Sunday, December 24, 2017

This Year’s Seasonal Reflection: Yes We Are Now Living In Ratnerville, Locally and Nationally, And Yet We Hope And Work Towards Something Different

From our Thursday, December 24, 2009, A Christmas Eve Story of Alternative Realities: The Fight Not To Go To Pottersville (Or Ratnerville),
Every year since 2009 Noticing New York has engaged in the tradition of a seasonal reflection post as we reach the cusp of the new year.

The theme, borrowed from "Its' a Wonderful Life," has been that if enough is not done to oppose greed and the usurpation of our public commons and community we wind up living in "Pottersville," the fictional dystopian town that Bedford Falls became when the selfish banker Henry Potter (not Harry Potter) took it over when men who could not keep their spirit and will to fight alive let the greed triumph.

The theme has been that in the real world the fictional "Pottersville" is an all too real "Ratnerville."  That's "Ratnerville," as in Forest City Bruce Ratner taking over the entirety of a neighborhood for a monopolistically controlled megadevelopment.  Or you may recognize it equally well today as "Jared-Kushnerville" another New York City Developer, or recognize it by the name of Kushner's father-in-law, Donald Trump the nation's Distractor In Chief who also fledged in this city's real estate industry: That would make it "Trumpville."  Indeed, isn't that what we have as every wish and every good instinct of the public is ignored so that the greedy can grab more for themselves?

Isn't that exactly what he have when among the self-serving deals Trump put in his basket visiting Saudi Arabia this year was $20 billion to be invested with Stephen Schwarzman's Blackstone Group for privatizing America's public assets?

As we commiserate about what is happening nationally, commiserate that it has been a terrible year of seizures, it is important to remember how interconnected what happens on the national level is with what is happening here locally in New York City, how much of what is national was nurtured to awful fullness by this city's real estate industry.  A review of Noticing New York's seasonal reelections of years past reflects this.

Among other things, Jared Kushner and Stephen Schwarzman (aside from other deals they have been involved in together) have both been involved in selling off our New York City libraries.  That too has implications building upon implications, including national ones.

As for keeping our spirits up and keeping up the fight?:  One thing that involves is staying informed plus making sure that others can stay and get informed, and that is one reason fighting to save our public libraries is a critical fight that will give us leverage to win more of these fights to regain our beloved figurative Bedford Falls in the future.   If you click and use the link available here to visit Citizens Defending Libraries you will be one of the first to visit the new Citizens Defending Libraries main web page.  It's subject to some refinement and upgrading that you'll see in over the next days, but it is a good way to start the new year.  It may also be surprising to read there about how interconnected the library fight is to everything else we may be thinking about in term of regaining Bedford Falls.
Here are links to the prior Noticing New York ventures into seasonal reflection where you can read:
•    Thursday, December 24, 2009, A Christmas Eve Story of Alternative Realities: The Fight Not To Go To Pottersville (Or Ratnerville),

•    Friday, December 24, 2010, Revisiting a Classic Seasonal Tale: Ratnerville,

•    Saturday, December 24, 2011, Traditional Christmas Eve Revisit of a Classic Seasonal Tale: Ratnerville, the Real Life Incarnation of the Abhorred Pottersville,

•    Monday, December 24, 2012, While I Tell of Yuletide Treasure,

•    Tuesday, December 24, 2013, A Seasonal Reflection: Assessing Aspirations Toward Alternate Realities- 'Tis A Tale of Two Alternate Cities?.,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, Seasonal Reflections: No Matter How Fortunate or Not, We Are All Equal, Sharing a Common Journey

•    Thursday, December 24, 2015, Seasonal Reflection: Mayor de Blasio, His Heart Squeezed Grinch-Small, Starts Gifting Stolen Libraries To Developers For The Holidays
•    Saturday, December 24, 2016, Noticing New York's Annual Seasonal Reflection
One must keep one's fighting spirit up.