Letters to the Editor, Oct. 11

Why Obama caved

I’ve just learned that blind people can ride bikes. That’s right. They’re riding blind. They use a technique called “echoing,” which is what bats use to direct their flight so they don’t crash into cave walls, people on bikes or politicians in debates. So  “blind as a bat” is no longer negative or pejorative. Bats are sensitive to sound, and so am I. The President must be sensitive as well. He didn’t want to come out of his cave.

I’m sensitive to the sound of the voice as well as the rhythm. Watching the presidential debates, I was tempted to change the channel. I even checked the TV Guide to see what else was on, but no, I stayed with the debates and Romney’s irritating voice. Never mind what he was saying, things like Obama care is bad but Romney care is good. Impartial fact-checkers have proven these plans are essentially the same, but Romney says his plan was right for states but not for the entire nation. I’m tired of hearing about states’ rights. If it were up to the states, we’d still have slavery. And guess who wouldn’t be Mr. President?

So I wasn’t listening to what Romney was saying (I knew it would be the opposite of what he said yesterday.) but rather to how he said it. He must have been anxious to be seen as “presidential,” whatever that means, but did he have to be so wired, as if he were on some kind of high?

If he were in a street brawl, he’d be the guy to throw the first punch while his opponent was taking off his jacket with his arms trapped behind his back. Mitt’s voice made me want to scratch myself. It made my heart race. Why was he so agitated? Did he spend the night before the debate in Starbucks, sampling everything they make? He was jumpy and relentless as he went on the warpath, and he couldn’t be stopped by the mousy moderator who caved and let Mitt run the show.

Now I can understand why Mitt was quick to criticize the State Department for trying to smooth over the eruption caused by the anti-Islam video that was purportedly the reason behind the Libyan ambassador’s death. It’s because this is Mitt’s nature: He’s quick on the draw, the better to make money on the stockmarket. If you thought George W. Bush was a cowboy, meet quick Mitt.

He makes Bush look like the cowboy in “Brokeback Mountain”. Mitt is more like the quick-fingered Richard Widmark shooting an opponent in the back or pushing a woman in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs. The President, however, looked uncomfortable like he was in a coffin. And I know why. Mitt’s voice, his secret weapon, shot the President down as he cringed behind the lecturn as if he was in the back seat of a car or a box seat at the theater.

If Quick Mitt is elected president by voters blinded by a win-by-any-means mentality, who have nothing to gain and everything to lose, we’re in trouble. There’re no weapons in the White House, but there is a phone that Mitt could use to quickly give a final, fatal order. Or he could spare the generals the sound of his frantic voice and just press that red button on his desk. What a sound that would make!

John Cappelletti, ST

Peter Cooper: Then vs. now

First of all, let me acknowledge being one of those detested NOPs (Nasty Old Persons) residing in Peter Cooper since the halcyon days of Met Life. I can still summon up memories of what it once looked like, with a physical beauty unmatched in this city. Its lawns and encircling hedge rows flourished, protected by low and unobtrusive fences. How unlike the present!

Case in point. Now when looking out over the once great lawn between 541 East 20th Street and 8 Peter Cooper Road, one sees scarred and broken hedge rows that have not been replaced in more than two years! The empty spaces are now a major dog toilet and a convenient access point to the lawn for bicycles, tricycles and baby carriages.

When was this lawn declared an adjunct playground? And let’s not forget the picnickers — wherever they have come from, bearing food and beer. They are good news for the rats that now dine on leftovers in the evening.

Recently, I commented to a young Stuy Town friend (and yes, NOPs do communicate with non-geriatrics) that there seem to be a steady stream of visitors from Stuy Town using the lawn and surrounding walkways for sports, pre-schooler scooter racing and just hanging out. He readily acknowledged this with the explanation that: “Your security is so much looser than ours. It’s more of a fun place to be!”

So there you have it, unless and until management behaves managerial.

