This is part two in Green Party candidate Reverend Billy’s L Mag campaign diary. Read the first one here, and read about Billy’s throw down with Immigrant Detention Centers here.
Mike Bloomberg is the Devil in his own development. He resembles what he creates: a harsh landscape of concrete and glass featuring a crane falling on your head. Running for mayor as a Green, I find myself shouting into his echo-less urban canyons. Picking up the Times to discover once again that I don’t exist, Mike whispers the phrase “competent manager” inside ten million heads.
The loneliness of the long-distance candidate isn’t different from the feeling any of us have when we take off our iPod and stand in the street under an empty condo waiting for the idling traffic to let us through. The world of identical details surrounds us. Modern design repeats and repeats and slaps us across the face with WHITE NOISE. It’s in this world of no differences that the existing power is able to offer itself as an alternative to chaos, crime and the unseeable abyss.
My existential loneliness comes from this landscape that murders all the neighborhoods in all directions. I keep shouting back at that landscape. The pavement and dirty glass silently reply with supermodels selling things from the side of a bus, stuck in mid-orgasm. I shout at it. Shout again: “Change-a-lujah!” Finally, a neighbor does step forward with a comment about the weather that makes me swoon. It is utterly generous, a sensuous symphony in a single sentence, coming out of a face with big wet eyes – an original life! Her name is Marvy! She’s a neighbor! She lives around here!
The only possible variation is that second person, another iPodless soul who might offer a smile and a weather report that would ground Bloomberg’s jet. What my neighbor and I do is a kind of touching – maybe that’s what I mean by voting…
God forbid that poor neighborhoods get wealthier (i.e. “modern design that repeats”) and offend Rev. Billy aesthetic sense because he can no longer bask in the unique “character” they offer. Anti-consumerists’ fetishization of poverty is both offensive and dangerous.