DEAR STREET CARNAGE: WHY NATIVE NEW YORKERS HATE TRANSPLANTS

Let me just start this by saying I have nothing against transplants — although I’ve noticed that you migrants and post-collegiates constantly berate me and my Yankee compadres with tirades about how much moving to NYC meant to you or how we need to appreciate our good fortune. You seem to have this chip on your shoulder, and I thought maybe I could shed some light on our side of the fence.
Here are some things that bring out New Yorkers’ alleged callousness towards transplants:
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSEKicking in a windshield is fun, no question. But for us, to do so means we might run into a family friend knee-deep in safety glass. You guys are essentially on permanent vacation. We deal with all the same bullshit of any hometown — just neatly numbered and divided into little rectangles. We have no escape plan. If shit goes down, I can’t hop on a plane and just kick it with mom and dad for two weeks downloading porn.
YOU CARE ABOUT SHITWe couldn’t give a fuck about a bike lane or a new taxi design. These things happen every day. Buildings come and go and it can be sad, but we’re used to it and you will be soon. Domino sugar factory will be torn down or turned into condos and somehow people will be mad either way. We just don’t understand the need to talk about it. The only thing that bothers me is the cost of pizza rising, and it bothers me so little that this is the first time I’ve ever thought of it.
YOU’RE RICH AND WON’T ADMIT ITYou can wax profusely about your parents not sending you a cent and how you slave away at some awful vintage-something store, but we all know your parents are doing fine. Moving state to state is incredibly expensive, and the only thing that makes it more expensive is college. Even on a full scholarship, you’re going to need some serious start-up cash. I’m from a single-parent household, living on and off of unemployment. I attended high schools that consistently made NY POST headlines, and guess what? I’m not poor and never was. Now and then people fall on hard times, but there’s a reason Biggie said, “Remember when we used to eat sardines for dinner?”
WE’RE RICH AND WON’T ADMIT ITAny young adult you’ve met living in New York is rich. Angry natives who “hate the trust fund NYU kids” have parents even richer than yours. They might know a good bar that doesn’t card and they’ll tell you about that time on 86th street when a bunch of other private schoolers chased them with a knife. But these kind of situations present themselves to anyone who has lived in a major city long enough. Natives used these stories to build up an “old New York” that never really was, mostly just to contend with the old guys who actually lived in the Taxi Driver era.
NATIVES BOTHER THE SHIT OUT OF US MORE THAN YOUWhat’s more annoying than a 60-year-old talking to you about the “good old days?” Having him speak to you for an extra 20-minutes because you arbitrarily were reared in the same fucking place.
YOU HATE PEOPLE FROM OUT OF TOWN“Go back to Jersey!” is something I only hear shouted by transplants. At least the Jersey crowd goes home on Sunday. Shouting that shit only makes us remember that you are the rent-raisers here. The truth is, most natives really don’t have a problem with you guys until you start to really claim New York residency as some badge of honor. How long we’ve lived here never crosses our minds, but if you make it a pissing contest, we will always win.
YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR HOMETOWN IS LESS RACIST THAN NEW YORKJesus, it would take at least three hands to count how many times someone has explained to me that New York is more racist than the South, the Midwest, Canada, Hamburg, Sweden — I DON’T CARE AT ALL. What is this supposed to prove to me? That I’m racist? Is this your idea of making a friend? Baffling.
YOU LOVE TO TRY POMME FRITESIt’s a sack of french fries for $8.75. C’mon….
YOU HATE GRAFFITIMy one and only argument about graffiti is “Who gives a shit?” If you answered “me,” then you lose. You don’t care. It’s not your building and you don’t ever have to paint it over. Even in the rare case that a SBTVC reader actually owns a building, I guarantee you that they’ll appreciate having to actually go out and do some remedial thing like painting a storm gate. Almost every “Epic Night Out” story I hear involves medium to severe property damage and some vomit / piss spillage. Then a 15-year-old writes “TrazEe” with a magic marker on a mailbox and suddenly everyone gives a shit about “beautification.” What no one seems to understand is that graffiti is for nerds who can’t play guitar or rap (i.e. get pussy without being rich). Graffiti is easier than getting on Real World and throws the bad boy image into a blender with the mysterious stranger vibe. Girls love it, and it works like a fucking charm.
YOU TELL US NOT TO LITTERWhy anyone gives a fuck about an apple core being thrown into the street will never cease to amaze me. It’s not a national park where you carry out what you bring in. The city is cleaned according to the sanitation department’s schedule and budget. Little known fact: A staggering amount of lower Manhattan is a fucking landfill. Throwing a candy wrapper on cement is not melting any icecaps.
YOU TELL US WE SWEAR TOO MUCHBasically the same thing as the last two: Who cares? I’m not really going to explain it. We just say “fuckin’” and “shit” instead of “um” and “like” because it’s more fun.
YOU GENTRIFY POOR NEIGHBORHOOD (AND LIKE IT)This really only applies to the residents of neighborhoods mentioned in rap songs, discounting any new Jay-Z joints. But come on: I’ve lived in Manhattan my whole life besides two years in Greenpoint (in diapers). It’s stupid easy to find apartments for any price. On average, I’ve paid around $700 a month to live in lower Manhattan. Bed-Stuy and Bushwick are NOT your only option.
You have to admit that part of you loves living in the “dangerous” (i.e. ethnic) part of New York. And you know that if you keep it, it will be worth double in ten years. You screwed the pooch on a pretty sweet deal. Young Puerto Ricans were paying $200 a month for duplexes, as basically their main “fuck you” to the system — and now you don’t even smile when they cat call you. The worst part is that Bed-Stuy isn’t even all poor, it’s just cheaper and black, which translates to “tough” for a lot of you.
YOU WANT NEW YORK TO CATER TO YOUNewsflash! It already does. Macrobiotic food may not be in your five-block radius, but it’s out there. Why then is it necessary to open a food co-op on Morgan Ave? Do you really think that the residents of that neighborhood are grateful? A food co-op is basically a burning cross for any person living in the ghetto (excuse me, “underprivileged community”); they know they can either leave now or wait until the landlord condemns their building, then rebuilds it as a condo (this happens a lot, BTW). What’s worse is, the next thing you know, your Bushwick fried chicken place suddenly has organic fruit smoothies. Doesn’t that make you cringe a bit?
YOU INSIST ON GOING TO FAMILIAR CHAINSI don’t boycott these places for any reason other than they make shitty things and have bad service. However, you now live the most famous place on the world for EVERYTHING and you still go to Papa Johns and Walgreens? Occupiers of Wall Street claim all this 99% shit and then pour into Burger King — or worse, they bring their own metal water bottles and celery sticks. Meanwhile Steve’s Pizza is losing business.
YOU TREAT US AS IF WE’RE STREET-SAVVY SWAMISWe don’t know shit. If you have a map of NYC, then you already know more than me. I have nothing interesting to tell you about growing up on pavement versus growing up on grass.
WE’VE DONE THIS A MILLION TIMES ALREADYThis one is probably the most by hated by transplants but that doesn’t make it untrue. I don’t feel like listing the things I’ve done because it’s boring me to even think about it. But that’s my point: I have had only a quarter of a century of shit happen to me and I’m already exhausted just thinking about it. More importantly, I have heard thousands of stories from hundreds of people who have lived here for upwards of six decades. I can’t imagine you had a night more exciting than the one I heard about from an ex-gangbanger-now-tranny. The funny thing is, tell me a good story about trucks and cornfields and there’s a good chance I’ll be genuinely captivated.
YOU SAY “IT AIN’T WHERE YOU’RE FROM, IT’S WHERE YOU’RE AT”I call bullshit on this. Yoko Ono has lived here for what, 60 years? And she still talks all FOB-y. There’s a reason people keep their accents and mannerisms: It’s who they are. I’m a big nurture over nature guy, but you have to be nurtured somewhere. While you may be the sore thumb in the family photo, your hometown is where you learned to become a human being. You’re probably a better person for not growing up in this place.
YOU PISSED ON MY MOM’S FRONT DOORMy mom lives in the East Village, which is to say she lives “on campus”. She has rent control and she isn’t going to move out of her $500-a-month apartment because a bunch of freshmen live next door. (Seriously, would you?) She’s not bitter and doesn’t mind it. But just picture this: You leave dinner at your mom’s house in Suburbia, USA, walk out on your lawn, and a dude wearing a “TWIX” logo T-shirt pisses all over your shoes. Seriously, I had that happen to me. I just went with it, ’cause if I have a problem, then I’m just some crotchety, stuck-up native type.—
Like it or not, we’re all going to be living here together until we die or move. And if you don’t move, soon enough you’ll have your own little asshole native kid, bragging about 2012 like it was the good old days.
Sincerely,-W
Send “Dear Street Carnage” letters to SBTVC@StreetCarnage.com.

