No thanks to the clown whose improbably successful run for office began as a ruse to drum up support for another shot at reality tv infamy, who then missed the opportunity to bow out semi-gracefully when it was clear that he could get what he wanted. And who then became a lightning rod for every wacko rightwing racist nutjob out there, empowering them to a degree that even Ronald Reagan never would have.
No thanks to the clueless blue-collar white voters who swept him in on a tide of hate and extremism – who’re too overworked, overmedicated and brainwashed by Fox News to realize that what he represents is the exact opposite of the change they were hoping for.
No thanks to Alexander Hamilton and his cabal of colonial banksters and slavers, who devised the electoral college as a sneaky way to keep what was then a largely rural electorate in check. Those guys wanted to overthrow King George III? They wanted to BE King George III.
No thanks to the lazy state bureaucrats who fell for the lie that computerized voting machines are somehow superior to paper ballots. Stuffing the ballot box is a time-honored tradition in authoritarian societies – why make it any easier? Unless your goal is to thwart any hope of voters asserting themselves in a genuinely democratic way…
No thanks to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the rest of the DNC, whose voter suppression blitzkrieg came back to bite them in the ass when the absence of all the Bernie supporters who would have voted for Hillary, but couldn’t since they’d been wiped off the voter rolls during the primaries, ended up costing her the election.
No thanks to the sleazy politicos who engineered tax breaks for developers eager to raze decades-old New York tenements. displace the people who live there, and replace those sturdy old buildings with shoddy, prefab plastic-and-sheetrock condos designed for speculation rather than actual human habitation, ready to cave in or topple over in the first hurricane or tornado.
No thanks to the swindlers who market those units as viable investments. No thanks to the get-rich-quick scammers hell-bent on flipping them to the next sucker, whether that sucker might be an individual investor or an international money launderer.
No thanks to spineless Mayor Bill DiBlasio and his equally spineless minions, who claimed to see a city divided between ultra-rich and dirt poor, and promised to fix it, but caved in to the luxury real estate lobby instead.
No thanks to the greedy landlords who jack up the rent for independent businesses to the point where the only leaseholders who can afford to take over those spaces are national chains with vast wealth invested in the financial markets.
No thanks to the corporate swine who move in and displace owners who’ve done business here for decades, who’ve given this city such a richly individual, multicultural character.
No thanks to the trendoids from Boca Raton, Bloomfield Hills, Darien, Cape Elizabeth, Berkeley and every other rich suburb across the counry who just had to “do New York” for a few years and in the process turned it into a whitewashed, terminally boring facsimile of where they came from.And whose willingness to overpay for housing has resulted in an artistic brain drain out of this city unsurpassed in New York history.
No thanks to the chickenshit clubowners, who, petrified of being unable to make the rent, dumb down their programming to the point of being indistinguishable from their redneck counterparts in the suburbs. You thought Miley Cyrus cover bands, One Direction karaoke and evenings of one wannabe Facebook comedy star after another were strictly an out of town thing? Guess again. Memo to whoever books Rockwood Music Hall, Webster Hall, the Poisson Rouge, the Delancey, Arlene’s, the Hall at MP, American Beauty and for that matter, Madison Square Garden: tourists will listen to whatever you give them. Why not support good music, build a genuine scene, make a real difference and earn yourselves a place in the history books? Hilly Kristal did that and now everybody on the planet wears a t-shirt with the name of his venue on it.
No thanks to the MTA, who’ve done more to destroy live music in New York than all the greedy landlords, cowardly booking agents, sinister speculators and corrupt politicians combined. The New York City subway is in worse shape than it’s ever been in over a hundred years. Endless late-night rerouting and closures all down the line have made it impossible to get home from Manhattan to the other boroughs, let alone from, say, Bushwick to Ditmas Park or from Crown Heights to Astoria. As a result, it’s next to impossible for a new band to gain enough traction to take it to the next level. The best an artist can hope for is an endless Dives of New York tour, playing to a couple dozen people week after week and month after month in one cruddy Brooklyn or Queens room after another. It’s enough to make you wonder if there really is some truth to the rumor that Uber has paid off the MTA brass.
Thank you to the awesome, multicultural, multi-ethnic, demographically diverse people of New York, who have extended one kindness after another to an injured nightcrawler hell-bent on getting to where the action is despite the pain and the necessity of having to travel in the breakdown lane. Old ladies who’ve given up their seats on the train, young dudes who’ve held subway doors, friends who’ve offered their old crutches and canes, ushers and club managers and publicists and impresarios who’ve supplied seats and free drinks and lit up darkened stairwells with their penlights, cops and crossing guards who’ve stopped crazed Uber drivers from running down a certain blog owner shlepping across the street as the light changes – and not to forget the occasional canine who’s given a friendly wag of the tail, a concerned glance upward or, WOOAAH, a jump and a smooch on the face – you are the reason why this city is still as great as it is despite all efforts on the part of the corporate elite to destroy it. I love you all.