Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Seesawing in the Land of Chaos

Holy Shit!
Yes, they are hammering for holy hell this morning while I am stammering curses in fluent vehemence because I watched Public-Access TV, remember that?, as the New York City Council, a burlap bag of Real Estate Industry-hands-totally-all-the-way-up-their-asses who all New York Citians would love to tie 'em all up in that bag and dump it in the East River, New York City's public toilet river, and maybe we'd get rid of these chiseling sorry indebted bunch of highway robbers who pose as the New York City taxpayer's counter to the long stream of rather tacky and worthless mayors New York Citians seem to delight in electing--John "Sparkle Plenty" Lindsay the first one I'm old enough to remember--then there was Abe "Crybaby" Beame, the first Jewish mayor, followed by Ed "How'm I doin'?" Krotch (read: Koch)(our first openly gay mayor), followed by David "Sweatin' Fool" Dinkins (our first Black mayor), followed by Rudi "Mussolini" Guliani--holy shit--you see why I entitled this post "Holy Shit!" And now during the worst economic crisis in New York City since 1929, we've got the US's 5th richest MAN as our mayor--a little prick, a little privileged prick, a little two-faced son of a bitch, a little condescending asshole who started off as mayor claiming 9/11 had left the city under water economically, though not to worry, he, our rich-as-sin mayor, was going to lead us through it. Then he claimed suddenly one day after 9/11, well, that for some unaccountable reason we suddenly had a surplus in the city and then how he was going to go about driving small businesses and low-rent apartments out of the guts of the West Side (Chelsea from West 30th up to West 42nd) for Bloomberg Mall--this in order to bump up the barren waste around the gift of Ed Krotch to the City of New York, the all-American-architectually tacky and boring Javitts Center (named after Jacob Javitts who while he was in a wheelchair on a respirator, dying, in one room, Mrs. Jacob Javitts, and she was a sweet piece of ass for her age, was fucking Geraldo Rivera in the adjoining room, with the door open in case Jacob suddenly started wheezing louder than she was "OH GOD'ing" Geraldo on to roaring spasms of ejaculating glee.... And I am wheezing now I am so fucking distraught). Then Bloomie announced he was giving half of Midtown-West to the New York Jets so that the Jets owner, a pal of Bloomie's, could build a god-awful football stadium there, near the Javitts Center, with the proposal of several new hi-rise luxury hotels, etc. Then he came up with congestion pricing by wanting to charge outsiders a huge toll for entering and traveling around Manhattan--a stupid plan--but a plan he needs in order to maintain his belief that tourists and the absurdly wealthy actually own Manhattan Island--it should be their PRIVATE property--and the mayor is giving away portions of this city to greedy uncaring (Plato would have called them "tyrants") private equity funds and hedge-fund developers. Why our mayor is so stuck on himself, he's going ahead and spending millions trying to elect himself to an illegal third term as our salvation mayor! And who can run against him? Who else in New York City can afford to run against him? Certainly no progressive. Certainly no peace and justice candidate. In Bloomberg's third-term commercials, he admits he's trying to keep "the Middle-Class" in New York City. What a farce.

