Gov. Cuomo, Please Keep Bill De Blasio From Saying Stupid S**t, Thank You
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sees a light at the end of the coronavirus crisis, and it's a traffic-clogging, crowd-amassing ticker-tape parade!
As someone who lived in New York for 15 years, I thought the one upside to this disaster was an indefinite suspension of parades. What de Blasio's describing likely won't be safe in New York for a good long while. The mayor's term ends in a couple years, and while most New Yorkers will want to celebrate his departure, a parade might still be unwise. Seriously, what's wrong with this guy? He's less competent in a crisis than the mayor in Ghostbusters.
New Yorkers don't want to hear about a parade right now. They just want to know when they can leave their overpriced sardine-can apartments. COVID-19 isn't King Kong or Gozer. You don't stop the virus's rampage in the final act and then throw a big party once service workers have cleaned up the mess. Donald Trump has referred to himself as a "war time" president and de Blasio envisions health care workers as soldiers returning victorious from battle. This isn't the end of World War II and the virus isn't the Nazis, so maybe men will manage to keep their hands to themselves.
The Real Ghostbusters - Ending (HQ) www.youtube.com
De Blasio's parade idea was roundly mocked, because COME ON, but he was back Wednesday with some more stupid. In a recorded message from the mayor's mansion, de Blasio reminded us how much summer will suck in New York this year.
DE BLASIO: When we think of summer in New York City, we think of a lot of things we love: Concerts and theater in the park and block parties and street fairs. Lots of things that we really cherish. But we know — and we've been going through this crisis — that a lot of things we love aren't going to be happening right away.
PLEASE STOP! THIS IS TORTURE!
The patient's still on the operating table. Let's get through the surgery and then you can tell us how New York will never play the piano again.
You have to take everything day by day during this pandemic. If you start thinking too far ahead, you wind up spiraling into a hopeless state. We're already wearing the same sweatpants from last week. We're holding on by a thread here.
DE BLASIO: A lot of important events that we associate with the warmer weather had to be cancelled this year because of the coronavirus. But when you think of the summer, when you think of everything we cherish about the summer, there's one day in particular that stands out because it means so much to all of us, and that's the Fourth of July.
What? The Fourth of July is about 10 weeks away or, in COVID-19 shutdown terms, 387 years. Even dinner feels like decades from now.
De Blasio mentioned that he'd spoken with Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette about the company's big fireworks display on the Fourth of July. Macy's has closed 775 stores and furloughed 125,000 people since mid-March. Gennette graciously won't accept a salary during this difficult time, so let's hope he can get by on the $23 million he made in 2017 and 2018. Even before the coronavirus, Gennette wasn't exactly a firecracker himself as CEO. The company's outlook was gloomy. But Macy's employees might not have jobs in July but they will have a fireworks, damnit!
DE BLASIO: We don't know what things are going to be like in July. We know there's a lot of questions, a lot of things that have to be determined between now and then. But one thing we know for sure. We will celebrate the Fourth of July in New York City this year ... We don't know exactly what it'll look like yet. There's a lot of things we're going to have to work through, but we do know this wonderful show will go on ... The city of New York will partner with Macy's to put on something great no matter what the coronavirus throws at us.
Wait, that sounds complex. Are we sure de Blasio's up to the task?
The mayor's tweet announcing the Fourth of July spectacular was rightly ratioed all to be damned. People suggested de Blasio work with Macy's to help people who've lost their jobs — you know, like the folks at Macy's. The company spends millions on the light show, which is certainly job-creating, but the city is on the hook for the cleanup costs and police overtime. We hope New Yorkers can leave their homes by July but it's probably not a good idea to put on events that would draw a lot of spectators. People routinely pack the streets and crowd rooftops to get a good look.
This year, I'd feel ecstatic if I could invite more than 10 people to my house on the Fourth of July. De Blasio should just buckle down and work toward even that simple goal for New Yorkers.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).