DEAR STREET CARNAGE: WHY NATIVE NEW YORKERS HATE TRANSPLANTS

Let me just start this by saying I have nothing against transplants — although I’ve noticed that you migrants and post-collegiates constantly berate me and my Yankee compadres with tirades about how much moving to NYC meant to you or how we need to appreciate our good fortune. You seem to have this chip on your shoulder, and I thought maybe I could shed some light on our side of the fence.

Here are some things that bring out New Yorkers’ alleged callousness towards transplants:

YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE
Kicking in a windshield is fun, no question. But for us, to do so means we might run into a family friend knee-deep in safety glass. You guys are essentially on permanent vacation. We deal with all the same bullshit of any hometown — just neatly numbered and divided into little rectangles. We have no escape plan. If shit goes down, I can’t hop on a plane and just kick it with mom and dad for two weeks downloading porn.

YOU CARE ABOUT SHIT
We couldn’t give a fuck about a bike lane or a new taxi design. These things happen every day. Buildings come and go and it can be sad, but we’re used to it and you will be soon. Domino sugar factory will be torn down or turned into condos and somehow people will be mad either way. We just don’t understand the need to talk about it. The only thing that bothers me is the cost of pizza rising, and it bothers me so little that this is the first time I’ve ever thought of it.

YOU’RE RICH AND WON’T ADMIT IT
You can wax profusely about your parents not sending you a cent and how you slave away at some awful vintage-something store, but we all know your parents are doing fine. Moving state to state is incredibly expensive, and the only thing that makes it more expensive is college. Even on a full scholarship, you’re going to need some serious start-up cash. I’m from a single-parent household, living on and off of unemployment. I attended high schools that consistently made NY POST headlines, and guess what? I’m not poor and never was. Now and then people fall on hard times, but there’s a reason Biggie said, “Remember when we used to eat sardines for dinner?”

WE’RE RICH AND WON’T ADMIT IT
Any young adult you’ve met living in New York is rich. Angry natives who “hate the trust fund NYU kids” have parents even richer than yours. They might know a good bar that doesn’t card and they’ll tell you about that time on 86th street when a bunch of other private schoolers chased them with a knife. But these kind of situations present themselves to anyone who has lived in a major city long enough. Natives used these stories to build up an “old New York” that never really was, mostly just to contend with the old guys who actually lived in the Taxi Driver era.

NATIVES BOTHER THE SHIT OUT OF US MORE THAN YOU
What’s more annoying than a 60-year-old talking to you about the “good old days?” Having him speak to you for an extra 20-minutes because you arbitrarily were reared in the same fucking place.

YOU HATE PEOPLE FROM OUT OF TOWN
“Go back to Jersey!” is something I only hear shouted by transplants. At least the Jersey crowd goes home on Sunday. Shouting that shit only makes us remember that you are the rent-raisers here. The truth is, most natives really don’t have a problem with you guys until you start to really claim New York residency as some badge of honor. How long we’ve lived here never crosses our minds, but if you make it a pissing contest, we will always win.

YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR HOMETOWN IS LESS RACIST THAN NEW YORK
Jesus, it would take at least three hands to count how many times someone has explained to me that New York is more racist than the South, the Midwest, Canada, Hamburg, Sweden — I DON’T CARE AT ALL. What is this supposed to prove to me? That I’m racist? Is this your idea of making a friend? Baffling.

YOU LOVE TO TRY POMME FRITES
It’s a sack of french fries for $8.75. C’mon….

YOU HATE GRAFFITI
My one and only argument about graffiti is “Who gives a shit?” If you answered “me,” then you lose. You don’t care. It’s not your building and you don’t ever have to paint it over. Even in the rare case that a SBTVC reader actually owns a building, I guarantee you that they’ll appreciate having to actually go out and do some remedial thing like painting a storm gate. Almost every “Epic Night Out” story I hear involves medium to severe property damage and some vomit / piss spillage. Then a 15-year-old writes “TrazEe” with a magic marker on a mailbox and suddenly everyone gives a shit about “beautification.” What no one seems to understand is that graffiti is for nerds who can’t play guitar or rap (i.e. get pussy without being rich). Graffiti is easier than getting on Real World and throws the bad boy image into a blender with the mysterious stranger vibe. Girls love it, and it works like a fucking charm.

YOU TELL US NOT TO LITTER
Why anyone gives a fuck about an apple core being thrown into the street will never cease to amaze me. It’s not a national park where you carry out what you bring in. The city is cleaned according to the sanitation department’s schedule and budget. Little known fact: A staggering amount of lower Manhattan is a fucking landfill. Throwing a candy wrapper on cement is not melting any icecaps.

YOU TELL US WE SWEAR TOO MUCH
Basically the same thing as the last two: Who cares? I’m not really going to explain it. We just say “fuckin’” and “shit” instead of “um” and “like” because it’s more fun.

YOU GENTRIFY POOR NEIGHBORHOOD (AND LIKE IT)
This really only applies to the residents of neighborhoods mentioned in rap songs, discounting any new Jay-Z joints. But come on: I’ve lived in Manhattan my whole life besides two years in Greenpoint (in diapers). It’s stupid easy to find apartments for any price. On average, I’ve paid around $700 a month to live in lower Manhattan. Bed-Stuy and Bushwick are NOT your only option.

You have to admit that part of you loves living in the “dangerous” (i.e. ethnic) part of New York. And you know that if you keep it, it will be worth double in ten years. You screwed the pooch on a pretty sweet deal. Young Puerto Ricans were paying $200 a month for duplexes, as basically their main “fuck you” to the system — and now you don’t even smile when they cat call you. The worst part is that Bed-Stuy isn’t even all poor, it’s just cheaper and black, which translates to “tough” for a lot of you.

YOU WANT NEW YORK TO CATER TO YOU
Newsflash! It already does. Macrobiotic food may not be in your five-block radius, but it’s out there. Why then is it necessary to open a food co-op on Morgan Ave? Do you really think that the residents of that neighborhood are grateful? A food co-op is basically a burning cross for any person living in the ghetto (excuse me, “underprivileged community”); they know they can either leave now or wait until the landlord condemns their building, then rebuilds it as a condo (this happens a lot, BTW). What’s worse is, the next thing you know, your Bushwick fried chicken place suddenly has organic fruit smoothies. Doesn’t that make you cringe a bit?

YOU INSIST ON GOING TO FAMILIAR CHAINS
I don’t boycott these places for any reason other than they make shitty things and have bad service. However, you now live the most famous place on the world for EVERYTHING and you still go to Papa Johns and Walgreens? Occupiers of Wall Street claim all this 99% shit and then pour into Burger King — or worse, they bring their own metal water bottles and celery sticks. Meanwhile Steve’s Pizza is losing business.

YOU TREAT US AS IF WE’RE STREET-SAVVY SWAMIS
We don’t know shit. If you have a map of NYC, then you already know more than me. I have nothing interesting to tell you about growing up on pavement versus growing up on grass.

WE’VE DONE THIS A MILLION TIMES ALREADY
This one is probably the most by hated by transplants but that doesn’t make it untrue. I don’t feel like listing the things I’ve done because it’s boring me to even think about it. But that’s my point: I have had only a quarter of a century of shit happen to me and I’m already exhausted just thinking about it. More importantly, I have heard thousands of stories from hundreds of people who have lived here for upwards of six decades. I can’t imagine you had a night more exciting than the one I heard about from an ex-gangbanger-now-tranny. The funny thing is, tell me a good story about trucks and cornfields and there’s a good chance I’ll be genuinely captivated.

