I drove to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the early evening,
to let my dog swim in the East River.
There was a clump of Hassidic Jews in the park.
I didn’t want to interfere with their religious event, but
they were scattered across nearly the entire length
of the half-block waterfront. I was reminded of the Christians and Muslims who are currently letting their religion sprawl out across everyone else’s path, demanding that others step lightly or incur conflict.
The dog and I went to the south end, flat up against a cinderblock wall, where wood pillars of an old dock extend into the water. I threw a water bottle into the grey water & he blissfully fetched. I didn’t throw very far, because I didn’t want him to swim into the background of whatever the jews were filming with a large camcorder on a tripod.
A half dozen young hassidic boys watched the dog swim, with interest. After just a few throws, I called to the dog to come away from the water; so we could leave.
I sensed the dog was lingering rather than following, so I turned to see why. SOMEONE HAD CAST A LOAF OF BREAD INTO THE RIVER, AND MY DOG WAS DETERMINED TO FETCH IT.
I looked to an adult rabbi, who was steadying an ancient rabbi on his arm. He said “Everything happens for a reason, you see.” That sounded like we weren’t in big trouble, so I smiled and hurried the dog away, before he could shake-off river water on the bystanders.
The road along the waterfront was now shut down by police, and thousands of hassidic jews swarmed to the waterfront. Traffic had to take a big detour, and small streets jammed with standstill vehicles. It was Yom Kippur, and everyone’s sins were being cast away into the water, but my dog had fetched them back to shore.
In Ft. Greene, Brooklyn I double-parked in front of a fire hydrant & left the hazard lights on, ducking into the public library. It had been threatening to rain all day, but light droplets began. In the time it took me to scan the comic book section and see nothing new– and check-out a single DVD– the sky outside turned dark and grey and wet. But when I stepped back out to the street, after mere minutes inside… the sky was light again and the rain was just misting.
AND a tree was down a couple feet behind the RV.
AND ANOTHER GIANT TREE was down a couple car lengths in front of the RV, spanning across the entire street & crushing cars parked on both sides. Green leaves decorated the street, sidewalks, cars, yards; like rose petals in a wedding procession.
A UPS driver emerged from his truck, saying it had been so dark and rain that he’d retreated into the back of the windshook truck to hide.
My dog sat in the driver’s seat, with his big dumb tongue out. I don’t know if his sin-loaf-fetching had spared him the wrath of Gawd, or had summoned it. But clearly he is to blame.
Back in the RV, the radio reported a “Tornado Watch” in Brooklyn. A reporter came on the air live, and described what he had seen as “like the apocalypse”. (Really, pal?) Trees were down across cars on adjacent blocks. Navigating into downtown Brooklyn, I looked in the sky and saw fingers of extremely low clouds churning in a loose fast-rotating funnel shape (though not a dense twister).
Today the news is full of photographs of damage, and everyone wants to believe it was “a tornado”. So silly. When a tornado really touches down, you know it. It doesn’t confine itself to just the tops of trees.
Today the FBI told the cartoonist girl who invented “draw Mohammed Day” that she should “go ghost” and flee her name, home, identity– into hiding.
Or what? Will locusts and tornados wreck her neighborhood. Is it God she has to fear? Nope, just sinful humans.
YOU KNOW HOW AMERICAN VETERANS like to reply to political views they disagree-with, by saying “I fought so you could have the freedom to say that!”
Well, so much for that. They’re still out there, fighting– getting their legs and heads blown off. But that cartoonist chick is going to have to fend for her own freedom of speech. She’s ‘endangering the troops’ by putting them in a position of fighting for freedom, doing their jobs, instead of fighting for whatever-else we’re over there for. Same with Reverend Moustache and his Koran. He’s a nitwit, but we really shxt the bed with the lights on, when he put our freedom-talk to the test.
I’ve called Obama an “Ivy League Douchebag” and “lapdog” before, but let me add that we get the pantywaist we deserve. Obama’s wimpy reply to fundamentalist scaremongering… is mainstream. His failure to stick-up for our right to unpopular speech is hardly atypical. Bummer.