The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

mere nerves

with 2 comments

One in the chamber, safety off, that’s me.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

How I love watching the humans dance. The jockeying for position, the desire to be recognized and loved by their “betters”… their sincere belief that you can reason with the unreasonable and make lemonade when life gives you lemons. Trying to make the best of a bad situation? Seeking to find common ground with somebody who wants to kill or replace you? Is the knife at your throat clean at least?

Maybe there’s still too much Brooklyn in me, but when someone tries to hurt me I hurt them first, and in a way that they will remember. Maybe there’s too much inheritance in me from the side of my family descended from the Jews of Russia, but when the Cossacks arrive you can either make them disappear and send riderless horses back to the barracks or they will make you disappear. They were sent to harm you, and no amount of talking to the Cossacks will bring them over to your side. They will cut your head off and play polo with it in the village square, then rape your mother. You mean nothing to Cossacks, employed as they are by a foreign despot, and they will make a game out of destroying you and yours for their own advantage in the eyes of their god king.

When the Cossacks come and announce they want to deck over the Sunnyside Yards, you fight them. End of parable.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is continually dismayed by those who dismiss the memories of the last hundred encounters with the Cossacks, thinking that since there’s a new Tsar on the throne that this time things will go differently. Mounted Calvary soldiers sent by a despotic regime to visit distant peasant villages seldom arrive bearing either gifts or good news. Neither do real estate industrial complex employed governmental development teams have the best interests of long established communities in mind when they announce the desire to construct mega projects.

As a note, the Sunnyside Yards people have been walking this project around in Manhattan. A group of architecture students I met, who were taking a theoretical stab at the project, included a kid from China who commented to me that “this project would be so easy to do in Beijing, since you wouldn’t have to worry about community sentiment or input.”


– photo by Mitch Waxman

Have you noticed how much the city planners seem to hate cities?

They abhor the chaos, the organic growth, the unpredictability of it all. They want to create shopping mall corridors instead of streets, lined with neat panes of glass. They are Cossacks, who pine for depostism.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Repin’s “Zaporozhian Cossacks …” painting is what I thought of, reading your post. Would that actual city planners and their ilk were anything remotely resembling the raucous vivaciousness captured in that scene.

    I think them akin less to mounted cavalry than The Borg. At least with cavalry, history gives you an answer: pikemen! Or guns. Or both.

    Tommy Efreeti

    March 5, 2019 at 2:37 pm

  2. It appears that we are thinking along the same lines as I’ve just written on the subject of the gulf between our managerial rulers and we plebs. Keep in mind government is a form of force, a model of power, the feudal lord, and REBNY is a model of influence or persuasion, the vassal.

    Donald Cavaioli


    March 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

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