When I first heard the term ‘fleabagger’ a couple of weeks ago, a sense of calm and purpose overwhelmed me. Every rotten person that had used the vulgar term ‘teabagger’ to demean a group of patriots was going to hear from the social networks like thunder from on high. Sitting members of the US Senate and Congress had used a term describing illicit sexual perversions on camera with reckless abandon. The oratory vengeance unleashed upon them and their ignorant worshippers would be nothing short of biblical in it’s intensity and scope. I was free.
In September of this year tweeting became my hobby turned obsession. Giving the Occupy Wall Street or #OWS crowd an eyeful was like shooting fish in a barrel. I’ll be jiggered if these kids think they’re going to whine their way into leeching money out of an administration that already hurtles billion dollar checks to every special interest like so many Cub Scouts throwing candy to greedy children at a parade. It’s not happening on my watch, kid. Get a damn job. Scrub toilets with your over priced, under achieved degree if that’s what it takes to get your foot in the door. Contrary to your belief most of us weren’t born on third base. Many of those people high on the corporate food chain indeed got there by hitting a triple.
Letting my impulsive nature get the best of me, I drove into NYC early in the morning of October 25, 2011 armed only with my wits, and the video camera I had gotten my kids for their 10th birthday. Everyone in my house was asleep and I could easily get in for 2-3 hours and make it back before the kids got up for school. I wasn’t looking for trouble which for me would be a case study in redundancy. All I wanted was to film these kids stammering incoherently and edit a video that would launch me into the upper strata of fleabashing cyber studs.
Driving on the NJ Turnpike to the Holland Tunnel I caught a glimpse of the glowing torch atop Lady Liberty while she was backlit by the elongating constellation we know as the Freedom Tower. This particular view, while at night, was reminiscent to the photo depicting clouds of dust acting as a backdrop to the Statue of Liberty that so many of us equate with September 11, 2001. For reasons I will not go into, that day means the world to me and seeing the Freedom Tower for the first time, rising higher than the Empire State Building affected me in a palpable manner.
After an uneventful trip through Holland, I turn onto Varick heading South towards my rendezvous with mediocrity. Driving farther downtown, I’m distracted by my proximity to WTC. A Do Not Enter sign backlit by 10 foot high neon letters, P-A-T-H tells me it’s time to hang a left. Squinting to make out the street name I see it’s Park Pl which sets off memory bells. I’ve been here before.
Several available parking spots near a police cruiser on Park Pl teased my impulsive side and I pulled over and got out to walk the couple of blocks to get a picture of the Freedom Tower. While passing by, I asked the officer how to get to Zucotti Park. He rolled his eyes and pointed. Broadway then 3 blocks South. Thank you sir.
That’s when I first noticed the large yellow sign that looked so familiar to me. Upon closer inspection of the adjacent building I could just make out characters that had been scrubbed to mere shadows of red lettering in a vain attempt to remove years of historic identity, ‘Coats for Less and More’.
I heard the sweetly familiar sound in my ears of a distant, rapidly approaching freight train. Then the mental image of those CAIR supporters doing their prayers at Zucotti filled me with a feeling that could easily be interpreted as rage. Think of Tom Berrenger in ‘Platoon’ when the discovers his soldier has been tortured and killed by the VC, “Those motherf*#&@rs” was the thought that brought me into the realm of focus, clarity and adrenaline that few outside of prison walls will ever comprehend.
South on Varick to the PATH(Port Authority Transit Hub) I took my photo, asked a few kindly construction workers what their jobs were and thanked them for being a part of history. Then off to a destination I knew was going to be closer to this sacred burial site than I had ever considered.
I took the roundabout way and went back east to Broadway per the NYPD officer’s instructions. Turning south I again found myself in a place I had been before. There on Broadway between City Hall and the Woolworth Building I had attended the Tax Day Tea Party dreamt up by Kellen Guida where David Webb and others warmed the crowd up for former Speaker Newt Gingrich. I could almost hear the chants of USA USA USA echoing down from the stone facades around me. That was my initial delve into the world of political activism and shall remain a turning point in my life so long as I am capable of cognitive thought.
Another strange site caught my attention. A piece of metallic art that I believe is going to be one of the corner braces at the top of the Freedom Tower’s triangular facade. I snapped a horrible picture with my phone so that image is between me, God and the brave iron workers who will set that amazing piece of American craftsmanship around 1,300 feet above the streets of Manhattan. To any fabricators or welders out there, I can’t express in words how beautiful this corner piece is.
A block or so later I am standing under a defaced red sculpture looking down at the scourge of humanity. My anger and overwhelming sense of patriotism left me feeling not one shred of human compassion for any creature splayed out in front of me. Then I walked down into Zucotti Park…..