Name withheld, PCV

3 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Oct. 11

  1. As a progressive, I was not at all happy with the debate or it’s aftermath. I continually encourage the new, younger voters in my life to tune in and the debate confused them the most, not having the background of the policies and how Romney changed course dramatically. Think how difficult it is to wrap your head around the reality that the next president will set the course of the Supreme Court whose decisions will affect them more than anyone. I also work in healthcare and witness first hand how Obamacare has changed lives and will potentially so positively change healthcare for us all. Thanks to my neighbor for his letter. I support our president wholeheartedly.

  2. To the anon “NOP” above:

    Credit to you, you’re the nicest and most reasonable NOP I’ve heard from in a long time, even though you’re expressing a complaint.

    I think your complaint is justified. To put it in perspective, it’s unheard of in less-densely-populated areas for random strangers to use garden apartment lawns as picnic grounds (and it would be fairly outrageous if such strangers left a mess behind).

    Sadly, we do not possess the effective political or residential management structures to find a solution to such problems in which everyone is reasonably accommodated and most people are satisfied with the result. It’s so often frustrating to see that the solutions are divided into the polar extremes of “We can’t do anything about it” and “Everyone is banned from walking on the grass at all times”. In these situations it’s always worth taking a step back and finding a way to contribute to any leadership or group management effort to apply human solutions to these problems, so that rigid inhuman solutions from management corporations or city bureaucracies don’t fall into place by default.

    That said, the simple solution here is for management to watch over the litterers. If left unattended and uncared for, it’ll become a junky wasteland like any other plot of urban property that is ignored.

  3. I am struggling to understand the logic for the title of above letter to the editor, “Why Obama Caved.” It’s been obvious to me for as long as I’ve read Town & Village that the editors lean (or even bend) right, but at best, the title “Why Obama Caved” is grossly misleading. At worst it betrays a lack of journalistic integrity.

    The word “cave” in the sentence, “He didn’t want to come out of his cave,” is used as a noun, with the definition from Dictionary.com as follows:

    1. A hollow in the earth, especially one opening more or less horizontally into a hill, mountain, etc.

    It’s a very simple metaphor about bats; the sentence compares the president to a bat not wanting to come out of its cave because of whatever Mitt Romney said at the debate.

    In letter title, the word “Cave,” as in “Why Obama Caved,” is used as a verb, the past tense of the verb “to cave.” It is obviously the same word, but with completely different meaning and implications, which the T&V editors (giving them credit for understanding the language by which they make their living) are completely aware of. To wit (also from Dictionary.com):

    c. Informal, to yield; submit; surrender: The opposition caved in before our superior arguments.

    “Caved,” i.e., caved in. Obama didn’t yield, submit, or surrender, nor was that suggested in any part of the letter. The implication of the sentence, “He didn’t want to come out of his cave,” is clearly that Obama never really showed up (figuratively speaking) to the debate at all, which is true. I don’t agree with the underlying reasoning (or the use of that metaphor) of the letter at all, but that’s not even the point.

    The point is that letters should be titled not to reflect the views of the editorial staff, but to accurately reflect the content of the letter.

    A more appropriate title would be something like, “Mitt Romney’s Win By Any Means Strategy”
    The editorial staff of T&V often plays fast and loose with English in order to advance their own agenda or suppress ideas that they disagree with. Some people could read the title of that letter and skip it altogether, given what it implies. I almost did, but read it anyway, expecting to read an article about the president yielding or submitting, but found a letter that was 95% a critique of Mitt Romney. The editors are insulting the intelligence of and patronizing their readers with this sort of cheap semantic stunt.

    To the editors: you should be a lot more careful about how you title articles, because quite frankly, all you do by titling them in such a fashion is undermine your credibility and lay bare your antipathy (thinly veiled at that) toward the president and your political leanings. If the idea is to be impartial (a lost art in the Forth Estate these days, for sure), then pick appropriate titles, otherwise, just call it a day and admit you’re tabloid trash and be taken as such.

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