This is a good time to be in the Bagel. Walking briskly under changing autumn skies amid colours that still carry their summer clothes is an inspiring experience. Heaven knows I need it. Early morning means judo training — hangover or not — and on foggy days I walk through the park as if in a trance longing to reach the dojo before I’m enveloped by the yellow mist. After training, it’s as if a heavy load had been lifted from my shoulders. Literally. The heavy-duty training I’m putting in now will pay dividends next year. That’s how it goes, judo-wise, karate-wise, tennis-wise, sport-wise. It’s like nature: one has to plant in order to reap, unlike fellow Greeks, who reaped long before thinking of planting.
I hear the Big Olive is a sad place these days. Shops have closed throughout the capital and people are losing their life savings. Those responsible are swanning around in their Mercedeses, instead of being locked up. But back to nature.
Big Bagel parks are amazing. They are well hidden among the cement and glass jungle, but there’s woodland galore within hiking distance of the Empire State Building. Hiking trails encompassing ponds, hills and valleys, speckled at this time of year with maple leaves and brush, crisscross these woodlands. North of Manhattan, in the Bronx, one can see deer, pheasants, falcons and even snakes, not to be confused with the drug dealers and criminals of that infamous borough. My favourites are the hawks I see on my way to torture in the dojo, circling up above, red-tailed and ever vigilant. Yep, there is nothing like an autumn palette of dazzling yellows and vibrant reds to prepare one to be squashed by an Uzbeki gorilla, Alisher, ‘like Sheraton’, as he tells other squashed suckers.
Otherwise, things are hunky-dory. The Dems took a licking at the polls and are now whistling Dixie, as they say. Actually, they’re whining like the brats they are, no one more than an old unmarried bag by the name of Maureen Dowd, who believes everyone should vote the way she sees it. She cries out loud twice a week in the pages of another old hag, but that’s nothing new. What bothers me more is that the right has misinterpreted the elections as a call for more war. During the first world war, German front-line soldiers called those rear pigs Etappenschweine, which is what I call the neocons. The Confederate army called them croakers, skedaddlers and tree dodgers. I prefer yellow-bellied cowards and sofa samurais. None of them has learnt their lesson, but they wouldn’t, would they?
The Big Bagel Times had an article last week about ‘men, women, independents, whites, even gays and lesbians’ not voting for Obama. Again, it would, wouldn’t it? The Times forgot to bring up cross-dressers and transsexuals, who also didn’t vote for Barack’s party because they were too busy cross-dressing and transsexualising. What banana republics Noo Yawk and California have turned into. Mid-term elections are always bad for the party in power, and the old hag shouldn’t fret. The Republicans, being led by the nose by the scummy neocons, will find ways to blow it.
A disproportionate share of New Yorkers and Los Angelenos consume government dollars, mostly through social services like Medicaid, welfare and subsidised housing. Such voters stick with the party of big government and big spending, which means that in two years’ time Obama will be embarking on his campaign secure in the knowledge that he has 86 electoral votes courtesy of one big state in the east full of freeloaders and one even bigger state in the west also full of freeloaders. That’s a hell of an advantage, and no use telling Blair and Brown about it. They pulled the same trick for 13 years on the Brits while the nation was busy watching freak reality shows on the telly.
That Obama is a president in denial is obvious, however. As are the Democrats and most of the Republicans. I’m a tea partier myself, but mostly I loathe the neocons and what they’ve done to the country via their fifth-column influence. First they got Bush to attack Afghanistan, then to turn prematurely against Iraq, letting the Taleban off the hook. But I ask you, when was the last time the Taleban landed in Coney Island and attacked Brooklyn from the rear? Instead of trying to reverse America’s culture, the most vulgar, sleazy and violent culture ever, Bush and Obama tried to make Iraq and Afghanistan safe for our quasi-moral, mercantile so-called democracy of large corporations and Goldman Sachs.
Afghanistan is another Iraq, resounding failures both, but here I must declare an interest. The great political thinker, philosopher and historian Taki has a plan for Uncle Sam to extricate himself from the troubles he has entangled himself in since the Kennedy years. All the good but dumb-as-hell uncle has to do is get out of Iraq but even before that get the hell out of Afghanistan. Declare it’s none of his business, then read the riot act to the Israelis and tell them he can no longer support a 43-year-old brutal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population. I guarantee Uncle Sam that, if he did that, people would stop airmailing bombs, flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up in front of churches. A great thinker like Taki does not waste words. Uncle Sam should listen, but I don’t advise any of you to hold your breath until he does.