Thursday, August 20, 2009
I Read the News Today Oh Boy
Well, this has been quite the week for outrageous headlines.
Here's one from this week's NY Times Dining Section. It gives me this overwhelming urge to gather every single fucking ice cream truck in the city, all boroughs, and make them converge outside this woman's Park Slope house, simultaneously chiming "Flight of the Valkyries." Idling engines evil environment-killer? Absolutely. Shame on them. There has to be a way around that. But to use that as a scapegoat for one's parenting inadequacies? Unacceptable fun-killer. Granted, I am lacking in baby-making abilities and maybe this doesn't give me the right to protest, but I have had enough of these over intellectual parents who blame outside sources for the hard fact that their Little Dylan or Emma (what ever happened to Jennifer or Adam?) is simply a stuck up, bratty hellian. A terror on sneaker wheels who is that way because you don't use your power of denial. You don't want to give your kid ice cream? Say no. Move on. As my good friend Liza pointed out on Facebook, "Our kids are gonna hate us [for one reason or another] anyway. It's not the ice-seller's fault."
The part of this debate I am most relishing, though, is that one of the leaders of this anti ice cream truck movement, or NAMBLA (No Abortion Means Blame Life Attitude) is Vicki Sell, who owns the Chip Shop. Yeah, because frying everything, including CANDY BARS, is definitely a symbol of wholesome nutrition. So you don't let your kid eat at your own restaurant? Yeah, didn't think so. I so want to get a group together to throw ice cream scoops at her glass house.
Image here, by the way, is the notorious ice cream truck from the 1976 John Carpenter classic "Assault on Precinct 13." If you don't get the reference, see the movie. 'nuff said.
In other news, Whole Foods at Columbus and 98th is opening a wine shop. I have a few wine industry friends who aren't happy about this. I don't see this as a huge threat to downtown wine and spirits commerce, per se. Yeah, you will be able to legally buy bitters in the same place as your wine, which until now has been impossible in NYC unless you frequent a place that bends the rules and doesn't advertise they're bending 'em. And fresh ingredients and mixers to go with it. But they can't sell spirits. And think of it this way, you can now buy overpriced organic wine uptown and get the same rude and uninformed shop assistance you endure when you buy your $10 organic tomatoes at their food store. Enjoy your NY State sulfite-free Chardonnays, Uptowners! I'm off to Astor or Smith and Vine for some yummy Txakoli. Mmmmmm. Spanish Sulfitttttttes. Aaalllllllllgggghhhh.
But perhaps the biggest outrage yet this week is the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison, where he had been serving a life term for taking part in the December 21st, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. He was the only person ever convicted of the bombing and served only 21 years of his sentence, having always maintained his innocence. There are many over the years who agree that this man never really had a fair trial and has been the scapegoat since no can find any of the other alleged co-conspirators alive. Much like the Guildford Four, or the Birmingham Six, who all served jail time for terrorism in Ireland and Great Britain, BUT who were all eventually cleared of their respective charges and set free. In speaking to John about this today, he pointed out that his release is being put solely on the Scottish government, which in essence is supposed to represent all of the UK, yet the Royal They are not calling this a British decision, but a Scottish one. Perhaps out of guilt because they know they've been keeping an innocent man? I find it hard to believe they let him go out of sheer compassion for his illness. It's not like John Gotti got out of prison to die. It's all very weird and sets a terrible precedent.
Be that as it may, his, (let's say "alleged" for sake of argument) intent was to kill the Americans on board that Pan Am flight toward NYC, as supposed retaliation for President Reagan's order to bomb the Libyan cities of Tripoli & Benghazi in 1986. This in retaliation for killing a bunch of Germans & TWO (count 'em) US personnel in a Berlin nightclub. On it goes. Ali al-Megrahi has been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, supposedly given only three months to live. He will remain under house arrest upon his return to his Libyan homeland. Where he will have the privilege of saying goodbye to family and loved ones. All I can say here is did my family friend Vanessa, then a teenager in high school, have the chance to bid farewell to her mother as her life was violently ended 4 days before Christmas? Or the families of the other 269 victims? Did the BRITISH people who had even less association with the Tripoli bombings, whose houses the fiery plane bits randomly fell on after the midair attack, get any sort of warning or compassion? Even if the Scottish government is back pedaling for some sort of cover-up, this simply makes no sense. Politically, metaphysically, karmically, philosophically, judicially, psychologically and most of all, fundamentally. Either stand by your conviction or come out and admit your mistake. Give a better reason for this. You cannot have it both ways and you are insulting the victims of this tragedy. Whoever is at fault, there were 270 innocent people killed by terrorists in 1988. Gee, nice ratio for the 72 virgins in heaven. Hey, no one told you what kind they would be, did they, assholes?
Where's Octomom when you need her?