YOU SAY “IT AIN’T WHERE YOU’RE FROM, IT’S WHERE YOU’RE AT”
I call bullshit on this. Yoko Ono has lived here for what, 60 years? And she still talks all FOB-y. There’s a reason people keep their accents and mannerisms: It’s who they are. I’m a big nurture over nature guy, but you have to be nurtured somewhere. While you may be the sore thumb in the family photo, your hometown is where you learned to become a human being. You’re probably a better person for not growing up in this place.

YOU PISSED ON MY MOM’S FRONT DOOR
My mom lives in the East Village, which is to say she lives “on campus”. She has rent control and she isn’t going to move out of her $500-a-month apartment because a bunch of freshmen live next door. (Seriously, would you?) She’s not bitter and doesn’t mind it. But just picture this: You leave dinner at your mom’s house in Suburbia, USA, walk out on your lawn, and a dude wearing a “TWIX” logo T-shirt pisses all over your shoes. Seriously, I had that happen to me. I just went with it, ’cause if I have a problem, then I’m just some crotchety, stuck-up native type.

Like it or not, we’re all going to be living here together until we die or move. And if you don’t move, soon enough you’ll have your own little asshole native kid, bragging about 2012 like it was the good old days.

Sincerely,
-W

Send “Dear Street Carnage” letters to SBTVC@StreetCarnage.com.

INTERVIEW ABOUT #OCCUPYWALLSTREET WITH SOMEONE WHO WORKS ON WALL STREET

I recently discovered that one of my middle school classmates now works on Wall Street and was harassed by Occupy Wall Street protestors while heading home. Considering that she’s Hispanic, grew up in our poor immigrant neighborhood, attended its shit-hole schools and is currently working two jobs, it seems extremely retarded for protestors claiming to represent the 99% to be targeting people like her — especially while the demonstrators embrace Kanye West, Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon, you know, people who actually belong to the 1%.

Over a series of emails, she and I discussed her job, her run-in with the protestors and the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in general.

STREET CARNAGE: You said you work on Wall Street. What exactly do you do? What does your company do?
WALL STREET FRIEND: I work at a brokerage firm. I am the executive assistant to the Compliance Officer / Branch Manager.
You previously mentioned that you and your boyfriend were confronted by protestors outside of your job. Can you describe what happened?
My boyfriend happens to work in the same office as I do. He’s a stockbroker. We left work together and walked up towards Broadway to catch the train. I assume because we were dressed professionally and leaving with the mass of other finance workers around 5 P.M., the protestors saw us as ” the enemy.” They began chanting much louder at us and one guy started waving his poster right in front of us. My boyfriend became upset and bumped past him, and we walked faster to where we were heading.
Despite being yelled at by protestors, you said you support the demonstrations. Why?
Because I too am just a regular person who supports that large corporations and banks should have much less power and control.
Do you think Wall Street is the main culprit in America’s current financial fiasco?
I think there are many factors to consider in the current financial situation. Wall Street has been doing what it did way before our generation, our parents’ generation and their parents’ generation. Moreover, Wall Street itself is suffering and has been for months. The market’s last peak was almost six months ago or so.
If there was something you could explain to the Occupy Wall Street protestors, what would it be?
Well, I am a bit of a cynic, so I would say that, realistically, there is not much we can do. It is wonderful that so many people can come together and fight for us “regular people,” but us regular people, despite our large numbers, are still just that. The banks and corporations will always vouch for each other and cover what they do. Unless those people in power change what they’re doing or modify how they conduct business, nothing is really going to change. It’s just the hard truth.
I’m no expert in this, don’t get me wrong. I have been in this industry for close to six years and even then, I only know and understand a little more than the average person. Without trying to be too harsh, I do think it’s a little ignorant for homeless individuals and job-less young kids to be involved because they think the government and everyone, for that matter, is against them. I think we all need to educate ourselves in the way things have been run before we go and sit in a park for weeks without showering and leaving waste all over because we want things to change. If they were able to verbally make an educated and wise effort to obtain change, maybe those in power might consider listening. Honestly, do you think a conference room full of old white men in expensive suits gives a shit about a bunch of young dirty people screaming with cardboard signs? Sorry, I really don’t.
You’ve been working in the industry for nearly six years and you still only understand it a little better than the average American. If that’s the case, is it even possible for Wall Street outsiders to become educated in the internal machinations of banks and corporations? Isn’t this inability of normal people to understand the workings of Wall Street part of the problem because it leaves them feeling like they’re getting fucked by something they can’t understand, much less control?
I think there’s only a small portion of people who fully understand the way corporate America is run — and I don’t mean “understand” in the way people who read financial magazines or follow the news think they “understand.” I mean FULLY get it. Part of me doesn’t even think its those in power who are in this small percentage. It’s probably really smart, quiet, pushover-personality types who get paid a lot to serve as the brains behind the man with all the money.
I definitely agree that this lack of total and accurate knowledge about what is really going on and how all of this works is the main problem behind those protesting right now. For example, if someone is explaining how much they owe you after loans and small payments and more loans and the math they’re doing doesn’t seem rightbecause you don’t get it, you would begin to think, “They’re trying to rip me off, motherfucker!” Right?
Well, it’s not exactly like this, but I think you get the point.
-ARV@ArvSux

INTERVIEW ABOUT #OCCUPYWALLSTREET WITH SOMEONE WHO WORKS ON WALL STREET

I recently discovered that one of my middle school classmates now works on Wall Street and was harassed by Occupy Wall Street protestors while heading home. Considering that she’s Hispanic, grew up in our poor immigrant neighborhood, attended its shit-hole schools and is currently working two jobs, it seems extremely retarded for protestors claiming to represent the 99% to be targeting people like her — especially while the demonstrators embrace Kanye WestMichael Moore and Susan Sarandon, you know, people who actually belong to the 1%.

Over a series of emails, she and I discussed her job, her run-in with the protestors and the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in general.

STREET CARNAGE: You said you work on Wall Street. What exactly do you do? What does your company do?

WALL STREET FRIEND: I work at a brokerage firm. I am the executive assistant to the Compliance Officer / Branch Manager.

You previously mentioned that you and your boyfriend were confronted by protestors outside of your job. Can you describe what happened?

My boyfriend happens to work in the same office as I do. He’s a stockbroker. We left work together and walked up towards Broadway to catch the train. I assume because we were dressed professionally and leaving with the mass of other finance workers around 5 P.M., the protestors saw us as ” the enemy.” They began chanting much louder at us and one guy started waving his poster right in front of us. My boyfriend became upset and bumped past him, and we walked faster to where we were heading.

Despite being yelled at by protestors, you said you support the demonstrations. Why?

Because I too am just a regular person who supports that large corporations and banks should have much less power and control.

Do you think Wall Street is the main culprit in America’s current financial fiasco?

I think there are many factors to consider in the current financial situation. Wall Street has been doing what it did way before our generation, our parents’ generation and their parents’ generation. Moreover, Wall Street itself is suffering and has been for months. The market’s last peak was almost six months ago or so.

If there was something you could explain to the Occupy Wall Street protestors, what would it be?

Well, I am a bit of a cynic, so I would say that, realistically, there is not much we can do. It is wonderful that so many people can come together and fight for us “regular people,” but us regular people, despite our large numbers, are still just that. The banks and corporations will always vouch for each other and cover what they do. Unless those people in power change what they’re doing or modify how they conduct business, nothing is really going to change. It’s just the hard truth.

I’m no expert in this, don’t get me wrong. I have been in this industry for close to six years and even then, I only know and understand a little more than the average person. Without trying to be too harsh, I do think it’s a little ignorant for homeless individuals and job-less young kids to be involved because they think the government and everyone, for that matter, is against them. I think we all need to educate ourselves in the way things have been run before we go and sit in a park for weeks without showering and leaving waste all over because we want things to change. If they were able to verbally make an educated and wise effort to obtain change, maybe those in power might consider listening. Honestly, do you think a conference room full of old white men in expensive suits gives a shit about a bunch of young dirty people screaming with cardboard signs? Sorry, I really don’t.

