The ‘New York Strong’ Bull

Now will begin the NEW YORK STRONG messages. Yeah, except for the dead, right? You can’t stay strong when you’re dead. Poor dead people. They want so much to be strong but they just can’t do it because death takes all that out of you, including your pride in being a New Yorker. But yeah, the living, we the lucky who were not there on NYC’s West Street today, we’re supposed to “stay strong”. What does that even mean?

I think it means that whoever throws that message out there can’t really let themselves feel the reality of the deaths that happened today, feel the rage, the sorrow. Because that will make you weak and helpless.

And does the fact that they died, those 8, mean that they failed to be strong? Are they still ‘New York Strong’ when they lie there, corpses? Or what about their shocked and grieving families? Are they also supposed to be ‘New York Strong’? Or are they exempt?

What should we do now to show how ‘New York Strong’ we all are? Since it was Halloween when the killer struck maybe I should have gone out dressed as someone who was ‘New York Strong’ but somehow got slaughtered? For I was invited to attend an ultra-cool party last night. But the thought of going, of hearing a single laugh, of seeing people smile and hobnob, made me sick. Couldn’t do it. Stayed home. I guess I’m not ‘New York Strong’. I’m New York Sick Of The Bull; the hollow hype that we get fed and also publically put out in response to unfathomable tragedy. I’m sick of the “heartfelt prayers for the victims” and the silent vigil candle lighting and of our growing coarseness and inhumanity as a society. I’m sick of how that imbecile in the White House, Trump, has robbed America of the last vestiges of its strength and dignity and has turned our nation into a perpetual Friday the 13th. His lies are fast becoming the truths of our social order: a heartless, murderous and moronic zoo.

As a former soldier who saw “action”, I know: “Stay Strong” is meaningless. Because we are at war, in Tel Aviv, Paris, London, New York City, and yes, even loner-massacred Las Vegas. The soldier’s truth now belongs to the civilian. In basic, we were told: the best soldier in a war is the one who survives.

So, no “NYC: Stay Strong” from me. Stay awake, stay alert, stay disgusted, stay rebellious against what is happening to us, and wherever you are, in whatever city: “Stay lucky.”

Whatever the hell that means.

About the Author
Alan Kaufman is an American-Israeli novelist and memoirist. His latest novel, The Berlin Woman, has just been published by Mandel Vilar Press. His other books include the novels Matches (Little Brown) the memoirs Jew Boy (Cornell University Press) and Drunken Angel (Viva Editions).
Related Topics
Related Posts