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.

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