Blame it on The Pony Express
It is amazingly disturbing to me how very light my wallet feels after visiting the post office. The lowest costs offered are barely a relief, and the most expensive and quickest options are shockingly pricey. What happens when you have to send something on short notice?! How the hell does the post office get away with this? Not to mention the jacked up prices over holiday season and the infuriating counter clerks you get the pleasure of interacting with upon each visit without fail. And meanwhile, all your mail is tossed into a canvas carrier like it’s fucking basketball practice. Madge, singer, Red Hook
Since when does singing, acting or dancing inextricably channel into a flourishing career in innovative scents? Why does every celebrity and their Mother think the American masses are interested in their feeble attempts at pungent body fragrance? Beyonce, OK, we get it, you can do a lot of shit. Sarah Jessica Parker, come on, you’re better than that. And Hilary Duff? Just stop it. Not only do these celebrity perfumes not actually smell pleasant, but the packaging is cheesy, it’s obvious the only thing the celebrity was involved with was signing papers, and most importantly, we buy the shit! Theresa, asst vet, Brooklyn
For the life of me I will never understand what it is with grown men and video games. You get to know a guy he’s handsome, polite, has a good job, shares certain interests and you have a great time. Then a few dates go by and it’s the first night you spend at his apartment you may watch a movie have dinner but then the controllers come out? My boyfriend plays video games in his down time more than he does anything else after work. I get shutting your brain off for an hour or so, I call it “decompressing” but for four hours? All my girlfriends complain about PS2, XBox, etc. it seems like a habit that can’t be broken but what did men do before the invention of video games? Penny, flight attendant, Clinton
New York City is a concrete jungle; an intricate network of territorial aristocratic hierarchies and artistic animals that make the treacherous Amazon rainforest seem like an elementary school playground. Predators prey on the weak—the insecure, the vulnerable, the I-don’t-know-who-I-am-or-what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up. You can visually place a total stranger on the societal food pyramid simply by people watching while walking down the street. New Yorkers are constantly on their hustle. Every day is a grind. You must have an “eat or be eaten mentality,” or else the city itself will devour you alive. If you’re not careful, it’ll swallow you whole. New Yorkers are a particular species of predators in the animal kingdom. We have a primal instinct to succeed—to “kill it” in an interview or a presentation. Success is the key to our survival and to move up the social hierarchy so we can transition from prey to predator. Residents of the concrete jungle do not truly become citizens until they’ve lived in the city for 10 years, at least. Overtime, New Yorkers develop unique characteristics and defense mechanisms that double as survival techniques. Las Vegas may be the city of sin, but it has no comparative street credit to the daily debauchery that ensues in the office or late at night in the underground raves in the Big Apple. Strangely enough, these survival tools mimic the seven deadly sins.
Anyone who lives in New York first moved to the metropolis out of lust, an intense desire to be at the center of the world. There are over one million centers of the universe within the five boroughs overflowing with vanity, consumed by greed, and erupting with wrath—the city’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Ambitious lust begins our pilgrimage into the jungle, a drove of lustful rodents anxious to spread the seeds of our talents. But the centers of our social complex which crave instant gratification evolve so rapidly that envy becomes our new motivator—well, more like our slave driver. Every few blocks, the city transforms into a different landscape – extravagant buildings, bustling businesses, and bodacious billboards—all highlighting the materials that could someday be at your disposal. A destination just around the corner for the person with the right attitude and the right income. If you work hard, you could be the next CEO sitting high on Park Avenue.
The moment you get a fresh kill of success – a new apartment, an unsuspected promotion, or even a stranger on the subway telling you that you’re beautiful (hey, you have to appreciate the small victories), it immediately goes to your head. You ego swells with the surge of accomplishment. “Vanity, is definitely my favorite sin.”
Sloths are the scavengers the concrete jungle, animals who fail to kill success on their own, so they scrounge for the scraps left by predators that have climbed up the food chain. So we traipse and trample over them, unconcerned with their growing population because we foresee their extinction. We blindly pass them by on the street dozens of times every day. The homeless, the mentally unstable, the unemployed— creatures undignified to be called adversaries and unworthy of adequate predatory attention. They were once potential predators; but then got eaten by powerful fish and couldn’t compete in the struggle for success.
