And why shouldn’t they be.
New York City residents in general have never been too keen on current President George W. Bush, and the combined thrill of a popular Democratic president-elect who is even more popular than Grover Cleveland, generally considered to be the most popular president ever to take office, and the fact that he is the first black president signaling an unheralded step forward in the Civil Rights movement that began in the 1960’s, and you’ve got one hot stew of political excitement.
Even though Pol Position has firmly sided with the Anti-Monopoly party since our paper was founded in 1873, and we’re really on the fence about the whole thing, we can certainly appreciate all of the fuss.
Admittedly, we missed most of the excitement on the evening of November 4, due to our commitment to bringing our readers the latest in news, views, and chili recipes, but we heard it got crazy. Kids in Williamsburg were rounded up and Taser-ed for dancing naked and on fire in the streets, and that’s not even close to the craziness of what happened in Manhattan. (We have unconfirmed reports of mass livestock slaughter and a 30-foot-high wall of overturned cars in the East Village.)
Regardless of who did what on that fateful night, everyone can agree that it was nuts in a way that will likely never be repeated in our lifetimes. That is, until Obama’s inauguration in January.
We already know people who are planning their trips down to Washington, D.C. for that event, getting ready to spread the trademark New York City madness down into what should for all intents and purposes be considered the inferior city of Washington, D.C.
Sure, they’ve got the Capital Building, the Hope Diamond, and clean streets, but we’ve got Queens Plaza, Newtown Creek, and the G train, all of which set the standard for derangement.
Frankly, Washington DC can’t doesn’t stand a chance against such a massive influx of the same type of New Yorkers that celebrated Election Day by stealing an elephant from the Bronx Zoo and skeleton-izing it in Prospect Park using only cheap souvenir pocket knives from the Museum of Natural History. (They were handing them out by the bandshell.)
In an effort to not only spare Washington, D.C. the indignity of an invasion by a much-less emotionally stable populace, but also somewhat corral the insanity, Councilman Eric Gioia has proposed erecting large, stadium-quality television sets known as Jumbo-Trons in Central Park so that New Yorkers can have their own communal inauguration experience.
(If you don’t know what a Jumbo-Tron is, they are popularly used by ill-informed attention seekers to propose to their significant others during major sporting events.)
Honestly, we applaud the effort, although we’d hate to be out there in Sheeps Meadow or wherever it is they decide to plant the TV’s on that cold January morning. Just because it will be in New York City with a significant police presence doesn’t mean that it will be a ruly mob. In fact, it will very likely be unruly. Jumbo-Trons, which are popularly used to show mascots beating the stuffing out of dummies dressed like players from an opposing team, rarely inspire a sense of calm.
It is the opinion of Pol Position that anything with the prefix “jumbo,” be it tron or prawn, is unlikely to do anything but stir the baser emotions. This can often result in dancing, singing, pre-marital relations, and even violence.
And don’t think for a second that just because the inauguration happens during the morning that New Yorkers won’t be drinking. Jumbo-Trons are popularly used to pinpoint and showcase the most belligerent drunks at an event to inspire even more over-the-top celebrations, and it is very likely that the down time in the inauguration will feature highly positioned cameramen zooming through the crowd, looking for hooligans shirtless and in red, white, and blue face paint to put on screen and inspire “patriotism” in the crowd.
In conclusion, we do support Councilman Gioia’s plan, but only on the condition that he himself participate in the proceedings. We know he is a man of the people, and the entire city would appreciate it if he would trek on down to Central Park and be a part of the revelry. Not us though. We’ll be holed up in the dank, windowless Pol Position office, drinking Night Train and watching Andy Griffith reruns.