See the Future, Be the Future

Faux-Propaganda poster ft. Mayor Bloomberg by Essam Attia
Faux-Propaganda poster ft. Mayor Bloomberg by Essam Attia; note the intentional misspelling.

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

“I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side.” – Steven Wright

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” – George Satnayana in “Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense”

This last week an artist became the message of his own art. While this may be poetic, it is also an injustice and a abridgement of his 1st Amendment rights.  Fake Soviet style propaganda posters appeared around New York City corresponding to the opening of the U.N. General Assembly.  They are the work of 29-year-old street artist Essam Attia, who although he works anonymously like the street artist Bansky, did sign some of the works “Essam”.  The NYPD’s initial response seemed to be proportionate to the act when Police Department spokesman Paul Browne shrugged the stunt off with a bad pun.  “[It] appears to be NYPD critics subjecting us to a droll attack”, he said.  The actual disproportionate response has ended up with Essam Attia being arrested and charged with 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny possession of stolen property and weapons possession – the last charge stemming from an unloaded and unregistered .22 caliber pistol under the artist’s bed.


In their disproportionate response, the NYPD effectively created a Streisand Effect not only drawing attention to the event itself, but to the underlying message of the artist.  In an anonymous interview with in September, Attia said “The meaning of the drone campaign? Well, to me it’s really about about starting a conversation. We’ve obviously seen a little bit of press in the last year or two about street signs I was involved with about the possiblity of the NYPD authorizing drones to fly in the sky domestically and I don’t think the conversation has reached a mainstream level where we are like talking about this at the dinner table and whether we want this to take place.  We have to remember that these are devices that right now internationally are being used to kill people. They’re armed.  They shoot missiles. [. . .] We need talk about whether that’s technology we want to bring to this country.”  In other words, the expansive security state developing in this country and the expansion of military technology into the civilian sector.

He also said, “That first night I couldn’t sleep at all. My heart was pumping and I kept waking up in a cold sweat. Bloomberg, Kelly and his cronies are not going to take this lightly if I get caught.”  The resulting arrest shows that Attia, unlike Steven Wright, was not a peripheral visionary but spot on in his prediction.

Although the grand larceny possession charges have merit as Attia posted the signs in spots sold for commercial advertisement, the rest of it reeks of him being punished for the content of his speech.  When you look at the posters, I think it is clear they are a parody/satire using the propaganda style of art to highlight an issue those in power clearly don’t want discussed.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” – George Orwell

What do you think?

Kudos: Otteray Scribe for steering this story my way.

Source(s):, New York Magazine (1, 2, 3), New York Daily News (1, 2),

Disclaimer: All photos copyright of their respective owners, used without permission.

51 thoughts on “See the Future, Be the Future

  1. When I see and hear stories like this, I am reminded that 1984 has come and gone. We are now living it, in many ways.

  2. OS,

    How can you have left something if we are living in the broad stroke of the same insanity……

    But hey…. PA wants to use drones for traffic surveillance in thar hills….

    Good article…. To the both of you….

  3. This is what you get when you have an administration that wants to bring prisoners in gitmo to trial in New York on one hand and with the other drones two U.S. citizens in Somalia without their day in court

  4. Bloomberg seems as hostile toward the First Amendment as he is toward the Second. Dollars to doughnuts the cops planted the gun that will send the artist to prison even if the other charges are dismissed.

  5. A political poster is both an expression of speech for which there is no exception under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, but it is also an aspect of Petitioning The Government for hte Redress of Grievances Clause. The separate clauses or prongs of the First Amendtment, when taken together in this instance are protected. To arrest him for posting this political statement is an offense for which they will be liable under the civil rights act. His arrest by a “state actor” is a deprivation of his liberty interests and an attempt to stop his free speech and his petition of the government for hte redress of grievances. What we need here is for the young folks in NYCity to Occupy The Mayor’s Office and the police stations. Occupay Pigsty and they whould all wear tee shirts which mimic the poster. Wake up you Americans, you are giving up your special rights.

