The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, October 12, 2018


Yesterday in New York City, Antifa vandals vandalized, which I think goes without saying, the one following the other like bread and butter, time and tide, and my brother asking me for money and my saying no--yes, the object of this sentence is coming, I promise--the headquarters of the Manhattan Republican Party, a building that also houses the regional headquarters of the New York State Republican Party. The vandals announced that this was the beginning of a series of actions against the GOP for their crimes against humanity and for disagreeing with the Antifa movement, which is unconstitutional and doubleplus ungood and more than vaguely un-American, it seems.  I find this event interesting in that I didn’t think that there were any Republicans in Manhattan to speak of, much less their being a group of them large enough to conduct actions against; my mind actually boggled at the concept when I read the vandals’ declaration in the paper. 

What caused my bogglement, assuming that bogglement is the word I am looking for here, was that I was certain that the last native-born New York Republican was a man named Hezekiah Smith, who died when I was a boy of six or seven[i], despite the best efforts of doctors and naturalists to save such a rara avisMr. Smith was a hardy old soul of about 107, I think, and he could remember Abraham Lincoln’s funeral cortege moving up Broadway in 1865 and how a very portly stockbroker from Cincinnati, Ohio almost killed him when he (the stockbroker) landed on the sidewalk in front of him (our rara avis) after leaping from a fifteenth story window on the day the market crashed in 1929.  Mr. Smith escaped death by stopping for a moment at a street cart to buy a pretzel with too much salt on it, a flaw that bedevils street cart pretzels in New York to this very day. Mr. Smith took a bite out of the pretzel and stopped walking down Wall Street long enough to spit a large chunk of salt from between his teeth onto the sidewalk.  A moment later the stockbroker arrived at Mr. Smith's feet, causing him (Mr. Smith--I don't believe that the stockbroker was contemplating the saltiness of New York street pretzels at that instant, no matter how portly he was) to lose his appetite almost immediately. In any case, being the last of his species, the American Museum of Natural History insisted on having Mr. Smith stuffed and mounted so future generations of New Yorkers could see what a native-born Republican actually looked like. And so it came to pass. Mr. Smith is still on display at the museum, in that long gallery where the curators have the wildlife of North America dioramas, and so children on school trips from all over the city can come and gaze with astonished eyes upon his kindly countenance and wonder how such an extraordinary creature ever found a home in New York City.

As for the New York State Republican Party, I was unaware that such an organized entity actually existed; I was always under the impression that New York State Republicans were more or less like a herd of caribou wandering aimlessly over the length and breadth of the Vampire State, especially in the vast areas of political tundra  above Interstate 84, and doing nothing of any great importance, albeit doing that nothing with a much better wardrobe than your average caribou has—those horns really have to go; they are just so last year, you know—and that every so often one of them got lucky and found themselves elected to high state office or under indictment, conditions that often go together in these parts.  So this declaration of antifascist jihad against the local GOP seems a little far-fetched to me, unless the point of vandalizing innocuous buildings in New York is to drive the tenants out so the vandals can rip the copper piping out of the walls to sell for drug money or to avoid the complications that are apt to follow should the violent left attempt to wage its drum-beating, slogan-shrieking, baton-wielding war in places like Texas, Alabama, or Mississippi, where the Republicans are a fairly well-organized bunch and whose membership includes large numbers of people who possess their own firearms. I am only guessing here, but I suppose that a good many of these antifascists are not keen on doing anything in any state where they have to worry about sucking chest wounds or a ventilated liver as a side effect of their freeing the world of fascism. So this might be why New York is stuck with an inordinate number of these little punks, although I must say that the bagels are better in New York than in Houston or Montgomery, Alabama, and that could be a reason a wary protestor might want to stay in the neighborhood and annoy the unarmed passersby here as they try to get to work through the moron-induced traffic jams. Lucky us.

[i] This would be 1964 or 1965. You can work out how old I am by yourself; there’s no law requiring me to help anyone with mathematics.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,