Citizens of Upright Moral Character
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Nation braces for flood of self-absorbed NYC writing


Friday, August 15, 2003

KANSAS CITY--Following Thursday's blackout that affected nearly 50 million residents from Ohio to New York and into Canada, people across America are getting ready for yet another deluge of swollen, narcissistic output from New York City-based writers.

"The news clips of the Bronx cabby doing volunteer as a traffic cop; the thousands of people walking home in the dark chatting with people they would normally swear at in traffic. Right now it's kind of quaint to see these people surprised at their collective humanity. But that's going to wear thin pretty quick," says long-time Atlantic Monthly subscriber Brad Sprenger of Olathe, Kansas. "This is the kind of thing that will eventually spawn a dozen cathartic off-Broadway plays."

Added Sprenger: "Can you imagine what will be coming down the pike a few months from now? Wormy, double-spaced New Yorker poetry with titles like Walking To Staten and Dark Manhattan Forest. Save us."

Local resident Jeffery Roslef was sympathetic but unimpressed with the blackout: "I feel really badly that all those people were stranded in subways and everything, but from what I hear, the power is already coming back on. It lasted for...what?...maybe 12 hours? The last time we had an ice storm here in K.C., my block was without power for two weeks. For my family it wasn't about whether we would be able to go down to Bam Rose [theater] to catch the Brazilian Diaspora Film Festival. It was about wondering if my kids were frozen to death in their beds."

UPDATE: special thanks to fellow Citizen (and NRO editor) Kathryn Jean Lopez for linking to this story! 'Ouch' indeed!

Moral Citizen: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 15, 03 | 9:08 am | Profile
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Seriously, this is brilliant. I was thinking the exact same thing. Glad to hear I wasn't alone.

Posted by: Megan on Aug 15, 03 | 11:31 am

Is this actually from the Onion (subpart, if so) or it just some dweeb's labored to the point of plagiarism effort?

Posted by: Ho hum on Aug 15, 03 | 11:32 am

Somebody in the sticks has big city envy, pretty pathetic. Well, you can be satisfied that nobody in NYC knows or ever thinks about you, you smug loser.

Posted by: Bubba on Aug 15, 03 | 12:12 pm

You just made the point he was getting at, Bubba.

Posted by: Megan on Aug 15, 03 | 12:22 pm

"Big city envy"? You have got to be kidding.

Cities suck. It's not your fault. It's just how it is. Don't get me wrong I like city people. In the same sort of sad way one might like Dustin Hoffman's character in RAIN MAN.

Posted by: Oxxen on Aug 15, 03 | 12:34 pm

This is true and very funny . New York is the most self absorbed city in the world. New York writers are by operation of geography the most self absorbed writers on the planet. You should have heard the nonsense spewed out by NY's local media this morning about people pulling together (really it was just a large number of folks walking in the same direction) and reporters giving NYers credit for not engaging in looting, "Way to go guys for not doing a smash and grab at tha Gap on 10th Ave." ! The bad poetry is no doubt only hours away.

Posted by: New York Guy on Aug 15, 03 | 12:46 pm

I'm a New Yorker - live in Manhattan. This is great satire. I totally agree that many people who live here, and in other big areas like Hollywood or LA, are totally self-absorbed. But that's ok. I have no use for a lot of elites anyway, whether in cities or in suburbs.

Still, I should say - a suburban area without power is a LOT different from a city without power. If NY is without power, you might as well be in the desert. No running water, no lights, hardly any food, etc. For many people, last night was very difficult.

Posted by: Sydney on Aug 15, 03 | 12:59 pm

Sydney: good point on the differences between a city like NYC and KC. And thanks for being sporting about it. Hope ya got a/c tonight, brother.

Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 15, 03 | 1:02 pm

Yes, I wouldn't wish a rough time on anyone.

(At least not anyone who didn't ask for it by living in a city, Just Kidding!!)

Posted by: Oxxen on Aug 15, 03 | 1:06 pm

I love NYC and its people. But, I agree that New York got far too much attention from the whiny liberal snot noses in the media. Most of those people aren't New Yorkers, anyway.

Posted by: Mickey Doughcart on Aug 15, 03 | 1:06 pm

Don't get me wrong, I'm from the sticks and love it. But isn't this story, well, self-absorbed? I'm really not finding it difficult avoiding whiny stories about the black out, with the exception of this one. The main point seems to be: Nobody cares when MY lights go out! Somebody pay attention to me!