  6. Roger J.
    I see you are familiar with the concept of a “drop gun.” It definitely would not be the first time.

  7. Bloomberg ‘s NYC is noy the one I grew up in. Being able to spend $100 million to run for Mayor give you the power to do as you please. Having that power corrupts whatever good intentions you might have once had

  8. I have a friend at work who was a kid in Philly when the MOVE bombing happened; it was not too far away from where he lived. He was very affected by it. When he told me about it, I didn’t believe him. I thought he had facts mixed up or misremembered. I had to go home and look it up on the internet before I believed him.

    Has the MSM been reporting about all the drones that are coming, or is just alternative media reporting it? (I don’t listen to MSM at all, so have no idea!) Do people really know and understand what these drones will be doing? Or was this artist getting the message out to people that are clueless about all this?

    I started listening to the Baltimore thing. I made it about 15 minutes, then had to turn it off. It makes me nauseated to listen to it. I’m not liking our wonderful new police state so much.

  9. Interesting that they feel they must come down so hard on this street artist.

    Why? It makes them look like jerks, makes people think of a waste of money when more serious crimes should be investigated instead.

  10. yea, feemeister, 40 days in jail for a legal weapon? wtf? Now a swat team visit for a court date he says he was never notified for?
    Is this a regular practice if you miss court?
    Now seems to be going back to jail for blogging about 40 days with no charges? all artists under attack, writers, visual artists, radio DJs.

  11. If in fact somebody is telling his story and nobody cares and nobody believes him, he will not be arrested without charges, held 40 days, hidden, and denied all his constitutional rights, or threatened, endangered or eliminated. If, however, somebody is telling his story and PEOPLE BEGIN TO BELIEVE HIM and PEOPLE BEGIN TO CARE, then there’s a big uh-oh. There will be a concerted effort to marginalize, discredit, and ultimately eliminate him. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. That is what we are seeing. It is nothing new. Who, after all, do we think we are? Paragons of virtue? Protectors of freedom?

    We have a government of thugs. Liars and thugs. And it’s the only game in town.

  12. See the Future, Be the Future … an artist became the message of his own art … When you look at the posters, I think it is clear they are a parody/satire using the propaganda style of art to highlight an issue those in power clearly don’t want discussed … What do you think?

    When the commercial media and/or establishment journalists do not do their job, then often times artists have to do it for them.

    Whether in books, poetry, film, or poster art like in this case, they express “an issue those in power clearly don’t want discussed” in their own way.

    Sometimes this happens because of a tactical mistake on the part of those in power, for instance when they direct or manipulate the press to not cover it in any way, not even in a watered down way.

    Bradley Manning might be a case, but there is a certain case involving:

    More than 100 million people will die … by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.

    (Doha, Qatar). The strategy those in power use in the establishment media on that one, a story of the equivalent of a holocaust each year for the next 17 years, is to talk about the U.N. Meetings in Doha, but water down the issues the meetings concern.

    An artist did a documentary as a way to counter the cover-up and denial and submitted it to Sundance where it was well received.

    Some in the main stream media skipped over the traces and in a sense promoted the artwork. No arrests yet, but sometimes they will smear the source of the artwork when they have no legal case against the artist.

  13. In my comment up-thread I forgot to mention another artist (included in the video) who drew chalk marks in NYC with one of those football field chalk machine they use to draw the yardage and out of bounds lines.

    She did a topography exercise, where she marked the high water marks that would be likely to become the real water marks from storm surge.

    As it turned out her “See the Future, Be the Future” was spot on. The water came eerily close to her visionary topography.

    Now she is doing that in Miami and other large coastal cities to get a message across that “those in power clearly don’t want discussed.”