But with power comes the poisonous attraction of greed. Monkeys who asks, “How high?” when our superiors say, “Jump!”We do what we have to in order to survive. We perform tasks beneath us, fetching coffee, photocopying the newsletters—bitch work to be precise. Each mundane assignment keeps you in the game, and you have to pay homage to the lions who lead their pride before you can create your own.
But you have to watch your back in the city because there are societal piranhas at every turn, envious cats patiently biding their time. Stalking their prey, waiting to gobble up your hard work and claim responsibility. Everyone has an agenda. You quickly learn to be cautious and suspect anyone of betrayal, even yourself.
Greed gradually becomes gluttony. We treat ourselves to 1 or 2 or 10 after work cocktails or test our inhibitions with illegal substances bought from a nest of rattlesnakes, a network of serpents with venom to inject into our veins. We are pigs, rolling around in our own filthy mess addicted to the excess of success. Our cups are full to the brim, indulgences satisfied, every desire satiated with material items or its monetary equivalent. And yet, we are empty shells.
Sloths often receive the wrath of rattlesnakes, predators whose cursed existence is plagued with slithering the underbelly of society in order to succeed. Like the Amazon rainforest, the big predators here are nocturnal. The city never sleeps. After the sun sets, the city becomes New York City is nocturnal. Rattlesnakes prey on those that need a little pick-me-up to stay on their feet. Drug dealers can always sell their poison after midnight after midnight.
New York City is alive with its own ubiquitous energy. The metropolis hums tunes of chaos. Those of us, who thrive instead of throttle in its grips, do so because the madness is music to our ears. Sophie, writer, Manhattan
From Cradle to Grave
It seems that Greece has to lead the world towards a civilized and settled future…again. Three thousand years ago Solon? Draco? devised (or even invented) democracy, a system that would attempt to level the playing field and give people a say in their political future to counter the ‘might is right” ethos that prevailed at the time (that hierarchical aspect of our animal ancestry still popular in many parts of the world today, including some US states.) Today we see the election of Syriza with promises to address the patent unfairness of the austerity measures imposed by an economic system that caused the very catastrophe. (Especially as these drastic, radical, or even draconian measures heaped on a struggling middle class were brought about by the totally foreseeable failure of this same economic system. Anyone see the bitter irony in that?). Isn’t it time to recognize that the system of virtually unfettered capitalism we have in the West is anathema to fairness and equality and is bound to lead to social unrest and violence. It just doesn’t make sense. To use terms familiar to the system, what return do We The People get from allowing our financial future and security to be manipulated by those that always see the main chance for themselves and let the devil take the hindmost. Time’s up guys. Rich, milkman, Bronx
Can This Really Be True?
Religion – If you believe in magic who is to say that your magic is better than the next guy’s. How do you decide you are tuned to the right station. Especially if the next guy’s magic god tells him that that His Word is better than yours and more, you need to die because of your belief. Both come from god, both delivered to believers in god. Who are we, mere humans, to question god’s word, wherever it originates and however much it sickens us. It’s god’s word, isn’t? OR are there many more than one divine creator living side by side, each with his own doctrine, bickering with one another like bad neighbors over the dog crapping on the front lawn. This all leaves the poor human being to choose which is his team. Unless of course there’s not a lot of them. Not many, not one, not any.Then you’re just left with a bunch of gullibles with egg spread everywhere on the face led by a bunch of charlatans with bulging pockets or at least over served egos. Matthew, code writer, Tribeca
C’mon Baby Light My Fire
Fracking is very bad for the planet, gives us water that ignites, sink holes that appear from nowhere, cows and sheep with two heads, independence from, and the consequent freedom to condemn and change, despotic governments that had previously held us to ransom, pollution and desecration of the environment. Whoever said it’s complicated is a genius of understatement. Good luck with that one. Peter, musician, UES