You’ve been working in the industry for nearly six years and you still only understand it a little better than the average American. If that’s the case, is it even possible for Wall Street outsiders to become educated in the internal machinations of banks and corporations? Isn’t this inability of normal people to understand the workings of Wall Street part of the problem because it leaves them feeling like they’re getting fucked by something they can’t understand, much less control?

I think there’s only a small portion of people who fully understand the way corporate America is run — and I don’t mean “understand” in the way people who read financial magazines or follow the news think they “understand.” I mean FULLY get it. Part of me doesn’t even think its those in power who are in this small percentage. It’s probably really smart, quiet, pushover-personality types who get paid a lot to serve as the brains behind the man with all the money.

I definitely agree that this lack of total and accurate knowledge about what is really going on and how all of this works is the main problem behind those protesting right now. For example, if someone is explaining how much they owe you after loans and small payments and more loans and the math they’re doing doesn’t seem rightbecause you don’t get it, you would begin to think, “They’re trying to rip me off, motherfucker!” Right?

Well, it’s not exactly like this, but I think you get the point.

-ARV
@ArvSux

HOT CHICKS OF #OWS
Up until last week, I was pretty apathetic towards Occupy Wall Street. Mostly because everyone I know won’t shut up about it. How many times am I supposed to watch thesame videos and listen to ten different versions of the same heartfelt financial district story? As much as I’m for the occupation, the information stream I saw coming out of Occupy Wall Street was just as predictable as anything else having to do with finances and politics, and I was starting to tune it out.
Then last week I crossed paths with the hot chicks of occupy wall street. That was eons ago in internet time and back then, the site was still pretty empty with just a couple of pictures and a video. The video was a little too hippy dippy for me, but I still preferred its focus on the women of OWS rather than on the brutality that has been at the center of media attention since its inception.
Since then, as with anything that involves hot girls (and now apparently, OWS) on the internet, the site has blown up, going as far as to prompt MTV execs to completely miss the point of the protest and put up an ad for a Real World casting call on Craigslist.
Also, as with anything that involves hot girls on the internet, Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street has become another reason for people to bicker over sexism and objectification.

I don’t see how a video featuring an astrologer and a face painter could be pegged as sexual objectification, but I blame the hordes of internet nerds who started crowding up our newsfeeds with OWS a month ago and have now inevitably brought back the humorless age of politically correct discourse.

Luckily for us, the occupation is only going to get bigger, so there’s still time to go down there and decide for yourself how far you want to take the sexual objectification. Or if you’d rather be a dick and sit at home complaining, you can do that too!

-KSENIA
P.S. Let’s hope this goes viral next.

HOT CHICKS OF #OWS

Up until last week, I was pretty apathetic towards Occupy Wall Street. Mostly because everyone I know won’t shut up about it. How many times am I supposed to watch thesame videos and listen to ten different versions of the same heartfelt financial district story? As much as I’m for the occupation, the information stream I saw coming out of Occupy Wall Street was just as predictable as anything else having to do with finances and politics, and I was starting to tune it out.

Then last week I crossed paths with the hot chicks of occupy wall street. That was eons ago in internet time and back then, the site was still pretty empty with just a couple of pictures and a video. The video was a little too hippy dippy for me, but I still preferred its focus on the women of OWS rather than on the brutality that has been at the center of media attention since its inception.

Since then, as with anything that involves hot girls (and now apparently, OWS) on the internet, the site has blown up, going as far as to prompt MTV execs to completely miss the point of the protest and put up an ad for a Real World casting call on Craigslist.

Also, as with anything that involves hot girls on the internet, Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street has become another reason for people to bicker over sexism and objectification.

I don’t see how a video featuring an astrologer and a face painter could be pegged as sexual objectification, but I blame the hordes of internet nerds who started crowding up our newsfeeds with OWS a month ago and have now inevitably brought back the humorless age of politically correct discourse.

Luckily for us, the occupation is only going to get bigger, so there’s still time to go down there and decide for yourself how far you want to take the sexual objectification. Or if you’d rather be a dick and sit at home complaining, you can do that too!

-KSENIA

P.S. Let’s hope this goes viral next.

FEATURE SHOOT: HAITI’S VODOU PILGRIMAGE CAPTURED
 
Paul Kwiatkowski is a writer and photographer living in New York City. He is currently finishing his first photo essay and novel And Every Day Was Overcast, which is about growing up in the ’90s amongst the swamps and strip malls of South Florida. During the summer, Paul traveled to Haiti for two weeks. He went to explore the country and to document a rarely seen Vodou pilgrimage. These images are from this journey and all captions are written by Kwiatkowski.

-ALISON ZAVOS


The walls were covered with prayers, candles, photographs of the deceased and offerings. As my eyes adjusted to the smoky darkness, I tripped out on the echoes of drums and people shouting in tongue.

In Port-au-Prince, my driver refused to go past the barricaded walls of Cité Soleil, regarded as the most dangerous slum in the Northern Hemisphere. Since the earthquake last year, over 4,000 inmates had escaped Port-au-Prince’s surrounding prisons. After destroying the prison’s criminal records, many of the inmates returned to their sectors in Cité Soleil and regained control. Signs of them were all around: basketball courts without hoops, relief tents peppered with bullet holes. Nothing, not even the wall separating Cité Soleil was spared.

I was searching for homes with red flags affixed to the roof. The flag meant that the home is also a vodou temple. Inside, I meet a Hougan, a priest. Although I don’t speak Creole, I got by with clumsy hand signals and fragmented French. I sure as fuck would never let a stranger with a shitty camera inside my home, but I was grateful that he did. I forgot the Hougan’s name but he was friendly, proudly flaunting his makeshift temple, religious tchotchkes and children. Their hair was turning blond from malnourishment. They wanted to touch the tattoos on my arms. I wanted to be friendlier, but I was afraid of germs.

Outside of Port-au-Prince, I met a vendor at a vodou market who recreated scenes from Christian mythology with dolls. He also had baby doll saints stuffed inside glass bottles. I wish I had bought one.

The pilgrimage began at the mouth of the cave. Inside, participants made their way to several stations. The floor was covered in mud, plastic bottles, blood, urine, water, excrement, tattered cloths, rocks and prayers made out to the dead.

 
This is a store. I have no idea what they were selling. Tons of street vendors had similar setups.

On my way to the northern part of the island, I saw a woman flailing her arms on the side of the road. Further down the road was a shoe and beside the woman was a circle of men standing around staring at the ground. Our fixer stopped the car so that we could investigate. The men were looking at a young girl laying face down in a ditch. She’d been hit by a car. Whoever had done it had driven off. My first reaction was to touch her but because of fear of disease, I couldn’t. My friend and photographer Anthony Karen and I wrapped our hands in grocery bags and made a stretcher out of burlap. After stabilizing her head and turning her over, Anthony tried to wash the blood off of her face, but there was little more that could be done. She had aspirated on her own blood. Eventually a passerby in a pickup truck came to help. After we placed her onto the bed of the pickup, I can’t explain why, but on impulse I videotaped her face. After she passed, all I could do was stand there. My hands trembled so hard, I had to stop recording.

Umm, what the fuck can I say about this guy? He was alone most of the time and very quiet, but was cool with me taking his picture.

During animal sacrifice, Hougans often slipped into possession. When it happened, their eyes flipped backwards and they spoke in tongues, like they were fervently arguing with someone I couldn’t see. At times, it appeared to be both violent and sexual.

 
This guy is a scribe. He writes prayers to the dead.
-PAUL K@XOPK
Originally published on

FEATURE SHOOT: HAITI’S VODOU PILGRIMAGE CAPTURED

Paul Kwiatkowski is a writer and photographer living in New York City. He is currently finishing his first photo essay and novel And Every Day Was Overcast, which is about growing up in the ’90s amongst the swamps and strip malls of South Florida. During the summer, Paul traveled to Haiti for two weeks. He went to explore the country and to document a rarely seen Vodou pilgrimage. These images are from this journey and all captions are written by Kwiatkowski.

-ALISON ZAVOS


The walls were covered with prayers, candles, photographs of the deceased and offerings. As my eyes adjusted to the smoky darkness, I tripped out on the echoes of drums and people shouting in tongue.