  14. Mayor Bloomberg may not be responsible for climate change but he is responsible for his Chief of Police and his Law Enforcement Offenders. Yes the LEO accronynm is accurate here. This guy needs someone from the ACLU to put this properly in federal court. He needs Occupy Pigsty Movement to get off their arses in NYC. He needs the public to wake up and smell the pig artFays. But, then He is We. We need to do these things.

    Hotsie Totsie, I smell a Notsie.
    -Culey, The Three Stooges

  15. First they passed laws to take away my right to have an Unregistered gun, unloaded, under my bed. Then they create drones to fly over and watch all of our movements. Then they create laws to outlaw our right to depict their abusive laws and drones. When they came for the first round of guys who had guns, I had no gun so I did not speak up. When they came for the guy with the foreign name who exposed the drones and the police state, I did not speak up because I was not a drone and I was not really smart enough to know that I lived in a police state and I was not speaking out, so I did not speak out then. When they came for me there was no one left to speak up for me
    . –NYC the Armpit of Amerika

    The book NYC The Armpit of Amerika is available on DVD. But not in NYC.
    When are you people in that town going to get rid of your Mogul? He owns your media, your banks, your investment house, your courthouse. He has an army of Law Enforcement Offenders and you have no voices. What meek little whimps. Loud when Sandy came and silent in the face of your own tyrant.

  16. An update on the blogger in Baltimore:

    Baltimore Spectator Blogger, James MacArthur, Surrenders to Police After Standoff

    The @BaltSpectator blogger broadcast his negotiations with police via his online streaming website.

    By Adam Bednar

    December 1, 2012

    (UPDATED) 12:12 a.m.—AF James MacArthur, who blogs as the Baltimore Spectator, live streamed negotiations during a standoff with Baltimore police in Waverly on Saturday night. MacArthur surrendered peacefully, police said.

    MacArthur was involved in about a four-hour standoff with police and he broadcast the event in its entirety via his account on before surrendering.

    According to electronic court records, MacArthur was wanted for violation of probation regarding gun charges filed in 2009. Police went to his address in the 400 block of McKewin Avenue to take him into custody. When he refused to answer the door, a standoff ensued.

    Eventually a police SWAT team was called to the scene because of police concerns about messages posted to MacArthur’s Twitter account during the past few days.

    MacArthur decried what he said was a situation taken too far by police.

    “What we’re seeing going on is an abuse of SWAT. I’m seeing that the Baltimore Police Department … that because of something said on Twitter allegedly, we so quickly end up with a SWAT situation. This is highly disturbing to me as a citizen of this town. That it’s so easy to get a SWAT deployment,” MacArthur said.

    Police negotiator Lt. Jason Yerg contacted MacArthur via cell phone. MacArthur put Yerg on speaker phone and broadcast the negotiations for his surrender.

    MacArthur used the negotiations to air his grievances with Baltimore police about previous arrests as well as to convey his fears about being mistreated by police.

    “I’m going to come out. Whatever happens, happens. I’m prepared to die. That’s fine,” he said.

    At about 11 p.m. MacArthur agreed to exit his house and surrender to police, leaving his listeners with a recording of Rep. Ron Paul’s farewell address to Congress.

    “Folks, this is it. This is James MacArthur. I”m going out peacefully. I’m going to put a (music) clip in place and after that it will just be dead air,” MacArthur said before ending his broadcast.

    “I thank everybody for listening. I ask some of you, don’t abandon me after this. I have absolutely been railroaded. I’m going to need some help after this … those with legal expertise. We don’t need this kind of stuff to go on … This is a bunch of nonsense.”

  17. “There will be a concerted effort to marginalize, discredit, and ultimately eliminate him. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. That is what we are seeing. It is nothing new. Who, after all, do we think we are? Paragons of virtue? Protectors of freedom?

