Heroes & Villains

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09/15/2010 5:00 AM |

Villains: New Yorkers We Hate

Douglaston Development

Though it might be an exaggeration (emphasis on “might”) to call collectively villainous an entire building complex and everything “cool” it purports to represent, it is hardly a stretch to call out Douglaston Development (creators of the architectural douchebaggery of The Edge, one of the most recent blights on the Williamsburg waterfront) for their unabashedly fallacious use of absolute and relative superlatives in their bankhole-directed advertising: “Most amenities”? “Best neighborhood”? “Superior apartments”? Or “ingenious,” “incomparable,” “incredible”? Worst of all, “HARDCORE”? Really, the semantics of condouchery sound a lot like the lite-beer, dance-floor-fist-pumping flatulence of brobaggery.

The Vendetta Breakdancer

Busking Jerk
Many subway passengers who wait for the L train in Union Square have likely encountered the V-mask-wearing (as in V for Vendetta) breakdancer who performs his spatially sullying, unentertaining spin-spiel just west of the center of the platform. The same passengers have thus been silently assaulted by the vacuity of his head-nodding gaze, and aurally assaulted by the so-called music he plays. What really makes him a villain, though, is that we once witnessed him get into a brutal yelling match with the wonderful elderly Polish man who plays the concertina, among other one-man-act instruments. And guess what? The V-masked man was totally in the wrong. V for Villain, perhaps?

Vincent Forras

Litigious Jerk
We praise businessman and Republican senatorial candidate Vincent Forras for his service as a volunteer firefighter at the WTC site in 2001, just as we loathe the lawsuit he recently filed against the proposed downtown Islamic Cultural Center that claims, insanely, that the organizers of Park51 (Sufis!) “are believers in radical Islam and its jihad against America and American interests,” and that the center will be “a monument to the jihadist’s victory over American ideals of freedom and democracy.” Those very ideals, it would now seem, are in far more danger from within, than without.

Bill Keller

Christian Jihadist
A proper Christian response to the proposed Islamic Cultural Center in Tribeca might be something like… love? Or, sympathy? But televangelist Bill Keller’s “Christian response” is a competing 9/11 Christian Center in downtown New York that would spread Jesus’ message of hysterical xenophobia through misinformation. Such gems on the proposed center’s website include “Islam is a wonderful religion… for PEDOPHILES!” Yeah! Who ever heard of a Christian touching kids?

The Bike-Lock Gluer

Misguided Vigilante
We appreciate the issue irritating this unidentified Williamsburg resident who (self-)righteously goes around the neighborhood putting glue in bike locks under cover of anonymity courtesy The Brooklyn Paper—that there are too many abandoned bikes locked up to too few bike racks and available street furniture along Bedford and adjacent blocks. But this is exclusively the business of the city’s Department of Sanitation, and vandalizing others’ private property is nobody’s business at all. His broader anti-bike agenda, outlined in an op-ed smackdown against our hero Baruch Herzfeld, further confirmed his villainy.

Tao Lin

Performance Artist
Marketing Strategist

Tao Lin isn’t a writer. At best he’s a performance artist, at worst he’s a nihilistic marketing strategist with a willfully tedious prose style and a fetish for ankle-deep dorm-room philosophical relativism. It wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t such a good nihilistic marketing strategist and could be ignored, along with his tedious Internet army of imitative defenders. (Thankfully, the writing, a mere afterthought in The Project That Is Tao Lin, is easy to ignore: there really is no there, there.)

2 Comment

  • Really, Jane Mayer’s piece in the New Yorker about David Koch makes her heroic? Last time I checked, an attack piece using 10 year old Wall Street Journal quotes isn’t good journalism. Maybe she should also highlight the fact that Koch’s funding has gone to condemn the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on drugs.

  • Since this city still is “rat race of do-anything/go-anywhere” of just survival forget transit I think the DOT’s bike policy sucks. They seem to treat bicycling as equivalent to taking a Sunday drive. Real Slow. In reality I use my bike because I gotta get somewhere fast. I am working not out for a relaxing pedal. And I think this is 90 percent of the bikers, at least in Manhattan. The “protected” bike lanes are especially horrible and dangerous. They are slow, filled with pedestrians, and turning cars don’t see you as well. If it’s quicker for me to go the wrong way down a one way street I do it. And guess what? No one is hurt.