How the Chelsea Bombing Affects Music in New York
To say that you’d do better seeing music in Brooklyn than in Manhattan today, and maybe in the next week or so, is a no-brainer for most New Yorkers. Who goes to Manhattan for anything other than the dayjob these days, anyway?
In the wake of this past year’s Paris and Beirut bombings, national chains were the first to overreact. Brooklyn Bowl, for example, now not only requires that patrons submit themselves to an airport-style metal detector scan: they go so far as to make concertgoers empty everything, not only metal, from their pockets. It wouldn’t be surprising to see independent Manhattan venues boost security checks as well in the wake of what happened last night in Chelsea.
We know for certain that the perpetrators of last night’s Chelsea bombings were captured by area spycams. Citizen surveillance during that window may provide additional evidence. Whether or not the trail left behind by those people – the number of bombs points to more than one perp – is utilized to the fullest extent that it could be, will answer a lot of questions. A whole other can of worms waits to be opened if that evidence isn’t exploited as it should be.
Without having any idea of the perps’ identities, we already know something about them. First of all, the bombs were placed in a relatively little-trafficked area. Before you go arguing that Chelsea is population-dense, consider the carnage that would have resulted had the bombs been placed in, say, South Williamsburg ,or on Bedford Avenue at that time of evening. Does this mean that the bombers meant to keep casualties to a minimum? That goes against every terrorist model…unless whoever did this meant to instill fear rather than kill people.
In addition, if we assume that the bombers did in fact mean to kill a whole lot of people, the location they chose means that they’re either clueless, or just plain stupid. Of course, most terrorists are stupid – the Boston Bomber, for example, isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.
As details come to light, or don’t come to light, New Yorkers need to remember two things. First of all, no surplus of spycams can prevent an attack like this – just ask a Londoner. Second, we need to resist falling victim to paranoia. That means no fingering our neighbors just because we might think they’re weird, or that their national origin or skin color makes them likely to engage in terrorism. To assume such things is not only shameful, it’s un-American. And it goes against the grain of any real New Yorker’s makeup.
And we need to continue to live our lives as we lived them the day before the Chelsea bombings. Mathematically speaking, the odds of any New Yorker being injured, let alone killed, in a terrorist attack, are infinitesimally small. To give in to fear would be to raise a white flag to the terrorists. So far, they’ve won the war, hands down. The only way to beat them is not to create them. And to defy them, should they raise their ugly heads. There’s infinitely more of us than them.
Let’s wish a speedy and pain-free recovery to the survivors of the Chelsea attacks. Let’s find who did them harm, lock the perps up and throw away the key. Let’s just not throw our freedom out with them.