And the loudest hammer of them all has now started woodpeckering away just outside my window reminding me that redevelopment is beating my yelling, growling, griping ass, it is evolving on in spite of it crushing our old-reliable neighborhoods, changing the face of Manhattan to suit the needs of the ultra-rich-and-famous.... And this city council of jackals, the NYC City Council, in cahoots with the NYC jackal landlords are recommending a 4% increase on a one-year lease or 6% on a two-year lease (and I defy you to try and get a two-year lease) in NYC's hated-by-the-Real-Estate-Industry subsidized rental apartment buildings. Rent stabilization and subsidization in New York City was put into law after World War II when NYC landlords jacked rents up to such unreasonable and unruly levels the city and state governments had to step in and impose rent stabilization guidelines on them and in some cases subsidizing some of the rents in the poorer neighborhoods. The all-out attempt to slaughter rent subsidies and stabilization came in the 80s when the condo-coop apartment movement took hold and rent-stabilized buildings began kicking tenants out into the street and converting their buildings into condos or cooperatives--where tenants could buy apartments, though you would still be subject to a building management and board and equity payments and mortgages, which in fact meant that if you bought your apartment suddenly you'd be paying double what you were paying when you rented it--your mortgage payments plus the building maintenance fee, which in most cases was the same as you were paying in rent. But, hell, times were good and the suckers came forth in droves--and, yes, in the 80s even I was doing well, making easily $500-a-week freelancing--and if you made $12,000-a-year entry-level you were making big bucks; in my profession the entry level was $11,500--on my first on-staff job as a proofreader, that's what I made. A senior editor in those days made $25,000 to $35,000 a year--and that was top-dog money. From the 80s deep into the 90s, I went from my first salary as an editor, $18,000-a-year to $50,000-a-year as an editorial director, then moving into advertising and one year making $110,000 (I was in on the most successful launch of a new pharma drug, the fastest-selling new drug in the history of pharma advertising (a drug for arthritis (a high-powered form of ibuprofen is all it was)--and everybody over the age of 50 begins to get arthritis and they started gobbling this drug up, in spite of the fact it could cause stomach and GI tract bleeding that could eventually lead to death--we eat a lot of fats and that's what causes arthritis and diabetes and shit like that). Suddenly in the early 2000s, my agency was merged under the umbrella of the biggest advertising conglomeration in the world and just as suddenly we were told there would be no more paid overtime; everyone was now on what they called a straight salary--so much a year and that was that--if you worked overtime, it was just a part of your salaried obligation--and believe me in the advertising business you work most weekdays from 9 to 11 at night and sometimes 2 in the morning and usually some Saturday overtime, too--I've worked 30 hours straight on a new-drug launch before--going home and getting 4 hours sleep and going right back to the office and working another 30 hours straight. Plus, it was announced, due to the recession (in advertising there is always a recession--though you may work for an umbrella company making billions in profits a year, your agency may not be bringing in enough bacon for the big boys so they have to compensate somewhere) we weren't going to get raises every year any more; nope, now only every other year...and even if we did get raises they were no longer going to be 6% or 5% or 4% but 3%. They were cutting back on vacation time, too. New workers would get only one-week vacation guaranteed; oldtimers would only get two weeks vacation at the most. Also, they were looking down on staff that took all their sick days. Oh, and by the way, they said, you will now be responsible for half of your healthcare benefits and they stopped calling healthcare a "benefit" (incentive) back in the 80s--which was the time when PCs were taking over offices thereby opening up what was to be called "the Global Marketplace"--yep, with Bill Gates and DOS came the PC and with the PC came globalization! Before I flew the coop and turned tail on pharma advertising, I was down to a straight salary of $80,000-a-year--not bad, you say, until you realize we were working 12 and 13 hours a day and on call for weekend work or having to accept delivery of a job via messenger to do in our OFF hours if we were called on to do so. That job enslaved me! And that's when the sociology in me woke me up and I realized that I was a corporate slave--a back-office tenant farmer working for the company store! I began to eat a lot of fats. I began to have fits of anger that left me beet red and my head almost on blow top! "My little red top, you've got me spinning...spinning A-round, and 'round and 'round...." And one day sitting at my workstation, at my iMac G4 (it was a great little Mac actually), sitting at my war-surplus desk in my cell-like office that I had to share with another being--thank Zeus it was an old pal I could tolerate and he could tolerate me--and I began to get belligerent, sassy, argumentative, and sending out propaganda emails to those in command over me! I became an asshole deluxe. We were further insulted when our incompetent weak-kneed boss caved in to the overlords and gave up as our boss and these assholes replaced her with a young gooey-eyed and very defensive young woman--she was 31 with she said four years's experience as an editorial director--and here she was imposed on a staff whose average age was 40-something and who combined had a total of a 1000 years of editorial experience three of us even with director experience. Well, a human-animal hybrid like me got like a wolf in a cage--I wanted my freedom but I stupidly thought I needed the job--money! You had to have money! The stock market was going holy bananas. Everyone was getting rich. First of all, all the White suburbanites who'd left NYC when the Blacks and Latinos started taking the city over in the late 60s and early 70s, and that was the fear of the White Middle Class in NYC in those days--they were terribly afraid of hippies and yippies and Black Power and the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers, yes, and Malcolm X and the Newark riots and Amiri Baraka and Gays and Lesbians and so Whites fled the city and bought colonials and rambling ranches especially in places like Westchester County, the richest, supposedly, county in New York State. Then in the 2000s, the real-estate boom started and these NYC expatriates found they could sell the houses they'd paid $50,000 for in the 70s for half-a-million bucks on the new wild open real estate market. Then came the .com boom and 19-year-olds found themselves millionaires and everybody was rolling in dough and real estate prices soared and the stock market soared--Why? Well, economists were saying it was pretty scary--kind of reminded them of the real estate boom of the 1920s--like especially 1929--when only Roger Babson was screaming his head off that the Harvard Business School economists were full of shit and that we were headed for a fucking bad-ass, triple-bad-ass depression--not a recession or a repression but a depression--the PITS in other words.

Now we are in another depression that our president still calls a recession! There are tons of phony indications daily that Obama's economic surge plans are "working" but when looked at closely one sees they are conceived deceits--why, the stock market is shooting up hundreds of points a day again and the Asian markets are up because China has announced though it's economy didn't rise as much as in the past, it still rose 7%, hallelujah, and that was enough to soar our stock market and their stock markets--and Praise de Lawd and pass the molasses and pure-pork sausage! [Did you happen to notice that Bank of America a few weeks ago announced it had made enormous profits one quarter of some quarter of its profit or loss reporting. Yesterday, however, Obama announced that his bank stress tests showed Bank of America needed another several billions in bailout money. What the hell is this all about? It makes no sense!]

I was just reading a warning from an economist that banks were pressuring Obama to use the Social Security pool monies to bail them out further! Corporate America, and that's who is bleeding us dry, has had their eyes on that Social Security money since their Neo-Con puppet Georgie Porgie Bush-Baby tried to privatize it--and oh look what a shambles we'd be in now if that had of happened! But this writer said they were still after that money and that perhaps Obama just might cave in to them, too, since Joe Stigletz, a Nobel-Prize-winning economist who Obama has totally overlooked--along with another Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Kruger, says these assholes own our government and that includes our president, our vice-president, our Sec'y of State, our Treasury Sec'y, our Federal Reserve chairman, etc., etc.--"What a revolting development this is," as old Chester Riley used to say on The Life of Riley--Riley was played by William Bendix, in case you've forgotten. William Bendix played the Hairy Ape in the movie version of Eugene O'Neill's workingman play. William Bendix also played the Babe in The Babe Ruth Story--a very stupid and untrue movie.

for The Daily Growler

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