Writing

Piece 50 – The Promise & Perils of New York City By. Raimondo Graziano

The Promise & Perils of New York City

By. Raimondo Graziano

 

New York City is one of the most diverse and wealthy cities in the world. Wealth in it’s people, and their character and the stories they hold. And wealth in the sheer abundance of opportunity and promise it holds. Though here there is wealth, monetary and material wealth which abounds in a great thunderous exchange of goods, services, luxury and great inequality. Great, terrible inequality.

This city has a history of corruption and governmental neglect and negligence at the hands of those the people dually elected. In some cases democracy does not always work to the favor of the people of this city. As rent rises to highs not seen before in this cities history, the wealthy move in and supplant neighborhoods and peoples who have had roots here for generations. Our elected officials do little to nothing to mitigate this. Often they are in the pockets of those they are meant to protect the people from.

Often it is the power of political parties and the monied interests of Wall St. And the Real Estate industry who hold our elected officials hostage with exorbitant campaign contributions. These in the hands of the powerful, the movers of the levers of government though not elected, are a dangerous tool acting as near as can be though skirting the gray moral line that divides contributions and bribes. It is not this city rejects wealth and chastises it. Rather welcome it with open arms. We must take a cautioned, measured and practical approach to the wealth that enters this city uninhibited.

If those that seek to come in look to benefit from the promise this city has, from its story and its trials – then they need to invest in these communities which have been here for generations. That’s individuals and corporations alike! No one ought to get a free ride and welcome mat laid out simply because they have a fat wallet. What message are we then sending our children? The stewards of this city in the years to come? As our mayor returns from his quixotic campaign for the Presidency, as he flies in, and prepares to get back to the job he was elected for let him be reminded of the issues facing this city.

Firstly, a housing crisis in affrodabilty, while countless tens of thousands of New Yorkers remain homeless, and a shelter system that many outright avoid. Secondly, a crisis in our wellbeing and health. I’m talking about the Overdose Crisis, where we have lost thousands of New Yorkers to a preventable overdose and countless more the horrors of addiction and the stigma that comes with it. Thirdly, a mayor who cannot work effectively with his Police Department to ensure that they receive the support they need while at the same time holding them accountable for their actions and in many cases negligence. Fourthly, educational disparities within our school system, disparities in opportunity.

The way we tackle this is not through ending programs for gifted students, but rather expanding access and resources to the people of New York, to those who don’t have access to begin with. To tackle a nuanced problem we needn’t follow the recommendations of the mayors bureaucratic commission, to penalize those who do well, but to gove opportunity to those who haven’t been given the chance to succeed!

Fourthly, the lack of expanded economic opportunities to smaller business which are struggling to compete with larger and often aggressive chains and other corporations. Let’s empower the people, and unleash the untapped potential in many cases lying dormant in this great city. We needn’t demonize corporations but rather, we can say to them – You have had your fill, let the people profit from the well too. We can reward responsible corporate practices, and those which are sustainable and empower workers by encouraging the growth of unions, while scrutinizing those who face no such oversight.

In other words, what this city deserves, what it’s people deserve and what is long overdue is a city government that works for the benefit of the people, responsible progressive and pragmatic governance for the benefit of all New Yorkers, those here for generations and those who seek to plant their roots. We can achieve this together, it is our hope that together this vision for a truly progressive, responsible and action oriented city government can become our reality. That is the hope of this city, that reason and justice, and personal responsibility projected outward can uplift and transform this city into a model for responsibility and duty and honor the world over.

 

Film

Film – The Flourishing of Sin

The small film can be found here.

Sin. Sin is a theological concept, and in the theological, one can say that rationality is completely lacking. Though I disagree. Religion, and theology while based in a school of thought separate from rationality are steeped in the conception of the unknown, that which is here, here being something tangible, but that which we cannot fully grasp or understand. Sin a moral construct, formed by theology dictates to us that which is wrong, which is sinful. It has illumined to us that unknowable thing which we cannot physically grasp but inherently know. We know that morals exist, they are no religious construct, they were interpreted through that construct because in that epoch, that is what ruled that time. Now, though, we have supplanted religion with reason without thought as to what will supplant this religious, this theological view of morality. And of sin. The one and the other no longer exist in the eyes of the Modern man. But one need only look around and see the flourishing of sin. All around us there is a total disintegration of any human understanding of morality and the flourishing of sin is ever evident – it bleeds into our homes and on our commutes, all around. Sin abounds.

Score

Score Philip Glass, Metamorphosis II

Scenes within from the Film Network (1976)

Scenes also pulled from newsreels.

