Thursday, June 29

Don't Sugarcoat It Follies - Alyosha McBain

Welcome to the Don't Sugarcoat It Follies. I had so much fun when I was on vacation in March reading guest posts to my blog, that I decided to invite the past winners of the Don't Sugarcoat It Awards to write a post for Blue Gal. These will run as they come in over the next week or so. I gave the winners the option of writing about the 2008 Presidential election or coming up with their own topic. First up is Alyosha McBain of the blog Auto Da Fe. He won the Don't Sugarcoat It Award last December 14. More recent posts include the lovely and demure "How To Be A Fucking Fascist Disgrace, by Alberto Gonzales." And he's here today. Thanks Alyosha.

panties for rudi

I lived through the eight long years of the Rudolph Giuliani mayoralty in New York City, and the possibility that this man could be elected President is terrifying to me. He must be stopped and kept away from a position that has stealthily accumulated more and more power under the Bush Gang. There is no bigger threat to American civil liberties than Rudolph Giuliani, and no other candidate out there has demonstrated their willingness to abuse the powers of elected office as clearly and readily as Mr. Giuliani.

He swept into power and won a mayoral election months after inciting a riot by NYC police officers, and left the office of mayor eight years later in 2001, standing on a pile of their corpses. His sonorous and somber intonations made in the shadow of the fallen Twin Towers (as smoke and debris clouds whipped around us all in NYC) helped establish himself as the government's public face of the 9-11 attacks. Prior to becoming NYC mayor, as a US attorney and later a prosecutor, Rudolph Giuliani attacked his caseload with the zeal of Andrei Vyshinsky, and used methods of humiliation and psychological pressure on his targets that were antecedents to those practiced by private contractors in Iraqi prisons under the Bush administration.

The media was adoringly complicit in these humiliations, giving wide rein to a man whose vindictiveness was so fierce that he once jailed a 78-year old mafia man over the Thanksgiving holiday as a flight risk and prevented him from receiving medical care while in police custody. Perp walks with Michael Milken and various other 1980's crime figures cemented his image as an up-and-coming figure on the NYC political landscape.

He used this notoriety to run against David Dinkins in 1989. Though he lost, Rudolph positioned himself as a logical successor to Dinkins. As the Dinkins administration floundered amidst such non-stories as a boycott of a Korean grocery store by African-American activists and real problems like the riots in Crown Heights in 1991, Giuliani's opposition to Dinkins took a turn from pointed critical analysis towards blatant pandering to frightened whites. This tactic proved successful for Giuliani as he won the 1993 election easily over Dinkins.

As mayor, Giuliani gave the police unlimited public support. He excused viciousness by the pigs in blue in the horrific torture and beating of Abner Louima, and helped defend and exonerate the trigger-happy coppers involved in the police murders of Patrick Dorismond and Amadou Diallo.

He turned the cops loose on the streets of the city, allowing massive numbers of illegal stop-and-searches in many non-white neighborhoods. His so-called quality-of-life improvement tactics allegedly involved the physical transport of NYC's homeless miles beyond city limits, although this issue was barely investigated by the city's elitist press, who if asked would probably have approved of this repressive and illegal activity. Cops began to flood precincts and courts with petty marijuana possession arrests that were dismissed by judges at rates of above 97% between the years 1997-1999. The arrest rates on this terrible, terrible crime rose over 7000% between 1992 and 1999 and ended up being little more than annoying busy work for city police officers. The fact that the civil rights of American citizens who happened to be drug users or minorities were being abused mattered little to shitheaded white NYC bigots, who had been thoroughly impressed and enraptured with the sudden fearful deference they felt from formerly self-assured minority citizens.

Giuliani closed off public access to City Hall as mayor (using concrete barriers, no less), and also did his utmost to prevent the most radical city in the US from having any sort of alternative political life. Protests were broken up by police after the mayor's office would deny permits, as Giuliani grimly attempted to make one of the most traditionally Democratic and unique cities in the US into some nightmarish Republican version of Fantasy Island. Welcoming franchise fast food chains into the city that other mayors had denied (like Subway and Chili's) was only one of the ways in which his asshole with a combover defiled the gloriously seedy landscape of New York City.

