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James Campion-
Mr Reality Check
We have to invite the rest of this planet to converge on New York's overcrowded streets?

Here's one for ya: New York City is a finalist to host the 2012 Olympic Games. And whose on board for this monumental fiasco? The rich, the politically connected, the marketing assholes on Madison Avenue, the unions, the mob and an agonizing slew of hotel and restaurant owners. The rest of us get fucked, but good.
This is the most asinine concept dreamed up in the bowels of this great city since some rapacious road jockey with a drafting board wanted to turn Lower Manhattan into a lame Los Angeles freeway knockoff. Listen, if I had Billy Crystal's money I'd be sitting next to Michael Bloomberg and cheering too. But I don't, and chances are neither do you, so why the hell would any of the remaining millions of people who have anything to do with the five boroughs want the kind of construction, destruction and interruption it would take to refigure acres and miles and blocks with canoeing canals, swimming pools, equestrian tracks and a full-sized monstrosity of a stadium on the West Side Highway.

The West Side Highway? They've been fixing the same pothole on that Godforsaken stretch of road since 1986. Two Saturdays ago I sat in horrendous traffic for nearly two hours at 158th street so the lazy weekend orange-flag boys can widen an exit ramp between four-hour coffee breaks. Can you even begin to imagine the levels of Hades we're in for if they start erecting this elitist scam? And for what? Three weeks in July ten years from now, so the three people left on this spinning sphere who haven't descended on this over bloated island of lost souls can shoe-horn their way in? Is there not enough neck-bending, camera-toting, map-folding, drive-two-miles-an-hour-on-Fifth-Avenue tourists already? We have to invite the rest of this planet to converge on New York's overcrowded streets?

Hey, we're not enough of a target; let's give the terrorist community all the more reason to torch the joint. Of course, I fail to even broach what this will cost a city teetering on bankruptcy right now. The painfully rough conservative estimates - and believe me their rough in a wholly false way - see this thing in the $250 billion range. The mayor claims he can't pay the cops or the firemen now. You remember those guys right? The ones celebrities and news anchors brandishing their fancy American flag pins were gushing over for weeks after 9/11? They can't be paid, but we can build an Olympic Village in Astoria for $800 million. And when annoying people such as myself complain about this overblown marketing nightmare, we are reminded of the jobs this madness will produce, the beautification, the affordable housing and the brand spanking new stadium the N.Y. Jets will play in when everyone is finished trashing the city and return to their native lands.

Sure, lots of improvements. We'll have affordable housing in Manhattan when they let the Son of Sam out and tag him to run things for a while. And the Jets? Keep the fucking Jets in Jersey. The organization is cursed and only plays eight games a year, most of which the team loses in embarrassing fashion. The Jets need a new stadium like the Germans need to rebuild their military. And nothing, I mean nothing else needs to be crammed on the West Side. Not the least of which is this half-baked drug-addled idea to stretch the subway system over to 11th avenue. After the Olympic committee cashes their enormously grotesque checks for this rolling farce, the only people taking the train to Hudson are pimps, gunrunners and those shady looking characters who ran the kamikaze Tom Golisano campaign. As a great New Yawker and oldest living friend of the Desk once said in a midnight Times Square diatribe: WHO'S KIDDIN' WHO? Speaking of the Olympic Committee. Yeah, you want to get into bed with these cretins like you want to use Tony Soprano as a bookie. In fact, I'm fashioning a reasonable guess there's not a more corrupt outfit on the fringes of civilization than the Olympic Committee. There are teams of lawyers still figuring out who's paying back the $465 million federal government buy out that was the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Isn't it bad enough the city got in deep with the National Football League? What a deal that turned out to be. Bon Jovi and a few thousand drunken extras cramming mid-town for three days in exchange for cheaply produced promos of fat guys in Browns uniforms and dog masks cheering the Statue of Liberty from one of those pathetically ostentatious double-decker tour buses. When I see those convincing spots, I want to pack my bags in Peoria and brave the winter to see "Phantom of Opera" one more time for $200 a pop. Jesus Christ, this Bloomberg dipshit has to go. The man doesn't even want to be mayor. I think he wants to be prom queen or get on the radio for five minutes. Let's give him a gold plated tiara and a press hat and send him back to corporate oblivion.

This mondo jack ass will do anything for attention, including selling the greatest city in the world to international bankers and turn the entire thing into gridlock debt for two minutes of quality time with Katie Couric. And one more thing, fine people of the Big Apple, these Olympic things never involve referendums or votes or even town meetings. A few greed heads with blue prints will gut your town with your tax dollars just to turn your daily routine into a Marilyn Manson video, count their money and leave your neighborhoods in ruins. You get about as much say in this as those riled lunatics who were reduced to heaving tea overboard in Boston Harbor 240 odd years ago. Taxation without representation, indeed. Stand up for your turf. Let your voice be heard. Flood city hall and head to the streets or get the fuck out now before the mob-funded bulldozers start tearing up concrete. Let the Parisians deal with this heinous shit. They love lending their town to conquering hordes.