Posted by: Bubba on Aug 15, 03 | 1:07 pm

"I totally agree that many people who live here, and in other big areas like Hollywood or LA, are totally self-absorbed." -Sydney

Well yeah, but we are ALL self-absorbed to a degree and it is perfectly understandable that a New Yorker would be very concerned about this blackout. The difference, of course, is that the news, entertainment, and arts establishments are all anchored on the east and west coasts, and they tend to expound on what affects them completely out of proportion to how they cover much worse disasters in other places.

Disaster in Kansas City or Indianapolis? A big yawn from the media establishment. But a blackout in New York? Oh my Gawd -- We're all gonna DIE!

And the rest of us are forced to share every second of it with you vicariously. Personally, I think at least one of the "Big Three" networks should relocate to the heartland.

Posted by: Jack DeWalt on Aug 15, 03 | 1:32 pm

hee, this is cute. Although I love alot of newyorkers, they do have this collective belief that they are better than everybody else. Pre september 11th and post. That said, I certainly don't wish them any ill will and hope they get this cleared up soon, AND that they get off their asses and make sure it can't happen so easily again.

Posted by: Shanna on Aug 15, 03 | 3:33 pm

Maybe the "heartland" should create its own network? I have a friend who lives in Charleston, SC. He constantly complains about this NY-centrism in the media. He says he knows more about NY weather and traffic than his own. I say...start your own network and stop whining.

Posted by: Matt on Aug 15, 03 | 3:37 pm

I agree with that NY is self-absorbed, but it isn't just NYC, its the East Coast. I moved from Kansas to New Jersey as a kid and i told kids on the soccer team that. They were completely serious when they asked me if i was an immigrant from europe "or summtin". i told them I was born in Dallas, and they responded "oh yeah, and I'm from , uh, Mars!"

A friend of my sister's at the time asked her, in a confidante, off-the-wall manner "do they all live in log cabins in kansas?"

This was only a coupla years ago.

Memphis is Elvis, Nebraska is corn, and Kansas is the yellow brick road to NY'ers.

Posted by: patrick on Aug 15, 03 | 6:47 pm

The solution, on a personal level, is to
just bypass the media. Turn it off, read a book, talk to chicks, something. Then you don't have to be exposed to whatever they're fixated on at the time, cause 95% of it is crap anyway.

Posted by: Jim on Aug 16, 03 | 6:03 am

Has anyone mentioned that New York sucks?

It's not so much that IT sucks, per se -- it's the idea of 7 MILLION FRIKKIN PEOPLE cramming themselves into a few square miles that sucks.

And these people actually fancy themselves as superior, for having chosen to live in this environment, caging themselves onto a couple of islands like animals in a zoo.


They have no idea how the rest of us laugh at their choice of living conditions.

Posted by: Chris on Aug 16, 03 | 12:35 pm

p-e-o-p-l-e-c-i-t-y in the ci-ty

Posted by: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Aug 16, 03 | 1:01 pm

RE: NY sucks, 'these people fancy themselves as superior', etc.

come on. That's just bile.

I admit to loving to visit NY, but at this time in my life I don't think I would like to live there.

I've thought in the absence of nature in the city, the geography is the buildings the landscape are the people. People-centric. You'll have talk talk talk cause that's a facet of the world they livin' in.

Yes, it's different there. What sucks for you is someone else's thing..

For the most part New Yorkers are wonderful people. They like to say they're rough on the outside but heartfelt on the inside.

Some of my relatives spent 4 days in the basement of their North Dakota farmhouses snowed in and wrapped in blankets waiting for the power to come back on in sub zero windchill blizzard weather. I'll take no A/C over that anytime.

Posted by: evil-barry on Aug 18, 03 | 3:03 pm

-Although I love alot of newyorkers, they do have this collective belief that they are better than everybody else.

we are.

Posted by: jon on Aug 18, 03 | 4:30 pm

I think the media was waiting for major looting and riots to begin in NYC once the sun went down and that's why all the coverage!!! It certainly wasn't for the New Yorkers...we didn't have power, so therefore no TV!

Posted by: Snoo Bear on Aug 20, 03 | 1:47 pm

I think the media was waiting for major looting and riots to begin in NYC once the sun went down and that's why all the coverage!!! It certainly wasn't for the New Yorkers...we didn't have power, so therefore no TV!

Posted by: Snoo Bear on Aug 20, 03 | 1:47 pm

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