New York City folks are no fools. And by the sixth year of Rudolph's reign, many city residents were more fond of venereal disease than they were of Giuliani. The police stop-and-searches had begun to receive major negative coverage in certain newspapers, and the unapologetic use of deadly force by the NYPD had soured many early Giuliani supporters on the veracity of his rhetoric and purposes as mayor. The year 2001 witnessed the publication of a nifty hatchet job bio by Wayne Barrett that told of his transformation from a Democrat to a (gulp!) Republican, and it used his job as a prosecutor to probe Rudolph's psyche, concluding that his narrow, monochromatic view of the world was the result of years spent screeching at juries about the moral imperatives involved in locking people up in tiny rooms for really long periods of time. This bio splashed all over the tabloids in NYC, and there was no information more titillating than the fact that Giuliani's father did time in Sing Sing for armed robbery and also worked as a low-level enforcer for the Mafia. While this was going on he was being sued for divorce by his then-wife Donna Hanover, who alleged that this moral titan of Republicanism had been guilty of repeated infidelities with two long-term extra-marital girlfriends in the last eight years. Rudolph's response to this was to get all tabloid TV about it and reveal not only the name and face of his current paramour but to admit that he was suffering from prostate cancer. After public discussions of such treatment options as the implantation of radioactive seeds up Rudolph's ass along with less embarrassing, more traditional forms of chemotherapy, the people of NYC were just wishing that he would go away.

9-11 arrived just in time for Rudolph to rehabilitate his failing dictatorship. He was everywhere that day, running around with a crew of cameramen to record his every action on that fateful morning (which of course might suggest some foreknowledge of the deadly havoc that had been unleashed upon "his" city, but that discussion is for another day). Standing next to the witless GW Bush and the vapid, phlegmatic George Pataki in the days to follow, Rudolph couldn't help but come off looking like Churchill during the Battle of Britain by comparision. And once again, he was everywhere--at Yankee games, in his accustomed elite front row seat, with his newly beloved; or at Ground Zero, posing against the profile of the ruin of over 3000 lives. And not only that, but these events transformed this racist oppressor, this disciple of the Manhattan Institute's repugnant social philosophy into an American statesman!

Five years of relatively low visibility have allowed him to regain his health. His pugnacity and abililty to speak extemporaneously will be tough for any Democratic candidate in any debate situation. His iconic status as the Shepherd of Terror Victims is transparent, however, and he can be attacked on so many aspects of his record as mayor of NYC. The question is whether or not the Democrats will have enough balls to remind voters of his pre-9-11 record. His misuse of the police is something that New York State and City judges were on record about during the 1990's, and his sheer inattention to non-white citizens is something that must be brought up constantly by Democratic opponents. There is more to municipal governance than arresting its citizenry; I shudder when I think of a potential Giuliani administration, seeing DNA ID's, national traffic checkpoints, and routine police harassment as natural and immediate consequences of this dictatorial maniac's will to power. Great care should be taken by the Democrats to piss him off in front of running cameras; his shrillness and utter meanness cannot be hidden when he is in full temper. The retreat from the Bill of Rights that began after World War II and reached its high point under the illegal Bush occupation of the White House will continue, and if there's ever been an American politician who is likely to fill up the detention camps that Halliburton is slated to construct in the next five years, it is Rudolph Giuliani.

7 comments:

  1. fan-f----ing-tastic. the simpletons will vote for him in droves.

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  2. Orwell said, (and I'm paraphrasing) that hope lies with the proles.

    The problem is that the proles suffer from a disease called ignorance.

    If I knew how to fight against years and years of anti-intellectual banter and dirty tricks, I would be a happy person.

    Your thoughts?