In Port-au-Prince, my driver refused to go past the barricaded walls of Cité Soleil, regarded as the most dangerous slum in the Northern Hemisphere. Since the earthquake last year, over 4,000 inmates had escaped Port-au-Prince’s surrounding prisons. After destroying the prison’s criminal records, many of the inmates returned to their sectors in Cité Soleil and regained control. Signs of them were all around: basketball courts without hoops, relief tents peppered with bullet holes. Nothing, not even the wall separating Cité Soleil was spared.

I was searching for homes with red flags affixed to the roof. The flag meant that the home is also a vodou temple. Inside, I meet a Hougan, a priest. Although I don’t speak Creole, I got by with clumsy hand signals and fragmented French. I sure as fuck would never let a stranger with a shitty camera inside my home, but I was grateful that he did. I forgot the Hougan’s name but he was friendly, proudly flaunting his makeshift temple, religious tchotchkes and children. Their hair was turning blond from malnourishment. They wanted to touch the tattoos on my arms. I wanted to be friendlier, but I was afraid of germs.

Outside of Port-au-Prince, I met a vendor at a vodou market who recreated scenes from Christian mythology with dolls. He also had baby doll saints stuffed inside glass bottles. I wish I had bought one.

The pilgrimage began at the mouth of the cave. Inside, participants made their way to several stations. The floor was covered in mud, plastic bottles, blood, urine, water, excrement, tattered cloths, rocks and prayers made out to the dead.

This is a store. I have no idea what they were selling. Tons of street vendors had similar setups.

On my way to the northern part of the island, I saw a woman flailing her arms on the side of the road. Further down the road was a shoe and beside the woman was a circle of men standing around staring at the ground. Our fixer stopped the car so that we could investigate. The men were looking at a young girl laying face down in a ditch. She’d been hit by a car. Whoever had done it had driven off. My first reaction was to touch her but because of fear of disease, I couldn’t. My friend and photographer Anthony Karen and I wrapped our hands in grocery bags and made a stretcher out of burlap. After stabilizing her head and turning her over, Anthony tried to wash the blood off of her face, but there was little more that could be done. She had aspirated on her own blood. Eventually a passerby in a pickup truck came to help. After we placed her onto the bed of the pickup, I can’t explain why, but on impulse I videotaped her face. After she passed, all I could do was stand there. My hands trembled so hard, I had to stop recording.

Umm, what the fuck can I say about this guy? He was alone most of the time and very quiet, but was cool with me taking his picture.

During animal sacrifice, Hougans often slipped into possession. When it happened, their eyes flipped backwards and they spoke in tongues, like they were fervently arguing with someone I couldn’t see. At times, it appeared to be both violent and sexual.

This guy is a scribe. He writes prayers to the dead.

-PAUL K
@XOPK

Originally published on

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A WALL ST. OCCUPIER?

Looks like New York Magazine went down to Zuccotti Park and did a Howard Stern-style, show-how-retarded-they-are piece on Occupy Wall Street.
In general, I’m a huge fan of the Stripper-Interview genre of entertainment: It brings the most potential for spontaneous hilarity since the advent of prank calls.
There are a couple of problems with its execution in this case though:
1. Comedy Fail: They chose some questions that are too difficult to be funny. Hahaha, these hippies don’t know what the Dodd-Frank Act is??? What fucking morons!
2. Political Fail: Does it really matter whether Occupy Wall Street protestors know this shit? I don’t know what the capital of Zaire is, but I still think clitoridectomies are wrong.
What do you guys think?
-BENJAMIN LEO@TheBenWord

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A WALL ST. OCCUPIER?

Looks like New York Magazine went down to Zuccotti Park and did a Howard Stern-style, show-how-retarded-they-are piece on Occupy Wall Street.

In general, I’m a huge fan of the Stripper-Interview genre of entertainment: It brings the most potential for spontaneous hilarity since the advent of prank calls.

There are a couple of problems with its execution in this case though:

1. Comedy Fail: They chose some questions that are too difficult to be funny. Hahaha, these hippies don’t know what the Dodd-Frank Act is??? What fucking morons!

2. Political Fail: Does it really matter whether Occupy Wall Street protestors know this shit? I don’t know what the capital of Zaire is, but I still think clitoridectomies are wrong.

What do you guys think?

-BENJAMIN LEO
@TheBenWord

I WENT TO WOODSTOCK

No, not that one. No, not that one either. That one.
The festival was based in a field outside of a town called Kostrzyn in southwestern Poland. Pronounced “kos-chin,” most of the year it has a population of a few thousand poor farmers and old alcoholics on the dole. The weekend I visited, there were over 600,000 people there. The festival itself was seen simultaneously as a point of pride and source of shame for my Polish friends and family. They would happily point out that people were coming from all over Europe to go to a show in their country, but they would also note that several people were dying of alcohol poisoning and being maimed by trains on their way there on a daily basis. This contradictory pride and shame is pretty common and is evident almost every time a Pole or group of Poles does something noteworthy.
I arrived on a train that dated back to the communist era and was absolutely stuffed with drunk kids. A few people had already died from falling off trains or being run over by them, but at every stop the train would clear out and drunk Poles would run into the red brick rubble that makes up most of the train stations in the Polish countryside. The kids pissed wherever they could, regardless of gender or hygiene. It was basically a shit-show rolling along on 40-year-old train.
I eventually managed to doze off, but an hour outside of Kostrzyn, I was woken up by gasps and shouts when we passed by this:

Yes, Poland has the world’s largest statue of Jesus in the world. Again, you could see in the youth’s eyes, past the dull drunk glossiness, that simultaneous shame and pride in their nation. “We did it,” they thought, “it might be the worst thing ever, but fuck it, we did it.” It’s surprising the Polish language doesn’t have a word for this shame-pride. Maybe they experience it so often, they don’t even notice it. Like fish in water.
I arrived in the Kostrzyn station and people poured out onto the platform, onto the tracks and into the bushes to piss. I found my cousin and her fiancé (he proposed just a few days ago during a show by an Ukranian ska band) under an overhang.
The town itself was overrun with European party kids and no one was in the streets except for drunks and people selling beer, cigarettes and grilled meats. We bought beer, cigarettes and meat, and headed down the long road to the festival. Grown men were passed out along the road, roasting their flesh red after drinking themselves unconscious. Old men who lived in the town took out their hoses and offered to spray whoever wanted it. When a girl would walk up, their old faces lit up and the water flowed.

It was hot and we didn’t talk much, but eventually we had to comment on a couple who looked like they were attacked by wolves and were singing a few lines from a techno song that was popular in Poland at the time. They sang: “All day, all night… What the fuck!” in heavy Polish accents while begging people for cash with their top hats.
We saw a confrontation between a half-naked girl and several priests. As we passed, she screamed the dirtiest things I’ve ever heard in Polish right at the priests. I even had to ask my cousin what some of the words meant. One of the priests quietly said, “Jesus loves you” and they tried to back away.
The Hari Krishnas were also out in force. As I learned from my cousin, they actually have a large following in Poland. They’re seen as relatively benign and feed the crowds at discounted prices. “Cheap plastic bowls of rice for everyone!” is their motto, right after “Hari hari hari hari Krishna!” I don’t trust the singing and the dancing and the chanting, but the directionless Poles in the cult seem to enjoy it.
We walked further down the path and Spaniards poured beer into each other’s mouths from several feet away, while Germans carried their neat backpacks and sleeping bags and attempted to avoid eye contact. We got closer to the field and the closer we got, the smell of shit in the air grew stronger. We turned a corner and about a hundred portable toilets lined the walkway creating an unimaginable stink in the heat. Poles call them “toi-tois,” which I think is incredibly cute. Despite being emptied several times daily, they were filling up with shit and people were turning the surrounding forest into an open septic tank. As we arrived on the field, which was only dirt with sad little patches of grass, a giant cloud of dust passed by and all I could think was that I just arrived in a refugee camp in Africa. Well, except for the crane with a bungee jump platform and the massive stage at the other end of the field.
We got to our campsite made up of a tarp connected to two tents and a car. My cousin, her friend and her fiancé were exhausted and didn’t want to walk around too much. They had already been there for three days and were completely sunburnt. We sat around smoking cigarettes and drinking Fanta and beer until the sun started going down and everyone got hungry. The number of people at the festival was triple what they expected so getting food was like waiting in a bread line during the Depression except we had to pay for out plates of sausage and cabbage.
I was prepared to get drunk and I realized that not bringing a bottle of vodka was a huge mistake. The only available alcohol within a 20-minute walk was a beer called Carlsberg, which is about as exciting and alcoholic as a Bud Light mixed with a glass of water. The lines were again horrendous and we complained to pass the time. If having a negative outlook were an Olympic event, Poles would take all three medals every four years. Then they would throw up the black power fist on the podium just to get into a fight after the event.
After getting a 24-pack of Carlsberg, we got drunk in a small copse behind a DJ playing dubstep. Miraculously, no one had shit in this hidden grove and we drank deeply from the cans of watery beer.

