Is Campaigning for Mayor of NYC Literally Killing Reverend Billy? 

click to enlarge Reverend Billy in Times Square

Street Vendors Project tonight... But where is the meeting? Joan Baez night at the Highline... the manager wants the sound specs. Can we have an interview with FMU on Friday at 2?

BEFORE we started running, I remember when the notion of the comic preacher running against the billionaire was a giddy, cuddly romance. Of course I should run. Of course, run into the $100 dollar vat of lies and get chased by evil teleprompters up the canyons of the apple.

Maybe the key to sanity is to just try one thing… One single big continuous thing. One thing at a time, because the details flying into my body from the phone and computer are at such a mind-rending rate it cannot be sustained. Political campaigning, even of the quixotic and surreal sort, is simply harder work than being a preacher. I mean, I’m still that comic preacher, but it’s like Rev Billy has burst into pixels and each pixel is trying to kiss a baby.

Maybe that’s why my heart palpitated me in the St. Vincent’s emergency room three weeks ago. Full of needles and blood-thinners and beta-blockers, I finally relaxed because outright pain was my new boss. A heart ailment is my new Bloomberg. Then, later, back at the home in Brooklyn convalescing, I’m back on the phone asking ex-wives for money for the campaign. What’s not to stress me out? Running for office, even when you’re not invited to the debates, is an invitation to, shall we say, “the horrors of ambition?”

Do a single big thing, like campaigning with the choir, like studying the greennwashing of PlaNYC with the phones turned off, like jogging hard for a long time in Prospect Park and communing with my heart. Otherwise, life becomes an interruption a minute, and you end up pacing like a joke Napoleon with a cellphone.

But the one, big, continuous belief is that the neighborhoods have an economy that is sustainable if it isn’t steroided by Bloomberg and his developers. The Rise of the Fabulous 500 Neighborhoods! The people out there getting Rev Billy Talen on the ballot, by gathering signatures on streetcorners and parks and farmers’ markets… they remember the one big thing. New York City is in the hands of a right wing billionaire with marketing like a tsunami, and we are envisioning livability, non-racist police, progressive taxes and dependable public services. We know that we have to change our lives, and that is the way that we will change our government. It is time to be a radical New Yorker.

Ah, now that feels better. The polemics of compassion — good for the heart.

(UPDATE. SEE COMMENTS.)
To help get Reverend Billy on the ballot, print this and sign it! Democracy in New York needs this...

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