    We have a government of thugs. Liars and thugs. And it’s the only game in town.” -Malisha

    Right on the mark, Malisha. “Liars and thugs.” “The only game in town…” and, make no mistake, it’s a wicked one…

  18. Shana & Malisha,

    Any news from Baltimore. His site is up, and broadcasting his recorded conversation with the Police negotiator, Lt. Yurg. He left the mike to go take a leak while keeping
    tel contact with the officer. It waa agreed that he was to go to the front door, open it, step out, lock the door, and then the team would come, including the negotiator, and take him without violence, when he would be taken to Central Booking, processed and spend the weekend in jail.

    So what did happen? The latest on Google is just the reference to his site named above and linked by Shano with his broadcast of the negotiations. Listed as 4 hours ago accdg to Google.

    McArthur is eminently qualified. Former PI, knows BP well, knows how courts work, knows correct designation for things (lethal weapon versus legal weapon, etc).

    The last said was about 10:50 PM, time for the networks to pick it up and put it in the hourly news summmary, he noted. So this must be from yesterday or earlier. He noted and complained that the SWAT always come after dark which hinders viewing of what they do.

    That the site is still up would indicate that he was allowed to lock the door, and that the police did NOT return with a search warrant to enter and search the house.

    So give us some news, please.

  19. Gene,

    I think we have a fourth estate/MSM that has failed us–and I think too many of us don’t care about such issues until they actually have an impact on our own lives.

  20. It remains interesting that this man was charged over that unregistered gun whereas a stalwart of the Free press who then immediately became a Police Counterterrorism Chief at LAPD, John Miller, was allowed to merrily go on vacation after being found with an unlicensed gun that was in his carryon bag and which he did not declare beforehand.

    Initial press reports noted that he was not a sworn Officer and thus ineligible to carry at all. This was later denied by Bratton.

    The Professional Journalist from the nation’s Free press turned in both his guns and a Chevy Tahoe with police-lights after the news broke. Clearly he could live and work at LAPD perfectly fine without them.

    Naturally till today there isn’t a single peep from people in the US about a stalwart Professional Journalist from the Free press and ABC News Science Correspondent immediately taking a senior position with LAPD…….

    And I suspect no one is going to mention this at Attia’s trial either.

  21. Orwell was right. Unfortunately no one wants to believe how far along the path to the “boot on the face”. We have come. Police tase peolple when the don’t obey quickly enough or beat people senseless for not behaving with enough respect. Some police believe that not treating them with respect even when they are behaving badly is a crime for which they get to determine the punishment and administer it on the spot. Police have a difficult job but when every citizen must be wary of any interaction with a police officer and be aware that a traffic stop could be fatal I say we are all in prison.

    Police must be held accountable for overreactions to the to and fro of life.. They must be prosecuted for breaking the law and the All need to go to school to learn about free speech and that goes for prosecutorsalso de cause it appears that many of them missed that course too.

  22. All kinds of eavesdropping are going on – phones, internet, email, etc. Of particular interest are the communications of journalists. Obama’s administration has been brutal in its handling of whistle blowers while ignoring the offenses the whistle blowers expose. Because of the illegal surveillance, journalists can no longer guarantee protection of whistle blower identity. Sources are hard to find.

    Dan Rather and his producer did their homework and aired a story that exposed W’s desertion, although they used gentler terms. CBS alerted the WH of the story, a fairly standard action from what I understand to ask for a comment on a pending story. Rather was burned for doing his job as a journalist and a chilling event for others who want to keep their well-paid jobs.

    I get a glimpse of TV “news” on occasion. What a sad joke on us.

  23. Bloomberg keeps making these ridiculous mistakes. A few months ago he tried to shut down churches, restaurants and stores from giving excess food to the poor. I will have to paraphrase Kanye West and say “Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t care about poor people”.

    And his girlfriend doesn’t care about poor people either. They are a heartless couple of elitists, secure in their money, with no compassion for the people who are struggling in life.