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  3. I would suggest looking up a writer by the name of Hakim Bey; his concept of the Temporary Autonomous Zone, a self-created interactive network between yourself and the world you live in, is a fine training method as far as mental independence is concerned. To paraphrase, the T.A.Z. is a psychic refuge from the various assaults of ultramodernity that can be created anywhere at anytime with any number of people (along with yourself, of course). All it involves is a willingness to look at reality with your own eyes, rather than the eyes that American society wishes you to see through. Some methods of accomplishing this can be choosing your own books to read, music to listen to, and turning off the television (or at least shutting off the sound and forcing other media to interact with it, like music or your own invented dialogue).

    Ignoring mass culture and advertising is very difficult, but ultimately very necessary. Train yourself to constantly think your own thoughts and be a living countermeasure to the easy lies offered up to the proles by the insidious hands of the plutocracy. That's how the good fight is fought; not by wallowing in the pigslop tossed about by such right-wing hatemongers as Limbaugh, Coulter, and O'Reilly. There was an old Simpsons Halloween episode where large advertising icons came to life as the result of an offense given by Homer. The icons run wild through Springfield until Lisa gets together with Paul Anka and writes a jingle. When confronted with the mortal danger of the giant shills, she advises that we "just don't look". True words indeed, for the attention that we give to annoyances enlarges their significance in our daily lives until we feel we can no longer combat them. There is always hope for something better.

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  4. TisCharm@aol.com8:57 PM

    WOWWWWWW!!!!!

    March 1, I went on a medical leave for a herniated disk, and by some quirk of fate found the "blogosphere." I guess I was one of those proles, living in ignorance, up till that time, but since.... I am continually amazed at what I find out here. I am especially amazed at what I find on the "Little Blogs," (BlueGal, JurassicPork, Firestarter, and now, Alyosha) as opposed to the "pros," like Kos, etc.

    Being somewhat cynical, I'm not easily amazed, but what has amazed me so much since 2000, is the fact that W gets his most support from the people he's screwing the hardest. His big bucks come from the wealthiest... the what, top 1%? Those assholes still only have one vote per person (unless they vote on Diebold machines), and should easily be steamrolled.

    Sure you gave the company I worked for for 30 yrs a tax break when they dismantalled my plant and sent it to Asia, and sure you let them wipe out my pension because of their dire straits, and sure you gave their CEO a HUGE bonus through bankruptcy court (paid for from my liquidated pension) because of the wonderful things they've done for their stockholders, while I'm without health insurance, and have to shop for groceries at foodbanks.....................

    I'll vote for you.

    Call me stupid, but I don't see how gay marriage and flag burning earn that support.

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  5. I'm becoming more convinced that the attacks on 9/11 were created by Bushco -- looking at a variety of anomolies makes me more and more uncomfortable. Now I wonder if Giuliani knew that the Twin Towers had been targeted; and, as some contend, had been pre-wired for controlled demolition?

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  6. An airplane filled with jet fuel was enough of a bomb. No pre-wiring needed (which would have been much more suspected than the box cutters, btw)

    Thanks much for the nice words, TisCharm. I really like being a mid-list blogger. The big boys have their benefits, but it's real cosy here...

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  7. Frank4:04 PM

    HI Blue Gal
    I like your spirit. Keep up the good work. I am an artist, special ed. teacher, doc student. Live in NYC- so know just what you are writing about.
    Manhattan has become another theme park. 911 was not bad enough, we have had to suffer Bush, his insane coterie of thugs and sycophants, the war,to add to our misery. I curated a bunch of shows that were antibush (Undo, Counting Coup) Antiwar (Artists Against War) hoping to get the word out. I am not sure- did not get a great response at the time. But have tried to create autonomous zones for the people over the years.
    m aim now is to do deep healing from within, because, the oppression, rigidity and lies are within us-or at least me. I have spent the last few years doing a roto-rooter from the inside out. The only thing I could do during this time -the darkening of the light. You might be able to google the shows or me if interested
    Frank Shifreen

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I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I do moderate comments, but non-spam comments will take less than 24 hours to appear... Thanks!