25 May 2009

A View From Abroad

Last week I was interviewed by a Swiss journalist, who had taken an interest in Lost City, and was visited New York for a week.

We met at a Cobble Hill cafe. She was accompanied by a photojournalist with whom she had collaborated on several books, including some about Africa. The two talked about the lamentable politics to be found in many African politics, and the terrible way in which many of Africa's corrupt leaders exploited the people and held on to power at all costs.

Toward the end of the conversation, I was at pains to explain my opposition to the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration, how his advocacy of non-stop, unfettered, and largely unsupervised development was antithetical and, actually, downright hostile toward preserving the unique and historical character of the City.

I also explained how, because the rule of law had not been honored, we were being forced to accept Bloomberg as our Mayor for four more years. How was this possible, she asked, apparently unfamiliar with Bloomberg's successful efforts to turn over the referendum-imposed two-term limit for NYC mayoral candidates. I explained how Bloomberg, confronted with the end of his tenure, and not wishing to put the two-term law to the test of another referendum, knowing the public would reinforce it in large numbers, had found a way to push a law permitting a third term through City Council.

The Swiss journalist smiled, and nodded. She understood. "Oh," she said. "Very much like Africa."


Ralph Adams Cram said...

Hi Brooks,

Wow, you've hit this right on the head. Bloomberg is a regular Charles Taylor, if not Idi Amin. In fact, I was just reading about Idi Amin on Amnesty International's website. It's fairly well-known that he practiced political repression and ordered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, which was bad enough. Far worse was his advocacy of non-stop, unfettered, and largely unsupervised development that was antithetical and downright hostile toward preserving Uganda's unique historical character.

Here's my recommendation. Since you have so much experience blogging about our local warlord, Bloomberg, how about letting your talents take you on an extended assignment to Africa? I can see it now: "Lost City: Mogadishu Edition." I hear the Mogadishu Landmarks Preservation Commission isn't any good, either. You'll have lots to complain about.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Lord Cram: The objective Swiss journalist made the connection, not me. Though I do still it a fairly astute one. The point made was about elections begin rigged by corrupt, sitting leaders. There are power-hungry, law-flouting politicians wherever you go.

Your willful obtuseness is beginning to be a drag. There are many blogs in the blogosphere, including, I'm sure, ones that share your blinkered perspective. Go loiter somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

It's just great that you have a
person presumably jealous of your
writing skills ,that must now
mock you on your own blog.


Funny my anti-spam word verification is COP shh.