Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Iggy's Karaoke, Pagan's Tapdancing, Seavey's Island


•As per the instructions, I’ll be at Iggy’s (2nd Ave. and 75th/76th) for karaoke tonight — but if no substantial posse is demanding my continued presence despite what will likely be impressive performances by me of “Sanctify Yourself” and “Tom Sawyer” (as promised at last week’s Debate at Lolita Bar on Christian rock) — come 8:30 I’ll scram to try and catch Pagan Kennedy reading and tapdancing (since they ask writers to demonstrate an additional talent) down at Happy Ending at 302 Broome St.

•Speaking of libertarian rock band Rush, I couldn’t help but wonder, after reading about that Obama delegate who received a $75 ticket in a Chicago suburb for likening black children in a tree to monkeys, “Are we living in Canada now? Did we lose a war, people?” I’m sure news stories about the incident will focus on the irony of an Obama delegate resigning over her racial insensitivity to blacks, but that hardly seems like the big story to me: You can get a ticket for racist speech in Illinois?! The way Canadians like my friend Ezra Levant can get hauled before inquiry panels for insulting Islam? Does no one on this continent understand the concept of free speech? (And which candidate do I vote for to make the crazy stop, incidentally?)

Note: Should a more detailed account of the Chicago-area case reveal that the ticket was technically for some associated offense like urinating on the complaining family’s lawn or something, I will not be shocked, since the news leaves out complicating details all the time, but in the meantime I fear for my nation.

•And speaking of “my nation,” if those libertarians you may have seen in the news a couple years ago who were hoping to turn New Hampshire into a “Free State” decide to give up and start their own sovereign nation on a smaller parcel of land, I know one parcel that has been in something of a legal limbo in recent years and that may therefore be up for grabs (though it’s an old naval yard, so seizing it might be dangerous). From Wikipedia:

Seavey’s Island was the subject of a border dispute between New Hampshire and Maine in 2001, in which New Hampshire asserted that the island lay within the borders of New Hampshire. The State of New Hampshire brought suit against Maine in the Supreme Court, but the Court dismissed the case in 2002, leaving ownership of the island with Maine.

•And if the future inhabitants of Seavey’s Island, in all likelihood, grow tired of the existential burden of absolute liberty and decide to proclaim me king (given my family ties to the region on my father’s side), I could rescue one of those oppressed pygmies I mentioned in my Monday blog entry and make him my assistant in charge of welcoming people to the island, like Fantasy Island’s Tattoo to my Mr. (Howard) Rourke. Of course, as I learned from Francis Heaney, the guy who played Tattoo also played a monarch himself: king of the Eighth Sixth Dimension in the 1980 film Forbidden Zone, perhaps the strangest movie I have ever seen — directed by Danny Elfman’s brother and featuring Danny Elfman as Satan singing a variation on Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” (which explains half of Oingo Boingo’s sound — or as they were then billed, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo).

No such fate is likely to befall my stalwart Congo-pygmy viceroy, though. And I also do a pretty good “Minnie the Moocher” in karaoke, by the way.


Dylan said...

I calmly said the tree is not there for them to be climbing in there like monkeys.

Oh for pete’s sake. I linked to the article expecting an actual likening of the kids to monkeys because they were black. She was likening them to monkeys because they were clambering around in a tree. Yeah, I suppose it wasn’t the best choice of words, but I’m sure she would have used the same language no matter what color the kids were.

And, of course, the fact that they ticketed her is ludicrous, even if it had been an actual racist remark. “[T]he ordinance bans conduct that disturbs or alarms people.” That’s a little open ended, ain’t it? I’m disturbed and alarmed by things I see every day on the streets of NYC, not to mention some of the thoughts uttered by my good friends. Hell, I disturb and alarm myself every once in a while.

But there’s so much that’s ludicrous these days — a good deal of it a lot worse than this (not to mitigate the blantant affront to free speech) — that it’s hard to be surprised anymore.

Depressing as it is, I’m not holding my breath for a reversal from our path towards a total police state.

marcia B said...

I thought it was the Sixth Dimension that he was king of. In any case, Forbidden Zone is probably the strangest movie I’ve ever seen too.

Oh, and I saw it about two weeks ago.

ugh said...

Ramirez Sliwinski said she saw two boys climbing a tree next door to her home about 1 p.m. Saturday and asked them to stop. The mother of one of the boys called police after Ramirez Sliwinski referred to the children, ages 8 and 9, as monkeys.

Ramirez Sliwinski, who is Hispanic, was issued a citation alleging that she violated a village ordinance prohibiting disorderly conduct. The ordinance bans conduct that disturbs or alarms people, and one of the boys told police he was scared by Ramirez Sliwinski’s comment, Police Cmdr. Michael Kilbourne said.

The citation carries a fine of $75.

“She was not arrested. She was not fingerprinted. It is a local ordinance violation,” Kilbourne said.

The mother told police her son and a friend were playing in a tree in front of their house in the 0-99 block of Sparrow Road when Ramirez Sliwinski came outside and told them to quit playing in the tree like monkeys, Kilbourne said.

Ramirez Sliwinski, who has been an opponent of efforts by some on the Village Board to crack down on illegal immigrants, said she meant no racial undertones by her comment.

She said the parents were outside, but she intervened because she was concerned about the boys’ safety and because the small magnolia tree was being damaged.

“I went over to the kids and told them to get out of the tree,” Ramirez Sliwinski said.

The father of one of the boys told her it was none of her business, she said, and “I calmly said the tree is not there for them to be climbing in there like monkeys.”

There has been friction between Ramirez Sliwinski and her neighbors in the past. She said she has told them to turn down loud music and has instructed them on how to properly use the village’s new garbage bins.

Ramirez Sliwinski said she intends to contest the citation in an effort to force the neighbors to talk to her.

“I have to do what I have to do to protect myself,” she said. “I have to fight this ticket.”

Ramirez Sliwinski said the citation and the ongoing turmoil on the Village Board have made it unlikely that she will run for re-election next year when her term expires.

Context here.