Prodigy was scheduled to play and although I’m not a huge fan, I definitely thought it was worth seeing. And apparently everyone else in Eastern Europe felt it was worth seeing as well. We stumbled out from behind the chain-link fence and waded into the sea of people surrounding the stage. We drank more and waited around the edge of the crowd. Prodigy was over an hour late but no music was playing. I could hear the hum of the crowd, getting excited over nothing, screaming, the wave of excitement reaching the fringes and dissipating into nothing when it reached us. We tried to move to a better vantage point and the only way not to lose each other was to hold hands like a human train and trample anyone who tried to come between us. We got to our campsite with a few Carlsbergs and half a pack of cigarettes left.
We wound up sitting on the hood of my cousin’s car when Prodigy started playing. We watched 600,000+ people try to dance while hoses pumped massive arcs of water into the air and across the crowd to keep them cool and to extinguish the multiple road flares that people lit off in the middle of the crowd. Every now and then the black guy in Prodigy would yell at the crowd to step back with what seemed to be actual concern for the well-being of the people being crushed near the stage. People waved massive flags of countries, towns and other groups that they felt needed to be represented by a bed sheet with spray paint on it.
Prodigy did a quick hour and were probably air lifted out of Poland as soon as their set was done. The party raged on for hours, but we just hung out under the tarp drinking beer and smoking until it was quiet enough to fall asleep. The next morning janitors with face masks were raking piles of garbage into larger piles of garbage while bald, white power Poles drank their third morning beer. I opened the last Carlsberg and decided that I had an appointment with a toi-toi.
-OLEK@Prolek

I WENT TO WOODSTOCK

No, not that one. No, not that one either. That one.

The festival was based in a field outside of a town called Kostrzyn in southwestern Poland. Pronounced “kos-chin,” most of the year it has a population of a few thousand poor farmers and old alcoholics on the dole. The weekend I visited, there were over 600,000 people there. The festival itself was seen simultaneously as a point of pride and source of shame for my Polish friends and family. They would happily point out that people were coming from all over Europe to go to a show in their country, but they would also note that several people were dying of alcohol poisoning and being maimed by trains on their way there on a daily basis. This contradictory pride and shame is pretty common and is evident almost every time a Pole or group of Poles does something noteworthy.

I arrived on a train that dated back to the communist era and was absolutely stuffed with drunk kids. A few people had already died from falling off trains or being run over by them, but at every stop the train would clear out and drunk Poles would run into the red brick rubble that makes up most of the train stations in the Polish countryside. The kids pissed wherever they could, regardless of gender or hygiene. It was basically a shit-show rolling along on 40-year-old train.

I eventually managed to doze off, but an hour outside of Kostrzyn, I was woken up by gasps and shouts when we passed by this:

Yes, Poland has the world’s largest statue of Jesus in the world. Again, you could see in the youth’s eyes, past the dull drunk glossiness, that simultaneous shame and pride in their nation. “We did it,” they thought, “it might be the worst thing ever, but fuck it, we did it.” It’s surprising the Polish language doesn’t have a word for this shame-pride. Maybe they experience it so often, they don’t even notice it. Like fish in water.

I arrived in the Kostrzyn station and people poured out onto the platform, onto the tracks and into the bushes to piss. I found my cousin and her fiancé (he proposed just a few days ago during a show by an Ukranian ska band) under an overhang.

The town itself was overrun with European party kids and no one was in the streets except for drunks and people selling beer, cigarettes and grilled meats. We bought beer, cigarettes and meat, and headed down the long road to the festival. Grown men were passed out along the road, roasting their flesh red after drinking themselves unconscious. Old men who lived in the town took out their hoses and offered to spray whoever wanted it. When a girl would walk up, their old faces lit up and the water flowed.

It was hot and we didn’t talk much, but eventually we had to comment on a couple who looked like they were attacked by wolves and were singing a few lines from a techno song that was popular in Poland at the time. They sang: “All day, all night… What the fuck!” in heavy Polish accents while begging people for cash with their top hats.

We saw a confrontation between a half-naked girl and several priests. As we passed, she screamed the dirtiest things I’ve ever heard in Polish right at the priests. I even had to ask my cousin what some of the words meant. One of the priests quietly said, “Jesus loves you” and they tried to back away.

The Hari Krishnas were also out in force. As I learned from my cousin, they actually have a large following in Poland. They’re seen as relatively benign and feed the crowds at discounted prices. “Cheap plastic bowls of rice for everyone!” is their motto, right after “Hari hari hari hari Krishna!” I don’t trust the singing and the dancing and the chanting, but the directionless Poles in the cult seem to enjoy it.

We walked further down the path and Spaniards poured beer into each other’s mouths from several feet away, while Germans carried their neat backpacks and sleeping bags and attempted to avoid eye contact. We got closer to the field and the closer we got, the smell of shit in the air grew stronger. We turned a corner and about a hundred portable toilets lined the walkway creating an unimaginable stink in the heat. Poles call them “toi-tois,” which I think is incredibly cute. Despite being emptied several times daily, they were filling up with shit and people were turning the surrounding forest into an open septic tank. As we arrived on the field, which was only dirt with sad little patches of grass, a giant cloud of dust passed by and all I could think was that I just arrived in a refugee camp in Africa. Well, except for the crane with a bungee jump platform and the massive stage at the other end of the field.

We got to our campsite made up of a tarp connected to two tents and a car. My cousin, her friend and her fiancé were exhausted and didn’t want to walk around too much. They had already been there for three days and were completely sunburnt. We sat around smoking cigarettes and drinking Fanta and beer until the sun started going down and everyone got hungry. The number of people at the festival was triple what they expected so getting food was like waiting in a bread line during the Depression except we had to pay for out plates of sausage and cabbage.

I was prepared to get drunk and I realized that not bringing a bottle of vodka was a huge mistake. The only available alcohol within a 20-minute walk was a beer called Carlsberg, which is about as exciting and alcoholic as a Bud Light mixed with a glass of water. The lines were again horrendous and we complained to pass the time. If having a negative outlook were an Olympic event, Poles would take all three medals every four years. Then they would throw up the black power fist on the podium just to get into a fight after the event.

After getting a 24-pack of Carlsberg, we got drunk in a small copse behind a DJ playing dubstep. Miraculously, no one had shit in this hidden grove and we drank deeply from the cans of watery beer.

Prodigy was scheduled to play and although I’m not a huge fan, I definitely thought it was worth seeing. And apparently everyone else in Eastern Europe felt it was worth seeing as well. We stumbled out from behind the chain-link fence and waded into the sea of people surrounding the stage. We drank more and waited around the edge of the crowd. Prodigy was over an hour late but no music was playing. I could hear the hum of the crowd, getting excited over nothing, screaming, the wave of excitement reaching the fringes and dissipating into nothing when it reached us. We tried to move to a better vantage point and the only way not to lose each other was to hold hands like a human train and trample anyone who tried to come between us. We got to our campsite with a few Carlsbergs and half a pack of cigarettes left.

