Category: Brooklyn

Passive

The Gowanus Canal is like having a little piece of New Jersey in Brooklyn.

Wikileaks has a copy of the Mueller Report. For sale.

Billionaire DeVos cuts $18 million from Special Olympics.

Who will portray the miserable Markle father in the impending sitcom?

BernieBros don’t know what to make of Pete Buttigieg or how to destroy him. They obviously can’t play the misogyny card.

Mambo miam miam

Coney Island’s former glory was always seedy and proleish. The effort to transform it into Disneyland is ludicrous.

Mesut Özil is the Footballer of the Year.

A book of Mr Putin’s speeches will be published. Unfortunately, they will never be as influential as Mr Stalin’s book on linguistics.

Meanwhile, in merry old England: Mssrs Corbyn, McDonnell, and Milne should be aware that history’s great purgers have often found themselves purged in the end, Robespierre, Yagoda, and Yezhov among them.

Ring tailed roarer

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A Ring Tailed Roarer (pictured above and below, standing second from the right) harangued an entire subway car on the 2 line for twenty minutes today. From his mouth streamed words about Jesus and Lucifer, Heaven and Hell, Sodom and Gomorrah; his guttural delivery was full of menace towards the current Pope, homosexuals, and Jews. The Roarer intoned “Jesus is coming, hunh/Repent now sinners, hunh” in a hypnotic sing-song manner. All in all it was a fine piece of bigoted religious performance art.

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What causes a person like the Roarer to find himself in such a state of emotional disorientation that he is compelled to shout down complete strangers at 9:15am on a workday? What inner need caused the Roarer to ignore Mark 12:31: “‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”?

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Perhaps it is explained by the fact that the Roarer needs the sinner as much has he needs Jesus. Without the sinner, the Roarer has nothing, is nothing. The Roarer hates the sinner passionately, but just as passionately he requires a sinner to exist as the object of his hatred. The Roarer and the sinner are bound together, like Sauron and his Ring of Power. The sinner is the lifeblood of the Roarer’s faith, the raison for his ressentiment.

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It was not difficult to detect the utter joy the Roarer felt in delivering his good news of eternal damnation. His pleasure in denouncing the sinner, in predicting her destruction, and her imminent departure to hell, was palpable; his infantile orality manifested his displaced sexual aim.

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The way of the world

Re “American Sniper”: We’ve reached peak war film. It’s a tired genre. Time to retire it.

A film critic has conscientiously pointed out that a fictional narrative of the life of Stephen Hawking is not a carbon copy of reality: “It would be a big mistake to take The Theory of Everything as a user’s guide to living with motor neurone disease.” Really? I note this not simply because it is my current pet peeve, but only because this sort of nonsense is ubiquitous, universal. I’m only surprised I didn’t notice this tendency earlier in life.

Jodi Ernst is the Marine Le Pen of the Republican Party.

The most noticeable tall buildings in NYC now are the middle-fingers sprouting up in Brooklyn and Queens, which tower over everything around them. But at least downtown Brooklyn was spared the embarrassment of a Frank Gehry toadstool patch when the original Atlantic Yards project crumbled.

Hopefully, Mr Dehlin won’t face banishment to the planet Kolob for uttering twenty-first century views on women and same-sex marriage.

Gentrifixation

In light of the kerfuffle over the Cereal Killer Cafe:

People move around. Sometimes other people don’t like it. It’s not that complicated.

Complaints about gentrification and gentrifiers are not new. Trendy hipsteria is predictable and stale (like the air inside Farrell’s).

I have more problems with strollers than skateboarders.

Free popcorn is better than free wifi.

I think the rule of thumb in the Slope is that if you’re not pushing a Maclaren Techno XT or if you don’t have a pacifier in your mouth, you’re persona non grata.

The Pavilion and Farrell’s are bookend institutions in terms of quality of service and experience.

I leave Park Slope occasionally to see how regular folks live. I always regret it.

LA is great, especially the Valley. Everyone is beautiful and there are few strollers.

Veselka and  Joe (the art of coffee) should open an outpost in Park Slope.

Upscale Hooters: silicon and gluten free.

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I have no doubt that gentrification is not a pleasant process for people who suffer from rising property taxes and obnoxious new neighbors. Usually, these negatives are only slightly mitigated by things like an increase of services (including police service) and amenities (including restaurants) that would not otherwise have flowed into the area.

Let’s say that one finds that the negatives outweigh the mitigating factors and gentrification should be fought against. One could b*tch and moan hipsterically about rude bicyclists and skinny neighbors who play The Sounds at high volume. Or one could face that fact that as long as our economic system allows residential areas to be spaces from which wealth is extracted, there will be gentrification and displacement. If one takes the second point of view, one might seek to join a local community organization to help local residents who face displacement and other forms of alienation to claim their “rights” to residential space. This latter course of action, while not the only one possible, is at least rational.

As for myself, I’ve moved around quite a lot and I am undisturbed by experiencing new things and new people. I suspect part of the heightened emotional cathexis towards gentrification/gentrifiers is an age old antipathy for “outsiders” and “newcomers.” When all else fails, it is easy to simply plant one’s flag and say “get off my turf.” Unfortunately, the myth of ownership over one’s infantile home is shattered by the reality principle. Are all gentrifiers obnoxious and pretentious? No. Are all “original residents” (whatever that might mean in Brooklyn) nice people? No. It seems to me that rather than point fingers at individuals, it would be more profitable (but apparently less psychically satisfying) to amend the institutional patterns that exacerbate the worst aspects of gentrification.

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