  24. This is why funding for the arts is so critical and important for any civilized society. They act as ‘watchmen’ recording and documenting the times in which they live. If the ‘authorities’ do not like what they are saying, then you always know they have struck a nerve. One that power does not want touched or discussed in any way.

  25. BettyKath,

    Reading last night about Nixon through his press secretary making all correspondents be nice pussy cats and avoid an oral list of no-no’s.

    All did as they were told.

    Shall we assume that it did not begin or end with Nixon?

    Didn’t we see here some days ago that Obama’s time at a certain college was a no-no in his pressroom?

    We no longer have a fourth estate, if we ever had one.

    Was BF a good newsman whom we would admire?
    (OT He was the first franchise seller.)

  26. New Yorkers are such weenies. We have day after day of whining about Sandy and they let this kind of Nazi regime run their lives.

  27. Shano,

    Nice idea about artists. Show me one American in modern times who has had conscious political goal and effect, please.

    Georgia O’Keefe went to Hawaii on contract to Dole. She fell for the nature and ignored the plantation work conditions. Read about her last night.
    First American woman artist who had a major retrospective (MoMA?).

  28. oh, do not get the wrong impression. I was talking about school funding for arts. Public schools have dropped the arts altogether. It should be supported in public schools. Government should be involved in ‘infrastructure’ for the arts (like public tv, public museums where all can benefit) but hands off content. Local funding for public works is really nice, but not all that required. It must remain a
    private market.

  29. Obama has only mentioned drones twice in an official capacity, despite the fact that we are operating drone campaigns in at least six countries. Nobody is talking about this.

    Drones are already being used domestically along the Mexican and Canadian borders. Very soon, dirigibles with high resolution cameras will become a common sight in the skies over the nation’s major metropolitan areas…

  30. “We have day after day of whining about Sandy and they let this kind of Nazi regime run their lives.”


    People outside of New York have no idea of the devastation caused by Sandy. There has been little reporting about the conditions and what occurred outside of Manhattan, The Rockaways and the Jersey Shore. There was devastation in many towns on the South and North Shores of Long Island, where I used to live.
    The City of Long Beach is devastated, its beautiful boardwalk destroyed. I personally have many friends who have lost their homes and all their possessions. The list of other important and populous areas would stretch on but many place names are unfamiliar to those outside of New York.

    Part of the problem, however, touches on what Gee is writing about. Manhattan garners most of the attention because it is where the wealthy live. The Jersey Shore was the stomping ground of many of the media elite, like NBC News Anchor Brian Williams. Thus the attention. Bloomberg has been elected and reelected because the press kowtows to him and because he is a billionaire running perhaps the most influential financial media network. Also it’s tough to beat someone who is willing to spend $100 million on his mayoral campaign.
    Bloomberg is not a bombastic individual, so he comes off as mildly pleasant, people can’t even imagine him as being angry, much less a tyrant. The truth is of course that he is somewhat of a tyrant, has had really bad policing policies and has not served the less affluent people well. His popularity is a con game for sure, but whe is that something new in electoral politics”

  31. Shano—-apologies. I read sloppily.
    Art for the free soul and minds sake. Maybe that is why it is cut off from the curriculum. Should be daily obligation (opportunity?) from pre-school to the twelfth grade. It would sharpen our eye for soul, bullshit, and other false values—-dangerous as hell.

    I live outside of Bethpage a few months in ’64. Never found a decent seafood restaurant. And almost lost half of my hearing trespassing when the fog went in at the Montauk Point squaker.
    Sorry to hear of the damage.

    Just shows again that media is worthless fawning pawns to power.
    The billionaire is always doing test cases in suppression. Abandoning the poor to the storm and no shelters to flee to, etc etc.

  32. idealist, the arts in America hmmm, we make great films. Young people like Josh Fox always coming up.

    We have bizarre performance artists, like Reverend Billy, who predicted the recession from globalization. And Code Pink is pretty much performance art. The Yesmen.
    Notice these are all documented on film. Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping had a major motion picture a few years ago. He also ran for Mayor of NYC against Bloomberg.

