I live in a city full of hate. I’ve been living in New York City for the past five years and that sentence can pretty much be applied to this city at any given moment, but ever since the World Trade Centers got blown away, this city is full of H-A-T-E. Big, capital, glowing neon letters. You can almost see the word tattooed on everyone’s foreheads. This is a city full of hate, filled to the brim with manic patriotism, and swept up in a tidal wave of religious fervor. I ride my bike to work, and every other house has an American flag hanging out front, every other car has an American flag on the antenna or in one of the windows, I even saw a guy getting out of the subway near my work carrying a huge American flag on a pole as he stepped out onto the street. It was like some weird one man patriotic parade through the subways and down seventh avenue. And I’m sure that most of the people watching him march past felt a burst of American Pride that swelled up in their chests until it felt as if it were gonna burst. I wish it had. Burst, that is. Plus every single church and religious organization is taking this time as their moment in the sun, when they can try to explain why this happened in vague, ominous ways (it was god’s will, blah, blah, blah)and hold as many candle lit vigils as possible. This whole city has turned into a huge television ad for GOD and COUNTRY. It is so scary. Through all of that, the worst part has got to be the hate. It’s as if everyone wants an enemy and whichever name the media decides to print today, that’s the enemy. And that enemy must be destroyed. America must kick some ass. Now. Immediately. An eye for a motherfucking eye. Nobody seems to care who they’re hating, just as long as they have someone to vent their hatred on. George W. Bush (aka: Psychopath) is ranting about how any country harboring terrorist will also be punished which means that he better start making plans to blow up Florida because that’s where the people flying the planes into the World Trade Centers and into the Pentagon learned how to fucking fly. So now we’ve just effectively removed Florida from the United States of America because Florida was harboring terrorists. Way to go, Psychopath. Brilliant move. It was also a gut wrencher
watching Psychopath come into New York City after the WTC incident and campaign his way through the rubble and debris of the remains of the buildings. That man is looking forward to his next election and knew this would be his perfect opportunity to go from being the President that nobody wanted to the President that’s gonna smoke ‘em out of the hole and kick some ass for the good ol’ U.S. of A. If he plays his cards well, this is his campaign ticket to another term in office. Thousands of people are dead, and this guys just uses it as his chance to try to get another four years to further destroy this land we live on.
What also amazes me is this desperate need for revenge that everyone is going on and on and ON about. I’m especially shocked to see people in this city, after everything that they’ve lived through, want to inflict this kind of pain and suffering onto another country. I walk through the streets and I see murals recently painted showing compassion and sympathy for those lost in the destruction of the WTC, I see a hundred candles burning in front of these murals, I see piles and piles of flowers, cards and photographs of missing people amongst the burning candles and flowers, and hear the people gathering around these memorial sites going on and on and ON about how America needs to go to war. I want to walk up to them and shake them and say “Oh, we need to go to war so that someone in some other country can paint a mural and put out candles and lay down flowers and mourn the loss of their friends and families? Didn’t you learn a damn fucking thing?” but since I don’t feel like getting my ass kicked by some wanna be G.I. Joe, I just keep my mouth shut, my teeth grinding, and walk quickly by. I see the flyers posted all over town with the photographs of those people still missing (and by now, most definitely dead) and each photograph gives me yet another reason why I would never want to inflict this kind of destruction onto any other city, any other country, any other family or husband or wife or daughter or fiancee or newly born baby.
My experience with this has left a part of me feeling as if I will never be able to fully grasp what I lived through. I saw both buildings burning. I saw two people jump from the first building that got hit. I saw the one of the buildings crumble into a mushroom cloud of dust and debris. I saw thousands of people die right before my eyes. My mind and my heart keep rejecting the images, but I can’t deny what I saw. And it blows my mind and my heart away to see so many people deny the pain, deny the suffering, deny the loss of life. That so many people want to see that cycle of destruction and death continue on and on and on. I don’t know if this need to go to war is something
that is sweeping all across America, but I do know that New York City has become a city filled with hate.
PS (I’m going to actually be moving out of New York City and getting my ass back to Oakland, California where I’m from. This west coast girl needs to go home! I would like to take this time to give thanks to the people in New York City who have been kind and friendly and who have tried to make this difficult city an easier place to be: Fly, Maggie, Rebecca Auer, Sarah Seacircle, Eric Weiss, Alex Nakos, Simon Davis, Matt Ray, Johnny Cakes, Audrey, Marina, Kellea, Kendel, Zero, Chris, Junior, Cindy, Jack, Amy, Keri, Judy, Amyl, Sarah, Sandy Glover, Brendan at CBGB’s, Ralphie Boy, Dave Asshole, Matt MDC, Betsy Irwin, Songe, Sturgeon, Steve Borkowski, Amy, Mykel Board, Lori, and all the other wonderful and amazing people at my book club, Emily Bodenberg, Pali, Jimmy Foul, Roger Miret, Rich, Lisa, Tony TP, Joe and Stockyard Stoics, Pastrami, Johnny Stiff, and I’m sure there are a shitload of other people I’m going to remember to put on here and be really bummed that I didn’t. So please forgive me if you’re not written down here!
And for all of those people who don’t live in New York, but who came into town and made my dreary days here seem bright and vibrant: Timmy O-Tool, Corey, Eric, Dave, Matt, Bill, Matt from Connecticut, Jim Martin, Steve, Lynn, Elsa, and Ava, Picasso, Mike McKee, Tony Pointless, Kate in Colorado, Laurie Clancy, Greg Trial, plus all of the bands and groups of people who came through and stayed at our house in the past five years. Getting to know all of you has made me a better person.
See you in California!