Tuesday, October 7, 2008


You know that old cliche about how New Yorker's are just like pineapples.
That they are all prickly and sharp on the outside and soft and juicy on
the inside, and have this inedible core.... Well, maybe you haven't heard that one. But in general, it's my own personal metaphor for how  New Yorkers are always loud and running around like they don't have the time of day for you; but stop one and ask directions, and you will likely get directions to where you are going and a restaurant review to boot. Just the other day I was standing on the corner in Brooklyn talking to my friend Peter, when a car pulled up and asked how to get to McGuiness. I told them the way and Peter said that it seemed strange to him that he is always asked directions all the time. I told him that I get that kind of stuff too, and that I also seem to get into rather open conversations with perfect strangers, who tell me important details about their lives. This is something that I think I picked up from going to bars by myself for years. Not only was I a good listener, I also was good at getting people to buy me drinks.

Recently I've had a couple of strange conversations with total strangers. Now this normally would not be a topic of note, but in both instances I got to talking to these guys about the election and about the economy and about Sarah Palen's snow job, and both of these guys were white and somewhat older than me, pretty much from another generation, and despite the fact that we had had shared a bunch of information and I found both of these guys to agreed with me almost entirely,   both of these guys told me that they "could n't vote for a black guy." I could not believe it. That is what I heard. I was shocked. This is New York City. I was stupid enough to think we were above this kind of stuff.
I tried to bring up more points about the cynicism of what they were saying and how bad things were going and how much McCain would bring more of the same. I did what I could to tell these guys that they were being stupid. But at the end of the day, I am afraid that nothing will change these guys. And I bring it up here mostly because I know I didn't say anything compelling enough to get these guys to change their opinions.  Look, I have had very little faith in the level of intelligence of much of this country.  But, in the past I blamed it on mainland America and  continue to live here on this tiny island off the coast, feeling safe from views that I attributed to the rest of America. I know it's naive to think this way, and now, if McCain somehow does win this election, I promise to live my empty promises to leave, like I make every time every time the stupidity reared its ugly head. All I can say is god help us and please let these people wake up. I don't want to move out of this city. But now  I just can't help but wonder how many of these clowns I've run across in the past and let their transgressions go unchecked just because they were supplying me with free drinks.


kip said...

Maybe after Obama is elected and does a great job, it will start to change people's mind. That is a sad tale.

Lorrie Veasey said...

For the love of God, David, just give the homeless people they released from the mental institutions during the Regan Years, a dollar, and stop engaging them.

Bj in Dallas said...

Love your post, I had an oh shit moment Sat night while out with a friend that drives around with a W sticker on her car. She and I agree to disagree, or more like we don't talk politics. She is in the 'gun business' which I am a crusader for gun control (not hunting guns, go shoot Bambi if you need meat in your freezer, I prefer to get mine at Safeway) but I have SUCH a problem with
same breath Pro-Life even in rape cases but don't take away my bullets that turn into saw blades.
I might need them one day. What the hell ever! Anyway, a comment that I did not reply to from my Repb. friend was "even if Obama gets elected, he will be assasinated in the first year' CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT??? I am with you, so many narrow minded people that seem to think this toilet we are in called our current economy could stand 4 more years of it...we will all be living in our cars, and stealing from the next guy over in his orange AMC pacer.....cause he's still got a radio....
come on Nov 4th, lets get it on and get it over with
stay away from the espresso, your liver is singing "oh what a beautiful morning' without it

david kramer said...

thanks...I have many friends who make me cringe too....but WOW.
Hang in their, and get out of Dallas if you are feeling lonely.

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Anonymous said...

I insist on remaining the cockeyed Canadian optimist and stick to my theory that it will be a landslide. Racism and assassination are scary notions, by golly, but I genuinely believe we're living on the hinge of better things. He's not gonna lose and he's not going to be assassinated. Time changes everything. Over the short course of time, race will simply vanish as an issue and ensuing generations will neither be impressed that a black man was elected President nor even comprehend was all the fuss was about in the first place. You betcha!

david kramer said...

I will drink to that!