International Writers Magazine:New
No point being sentimental
over Joe Torre. Hes got his money. When you work for
a creepy prick like George Steinbrenner, who is old and lost his marbles
long ago even when he was young, you always have the Bat of Pericles hanging
over your head by a thread. Unfortunately, the Yankees is also a
business operating on a razor-thin profit margin. Steinbrenner kept
Torre long past his expiration date even though the Yanks have been crapping
out year after year in the playoffs.
York City Report
killed myself after the Yankees lost last night, and now Ive
come back from the dead and I feel better. No use crying over
spilt milk, but it drives me nuts to give so much satisfaction to
the Yankees haters who inhabit bridge and tunnel-land.
As Cleveland so pointedly demonstrated, the Yankees problem is concentrated
in their pitching. How their management let it get to this point
should be the subject for a Marx Brothers comedy (its too funny
for todays comedians, except for Leno).
But what the Yankees demonstrated is that just being a New Yorker does
not get you a free pass. You still have to deliver the goods.
In fact, the fact that you live in New York is supposed to demonstrate
that you manifest some god-like qualities. Here we got New York
senator Hillary Clinton running against New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani
with a possible challenge by New York mayor Mike Bloomberg. The
rest of the country can suck wind, yknow what I mean?
Bloomberg is moving closer and closer to Clintons positions, which
means to me that he considers Giuliani and the Republicans to be flatter
than last years beer and is setting himself up as the only alternatives
to Hillary for people who approve of her positions but cant stomach
her personally. I cant understand what drives these Hillary-haters
shes not any more obnoxious than anybody else.
Bloomberg is probably right. Giulianis candidacy will certainly
destroy the Republican Party before he himself fizzles out like an inflatable
sex doll with a puncture hole. That is when Mike will make his move.
The way he will put it is: this is an election, not a coronation.
Thats why I am presenting myself as an alternative to Hillary Clinton,
so Americans can have a choice.
This is a good strategy, and if Mike decides to go with Arnold Schwarznegger
for his vice-president.
A Bloomberg/Schwartznegger ticket would be the darling of the celebrity
and business media, leaving Hillary The New York Times, The Nation
magazine and such minuscule pockets of serious thinkers that exist in
this society, sorry to say. But what it will do is invite comparison
of Michael Bloombergs past performance as a public official with
New York is a city of interests. Sometimes Bloombergs expressed
sympathies for the entrenched interests that dominate life here at the
expense of the general population cast him in an impolitic light, which
is the case regarding Consolidated Edison, the electric and gas utility,
whose infrastructure is so obsolete that peoples dogs are getting
fried alive as they walk them down the street. Some actual people
have also died as well.
Con Ed is really a comical presence in the city, with its trucks decorated
with a big thumbs-up on the side with the motto On It.
Yeah right, On It! It might be more appropriate to show the board
of directors with the thumb up its butt and the slogan Sit On It.
Not that its the fault of the repairmen. They are charged
with keeping a rotting system functioning while its board of directors
drains the company of its profits, some of which should be set aside for
infrastructure upgrades, to the unbelievable tune of 10% yearly dividends
for common shares, rain or shine. Meanwhile, whole neighborhoods
go without electricity for as long as a week at a time in the summer.
The utility defends this hemorrhaging of resources by stating that shareholders
have bought the stock in anticipation of high returns on their investment
and a reduction of dividends might result in a loss of share value.
In fact, despite the rotten infrastructure and service, which might be
compared to a seedy provincial city in the Congo Republic, for which New
Yorkers are obliged to pay the highest electricity rates in the US, Con
Ed has now applied for yet another rate increase, this one to pay for
the damage caused by the system overload of the August 2006 blackout,
which reduced all of northwest Queens to shambles for an entire week.
During this charming episode, when grocery stores lost all their refrigerated
food and people were dying from heart attacks from the stress of trying
to get some sleep in their air-conditioned cars, Bloomberg, not even bothering
to visit the blighted area for much of the week, much less sending ice,
actually applauded Con Ed and its CEO for doing a fine job! This is the
kind of myopic idiocy one could expect from a boss but not from the mayor
of New York when hundreds of thousands of its citizens are reduced to
a state of desperate crisis.
[Of course, I dont recall Hillary Clinton getting out there to pitch
in and lend a hand either. And I personally avoided to going to
Astoria as though it were a plague-infested medieval Italian village as
well. Nevertheless, if anybody in this city would have had any brains,
they could at least have sent trucks into the neighborhood to distribute
bags of ice]
Nobody expected Mike Bloomberg to ride in like a cowboy and clean up Dodge,
but his open endorsement of blatant corporate looting, as at Con Ed, or
his perceived indifference to a disgracefully corrupt situation, as in
the affair of the Deutsche Bank fire where, like a tragic Keystone Kops
comedy, two firemen died when they turned on the hose and one drop came
out because the mob contractors had disconnected the standpipe connection
and fire inspectors were either paid or intimidated from inspecting the
demolition site, could definitely come back to haunt him in a general
election against Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is going easy on Obama and Edwards, but she wont be so gentle
on Bloomberg, who might be perceived as representing a genuine threat
to her interests. You can be sure that her catapults will be loaded
up with rich New York mud and ready to fire at Bloombergs canary
yellow Ralph Lauren sweater even before he announces his candidacy.
New York is the worst place in the world to live unless you count
all the others. An electrical grid ready to burn out any minute;
steam pipes bursting and scalding people, even as the utility demands
another rate increase to be able to continue to pay its vigorish; the
mafia getting its cut at Ground Zero and performing its usual impeccable
workmanship and fire inspectors publicly stating that they didnt
bother to inspect the site because it was too much trouble for them to
put on their protective equipment; a mayor who is content to let the universe
unfold as it should and wants to do the same thing on a national level;
one baseball team that goes into its last 15 games with a 7 1Ž2 game lead
and blows it; another baseball team that spends $200 million on salaries
and yet cant construct a competent pitching program; the Knicks
But New York is more than the sum of all its dysfunctions. People
are still going to crowd in here no matter what. Where else are
you going to live? Paris? No beaches. Miami? The
jobs pay slave wages. LA? I dont want to let driving
interfere with my drinking. Forget it!
© Dean Borok October 11th 2007
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