© James Campion November 7th 2002

We sympathise James- Vancouver is slated for the 2010 Winter Olympics and going through the same ordeal. It's like dining with someone elses friends and getting stuck with the bill...worse, they eat out in your favourite restaurant and put it on your tab! Ed

READERS RESPONSES November 2002 Updated 25th Nov
Mr. Campion, Appreciated your pre-eulogy of the great Warren Zevon. His kind will never pass this way again, especially in this prefabricated corporate star chamber that mucks up big time music business. Henceforth talents like Zevon will find it harder and harder to find a voice, or more importantly, survive.
Word to your readers and readers of the Aquarian: Support public radio and college radio. It is the last frontier for the true songwriters and performers, or be forced to endure the litany of teen sensations and pop/rock crap like N'Sync and Creed.
Sincerely, Grumpy in Bergen
Re Zevon, Did you catch Warren on the Late Show with David Letterman last night? He did a great interview and came back for three songs. It was AWESOME.
Keep up the great writings, Eric Shaffer
Sir, even I titled a column after Warren Zevon. The man is one of a kind and will sorely be missed. So instead of mourning a loss that hasn't arrived let us rejoice from the rooftops that he is still here. Let us hide out in Honduras with perfect hair. Bill Roberts Sir:
When Zevon goes, the world will become smaller. Dr. Leftover
Mr. campion, I wish you would have put this story about Warren Zevon out a week ago, I needed a replacement pick in my Death Pool. Pete
Campion, Yo,
Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Need we say more. I'll miss him. Werewolf in London
You are not alone with crying about Warren -- I too have seen him about 15 or more times over the last twenty years. Truly one of my favorite artists and songwriters. He truly is a songwriter's songwriter -- not many can say that. It is unacceptable that he is terminal. Although he says he feels much better than the doctor's say he should. Artimus, I hear, has set him up with recording equipment around his bed -- thankfully to capture every thought from this great man. Thanks for writing all you did about him, and I am sorry to hear about the cancellation of the interview -- it would have been great --- Forever Zevon's Hostage -O Jule Carey
Hello Reality Check,
This is some of the funniest and most right-on commentary I have ever read. You, sir, are sick, twisted and chock full of grit. I salute your derision of this "Olympics in New York" fiasco. As a native New Yorker, I can only say to the Olympic Committee: You will not take my city hostage!! All the Best,
Barry M.
jc, I loved the column on the Olympics in NYC, but I think you were a little harsh on the mayor. That is not saying something, considering your usual bashing, but I think a businessman as clever as Bloomberg must see some far-reaching positives in hosting the Olympics in the city.
I hate New Yorkers anyway, so they can go fuck themselves. BFD
I'll agree to this mess on the condition that they build a correct-to-scale model of Katie Couric's bowels and run the kayak races through it. Marv Albert commenting on the Jamaican team's progress through Katie's ass would be too precious to pass up. Slater
"The Big Olympic Lie" is a definite Campion classic. I love how absolutely no form of euphemism is employed. It's not "Bloomberg is, in my opinion, not a good mayor." Instead it's "mondo jack ass," "gold tiara," and "prom queen." I do agree though.
Mr. Campion,
While I agree that the hardships, both logistically and financially on the city of New York would be great, I think the final rewards considering the tourist trade, the city's infrastructure et al in the long run would be greater. I respectively disagree with your rather aggressive attack on the "rich" being the only ones not sacrificing, although I must agree that they will not only bear a considerable brunt, but stand to catch the windfall. And, by the way, you are a very funny and articulate columnist. I would say, overall, refreshing. All the best, William Brady
Mr. Campion,
I think although your humor is first rate and your argumentative nature certainly cantankerous, you are missing the point on this Olympic thing entirely. I think what the mayor and those supporting this, as you say "fiasco" with the hosting of the Olympics, are trying to achieve is getting big corporations and international dollars sunk into the rebuilding of many of New York's run-down neighborhoods. Your point that the city is broke has been well documented. There is a terrible deficit and officials have already started slapping tax hikes and commuter taxes on everything moving, but perhaps getting some gluttonous corporations and the Olympic Committee to foot the bill for what amounts to two weeks twelve summers from now to have tons of construction beautifying and making New York a viable place in all areas is a good idea. Yes, we will have to be put out and inconvenienced over the span of this work, but when aren't we put out and inconvenienced in this town.
Listen, while I'll admit the Olympic Committee screwed Salt Lake City, I also believe there was some major malfeasance on their part as well. They had it coming to them. I think the media light will be shining too brightly for that to happen d here; Jersey mob or not.
Speaking of which, although I disagree with your assessments on this, the Tony Soprano bookie reference was too good to ignore. Arnold Beekman Jr.
Bravo on your Olympic bashing. Who the fuck watches these things anyway? The network ratings attest to NO ONE!! This is some kind of money laundering scam for terrorist organizations to target major cities world wide every four years. Jacks up the price of security and begs the need for larger military build up. Christ, these bastards are brilliant. Make them pay Campion. Goddammit! Make them pay with their pocket books! Rock on - soldier of the weird, Stan the Man II Aka

Angry Ode to the Captain

Zevon is a true genius in the very definition

James Campion


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