Tuesday, 14 September 2004

End of Days

This is ultimately a trip in the name of fun, for all the apprehension and paranoia it is at the end of the day a delve into potentially one of the most paranoid cities on earth. A physical experiment to see if all the hedonistic attributes have clung three years after the death of ignorance. Eyes are truly open now, closed minds still exist but they know what they are trying to block out. A fluid enemy ebbed under America’s doors and drove terror deep into an already savage and reckless society.

It’s a known fact that New Yorkers drink more and take more drugs now than previous to 9/11 and depending on ones own boundaries and ideals of fun that can either be good or bad. For an excessive brute like myself it has to be towards the good. But with the drink and drugs there comes the obvious depression, the need and distinct want to block out the realities smashing down around these city folk, but they do not seem depressed.

A reasonable man may be willing to accept that New Yorkers are simply celebrating their freedom with more vigor and potency than before. The people I’ve met, the painters, publicists, DJ’s, rock bands and everything else in between seem to be emanating a new found confidence in their freedom an appreciation, no longer taking it for granted, and it’s beautiful. It’s not as if the city doesn’t have an excuse, this was the pinnacle of what can be seen as the time of depression. In a democratic city the Republican Party decides to hold its national convention, just days before the third anniversary 9/11. The inevitable protests ensued, with or without reason, employing both peaceful and violent means. If you weren’t protesting? Grab whatever you can, gobble it up or drink it down to get away from the harsh realities plastered all around…but these weren’t the reasons for all over-indulgence. Stood outside a bar smoking a cigarette I asked a young man about how the city would be reacting on 9/11. “You know man” he replied “Everyone’s upset, but a lot of people also see it as a true reminder of our wonderful diversity, we’ve got it and we ain’t letting go” Good man I thought and cracked him on the back in a drunken alpha male type gesture. And it’s true; the kids are still running rampage full of life and intensity.

After an initial 14 hour, $200 drink binge, a case of alcohol poisoning, severe cellular dehydration, hallucinations, 40 hours of sleep and the fleeing in absolute terror of 7 Japanese teenagers from the hostel room I was sharing, I was able to go out and truly absorb the city. It seemed subdued on the outside, but once I had looked hard enough and cracked the edges a little I found a pool of fun with broken filters. Nothing’s getting purified by our invisible enemy of terror and the government’s relentless need for protection of the greater good. On the ground the vibrancy of youth lives on and is just debauched and extravagant as ever.

Tuesday, 7 September 2004

Radical Interrogation Techniques

In to the mist I head, stocked and prepped with a variety of whiskeys and a horde of cigarettes. My fears of arrest in New York have been quashed some what by the fact my partner in sin has failed to materialize, no real concern however I can cause enough bedlam and disorder on my own. Obviously this is a trip in the name of fun, in these paranoid times anything else would be foolish, yet there is always that lingering concern of pure chaos.
There is definitely something that brings up great apprehension in oneself when looking at American domestic policy in these icy times. Adventures are fraught with fear of not only incarceration by outback Nazi police-force types, but also all manner of fringe sectors of law enforcement that roam constantly with predatory impulses looking for anything out of the ordinary… the invisible threat of terror.

It’s always easy to argue that the well being of the collective has to be protected at all costs, even if that is at the expense of the individual, and this certainly seems to be what is being preached at the moment. Border controls armed to the teeth, searching, roaming, looking through and interrogating whole bus loads of people 500 miles away from any border, “Our jurisdiction is the entire U.S” one of them told me, indeed it is. What if I wasn’t carrying my passport? “It was taken officer, that’s right, a group of crazed monsters after my Pineal gland, ready to bore a whole in my head…I begged them, said I was autistic and it was wrecked from birth, so they made off with my wallet and passport…” Slam! No doubt, none of that back-chat, straight into some sort of terrorist holding cell to be prepped for radical interrogation techniques.

It’s the way of the US at the moment, constitutional rights getting broken at every corner. It’s unlikely the rent-a-cop security employed to search and scan everyone getting onto greyhound busses, for example, really know they’re infringing on the natural civil rights of all of these people, the 4th Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

‘Probable cause’ I think is the phrase that comes into discussion at this point, “Our intent is to root out and discover possible terrorists and to protect the greater good”, indeed, that seems to give these rent-a-cops the right to search anyone, well, where are the individuals these days?
This greater good, the constant observation of the herd, intense policing to keep order completely over looks the individual and it’s deeply worrying. But of course constitutional rights have always been up in the air being fought for by wealthy lawyers after notoriety and ‘justice’, the more things change the more things stay the same. Yet this invisible enemy of today encroaches on every man woman and child, the nightmare is becoming a reality. The grim writings of authors about ‘big brother’ and such, these unimaginable dictatorships controlling and governing by that most powerful of authorities ‘fear’ is unwinding before our very eyes. Traces are already apparent, tube station walls plastered with warnings of vigilance, “report anything suspicious immediately” breeding a generation of paranoid swine ready to turn you in at the drop of a hat.

It is early days yet but the disgusting foundations are steadily being put in place for an all out hell. Fuck this misery, it’s only one potential fate of world politics at the moment, best absorb the freedom now and forget this merciless fear that has been at the back of the free mans mind for centuries. My trip through Chicago went by rather uneventfully. Perfect for the rest and recuperation that was needed after the excess’s of resort life. Five days of solid relaxation and preparation for the heaviness of New York City with a few whiskeys here and there, but for medicinal purposes only. One curious day I had my palms read by a mystic hippy sort, disheveled and looking like she had been living off leaves and berries for too long her skin was sagged and spotted from sun erosion. Her predictions were interesting, that of long life and confidence and also the premonition that I will be a father to over four children. What I should have done is packed her mouth full of shit and taped it shut. “Stop living this life of deviancy and decadence” she wailed, I scratched my head lent backwards and smiled. The next night a friend and I went down-town to the 96th floor of the Hancock building and drank $20 a time Chivas Regals whilst listening to a double bass, piano duet and looking down upon the vast and fantastic industrial might of the United States. My time has yet to come I thought, if I stopped now who knows what dead-end mess I may end up in. Indeed, I’m young and fruitful, excess is my middle name and as I swirled the golden brown scotch in my hand I was thinking to myself that I shouldn’t expect anything less from N.Y City. I feel the experience of the true endorphin highway is coming and it needs to be embraced and in a true professional manner. Intensity boiling up inside me like a self-constructed horde of Attila the Hun or Vlad “The Impaler” Dracula…It’s about fucking time.