August 25, 2010
I like to watch the Yankees on TV. I used to like visiting the stadium until they built the uber billion dollar baby and the ticket prices, food and drink soared.
What I also don’t like, at home or at the stadium, is the extra hour of commercials, advertisements for the “feel good” society’s goods and services, urging perennially happy, smiling consumers to buy more cars, rebuild their houses at Home Depot, Live Better at Wal-Mart, drink more beer (hotties will love you) and in general keep chasing the hedonistic, pleasure-seeking dream of endless plenty. It’s over, kids. Get back to earth. Mom’s looking for you.
We had a total loss of 221,000 jobs last month, according to the New York Times. And “Friday’s (8/6/2010) jobs report renewed pressure on lawmakers to consider the next steps they might take to bolster the economy. Along with the consideration of aid to states (a $26 billion education package), a fierce discussion is still to come whether to let the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush expire at the end of the year.” Did anyone need to debate that except the multi-millionaires and billionaires and their lackey politicians? No.
Re the extra hour of commercials, my son and I discovered that when we went to see the ace minor league Brooklyn Cyclones housed in the Municipal Credit Union (MCU) field, the game came in at two hours and six minutes, with a searing shut-out by the Cyclones (Short-Season A classification New York – Penn League) against Buffalo, in a nine-inning game, with lots of great glove-flashing on both sides. Of course, we had some cheer-leaders and a chunky pitch man for the local car dealership. Even with that, it was beautiful.
Cyclones MCU Park comfortably seats five thousand fans, has wide aisles, easily accessed from Surf Avenue next to the boardwalk, the classic Cyclone roller coaster towards left field, the freshly-restored red parachute tower towards right field (sans parachutes), the Wonder Wheel in the distance (center field), with a view of the ocean. We sat 17 rows back from home plate in field box seats that cost about twelve bucks each, parking five, and a great sausage sandwich about six, drinks about four, which for the two of us wouldn’t get one mezzanine seat at Yankee Stadium, or one upper deck front row box seat.
The park also drew lots of nice families, moms, kids, grandpas, grandmas, and a general feeling of well-being that my old borough of Brooklyn is famous for. In fact, a line of kids ran on the field with the Cyclones, providing them with the biggest thrill of their young lives, waving as they faded off to the sidelines.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
But, the plastic-flashing “feel good” crowd at Yankee Stadium is still whooping it up in the boxes and suites, which these days are often empty. Yet, out at the Cyclones Field, the working and middle classes are still enjoying life, without the Steinbrenner sting. And we are not missing that extra hour of wall to wall TV commercials that add to the length of the game, which the commissioner of baseball and other aficionados are always bemoaning is too long. So we can still take pleasure in living, and in a truly diverse crowd, as the dusk falls, the multi-colored lights fade up and the moon smiles down at us. Long may we live and propagate.
Of course, if you wanted to think bad thoughts, there was always Ben Bernanke printing money and trying to buy more “feel good” prosperity. Our “bought and paid” for” stock market and economic recovery came at the expense of massive government borrowing and spending. As, Mike Larson of Martin Weiss’s Money Markets writes, Fed Insanity Crushes Stocks!
It seems that neither the Fed nor the Federal Government can stop throwing money away in pointless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, mercenary armies, financing tax cuts to the rich and blaming it on Social Security, from which they would love to steal even more money, cash, the real kind, not the funny money they’re using, that will come back to bite us in the rear one ugly day like the one on which the market tanked 777 points.
But nobody can say no to the boys in the pleasure dome (not the one in Coleridge’s poem, Xanadu), but in Washington, D.C. where the boys are partying hard in the stately pleasure dome of the Capital. In fact, you can read how hard some of the boys like Ramh and Obama are partying in Man’s Country, a 30-year old gay men’s bath house in uptown Chicago, article courtesy of the distinguished investigative reporter and ex-Navy Intelligence officer, Wayne Madsen. Or you can find it at lawyer/investigative journalist Tom Flocco’s Rummormillnews.com.
It is Mr. Madsen’s point of view that the corruption, moral bankruptcy, and depravity depicted in this tale puts our nation at risk of blackmailing by the wrong powers. And so the participants’ adventures in the “feel good” life of Chicago’s “boys’ town” are in fact seriously endangering us all. For those interested, the news is here. It concerns the flightiness of some of our major politicians and high members of White House staff, some of whom have escaped the D.C. Pleasure Dome of recent. But the tentacles of this male bath house extend far and wide as you will see, at least for as long as this link lasts.
Apart from that, we return to our “field of dreams,” which was built so we could come and enjoy ourselves in a modest manner. We are still here, playing the role of “the salt of the earth,” capable of living within our means, not pursuing murder as a career, or plunging our nation and the world into the hell of bankruptcy and depression. In other words, we are not the elites, the illuminati, the Bilderbergs, the New World Order. We are just folks, the glue of American life that holds this circus together with our taxes, labor and love day after day, year after year, as the charlatans come and go, “talking in the room of Michelangelo,” as Eliot would say.
And may I remind you, both New Yorkers and visitors, that only two short blocks from Cyclones Field you can find Nathan’s Hotdog Stand, with probably the best dogs and all the trimmings in the world. And before the boardwalk is totally privatized by real estate developers who feel the neighborhood has “soul,” a quality in short quantity in the “feel good society” of celluloid images, hyped marketing strategies, and daily corruption, y’all come out and see us.
P.S., sports fans, there is also the Staten Island Yankees team, a beautiful free ferry ride away in Richmond County Bank Ball Park. From there, you can not only see the game of tomorrow’s stars but the Bay of New York, liners going by, and Lady Liberty hold her torch up high in spite of it all, the creeps, the low-lifes, the ten percenters (as Hem called them), the skimmers, the closeted bad boys, the busted politicians, the Chicago gang, Obama booster Tony Rezko (now in solitary), et al. And the thing is, I believe we the people, the glue of this whole show who turn up at work every day, pay our taxes, do our jobs, raise our families, feel good within our skin, on our own dimes not OPM (Other People’s Money), are going to win the game in the long run.
In fact, despite the billionaires’ attempts to scuttle Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all genuine entitlements, we shall overcome as King said, and live to see the rabble of the rich in the chains they have earned, that is from the boardrooms of Goldman Sachs on down to the cells of rendition prisons. Just hang in everybody and do the right thing, as Spike Lee would say. Do the right thing and that will make you feel really good, like maybe you never felt before.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. His book “State Of Shock – Poems from 9/11 on” is available at www.jerrymazza.com, Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on American and world politics as an Associate Editor of Online Journal.