    We have weird geographic art like ‘Spiral Jetty’ or the installations in Marfa Texas. Lightening Field in New Mexico etc. There are pockets of arts supporters in sustainable communities, when you consider politics affects they ways you can live, is a form of resistance.

  33. “The NYPD’s initial response seemed to be proportionate to the act when Police Department spokesman Paul Browne shrugged the stunt off with a bad pun. “[It] appears to be NYPD critics subjecting us to a droll attack”, he said. “

  34. Shano,

    I am very impressed, but I know so little. You seem very au courant, as if I should know. We have a good photo museum here. Saw an exhibition of Mapplethorpe there last summer. Now it is showing a Swedish photographer doing, as´the announcements reveal to the discerning eye, an exhibition of B/W photos of trans persons. Had seen his stuff at a little exhibition some 20 years ago. The ads don’t say it, but a careful examination of the facial bone structure reveals a lot.
    Speaking of performance artists, Laurie Anderson, who has it together with Lou Reed is the only one I know. Saw her some 30 years ago. Her “O Superman” is superb…..then. Have you seen it on the Utube. Don’t know how these fantastic experiences pop up. She was at her height then, I feel.

    So, if I may ask, why AZ instead of NM? What with Taos and all. Are there self-sustaining communities in AZ. You have real roots in the soil or a farm in practice. Great.

    I had fantastic potatoes at our cottage for 3 years, but did not rotate and the soil gave out. It was the rest of a starvation farm in the archipelago here. That’s this gutter boy’s farm experience, although Kerstin was a real knees on the ground harvesting sugar beets farmer girl. She left that behind for the university and a degree in mathematical something or other.


  35. The Spanish had been in New Mexico for 400 years. I knew a man who still had a parcel of land that was a land grant to his family from the King of Spain.
    The white retirees like Arizona better because they do not have to deal with Spanish descendants having government power.

    They only have to deal with a few Native American reservations where they can gamble. More golf courses and milder winters.
    So you see the conservative mid west and California immigrants having political power in Arizona. Who has the money is the only factor in Az. They might have started with a second home to escape bad winters, but they end up retiring in AZ.
    People who choose to retire in New Mexico are a somewhat different bunch.

  36. ID707,

    I’m not sure how much damage Bethpage received, but from what I understand anywhere close to water got it, both on the ocean and on the L.I. Sound. My daughter sent me a picture of a house I rented for the month a few years ago and it was completely destroyed. As for good seafood places abound on Long Island, you just have to know where to look for them.

  37. Shano,

    Very acute analysis of the AZ denizens. Have read a little of the spanish expeditions up the Rio Grande where it leaves the current border and goes north. Much cruelty and good management. The vagaries of Spanish support might have been the problem.

    My seed potatoe supplier died so have given it up. Didn’t know that NM has spanish influence today. Could date my black girlfriend there without a thought (in Las Cruces), but arriving for a weekend in Tucson, we both were made to feel uncomfortable. She punished me mildly for the humiliation.

    I did my two years at Ft Huachuca, adjacent to Sierra Vista and the San Pedro(?) River. Riparian reserve now on the river.
    Mountain lions and big rattlers on the fort’s range. And some deer of course.
    Shot at a wolf once, Fortunately I missed. I don’t brag much. :-)

  38. MikeS,

    I was just establishing my reason for being on LI for six months (sub to Grumman on Apollo project) and my impoverished POV (no contacts). Even visited the Hamptons which is probably where you had your house.

    Had met a jewish girl from a rich NJ family on Labor Day weekend at the Cape in Mass. We romanced a short while, she driving over from Jersey. She being sexually liberal and knowing that I was too, explained briefly how the sex weekends at the Hamptons went down. Come and enjoy our big house and our guest hospitality!!!. Cool.