Film

Film – Edwin’s Gambit

The small film can be found here

Edwin Hubble greatly expanded our view of the cosmos, bringing into the forefront the idea that our universe extended far beyond our own galaxy. In that instance our world got ever so smaller. His gambit, though perhaps not known to him, was the hope that by making our world smaller we as a collective of people, humans, would grow more unified – united together in our humanity. Have we humbled ourselves in our understanding of our place in the cosmos? Or have we simply continued along on the same course, destined for ruin?


Score
Arvo Part – Tabula Rasa, I
Philip Glass Dance III, & VIII

Writing

Piece 44 – An Open Letter to the President

 

            An Open Letter to the President

                    By. Raimondo Graziano

Mr. President, I have a few concerns regarding your actions and conduct during your tenure thus far as President of the United States. Your actions and conduct are oftentimes unbecoming of the seat in which you reside, from your consistent attacks on your political rivals bordering on accusations of treason against members of the opposing party to failing to honor and respect our cherished allies abroad. Then there are the attacks on the press for their, alleged unfair coverage of yourself.

Your berating of immigrants and rhetoric concerning migrants coming over the Southern border and dog whistling to a particular class of individuals who feel that the source of their economic anxieties comes from the stealing of jobs by immigrants – which the facts and the evidence say are false. You have politicized numerous institutions in our country and continue to do so through your actions, and through your rhetoric. You tell lies and half-truths near daily and work to undermine faith and confidence in government and openly defy the orders leveled by the co-equal branch of government – the Congress. The way in which you treat the power and stature of the executive branch is breathtakingly out of step with tradition, and you indeed push the norms of the Presidency to new heights often and readily without respect for tradition, the rule of law and the unspoken customs of our system of governance.

Myself and many Americans are indeed fed up with Washington, the inconsistency of Congress, and the sheer corruption that runs rampant in that degenerate city built upon the backs of the working class and home to the nation’s wealthiest elites – while surrounded by a city of poverty. Indeed, the United States and its citizens are tired of the establishment and the practices that it employs. You have a unique opportunity, or perhaps you had a unique opportunity to bring together the people of the country in their hatred of a system built to tear them down. You had the opportunity to expose the corruption inherent within our government and perhaps you have, though not how you intended. You have shown us corruption with your numerous cabinet appointments who bend the law and through your nepotism in regards to your family and your continued hold on your personal business.

What is perhaps most saddening though is the false hope that you have given to so many. Your populist message resounded with those who feel that they have been left behind. You are indeed a transformative figure in American history, and the effects your tenure in office will have on our people, the nation, politics and the world is still too young to be fully grasped – but you have changed things. You did break the back of the establishment; but only to enrich the wealthy and yourself, and the people that you perhaps, that you maybe care for will be the ones that will feel the effects of your misguided policies and actions. Your presidency is still young, and although there is much against you, and much that is valid against you, I cannot help but feel as though you, like those who you victimize and dehumanize, have been subject to the same treatment.

Perhaps in your own way you do care for the country, I only hope that in your remaining time in office you can better articulate these sentiments and work to bring this country together against those who would do us harm. Your actions that are good and that are in line with protecting American supremacy are overshadowed often by your disregard for the norms of office, and by your categorically antithetical to American ideals actions and statements. Maybe you can find the unique opportunity presented to you – that you could use your position of prestige and privilege to unite the country against those who would see us destroyed and those who would seek to enrich themselves. Perhaps such a change of pace is wholly impossible, or perhaps, you may change. Only time will tell. Mr. President not only is your own legacy on the line, but the lives of millions.

You can bridge these divides and it will be a difficult stairway to climb, but as you’ve said, nothing in this country, in America, is impossible to achieve because at the end of the day – all of us here, all of us, are Americans and we are imbued by our creator with a revolutionary spirit. There is no doubt you are a man with gall, a man who could give a damn about what anyone thinks of him, because why else would you behave like you do? That in and of itself is admirable, and something I’ve wanted in a President for some time. And although your critics would disagree, you too sir, are an American with this same capacity for revolutionary change and firebrand spirit. It is never to late to make amends and heal our divides, especially from your unique position as the President, and in no small part to the historic nature of both your candidacy and presidency.

Old Howard Union

Issue Brief, 13 – A Word On Senator Sanders

While I support Senator Sanders I believe his comments regarding allowing certain individuals – in the case of his comments, the Boston Marathon Bombers –  the right , the sacred right to participate in our democracy as ill advised and misguided. Those that actively seek to sow terror and discord among their fellow countrymen, whatever their ideology is, should not be allowed to participate in our democratic processes because they themselves seek to fundamentally undermine it.


Show Notes

  1. https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/04/23/bernie-sanders-backlash-felons-voting-right-marathon-bomber/