November 06, 2005

Bombs bursting in air?

Whoops. Not the rockets' red glare. More like purple, green, and white with an occasional dash of red thrown in, without a splash of blue to bring out the patriot in all of us. Just fireworks blasting off in the perilous night in Central Park.

How festive to celebrate the New York Marathon participants and send them on their five-island run. From the cab, heading down Fifth Avenue last night, it sounded like bombs exploding. Fortunately, the color sparkles in the sky brought Alice to her senses.

Silly Alice. What other way to invoke the annual 26-mile insanity than with gunpowder? Pasta isn't sufficiently photogenic.

You can't set off fireworks in a municipal park without benefit of a license from the city. Therein lies Alice's curiosity.

How best to reconcile a municipality whose mayor thinks it's fine and perfectly constitutional to conduct random searches of the bags and backpacks of those who enter the bus or subway system with that of a mayor (the one and same) who thinks it equally fine and dandy to offer citizens the benefit of the sounds of bombs bursting in the night?

What color terrorist alert was on last night? Did Alice not get the memo on pre-marathon activity? Alice forgot, for an instant: she lives in Wonderland, where all processes governmental can be rationalized. She doesn't particularly want to join this dance, but no one's letting her sit this one out.

She can't help pondering: is this still the land of the free and the home of the brave? 'Cause she didn't get that memo either.


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