New York

AOC’s Day Job

Portrait of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg

Yeah, you know, the day to day of my day job is frustrating. So is everyone else's. You know, I ate shit when I was a waitress and a bartender, and I eat shit as a member of Congress. It's called a job. You know? And yes, I deal with the wheeling and dealing, and . . . I advance some amendments that some people would criticize as too little and too small, and . . . I also advance big things that people say is unrealistic and naive. . . [T]hat is like always the great fear when it comes to work or pursuing anything. You want to write something, and in your head it's this big, beautiful, like Nobel-prize-winning concept, and then you are humbled by the words that you actually put on paper. And that is the work of movement, that is the work of organizing, that is the work of elections, that is the work of legislation . . . that is what it means to be in the arena.

-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez interviewed by David Remnick on The New Yorker Radio Hour Podcast, February 14, 2022.

Queens Man Impeached Again

A Queens-born real estate developer made history Wednesday when he became the first U.S. president ever impeached twice by the House of Representatives.

Donald Trump, a 74-year-old lame duck Republican, is accused of inciting a lethal mob of far-right supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol in order to prevent Congress from certifying the results of his resounding loss in the November 2020 election. President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, recorded 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. . . .

In December 2019, Trump became the third president impeached by Congress — and the first from Queens.

-- David Brand, "Queens Man Impeached -- Again," Queens Daily Eagle, January 13, 2021.

RIP David Berman

Leonardo da Vinci, St. Jerome

I was operating the elevator when the repairman came aboard. After a lot of small talk he let me in on an industry secret: the “door close” button is not wired to anything. “It’s just a pacifier,” he said.

On a normal day I think in questions: “Should I quit my job? Why can’t I relate to people? Where am I going?” I can never answer them conclusively and only wear myself out. When I’m high in the back of a club listening to Son Seals play I only think in answers: “I’ll move to El Paso this fall. These solos are wandering into every unused space. My girlfriend is pretty good looking after all. I should see about buying a mausoleum.”

A municipal concession to human psychology: The insides of buses are lit at night because people will not sit in dark rooms with strangers.

I bought some greeting cards in a Nungessers junk shop last night. They’re not much more than twenty years old but the sentiments are already foreign. Fluff from other eras always turns my stomach. What if no one feels these feelings anymore. Do they go down in history like famous clothes?

I wonder if Jackson Pollock unconsciously designed so many of these canvases to have the same dimensions as U.S. paper currency, accidentally imbuing them with some concrete power.

Working at the museum is changing the way I look at everyday objects. Eating at an Italian restaurant, I look at the red and white gridded tablecloth and wonder that all the dishes have their owned unnamed coordinates.

All the guards are freaks. That is a fact. Wouldn’t standing alone in a corner six hours a day over many years change you?

David Berman, "Clip-On Tie," The Baffler No. 6 (December 1994)