We wound up sitting on the hood of my cousin’s car when Prodigy started playing. We watched 600,000+ people try to dance while hoses pumped massive arcs of water into the air and across the crowd to keep them cool and to extinguish the multiple road flares that people lit off in the middle of the crowd. Every now and then the black guy in Prodigy would yell at the crowd to step back with what seemed to be actual concern for the well-being of the people being crushed near the stage. People waved massive flags of countries, towns and other groups that they felt needed to be represented by a bed sheet with spray paint on it.

Prodigy did a quick hour and were probably air lifted out of Poland as soon as their set was done. The party raged on for hours, but we just hung out under the tarp drinking beer and smoking until it was quiet enough to fall asleep. The next morning janitors with face masks were raking piles of garbage into larger piles of garbage while bald, white power Poles drank their third morning beer. I opened the last Carlsberg and decided that I had an appointment with a toi-toi.

-OLEK
@Prolek

YOUR SO DUMB RADIO #2

Jim Goad and I do a 20-minute radio show for Taki’s Mag where we look at the top 5 headlines of the week and discuss them for 4 minutes each. This week, he chose the top 5 headlines in Swaziland. Turns out this predominantly Christian country has a lot of the same problems we do.

PREVIOUS EPISODE HERE.

-GAVIN McINNES

FOLLOW STREET CARNAGE ON TWITTER.

FUCK YEAH BLOOD
I’m not exactly sure what this Tumblr’s deal is, but if I had to sum it up in three words they would be: Bloody. Naked. Chicks. There’s some other stuff on there as well like scarification pictures and “blood paintings.” There’s also a bunch more girls covered in blood….

FUCK YEAH BLOOD

I’m not exactly sure what this Tumblr’s deal is, but if I had to sum it up in three words they would be: Bloody. Naked. Chicks. There’s some other stuff on there as well like scarification pictures and “blood paintings.” There’s also a bunch more girls covered in blood….

TRANSPLANT PRIDE

You think YOUR neighbor is a disgusting pig?
You know what makes New York City great? The people who come here from other places. I guess that everyone from New York is so proud of coming out of the right sack of guts at the right time that they feel they can contribute no more to the culture than saying shit like, “Oh wow, you must not be from around here.”
Yeah, you know what, you’re goddamn right I’m not from here. I’m from Bumfuck, USA and I grew up in a town of 1,000 people. I wasn’t here through those crazy ’80s or that one time the A train shut down for a whole summer. I moved here because I thought, “Oh wow, it’s New York. I love Lou Reed and Kids, shit must be happening.” That’s fucking right. Without me and the mass of folks like me, your city would be full of angry old Italians, junkies and over-privileged fucks jerking each other off about… I have no idea, actually, ’cause it seems like the only thing you bitch about is all the people who moved here in order to preserve the awesome associated with your precious, garbage-filled anus of Betsy Johnson.

Have you ever been to your city? I know you love it so much because you can live in Park Slope (or The UWS, for maximum irony) for free with your mom, but take the time to look at it for what it is: a financial district, which brings in billions and ruined the rest of the country, surrounded by urban suburbs that range from rich-as-fuck to poor-as-fuck. A lot of people work in restaurants, a lot of people work for large corporations and a lot of people sleep on the sidewalk with fucked up inflated-foot disease. Rad. Meanwhile, you have people in their early 20s moving to your sump hole (five bucks to anyone who gets that reference) just because Patti Smith and Dee Dee Ramone wrote a bunch of songs here.* Your response? “Fuck you, college boy. Go back to Indiana or whatever. You can’t handle New York.”
No dude, fuck you, YOU can’t handle New York. This city’s life and blood is transplants. You were born here; you haven’t had to prove shit. You got a free pass to the coolest city on the planet and all you do is bring nothing to the table while shitting on whatever’s placed in front of you. You did coke when you were 14 and saw The Strokes before NYC Cops was a big deal, maybe you remember when Illmatic came out. Maybe you’re not even cool! Maybe you’re just as boring, stupid and shitty as the Midwesterners you shit on — except you grew up in Kew Gardens. Maybe you know you suck and, like the guy who shows up to the Halloween party in a “This Is My Costume LOL” T-shirt at the exact time it starts and has to watch every Margot Tenenbaum and Hermit the Frog push them further down the who’s-getting-laid-tonight pyramid, you feel that the only recourse you have is to try and shit on those who are actually kicking life’s ass with the only argument you have: You were here first.

I whittled away my time in Vermont and Ohio until I could finally move to your dump to, hopefully, give back even a slight percentage of what I have received in creative output. I moved here with no plans, a little bit of money and the sole security of knowing that I would do whatever it takes to stay above water and not leave (SPOILER ALERT: All it takes is a job). Meanwhile, you snuck into Continental and never learned how to drive a car. Round of fucking applause.
Sincerely,A proud transplant to your Hefty-bag-full-of-Indian-food-and-Bud-cans of a city. There is nowhere I would rather be, no thanks to you. Turns out Lou is from fucking Freeport anyway.
-IRON ANTLERS@Iron_Antlers
*In case the tone isn’t clear, that’s awesome.

TRANSPLANT PRIDE

You think YOUR neighbor is a disgusting pig?

You know what makes New York City great? The people who come here from other places. I guess that everyone from New York is so proud of coming out of the right sack of guts at the right time that they feel they can contribute no more to the culture than saying shit like, “Oh wow, you must not be from around here.”

Yeah, you know what, you’re goddamn right I’m not from here. I’m from Bumfuck, USA and I grew up in a town of 1,000 people. I wasn’t here through those crazy ’80s or that one time the A train shut down for a whole summer. I moved here because I thought, “Oh wow, it’s New York. I love Lou Reed and Kids, shit must be happening.” That’s fucking right. Without me and the mass of folks like me, your city would be full of angry old Italians, junkies and over-privileged fucks jerking each other off about… I have no idea, actually, ’cause it seems like the only thing you bitch about is all the people who moved here in order to preserve the awesome associated with your precious, garbage-filled anus of Betsy Johnson.

Have you ever been to your city? I know you love it so much because you can live in Park Slope (or The UWS, for maximum irony) for free with your mom, but take the time to look at it for what it is: a financial district, which brings in billions and ruined the rest of the country, surrounded by urban suburbs that range from rich-as-fuck to poor-as-fuck. A lot of people work in restaurants, a lot of people work for large corporations and a lot of people sleep on the sidewalk with fucked up inflated-foot disease. Rad. Meanwhile, you have people in their early 20s moving to your sump hole (five bucks to anyone who gets that reference) just because Patti Smith and Dee Dee Ramone wrote a bunch of songs here.* Your response? “Fuck you, college boy. Go back to Indiana or whatever. You can’t handle New York.”

No dude, fuck you, YOU can’t handle New York. This city’s life and blood is transplants. You were born here; you haven’t had to prove shit. You got a free pass to the coolest city on the planet and all you do is bring nothing to the table while shitting on whatever’s placed in front of you. You did coke when you were 14 and saw The Strokes before NYC Cops was a big deal, maybe you remember when Illmatic came out. Maybe you’re not even cool! Maybe you’re just as boring, stupid and shitty as the Midwesterners you shit on — except you grew up in Kew Gardens. Maybe you know you suck and, like the guy who shows up to the Halloween party in a “This Is My Costume LOL” T-shirt at the exact time it starts and has to watch every Margot Tenenbaum and Hermit the Frog push them further down the who’s-getting-laid-tonight pyramid, you feel that the only recourse you have is to try and shit on those who are actually kicking life’s ass with the only argument you have: You were here first.

I whittled away my time in Vermont and Ohio until I could finally move to your dump to, hopefully, give back even a slight percentage of what I have received in creative output. I moved here with no plans, a little bit of money and the sole security of knowing that I would do whatever it takes to stay above water and not leave (SPOILER ALERT: All it takes is a job). Meanwhile, you snuck into Continental and never learned how to drive a car. Round of fucking applause.

Sincerely,
A proud transplant to your Hefty-bag-full-of-Indian-food-and-Bud-cans of a city. There is nowhere I would rather be, no thanks to you. Turns out Lou is from fucking Freeport anyway.

-IRON ANTLERS
@Iron_Antlers

*In case the tone isn’t clear, that’s awesome.

