isn't this just so typically cain, i hear you saying. the smoke still rising from the ruins of the twin towers, people from here to timbuktu wearing "i love new york" t-shirts, and THIS freakin' bastard couldn't WAIT to start kicking this brave, proud city when it's down.
weeelll...if you let me EXPLAIN a bit, ya presumptuous nimrod, you'll see that isn't the spirit of this rant atall. quite the contrary, actually...i was madly in love with (most aspects of) new york long before i ever moved here, so much so that on a certain level, i took the attack on the world trade centre as a personal affront, and out-right violation of MY city. (this i'm sure you saw coming as well...2 years here and the bloody fucker thinks he owns the place. well, on that account, i'm guilty as charged ;) no, i love new york city. it's the people in it i can't tolerate. get it now? good. so, onward and upward we go...
let's keep to the topic of the wtc for this
little rant, shall we? now, the one thing that has been annoying the crap out
of me since the terrorist attacks is the endless yatter on the news about the
"outpouring of support" on the part of my fellow new yorkers to the
victims of the tragedy and their families. okay. i might possibly be inclined to
believe this tripe if i lived in, say, IDAHO or someplace equally far away. but
knowing new yorkers as i do, and dealing with them on a regular basis as i do,
i happen to know 2 things for sure :
1. roughly ¾ of all the people in new york that did NOT lose someone close to them in the tragedy have everything short of forgotten about it at this point. the remaining quarter are either CLAIMING they lost someone so as to capitalise on it, or stuffing envelopes full of talcum powder and mailing them to tom brokaw in the hopes of being mentioned on the nightly news.
2. new yorkers are, as a group, a lot of things...but altruistic is definitely not one of them.
holier-than-thou is, though. fact of the matter is, what new yorkers want the world to think they're doing for their neighbours and what they actually ARE doing are two totally different things. sooo...in order to set this maddening misconception straight, i, a fairly removed (from ground zero, anyway...i'll readily admit my volunteering has been limited to the salvation army at the bowery) yet very aware new yorker, am going to give you a non-scientific breakdown of exactly who is down working/dossing at ground zero.
police officers, and other assorted emergency workers. you'd be hard-pressed to
find one among them who DOESN'T know someone who was lost. they're down there
on a mission to find the remains of their co-workers asap. this is honourable,
and of course i have no problem with it. in fact, i have the ultimate respect
for the strength they've been showing through all this. god knows i couldn't do
2.volunteers from out-of-state. a shower of hopelessly naïve do-gooders that think they're HELPING new yorkers when they are, in reality, simply working themselves ragged what most new yorkers can't be bothered with. but it makes them feel good, and they ARE doing a good thing, a good thing that mightn't get done otherwise...even if they ARE running themselves into the ground in the process.
3.looters. they try to keep them out, but well...that just ain't gonna happen. so they're still there, and no doubt WILL be till the last fake rolex is pulled from the rubble.
4.the red cross. stationed at every turn south of houston st, handing up paper cups of water and collecting money that no-one ever says OUT RIGHT is going to help wtc efforts but no-one ever said ISN'T either. ah, the joys of capitalism...
5.the cheerleaders. these people are the best. some lost their jobs after the attacks, but some just up and walked out on theirs to "help the cause". now, they stand along the sidewalks down battery park city way, day in and day out, holding up signs and cheering every time the emergency vehicles drive up en route to the city morgue with newfound body parts. not actually DOING anything, mind ye, just STANDING THERE with their freakin' cardboard signs like so many squeegee men. it seemed like a kinda nice sentiment at the start of it all, but now they're just getting irritating. they get more press than the actual rescue/recovery workers do, and they're doing NOTHING. i swear if i was one of the cops, i'd use these fuckers for target practice every time i passed 'em. pack of losers anyway.
further uptown, all you ever really hear now pertaining to the attacks (besides personal fears about anthrax and the like) is the occasional false insurance claim/lawsuit for someone who was SUPPOSEDLY in the towers when they went down, but turns out to be more alive than you and i. there is very little "outreach" going on in the community at this point in time. even the monetary giving has fairly well ceased since the red cross's true intentions were exposed. the threat of the attacks has not gone, it probably never will. but what does that mean to the average joe besides the daily pangs of fear for his OWN precious ass and his local gift shop making a killing on postcards, other assorted skyline merchandise, and american flags? errmm...nothing, last i checked. the general concensus is, those who are gone are gone, but if you're still here, it's no skin off your nose.
hmmph. i'm not telling people they should all be beating a path to ground zero to volunteer their services. as i said before, you don't see ME camped out down there digging through the mess, so who the hell am i to tell you you should be? all i AM saying is people in this city really ought to quit hoisting themselves up on their own petards. the sainthood some of these people are claiming is just plain ridiculous. if you haven't dropped everything to volunteer, there's really no shame in that. but even if you ARE in fact helping, if you're simply doing it to impress everyone else, you're doing it for all the wrong reasons.