by Shelt Garner
I’ve decided that if need be, I’m going to head north towards NYC in the event of the advent of a Second American Civil War. There are some personal and practical obstacles to me doing this, but my general intention is to head that way at some point with the other thousands of political refugees that likely would exist by that point.
One my frequent refrains is I know myself well enough to know that if you put me anywhere in the five boroughs with access to the subway, I would likely make a name for myself one way or another. I’m too much of an extrovert and too driven not to make myself noticed. I’m well aware that this makes me sound both “delusional and stupid” given that I’ve not done anything for much of the last decade and — relative to the metrics of the average New Yorker, I’m just a big old rando loser.
And, yet, there’s a case to be made that if things have grown so absolutely bad in the United States that I become a political refugee that the “old ways” would have collapsed and a person like me might have a chance to rise to the occasion of an unexpected destiny.
The only reason why I even bring this up is I thought it would be interesting to imagine what life in a near future, “revolutionary” New York City might be. I’ve only been to NYC a few times and I love it. I used to live in Seoul and the two cities are very similar. In Seoul people won’t talk to you because they can’t speak English. In NYC people won’t speak to you because they don’t give a shit. But form follows function and my reaction to that is very similar — I thrive. What’s amusing is I also know that I probably would prosper more in LA because it’s a town based on storytelling and people are more willing to give a dumbass writer like me a chance because you never can tell.
Anyway, if things have grown so absolutely dire that I — and thousands of others — have been forced out of home for political reasons — I think the biggest difference would be how militarized the city would have become. Also, some of the locations of major conservative media outlets would have been gutted by that point as well.
One interesting thing would be the fate of The New York Times. The case could be made that on an institutional level, The Old Gray Lady has been on the wrong side of history. It’s at least possible that the NYT might have been destroyed — or radically re-imagined — because of the same forces that drove FOX News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post out of the city.
On a personal level, I wonder what I might be able to cook up if I was crashed on someone’s couch in, say, Staten Island. I’d be organizing something, that’s for sure. I learned a lot from running ROKon Magazine in Seoul and a lot of the reason why I haven’t been able to exploit that skillset is the fall of ROKon Magazine left me emotionally hobbled and I simply had no motivation for a long, long time.
Anyway, no one listens to me and no one cares. And if they do, they usually — with good reason –dismiss me as a fool. But, as the song goes, you never can tell.