Sunday, June 13, 2004

DON'T PLAY US CHEAP. It has been suggested that New Yorkers refrain from showing displeasure at this year's Republican Convention, lest we alienate our good neighbors in the red states. Here's an example of why I can't buy that.

Saturday's New York Post, the Republican pamphlet distrubuted daily here at great expense (one might say "investment") by Rupert Murdoch, ran a story called "Big Apple Salute," referring to the recent Reagan necromonia.

The idea was to show the City's love for our departed Gipper. Most of the quotes, however, come from outlanders, visiting from Wichita, Chicago, and Hillsborough, NJ.

Two actual citizens are cited. One is a fifth-grader on a field trip. "I feel bad for his family," says 11-year-old Melissa Compere. "He was real important and a lot of people loved him. It makes me want to learn more about him."

The other is an adult, presumably, who "was watching the rites at Rosie O'Grady's on West 46th Street because the TV reception in his office was poor."

One can only imagine the strain on the Post reporters tasked with this beat, trying to get regular New Yorkers to talk about their love for Reagan. All they could produce, aside from predictable tourist bleats, is an 11-year-old and a guy who cut work to go to a bar.

But a Big Apple Salute must be made, for, by Murdochian logic, every corner of the Republic must be shown to mourn the Gipper, especially the putative hometown of the rag itself.

The game plan -- and you know, in this Age of Propaganda, there is always a game plan -- is obviously to portray us as fellow travellers aboard the Republican juggernaut, despite our history, despite our character, despite our proud record of 17 straight elections without supporting a Republican Presidential candidate, despite our relatively huge population of artists, educators, gays, blacks, Hispanics, intellectuals, and naysayers, despite everything blazingly obvious about us to anyone who actually knows us.

No thanks and fuck you.

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