The VigilanceVoice
  Wednesday... February 6, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 148

No Terror Can Frighten The Queen
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City--The Big Apple has a way of getting on with life regardless of attempts by others to drive the eight million inhabitants off the Manhattan Island.
       The September 11 attacks upon the World Trade Center, and continual threats to blow up nuclear power plants nearby, and the subways, and the Statue of Liberty, or anything in the city where at any moment literally thousands congregate, hasn't dazed the population.
       There has been no exodus of people rushing for Two-Boots, Montana.  In fact, the city teems with life--not only the old veterans of September 11, but the influx of new people coming to the center of the world to achieve their fame and fortune, or just to gawk at the majesty of New York.
       I was watching NYPD Blue last night with my wife. I love the opening where they flash on quick takes of the city.  (I'm always looking for people I know in those scenes) It was the story about Sipowitz (Dennis Franz) helping an older, wealthy woman recluse.   He served as her "baby sitter/body guard" to earn extra money, and found out the woman's lawyer/manager was pilfering her money.    The woman sat in her apartment, a hermit, not venturing out into the city, relying on her attorney to bring her the world.
       At the end of the show, Sipowitz took her out for a walk.  They were strolling down the streets, looking in windows, carving their way through the mass of humanity that constantly ebbs and floods like the eternal ocean upon the sidewalks, no matter what time of day or night it is.   The woman, unaccustomed to being out, held onto Sipowitz's arm as she begin to drench herself in the élan vital of the city, to break from her cocoon of isolation and reenter the world of humanity.
     In the final scene she says to Sipowitz, "I love New York."  The camera rolls into Sipowitz's face.  It is soft and tender, the opposite of his anger and frustration that seems to boil and roil from his rough hewn character of righteous indignation over almost anything.   In this scene he is serene, his hand covers the woman's, and his eyes soften, his jowls, usually tightly wired, relax.   A dreamy stare cuts into the camera lens as he says in reverent solidarity--"I love this city too."
     Camera fades to the credits, theme comes up.
      Ugliness cannot destroy beauty.
      Beauty is inherent.
      The bin Laden's of the world can try to strip away the layers of beauty with horror and destruction, but the marrow of beauty shines richer than its surface.
      I felt that way watching Sipowitz's face.
      He was in love.
      There was magic in his words--soft, clear, profound magic about the love of a "thing."  
      Terrorists like to target "big cities" in hopes they can strike fear in the hearts of more people more quickly, and have more devastating results.   But in so many ways, such attacks do the opposite.
      September 11 has made New York stronger.   It has brought the beauty of the beast to the surface.  It reminds critics of megalopoli that the Big Apple shines even when its skin is torn from it, and worms attack its fruit.  
      Under the surface of New York's mass of concrete and hustle and bustle of people who seem to be selfish and self-centered about getting their coffee, or owning their path on the sidewalk, or when they butt heads for a precious parking spot, or don't instantly move when a green light flashes on, beats the heart and hope of humanity.
       There might have been eight million separate heartbeats prior to Nine Eleven, but today, in the fallout of the holocaust, there is only one beat.   The population has been unified in a state of love, not only for the victims of the tragedy, but for the city herself, for her majestic ability to recoil against the horror of those who invade her, those who attempt to mar and deface her as though she were some fragile queen about to topple.
       Sipowitz made love to the city.   He wrapped his big Polish character's arms around her and gave her a giant, loving hug, as a son might his mother whom he realized stood for his protection, and gave him the fruits of life.
        I have often looked at the I Love New York logos with a bit of sarcasm, as though they were mere marketing tools to polish up the city's grime and haste and constant construction and refacing so the world might presume New York was more than concrete and streets and people.

 But after watching Sipowitz deliver that line--"I love it too!" I realized I loved New York.  I realized that it was a city of life, an evolving queen of civilization that might, on occasion, be marred and bruised by events, but never vulnerable to the loss of her sensuality or her shine.
       New York City--I love you too!


Go To Diary--Feb. 5--Terror Of The Cigarette

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