Friday, November 02, 2012

1091 Sandy and the Elevator Man

1091  Sandy and the Elevator Man

I. Sandy
(STATE COLLEGE PA) -- Nestled here in the minor Appalachians and capital of Famous Pedophilia, we were spared most of Superstorm Sandy.  Most of us are grateful for that, and we should be.

Every once in awhile, it’s good for people from the Homefront, New York, to get a first hand lesson in rural life.   It’s unfortunate that it often comes in tragic form as it did with a vengeance this time.

Fires, floods, plagues of who-knows-what-all.  And worst of all, you can’t get from here to there, wherever here and there are in your world.

As of this writing, you in New York and New Jersey are living in small towns.  Towns, where the electric company and the phone companies are clueless.  Towns where the cowpath roads clog with cars and they flood.  Towns where mass transit is an oxymoron.  Scalping cabbies.  Empty store shelves.  Keystone Kops.

You will recover because you’re New Yorkers and New Jerseyans.  Here, this kind of disruption is a way of life.

As Dianne Stanciel pointed out, Mitt Romney changed his mind about defunding FEMA after he saw what it can do, which, thus far, is nothing short of miraculous.  He now will throw a few bucks at it “when elected.”

But Romney further amplified his out-of-touchedness when he recommended churches send cans of soup to the newly homeless.  Soup?  To cook on... what?

Not diapers, medicines, walking canes, warm coats, waterproof boots, underwear, caulking, window glass.  Not even pictures of his idols:  Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant and Franklin.  You know the pictures... they’re on the dollar, five dollar, ten dollar, 20 dollar, 50 and 100 dollar bills.

Soup, Mitt?  Soup?

Meantime, at the height of the tight election contest, President Obama got all kinds of free ads with his new road manager, Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey.

Memo to Gov. Christie:  Please don’t stand in front of the President in those photo ops. We can’t see him unless you step aside.

Away from politics, now, and back to earth.

The commuter trains are starting to run.  The subways are coming back.  The cabbies will stop scalping and the looters stop looting when things calm down.

Those in the news business have been living in Manhattan hotels for days now.  They want to go home.  The people sitting next to them at work want them to go home.  The people at home want them to come home.  All in good time.

This crisis -- and it is indeed a crisis, brought people in the northeast together in ways similar to the attacks of 9/11.  It won’t last.  That’s an ad hoc kind of thing.

But shared misery is shared misery, and that it happens now and then is not all bad.


II. The Elevator Man
Certain moguls insist on private elevators, reserved for their own use.  Such was Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts.  He had some good company in wanting a private car.  Arturo Toscanini had not one but two private elevators in the RCA building.  They were reserved for him and for his guests, and were staffed by elevator men before the era of automatic elevators.

The shafts are still there, but the elevators are not.  And the whole thing is sealed off with the strongest of concrete.

Toscanini wasn’t rich.  He was just important.  The elevators were a gift from his boss, Gen. David Sarnoff, to mark his value to NBC.

Governor Romney is not, was not and never will be a cultural icon.  But as governor, he had a private elevator.  Good place to hide out and not have to deal with the peasantry... you know... like legislators and other state employed riffraff.

Maybe not a cultural icon.  Maybe private elevators are just a perk of the rich.  

Okay, let’s look at that.  What rich guys have private elevators?  Let’s see.  Bill Gates?  No.  Warren Buffett?  No.  Mike Bloomberg?  No.  Fer cryin’ out loud, Bloomberg, worth $25 Billion according to the latest Forbes List, doesn’t even use the Mayor’s Office and works out of a cubicle in the basement of City Hall.

Romney is considerably less rich than Gates, Buffett and Bloomberg.

How about Nelson Rockefeller when he was governor of New York? No private elevator.

What about John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire and in the days when a billion was real money.  Nope.  

Henry Ford?  No.

Andrew Carnegie?  No.

J.P. Morgan? No.

Not even George Romney, chairman of American Motors and the candidate’s daddy.
Mitthead no longer has a private elevator, though his cars do.  A car elevator? Yeah. There's one of those in one of his houses. Just like every indoor parking garage in New York.  Maybe Willard is practicing for his next job... parking lot attendant on 72nd St. and Lexington.

Or maybe he’s just one of those new money wannabes, the kind that buys a fancy car and parks it in front of a fancy house that has no furniture.

Or he’s one of those guys who tries to flaunt a couple of hundred million dollars in a culture where some guys think of his net worth as pocket change.

And while we’re at it, let’s look at another private accommodation: Mitt’s private car-top dog carrier.

Have some soup, Mitthead.  It’ll make you feel better about yourself.  No gas or electricity where you are?  Maybe the ghost of Seamus will bring you some Sterno.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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