WHAT IF MLK SURVIVED?
America’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial just opened here in Washington, D.C. So when relatives or Facebook “friends” cold visit me, I now have one more go-to stop on the obligatory D.C. historical monument tour.

In a moment of historical reflection over grilled burgers and Newcastle beers — and after I learned that that is the monument’s actual design and it’s not simply unfinished — I wandered into some crazy brain-territory that went something like this:
What If Martin Luther King, Jr. survived the 1968 assassination in Memphis but was so gravely ill that government scientists rushed him into its top secret cryogenics lab and JUST THIS YEAR figured out how to save his precious and historical life, so they thawed him out and saved his ass?
Of course the government being “The Government” with top secret stuff all over the place, nobody would be able to learn that King was again alive, obviously. But still, what would Dr. King think of 2011?
Let’s fast forward from April 1968 to October 2011 and try to explain America to MLK what he totally missed:
The horrific Kent State massacre
The Reagan presidency Carter! CLINTON!!
Disco
NASA’s Space Shuttle program
LaserDisc and VHS and zip drives
The Cosby Show’s entire run
Clinton almost getting drummed out of office for a couple of blow jobs
Tiger Woods’ entire career
Pulp Fiction and The Jackass Movie
Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives
Oprah
AIDS
Geocities
It’s my task to usher Martin Luther King Jr. around America. In 1968, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney were talented young men, rather than the middle-aged women that kids now know them as. Try explaining Wi-Fi and MacBook Airs to Martin Luther King, Jr. That would mess him up for a week:
“But Tyrone, what do you mean there are no wires on this typing television set?” (For some reason he calls me by my middle name, Tyrone, but who am I to correct Martin Luther King?)
2011 America is almost totally different than ’60s America. Martin Luther King boldly and, crazily to many, said this in 1964:
“There are Negroes that are qualified to be President of the United States. I am optimistic about the future… so on the basis of this, I think that we will be able to get a Negro President in the next 40 years!”
Woah! Sure, he was off by a mere four years, but he fuckin’ called that bet. He would have ROCKED the sports-book. I mean, we not only have a Negro President BUT the Republican frontrunner for 2012 is also a NEGRO! What the fuck is that?! Wouldn’t you want to be there when Al Sharpton told Martin Luther King that the president and the GOP front runner are both Negroes?
The 2010s are a beautiful time for Negroes in politics because all the overly-ambitious, power-hungry white men have abandoned politics for the cold cash, REAL power oasis of Wall Street. And given the kooks vying for president now, Flavor Flav would poll in double digits. As Allen Iverson sagely said, “I mean, listen, we’re talking about politics, not money, we talking about politics. Not money. Not, not… Not the money that I go out there and die for like it’s my last. Not money, but we’re talking about politics, man. I mean, how silly is that?”

In 2011, Dr. King would witness white kids flooding the streets chanting “We Shall Overcome” as they threaten to Occupy n’ shit. White kids. From families with money. From families!
“Wait a minute, Tyrone. These white children are crying about inequality to a Negro president?”
From coast-to-coast, white kids with dirty clothes and dreadlocks are crying about their precious and selfish “futures.” But 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. wouldn’t support some fake-ass “protests” like #OCCUPY because he would clearly see through the selfish and self-righteous bullshit in like two seconds. He’d know it’s “just another power grab, Tyrone. Don’t believe the hype. What? That’s a song too? By, whom? Public Enemy? Oh, Tyrone, I grow weary with your time.”
I imagine flying Martin Luther King, Jr. all over America would make him so pissed off from having to take his damn shoes and belt off for each damn flight, he’d finally just give up and decide to buy his own MacBook Air and some Wi-Fi so he can “relax and catch up with these times, Tyrone.” Sadly, when we get to the Apple store, Dr. King breaks down into sobbing tears from exhaustion and frustration. What sets him off? People standing in blocks-long lines to buy iPhones as if it was food or the opportunity to vote. The last I hear from Martin Luther King is:
“WE’RE SO DOOMED! WHAT DID I DO?! PUT ME BACK IN THAT DAMN FREEZER!”
-JULIUS T. LEISURE@JuliusTLeisure

WHAT IF MLK SURVIVED?

America’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial just opened here in Washington, D.C. So when relatives or Facebook “friends” cold visit me, I now have one more go-to stop on the obligatory D.C. historical monument tour.

In a moment of historical reflection over grilled burgers and Newcastle beers — and after I learned that that is the monument’s actual design and it’s not simply unfinished — I wandered into some crazy brain-territory that went something like this:

What If Martin Luther King, Jr. survived the 1968 assassination in Memphis but was so gravely ill that government scientists rushed him into its top secret cryogenics lab and JUST THIS YEAR figured out how to save his precious and historical life, so they thawed him out and saved his ass?

Of course the government being “The Government” with top secret stuff all over the place, nobody would be able to learn that King was again alive, obviously. But still, what would Dr. King think of 2011?

Let’s fast forward from April 1968 to October 2011 and try to explain America to MLK what he totally missed:

  • The horrific Kent State massacre
  • The Reagan presidency Carter! CLINTON!!
  • Disco
  • NASA’s Space Shuttle program
  • LaserDisc and VHS and zip drives
  • The Cosby Show’s entire run
  • Clinton almost getting drummed out of office for a couple of blow jobs
  • Tiger Woods’ entire career
  • Pulp Fiction and The Jackass Movie
  • Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Oprah
  • AIDS
  • Geocities

It’s my task to usher Martin Luther King Jr. around America. In 1968, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney were talented young men, rather than the middle-aged women that kids now know them as. Try explaining Wi-Fi and MacBook Airs to Martin Luther King, Jr. That would mess him up for a week:

“But Tyrone, what do you mean there are no wires on this typing television set?” (For some reason he calls me by my middle name, Tyrone, but who am I to correct Martin Luther King?)

2011 America is almost totally different than ’60s America. Martin Luther King boldly and, crazily to many, said this in 1964:

“There are Negroes that are qualified to be President of the United States. I am optimistic about the future… so on the basis of this, I think that we will be able to get a Negro President in the next 40 years!”

Woah! Sure, he was off by a mere four years, but he fuckin’ called that bet. He would have ROCKED the sports-book. I mean, we not only have a Negro President BUT the Republican frontrunner for 2012 is also a NEGRO! What the fuck is that?! Wouldn’t you want to be there when Al Sharpton told Martin Luther King that the president and the GOP front runner are both Negroes?

The 2010s are a beautiful time for Negroes in politics because all the overly-ambitious, power-hungry white men have abandoned politics for the cold cash, REAL power oasis of Wall Street. And given the kooks vying for president now, Flavor Flav would poll in double digits. As Allen Iverson sagely said, “I mean, listen, we’re talking about politics, not money, we talking about politics. Not money. Not, not… Not the money that I go out there and die for like it’s my last. Not money, but we’re talking about politics, man. I mean, how silly is that?”

In 2011, Dr. King would witness white kids flooding the streets chanting “We Shall Overcome” as they threaten to Occupy n’ shit. White kids. From families with money. From families!

“Wait a minute, Tyrone. These white children are crying about inequality to a Negro president?”

From coast-to-coast, white kids with dirty clothes and dreadlocks are crying about their precious and selfish “futures.” But 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. wouldn’t support some fake-ass “protests” like #OCCUPY because he would clearly see through the selfish and self-righteous bullshit in like two seconds. He’d know it’s “just another power grab, Tyrone. Don’t believe the hype. What? That’s a song too? By, whom? Public Enemy? Oh, Tyrone, I grow weary with your time.”

I imagine flying Martin Luther King, Jr. all over America would make him so pissed off from having to take his damn shoes and belt off for each damn flight, he’d finally just give up and decide to buy his own MacBook Air and some Wi-Fi so he can “relax and catch up with these times, Tyrone.” Sadly, when we get to the Apple store, Dr. King breaks down into sobbing tears from exhaustion and frustration. What sets him off? People standing in blocks-long lines to buy iPhones as if it was food or the opportunity to vote. The last I hear from Martin Luther King is:

“WE’RE SO DOOMED! WHAT DID I DO?! PUT ME BACK IN THAT DAMN FREEZER!”

-JULIUS T. LEISURE
@JuliusTLeisure