Saturday, July 27, 2013

The New (York) Normative?

It's always jarring to return to New York from ... anywhere, really.  But especially from a comparatively Kleinstadt like Munich.

So the assault on the senses and momentary culture shock of landing at JFK, battling horrific traffic, crossing into Manhattan, then not being able to turn left down Broadway ... let alone new bike lanes, Citi Bike banks ... the city's new fire truck siren / alarm sound, which seems to be this mournful death wail (far from the happy little WOOO-WHOOOO-WHOOOO we all used to sing out, running about being "fire trucks" or "police cars" as children) (or yesterday, if you're me) ... becomes doubled.  It's a particularly American racing around / going nowhere.  The loud quiet loud of a nest of ants, which can only be found in the grungy noise sounds of a truly American nightmare city.

I'm walking through this mess the other day, and I overhear the following conversation ... two young ladies walking somewhere around me:

"Josh says it's just that she hasn't found the right cock yet."

"Wow.  That makes me feel like I like Josh a whole lot less.  It's heteronormative, oppressive and ..."

"I know.  I know."

Strangely, the most off-putting thing to me -- the part of the conversation which actually made me wince and cluck and pick up my pace -- was not the ridiculously expressed umbrage of the second speaker.  But I found that the most offensive thing to me, was the way that the first speaker, an otherwise lovely young woman (with a perfectly formed ass, I might add - which is why I started eavesdropping in the first place!) so casually, loudly uttered the word "cock" ... and actually inserted (*ahem*) this word into her conversation.

Now I'm no prude when it comes to doing, being; to using colorful language to inject my point (*ahem*) ... or re-create, or establish, a particularly Not Safe for Work (NSFW) world or environment.

But I don't speak that way.  I would never walk down the street with a friend, surrounded by tourists, their families and children, and declare loudly (and "heteronormatively"), "Why, she just hasn't found the right cock yet."

I wouldn't relate to a buddy, in public, "She had the fattest pussy I have ever been a part of."  I would never (to this day) tell my parents on a crowded sidewalk, window shopping:  "Yo, I want that fuckin' T-shirt, yo!"  If me or my brother had ever piped up that way, anywhere in public, my mom would have blushed and covered her mouth like Austin Powers ... then my dad would have hauled off and smacked us across ours.

My brother has written of the need (for him) to "live nebulously" - Society's crassness, vulgarity, (un)"reality" and growing disregard for privacy and private moments, enough to send him off into the night, on the back of a silver black phantom bike, a la Meat Loaf in 1979.  I, on the other hand, long ago resigned myself to a George Moore world view:
"Humanity is a pigsty, where liars, hypocrites and the obscene in spirit congregate."
This acknowledgment keeps me sane - in the face of Benghazi, Amanda Bynes, Edward Snowden and Anthony's Weiner ... not to mention all of the innocent talentless, hopefully talented ... overhyped "music" and "entertainment" ... and Baby Boo Boo (or whatever its name is).

It also keeps me from blowing my brains out whenever I'm back in a new New York City transformed into a highway rest stop - full of IHOPs and Slurpees and Kmarts and bike paths, and pedestrian areas of picnic/park benches, and nobody smoking or watching porn (except Anthony's Weiner) ... but the lovely young ladies all swearing away.