concerned, the do-nothing-while-getting-paid-by-the-public “authorities” have blood on their hands right now and the crimes start at the top. I wish it were a joke, but it’s not — it’s an absolute shame. Get him out.