American Autumn in New York
Home to roost at last, the sixties’ chickens Occupy Wall Street.


Luckily for me, at that moment along came the mayor of the City of New York, whom I’ll call Bergbloom in order to protect his identity. As always, his common touch was evident: He was being carried in a simple palanquin by Christine Quinn and three of her best, most muscular friends. Naturally, he spotted us right away and came over — a big fan.

“Miss Ginger,” he said, holding out his hand for her to kiss. “Your latest piece in The New York Review of Books on the internal contradictions of capitalism and the contrast/comparison between Japan in the ’80s and the Amerikkka of His Serene Majesty the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Vacationer-in-Chief, Slayer of Osama, Atomizer of the Economy, Sultan of the Slippers, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago was one of the finest pieces of critical writing I’ve read in years.”

She blushed prettily. “Well, you certainly ought to know,” she said. And you ask why I love her.

“No, seriously,” Bergbloom continued. “I mean, look at all these fine young people, protesting Wall Street but loving President Goldman Sachs. Denouncing capitalism while checking their daddy’s investment portfolio over at on their iPhones. Demanding to be paid for simply existing, while insisting that those who actually have a job get less money in order to support their freedom to choose indolence over work.”

Ginger smiled that pearly smile of hers, which has won so many hearts.

“You can say that again,” said Bergbloom. “We need a restoration of the living wage —”

“Like in the time of Charlemagne,” said Ginger. “Or Averroes.”

“A single-payer health-care system, paid for by somebody other than me.”

“When you’ve got your health care, you’ve got everything.”

“A trillion dollars for new sewers. And I promise to get the sandhogs right on it.”

She crinkled her nose. “Well, this place is a stinky mess.”

“Freedom from oil.”

“Long live Solyndra!”

“Open borders.”

“The People, United, Will Never Be Defeated. Viva la Revolución!

“Honest elections.”

“Voter ID for all! Stop ACORN fraud before it starts!”

Bergbloom leaned out of the palanquin and gave her a look. “Debt forgiveness for all,” he suggested.

“You first!”

“The abolition of all credit-reporting agencies.”

54-40 or Fight — blame Canada!”

I could see by the look in his eyes that Mayor Mike was bested, and he knew it. “Who’s the schmendrick?” he asked, referring to me.

“Just one of Amerikkka’s chickens, coming home to roost.”

He gazed at me with a funny expression on his face, like I was a running-dog tool of the imperial hegemonistic capitalist patriarchy or something — in other words, just like him and most of the rest of the Obamanauts. I was about to remind Hizzoner that I attended the Little Red School House, not far from Zapata Park, or whatever it’s called, that I graduated from Columbia summa cum commie, and that I voted the straight Democratic ticket in every New York City election, even after I’d moved to L.A., but he must have had an important meeting to attend.

“So . . . ” he said, contemplating Ginger. “My place? Bermuda? Next weekend?” The stench was rising, and the sound of the bongos was getting louder. My head was swimming, filled with a thousand images of Preston Sturges and Frank Capra movies, and for a moment there I thought I was the Richard Jenkins character in The Visitor.

“Holy internal contradictions of capitalism!” I shouted.

“Send the jet,” said Ginger.

Bergbloom finally addressed me. “What’cha gonna do when we come for you?” he asked.

Amerikkka . . . ” I began.

“Don’t even think about it,” warned Ginger. “This is a family magazine.”

Bergbloom smiled. “Books?” he inquired.

“Don’t ask,” said I. “It’s an internal contradiction.”

— David Kahane is waiting for his girlfriend to get back from Bermuda, but he welcomes your expressions of sympathy combined with your exegeses on the internal contradictions of capitalism. You can prove you’re a real friend by sending the dust jacket from Rules for Radical Conservatives by carrier pigeon or parcel post (no COD) to Tarmac, JFK Airport, N.Y., NY, or by “friending” him on Facebook. 


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