    Are you a seasonal snowbird? Can’t imagine being away from the City a whole year!

    Bethpage is in the middle, far from the shore, and then was mostly small modest houses. I think local connections are needed to find good restaurants, or maybe buying a copy of the NYTimes, which I never thought of.. But the other girls I knew did not eat seafood.

    Tnx for the chat.

  39. PS
    She was a close match to Elizabeth Taylor. I fell in love. Her newly commissioned diplomat fiancée picked her up again, and her dalliance stopped abruptly. Broken heart on my side. Catastrophe. DUI. Mauled by police. Buddy fixed me a good lawyer, who postponed the case to death, while I was transferred to Hawaii. Sound like a bad film? Yeah!

    I don’t know if it was me that attracted her all the way from Jersey, or me as an appetiser on the way to a Hampton weekend. ;-)

  40. “Even visited the Hamptons which is probably where you had your house.”


    I have always been far too plebian to have sojourned in the Hamptons. Was invited there on a couple of occasions many years ago, but although in my youth I dabbled in sexual licentiousness, it was certainly ot in the Hamptons. I’m just an old retired guy living on a pension, SS and little else. While I’m not poor, I certainly am not rich enough to afford the Hamptons, though I’ve eaten at restaurants there on occasion. Generally the were overpriced and over reputed.

  41. Sorry, I forget we share plebian (economic) positions. I forgot to think. I mean social stratification based on income must well exist in Jewish circles as in goy ones. Both were hidden and unthought of worlds for me.

    Speaking of restaurants. My few experiences following the wife on conferences where spouses were brought by the directors, we ate at expensive and exclusive places. Not worth the money at all.

    Two Michelin stars on the French Riviera at the place of the father of the cuisine nouveau, for example.
    Snobbery, so so food and bad service. The lamb was tough and had definitely not eaten herbes au montagne. Instead of serving Madame, who had independently chosen 2 dishes instead of three, an amuse bouche; they pulled the top off an empty serving plate in tempo from the premier plat of the others, as though to insult her. She was the CEO’s wife, who was sick in bed that day.

    Buffets on a stranded ship converted to a casino, serving for lunch 20 sorts of raw shell fish. Blah, how different can raw mussels taste.

    The best fish I’ve ever had was in a cafe in N. Wilkesboro, NC, and was a small mouth bass caught by the owner some hours before serving.

    Hope your mouth is watering. Going to stop and make me some coconut pancakes with sour creme.

  42. As I have indicated elsewhere, in New York City, a basic decision has been made to spend public money hunting down, arresting, and prosecuting, under any possible legal pretext, the purveyors of satire that is not “just for fun,” is not “clear” and “humorous” enough, and is in some way offensive or embarrassing to influential members of the community. This is why the author of “Gmail confessions” in which a well-known New York University department chairman was portrayed as accusing himself of plagiarism has been convicted of forgery, identity theft, and criminal impersonation, and sentenced to spend 6 months at Rikers Island. For further information on this NYU case (in which some of the characters involved seem to have emerged from a Phillip Roth novel), see:

    It should, incidentally, be observed that the criminalizing of satire in NYC is taking place without even a murmur of protest from civil rights organizations. One of the criminalized “confessions” stated:

    Apparently, someone is intent on exposing a failing of mine that dates back almost fifteen years ago. It is true that I should have cited Dr. Golb’s articles when using his arguments, and it is true that I misrepresented his ideas. But this is simply the politics of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. If I had given credit to this man I would have been banned from conferences around the world. — Lawrence Schiffman, professor

    Of course not a hint of irony in any of this. Distinguished professors frequently accuse themselves in exactly this manner, so no one had any way of knowing that the criminal author’s intent was “satirical.” Clearly, the irreverence here has gone too far; such tawdry forms of expression must be suppressed if institutions like New York University are to continue to fulfill their role as beacons of the humanities, not so?

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