May 10, 2008

Some Snippets

Just a few observations.

While quite a few (an understatement) people drive their personal vehicles in New York, most Manhattanites don’t even own cars because a) N.Y.C. has an excellent public transportation system, arguably the best in the country, b) a guaranteed parking place costs thousands of dollars a year and there are often long waiting lists for same and c) who wants to spend half ones time in traffic gridlock, anyway?

To make up for the usual car owner’s status pecking order, there are…Baby strollers.

A $70.00 Combi might replace a Saturn, while a $900.00 Bugaboo might be another woman’s (and baby’s) Mercedes. A lot is based upon design, storage space (yes, a house wife or her husband might need to pick up a few things, maybe some groceries or whatever, and take baby along for the “ride”, so places to stash the purchases aboard the toddler’s personal vehicle are a plus, as opposed to having to carry a grocery bag and control the stroller at the same time).

I can just imagne the conversations that take place:

Barb: Oh, did you see the new Stokke Xplory Marilyn just bought for little Davey? Eleven hundred dollars!

Harriet: Yes, it’s a dream! And right after Connie picked up that $900.00 Orbit Baby Travel System. Just in time for spring, too.

Barb: I hear Fred’s out of work, and it shows. Mabel’s been pushing Deanna around in that same old $400.00 McLaren she bought two years ago.

Harriet: Oh, that’s so dreadful! How embarrassing that must be for poor Mabel!


From a recent column by Mona Charen,

Administrators at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis had seemed to be vying for the title of most ludicrous educators in America. The story began when a student, Keith John Sampson, who worked in the university’s janitorial department, was seen reading the book “Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan” in the break room. Sampson was notified by the university’s Affirmative Action Office that he had committed the offense of “racial harassment.” He protested that the book lauded the Notre Dame students who had taken on the Klan in 1924. Never mind, said Lillian Charleston, the AAO director. By “openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject,” he had violated university policy.

The university has since reversed itself and expressed “regret that this situation took place.” But consider the fascist environment the PC police have created. That the student felt constrained to defend the book’s content as politically acceptable is an outrage in itself that goes to the heart of academic freedom. Welcome to an America where you must glance over your shoulder to wonder whether your co-workers will inform on you for reading forbidden matter!

Read the entire column here.


Go to Chinatown. Ask for Cane. He can help.

He sure couldn’t have helped one hapless little Italian fashion photographer and the model with whom he was doing a shoot yesterday, in the late afternoon rain at the intersection of Chinatown’s Grand and Christie Streets.

I was passing by on my way to the B and D trains’ subway station over there and had to stop and watch.

The model, a tall, thin (aren’t they all!), attractive woman with a familiar face (I’ve seen her picture someplace before, but not being one to care one way or another about such celebrities, I haven’t the faintest idea who she was), was wearing a slinky, silver silk dress and holding up a grey fur coat. The photographer wanted her to walk towards him across the street, but only while there was a walk sign so she could be moving along with the pedestrian flow.

Obviously, he didn’t know Chinatown.

Chinatown here in N.Y. is a densely crowded, fast moving, busy place whose denizens have no brief but for their own day-to-day activities, and no one paid the slightest attention to the model. Everytime the walk sign appeared, she began crossing the street and was immediately engulfed in throngs of other pedestrians headed the same and opposite ways, jostling her, cutting in front of her and generally making it impossible for the photographer to get the shots he wanted.

But he was determined and they kept trying over and over, to no avail.

Seeing the amused grin on my face and having himself picked up on what was going on, a young Chinese man smirked at me and said, “This guy doesn’t seem to know he’s in Chinatown.”

Finally, I shook my head and continued on to the subway station, wondering how many dozen additional attempts it would take before the photographer finally gave up and relocated to Broadway or someplace…

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8 Responses to “Some Snippets”

  1. Media Districts Entertainment Blog » Some Snippets Says:

    [...] Hard Astarboard placed an interesting blog post on Some SnippetsHere’s a brief overview [...]

  2. BB-Idaho Says:

    The Keith John Sampson episode is probably part of a
    conspiracy theory: he will next attempt reading Hitchens’ God Is Not Great at Liberty University…

  3. Gayle Says:

    The article about the guy reading “Notre Dame Vs. the Klan” totally infuriated me! If censorship was legal there wouldn’t be so much trash on the internet or television, but it isn’t legal and for good reason. What arrogance!

    Your story about the Model and Chinatown was amusing, LOL! It would make a funny video for You Tube. To bad you didn’t have a way to film it.

  4. Seth Says:

    BB –

    Oy vey, Hitchens!

    When he kicks the bucket, even an asbestos canoe won’t do him any good.

    Gayle –

    They need to change the job titles of those running public schools and universities to Kommissar.

    The model incident was a hoot, I, too, wished I could have gotten it on video. The little Italian photographer was really funny, I thought he would start prancing around in frustration at any moment.

  5. NH Meri Wido Says:

    RE: Mona Charen

    YIKES!…Shades of Fahrenheit 451.

  6. Seth Says:

    NH MW –

    This is not an isolated incident. Such things are becoming common in K-12 and colleges all over the U.S.

  7. BB-Idaho Says:

    Heh, heh, Farenheit 451 is banned in this high school, along with Bocaccio and..and..and.. something against horses? they are banned here:
    ..oh, let’s ban them all: I the only one that finds it odd in this day and age of the i-net & i-pod that concerned citizens worry about banning books? BTW, Seth, I suspect, no I know Mr. Hitchens will have plenty
    of Bishops, Popes, Priests etc to keep him
    I’m not naming names…wish they had banned Herman Melville when I was in 8th grade….:)

  8. Seth Says:

    BB –

    So many classics have been banned in so many schools in the name of political correctness, thus depriving children of the same literary benefits we had growing up.

    Where the N word is concerned, as that was the way folks talked back then, this banning of Mark Twain classics and Gone With The Wind merely adds to the revisionism brought upon us by today’s political left. On the same token, if a book was okay for us as children, I don’t believe that either atheists or believers should be permitted to have it banned today.

    Either way, it is censorship.

    On the other hand, if a book is blatant porn or was written more recently (politically, of course) as a “plug” for atheism, a condemnation of Judeo-Christian beliefs or as indoctrination to the acceptance of homosexuality as a normal lifestyle, I don’t believe it should be included in K-12 curriculum or even as required reading in college. However, if a student wishes to read any of the above (barring porn on school premises) in his/her own time, it is his/her right to do so.

    I’ve even read of liberals attempting to have Thomas Jefferson’s existence omitted from school history text books because he owned slaves.