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October 7, 2002

New York continued without me

Because of a serious case of intestinal cramping brought on by an extra Saturday-night helping of Roger's rabbit-stuffed quail, I spent much of Sunday on the john, reading the New York Times Magazine in its entirety. My first thought was, well, it's about time that somebody devoted an entire issue of a magazine to New York City, which has been written about far too little in the last year. Then I began to think about the individual articles in the issue, and whether or not I agreed or disagreed with them.

For instance, like Frank Rich, I believe that Manhattan Is the Real America, and I, too, have wondered Who The Heck Is Gifford Miller? Jim Nelson, in his piece, helped answer a question that I have always asked privately, but never dared pose publicly, and I thank him, for now I know how Hipness Moves Block By Block.

However, I must disagree with James Traub, who many of you know as my failed biographer. He thinks he understands Where The School System Went Disastrously Wrong, but he neglects to mention, due to either dearth of space or lack of research, the massive curricular failure that has plagued the New York Public Schools since the mid-1980s. In a world where the works of Alice Walker are taught as equivalent to those of William Shakespeare, where we subscribe to mathematical methods devised by Arabs, and where gay sex is considered acceptable gym activity, no true learning can take place.

I must thank Gerald Mazorati, the greatest rock writer in America, for introducing culturally clueless Times readers to my favorite current band, The White Strokes. I am a huge fan of them all, particularly lead singer Julio Casablancas and drummer Fabio Morroni. Since August, I've been telling readers of this blog to buy their album, This Ain't It. Together, we can push this truly fabulous pop-punk combo over the top.

In general, the Times served up a fine issue, but it definitely would have benefitted from a contribution from me. The editors of the Times have repeatedly shown themselves to quiver like Girl Scouts on a doomed rafting trip when faced with my story ideas, including my strong 10,000-word stand either for or against homosexual race mixing, my unqualified back-page support of Her Majesty's golden jubilee, or my Lucinda Williams profile written from the point of view of an imaginary guitar named Horatio. Their constant rejection and constant fear of me is, quite frankly, an embarrassment to democracy.

They most certainly missed out on a great essay. I lived in New York for eight years, from 1979 to 1987, and I can honestly say that four or five of those years were among the best of my life. Since then, I've owned property in 45 of the 50 states, and in 17 different countries, but I find my thoughts turning most often to New York and also to Portugal, where, by law, beautiful women must give blowjobs to foreign writers. My friends in these other places, and they are numerous, often look at me like I'm a pedophiliac leper when I tell them I lived in New York. But I can only gaze upon them with pity, for I have taken part in the grand human carnival, and they have merely lived out their destinies as pathetic gutter pigs, forever doomed to lick slime out of the trough of empire.

My analysis of President Bush's speech to the nation will appear in this space tomorrow. A large community of like-minded people, who think what I tell them to think, are waiting. Do not fear, friends. I expect the President to make the case for war and soothe our fears of economic collapse, environmental calamity, and more Reese Witherspoon movies. He will do a fine job ignoring the ditherings of the anti-war left, which includes everyone who disagrees with me.



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