I was slumped on a stool, mouthing a $0.99 slice of cheese pizza at a NYC pizza joint, feeling eerily out of place. I was trying to shake off the bad vibes from the preceding hour's observation of the much anticipated "People's Climate March", a gathering of liberal white folk smelling of patchouli mixed with Axe Body Spray. Along with the scented environmentalists, marched scores of disenfranchised brown and black people that normally would not cross paths but had a common goal here. This was a record breaking gathering of human exclamation points marching through the already congested streets of Manhattan to demand change in the global climate. But to whom were they making their demands? How would they get their message there? The UN Climate Summit is still at least a day away and as far as I know, those in attendance are not swayed by working class moans. These are all heavy questions to answer on a Sunday morning after a breakfast of old fashioned oats with no psychedelic drugs or alcohol. The cops certainly had no patience for these beatniks of a past generation marching and chanting in off key voices. I watched in horror as two giant police officers came crashing down like a hammer on a skinny hippy simply for moving his bicycle too slowly past the intersection on his way to join the March. I'm not Fucking telling you again! Move your goddamn bike or I'll break it on your face!! The police man screeched in an oddly high pitched voice for a beast of his size. No, these officers were not your run of the mill, overly optimistic traffic cops from Portland, Ore. These were veterans of the NYC Police department, hardened from years of patrolling black and Latino neighbor hoods where THEY are the criminals. The yelps and screams from the greasy haired pensioner did nothing to stem the tide of blows from long wooden nightsticks, but it did clear the intersection.
I was told Leonardo DiCaprio was leading the march but I never saw him. Perhaps he was in disguise; I understand he is known to do that. Once, while in a self proclaimed Worlds Best Bagel shop, I swore I saw him in a fake beard and glasses making out with a dwarf woman in a corner booth. Sadly, I could not get past the line of impatient customers waiting for their boiled bread and lox to verify this. I keep returning to that shop in Brooklyn Heights but no dice.
I wandered out of the pizza shop not feeling any better but at least I was feeling less hungry. On the way to the Q train I ran into Superman selling knock-off handbags on the side of the road, and why the hell not? That makes sense, right? It's what Superman would be doing if he were real. No one would pay him to save the world, no one would care that he was pure good, and quite frankly, he would just be annoying with his self-righteous babbling. So how are 300,000 people marching for change really going to make a difference? Hell if I know. What I do know is that tomorrow, this may be talked about in some circles somewhere far from here. And with any luck, those people will tell others what happened in NYC today. It's all we can ask for.