Saturday, January 16, 2016

Where Are These Values Made? New York City?!?

Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that never sleeps but does take occasional naps. I'm Dave-El and I'm caught between the moon and New York City and it's starting to pinch.

Remember the TV commercials for Pace Picante Sauce? A recurring theme was some rugged men of the west would wonder why the other sauce isn’t as good as Pace? Then someone would look at the label of Brand X Picante Sauce and exclaim, “Why, this was made in New York City!” And everybody in the commercial would reply with one incredulous voice, “NEW YORK CITY”?

Well, you know those folks up in New York City don’t nothing about no picante sauce, no way, no how.

The idea, though, that there was some soulless factory belching away somewhere in Brooklyn or Queens, pumping out salsa always struck me as kind of funny.

My daughter is going to the Big Apple in a couple of months. I hope she has a great time and gets to see all the important sites: the deli from Seinfeld, the apartment building exterior from Friends. Me? I’ve never been to NYC. Would love to but only on the condition that I’m there with someone who knows the city in and out and will never leave my side, even to go to the bathroom. New York City may be wonderful but it’s scary, people! Scary! It’s a whole ‘nother way of living up there in the city that never sleeps, pushed together among monoliths of steel anchored to islands of rock. It’s a pulsing engine of electricity, glass, metal and humanity.

Yes, the men and women of New York City, hardy souls that work in the city and make the city work. What kind of people live and work in New York City? There is a reputation that New Yorkers are rude. I rather think that New Yorkers are more honest. In the South, if I think someone is stupid, I might say, “Well, bless his heart.” If a person in NYC things someone is stupid, they will say so. “You’re stupid! Get outta here! 

Some of the greatest love stories and the greatest comedies have New York City as a backdrop because when love conquers your heart in that city, you are so much in love. And if you laugh in the face of what NYC can throw at you, it’s a laugh you’ll feel down to your gut.

Pretty good stuff for a guy that’s never been there. But I imagine New York City is like my city…but more. My city has tall buildings but there are more buildings in NYC and so much taller. And I imagine the people are much the same, like me but more. More angry. More happy. More strong. And sometimes, much more hurt.

You can’t talk about New York City without acknowledging September 11th. It’s a tragedy that hurt the city more than any city in the United States had ever been hurt. But it was a tragedy that defined New York in a way that defied the death and the destruction. New York was like us but more strong, more resilient and more resolved. I’m not saying the people of any other city couldn’t have risen up and done the same thing. But let’s face it, New York City is a hard place to live but people live there and even thrive there. When it comes to being strong, New Yorkers just a get a bit more practice at it than the rest of it, just by being New Yorkers. 

What prompted this poetic waxing about the grit and the glitter of New York City were remarks from Sen. Ted Cruz. He touts himself as a true American, a man of values and he represents other Americans with true American values. 

As opposed to those with New York values.

Now let me put this as politely as I can: Ted Cruz is a cold, calculating, sanctimonious bastard!

Cruz knows  his target audience, people stewing in the juices of their own rage and impotence and too stupid to see they are being led closer and deeper to their own ruin. But Cruz plies them with the words of a cagey serpent, about how they are great Americans with down home values, not like, you know, everyone else.  

And you know who is in New York City? Everyone else. The Jews and the African Americans and the Muslims and the immigrants and the homosexuals and the atheists and the dreamers and the downtrodden and the go-getters and more including Catholics and liberals and women and even white male Protestant conservatives. That’s what New York City is good at: more! And that’s what scares the weakest of the weak minded that Cruz seeks for his cause. They are afraid, they have been made afraid of everyone who is not them and there seems to be, every day, more.

Ted Cruz tells his followers to beware of New York values and you know what? He is right! Those who are mired in their own ignorance and fearfully following a liar and a manipulator like Ted Cruz, they should be afraid. Because New York is America. New York values are American values. The city is old and it's modern, it's messy and it's sleek, it's dirty and it glistens as the sun comes up over the Atlantic and it breaks apart the night with its neon galaxy of electric stars. New York City is big and expansive against the small minded Ted Cruz who would hold this country back to fit his limited definition of America. 

New York City is anything and everything America is and can be. And that scares small minded people like Ted Cruz to death because they can't handle it when America does not look like them. And New Yorkers don't look like Ted Cruz. New Yorkers are smarter and stronger than Ted Cruz. 

Ted Cruz is less. New York City is more.  

Everybody, be good to one another 


Down here! 

A little lower...

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