Thursday, September 22, 2011
Politicians rarely, if ever keep promises.
Rather, the exalting words of "hope and change," lower taxes and love and happiness for everyone crumble to the ground like yesterday's discarded campaign posters the day following election.
But, some promises and "goals" are kept.
Or, at least the ones that are easy, profitable and self-serving to follow through on -- such as rounding up and killing thousands of defenseless and hapless Canada geese.
Last night, while once again walking through a park completely devoid of any geese, I remembered back to an article read last year that claimed the "goal" of Mayor Bloomberg and the city was to "eliminate" all Canada geese in New York City, except for those at the very southern tip of Manhattan.
At the time, I could not make myself believe that such "alarmist" statement could possibly be true despite being aware that goose killings were occurring in all five boroughs.
Certainly, they would never round up and slaughter geese from Central Park, I thought, confidently! They would never be able to get away with such without witness and exposure!
"You can't believe everything you read."
The above quote is from Carol Bannerman (spokesperson for the USDA), and is frequently used to dispute charges made in the press regarding USDA activities and plans.
Well, I obviously didn't believe everything that was being read in the hundreds of articles poured through over the past year -- especially something I did not want to believe.
I thus, didn't save the particular article, but have now lived to regret that negligence and denial.
Because it is realized now that what was claimed is actually true.
While it may have been correct to think that goose roundups and slaughter would not occur in and from Central Park, what foolishly was not considered was that Central Park would embark on an aggressive program of chasing every goose out of its 900 acre property for the birds to get killed somewhere else in the city.
This morning, I attempted to find the particular article pondered during last night's walk in Central Park.
But, not remembering the publication, it was a daunting task.
However, I did find this piece from the New York Times from July of last year which is similar in NY state's voiced goals. "Goals" that the city politicians and officials signed off on:
So, the question becomes, "Why did I not believe the article that specifically claimed the geese would be "eliminated" in all, but the southern tip of Manhattan?
Perhaps because it was simply unimaginable to me that my city and my "crown jewel" park would ever set out to destroy something so dearly treasured, valued and loved.-- Something that brought life, vibrancy, spirit, hope, renewal and tranquility to Central Park.
Innocent birds swimming on a park lake or peacefully grazing on a grassy embankment.
What was it about such natural, gentle image that would arouse attitudes of dominance, hostility, paranoia and "control" in political leaders as well as plans for destruction and massacres by our city, state and federal officials?
Last night, after a once again bereft and disquieting journey in the park, I found myself looking at some YouTube videos.
Or, more accurately, one video over and over again:
"And its not a cry you hear at night
And its not someone who has seen the light
Its a cold and its a broken, Hallelujah."
Hallelujah, hallelujah, indeed.
Sometimes, our officials and politicians actually do keep promises.
But, they are never the ones you want them to keep.
I imagine there will come a day when Central Park (and other city parks) will become like large outdoor sports complexes and entertainment venues. "Greener" versions, so to speak, of Times Square, Madison Square Garden and New York Sports Club.
What little wildlife miraculously remains will be carefully monitored and constantly assessed for any possible "interference" on human activities. (This is why I believe mallards, like geese, will eventually be deemed "nuisance" and subsequently, doomed in the park. After all, ducks sometimes get caught in fishing lines and they quack a lot.) Some animals will be chased out of the parks. Others will be rounded up and "removed" to make way for bicycle and running tracks, ball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas and concert venues.
I would like to think that such day is decades away and that I won't be around to see it.
But, "send in the clowns. Don't bother, they're here."
Today, I walked with my dogs around my Upper East Side neighborhood.
At least half the people were either texting or talking on cell phones. Even an old woman in a wheel chair was on a cell phone -- as was her caregiver.
Had I suddenly stripped naked on 86th Street, I doubt few people would have noticed, much less cared or reacted in any way -- such as to call a cop.
Why should I or public officials expect anyone to notice if all the geese or all other wildlife are suddenly banished from city parks or even killed?
Love and connection are, after all, only a website, marathon mile, text message or plastic surgery away.
"Its not a cry you hear at night.
And its not someone who has seen the light.
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah." -- PCA