Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Springtime in Union Square

By Nicholas Allanach

Yesterday, while standing beside the statue of Mahatma Gandhi I glanced over to Union Square’s more prominent equestrian monument of General George Washington on horseback. From where I stood, Gandhi faces one direction, while ol’ G.W. the other. This seemingly arbitrary decision in civic planning was, obviously, executed for symbolic purposes –or not. Of course, it’s difficult to read the man of peace and nonviolence facing one way and G.W. on his war horse marching the other as unintentional; especially on this historic New York intersection. Needless to say, random acts and mere coincidences are often synonymous, and no doubt, considering such subjects on this heavily traveled crossroad of commuters, students, etc. does cause one to reflect on the thousands who move through this space daily –some go one direction, others go another.
There was nothing special about the fifteen minutes I spent waiting for my comrades to meet me for drinks. Just another day in the park: people leaving work and making their way home. An attractive girl—not wearing a jacket—walks by shivering from the unexpected drop in temperature. A happy hipster couple poses out front of Gandhi for a picture. A homeless man talks to himself while sitting on a bench. Some black kids skateboard by. A man with tattoos all over his face pouts to himself. A beagle in the dog park howls. A brass band plays on the corner. Anti-war protesters hand out literature and sell t-shirts. Two girl’s walk by, “this is the worst job ever!”, they stop, throw-up a big smile and hand me a stupid postcard to some college frat bar.
Just an average day and another standard moment ticks by. How many moments have happened in this square? The mind boggles. A lifetime is made up of millions of such instances and history even more. So often we neglect to consider the significance of these moments, but every so often, when we’re away from the desk, something inspires us to see the world in a new light, and we’re able to take it all in at once. Although it’d be nice to hold on to such moments, it’s refreshing to feel them fleeting-by, all sporadic and immediate. Nothing lasts forever.

That said -New World is going on a brief hiatus to tackle more pressing projects. Till our next fleeting moment –peace. And may Congress give those bastards in the White House a run for their money!
Nothing lasts forever, not even a war.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...


I'm co-host of a Denver media watchblog called the Try-Works, which, I'm proud to say has drawn a little blood here and there amongst our locals. One of our primary foci has been the Denver media's neo-Stalinist smear of CU Professor Ward Churchill. I'm leaving this comment because you've shown some interest in either the Try-Works or Ward Churchill. If I've misjudged and you're interested in neither — my apologies.

As you know, though Ward Churchill drew the right-wing's ire for questioning American exceptionalism, it was understood that attacking him for exercising his right to free speech might raise some uncomfortable questions. As such, the local media's coverage immediately took on a viciously personal bent, the main charge being that Professor Churchill wasn't a "real Indian."

Only two pieces of evidence have ever been offered that Churchill is an "ethnic fraud" — whatever that means.

1. A genealogical study in a June 8 Rocky Mountain News article, performed by an incredibly unqualified team made up of two anti-Churchill bloggers and a New Jersey cop. (

2. The word of several people affiliated with a splinter offshoot of the American Indian Movement — primarily Suzan Shown Harjo, Vernon Bellecourt and Carole Standing Elk — who have a longstanding feud with Professor Churchill. Professor Churchill (along with Russell Means, John Trudell, Robert Robideau, Glenn Morris, George Tinker and others) have earned their lifelong enmity by contending that members of this group brutally raped and murdered a young American Indian activist. (

Professor Churchill, on the other hand, has videotape of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee council discussing his membership application and affirming his every word. Videotape tape the UKB mailed Professor Churchill along with his enrollment card. Videotape which the Denver media knows of, and has chosen to ignore as inconvenient.

But we have made a copy. And we have posted relevant clips to the Internet, accompanied by a breakdown penned by Try-Works member Charley Arthur.

Just click here:

For those of you who support Professor Churchill (or who just have a passing interest in journalistic integrity), enjoy.

For the inveterate liars among you — especially among the Denver local media — we're going to be having a lot of fun at your expense. Do drop by.

Benjamin Whitmer