OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
If you thought you were on your last vestige of mental or financial hope due to the pandemic, Mayor De Blasio is coming to the rescue. With interpretive dance. As a dance and a dance instructor, I’ve never seen something as useless or absurd as this recovery plan or its dumbass commercial.
Open Culture is a new permit type available from the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office allowing for ticketed performances. Arts and cultural institutions, as well as entertainment venues, will have the opportunity to secure a permit for single day, socially distanced performances at over 100 street locations throughout all five boroughs.
The city could choose to loosen restrictions on businesses that employ hundreds, or even tens of employees. Instead, time and money have been dedicated to a new street performer permit program because everyone needs “identity” and “culture” right now.
I’m pretty sure they need jobs and the freedom to recover as individuals see fit, but what do I know?
I honestly would be a lot less judgy if the city took the approach of saying that there are mental and physical health benefits to the elderly being involved in and exposed to social dance, that children who’ve had all of their activities and creative outlets taken away deserve entertainment and socialization, even that the arts scene has been uniquely affected by Covid and that this is one of many ways for the city to promote artists getting back on their feet…basically anything but what De Blasio said.
“We need a recovery that brings back the life and the heart and the energy of this city and that everyone gets to be a part of. And if we’re really going to do that, if we’re going to really bring back the heart and soul of New York City, we need our art and culture back and we need people to see it and feel it, and to participate in it to know that that essence of New York City has not been defeated by the Coronavirus but will come back strong in 2021. Month after month in 2021, as you see the city come back to life, culture will lead the way. ‘Open Culture’ is another step towards our recovery of our city. We are launching with 115 street locations in all five boroughs, and it brings stages to our neighborhoods and culture to the heart of our neighbors and gives artists, cultural institutions and creatives a place to showcase their talents as they recover from the pandemic. Our cultural community is our conscience, our cultural community is our hope and our identity as New Yorkers.”
Be warned, if you read this and watch the actual commercial, where De Blasio and a few honored guests sit around a closed off street like honored guests to watch an interpretive dance performance, you WILL lose brains cells. Yes, it’s that stupid.
It’s also the braindead approach of elitists who likely have no idea what it’s been like for the average citizen to suffer through the pandemic or what they need for recovery. My family has been lucky to not be majorly affected, but if I made a list of things we needed, “identity” wouldn’t make the top 100.
I have friends who live in New York; regular people who live in the city as well as performers who work in films and on Broadway. Yes, they are definitely “different” as most artists are. I can’t see any one of them being like, “Oh thank goodness, De Blasio is bringing back culture and identity”.
Do artists need a creative outlet? Absolutely. Does anyone who’s not an artist care right now? I mean, not really. Not to mention the fact that most artists have a second job, even the successful ones, because the arts themselves tend to pay squat.
I think De Blasio would have had a much better reception if he focused on industries that affected the most people in New York. But leftist politicians are obsessed with identity, probably because all of their policies are hypocritical and borderline schizophrenic, so they assume everyone else is too. I can’t wait to see who they give special priority to next. Maybe the city will set aside funds for hot dogs vendors to provide new condiments. Saving lives, one spicy relish at a time.