Madman or Reformer? Some Qs for CXB
Mayoral candidate Christopher X. Brodeur’s relentlessly outspoken commentaries and performances have made him a thorn in the side of both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations. Given the empty rhetoric that often passes for political debate in the city, the Rail thought it worthwhile to explore a few of CXB’s many iconoclastic ideas.
Williams Cole (Rail): What are the top three reasons you’re running for mayor?
Christopher X. Brodeur: First, taxpayers want the most honest, most intelligent, and most qualified person to run their government, and I’m not only the candidate who fits this bill best, I’m the only candidate who fits this bill at all, as the “major” candidates aren’t even qualified to be borough president! Second, most taxpayers are as angry as I am, and they’re sick and tired of being forced to “choose” between Robot A (the Republican Drone) and Robot B (the Democrat Drone). I offer the only real choice they’ve ever had in their entire lives. I don’t want to run for Mayor but I have an obligation to, and 100% of people I speak to out there say NYC needs me. Third, I don’t intend to win—this is because even though I’m polling at 100% in every poll you could do, the media and the pollsters won’t permit me to be included in any of their “polls,” because they know voters want the candidate who will outlaw lying by all politicians, outlaw all fiscal waste by government, make the subways free, and much more. And that candidate is me! But by running I can also raise the bar and force the “major” candidates to talk issues that they don’t want to talk about, as Howard Dean did with his criticisms of the Iraq War.
Rail: Out of your “100 Innovations for NYC,” which five do you think will really get the most New Yorkers to vote for you and why?
CXB: First of all, 100% of taxpayers want free subways, and I would win the election with just that one selling point. (It saves you over $300,000,000 a year on stupid fare collection costs, and improves the subways more ways than you can count, such as eliminating all the locked entrances and exits.) Second, my plan to put all major issues on referendum ballots (made permanent via Charter revision my first year in office) will forever change corrupt government by putting the taxpayers in charge. Does NYC want the Freedom Tower? A Jets Stadium? The 50% and 75% pay raises Giuliani gave himself and the lazy City Council? Does Staten Island want a NASCAR track? Do the taxpayers approve of eminent domain corruption? Hell no, and creating this new law will forever stop all these scams and more. Third, my plan to outlaw and crack down on media corruption is beloved by 100% of city residents both conservative and liberal. This is one reason the media will write about “longshots” like Gifford Miller (polling at 12%!) or Thomas Ognibene (polling at 0%), but not the “longshot” polling at 100%! My plan not only cleans up media, it also earns us billions of dollars in fines (for each misleading story) which I can use to build more affordable housing, pay off student loans, and cut your taxes and bills in half.
Fourth, my seemingly revolutionary plan to socialize electricity and phone service is a dream-come-true for 100% of New Yorkers. There is no logical advantage to opening phones and electricity——both very basic services——to the “free market” just as there is no logic to open the police department to capitalism. Do a poll and see how many voters would like to never get another phone bill or Con Ed bill. Again, I’m polling at 100% in contrast to the “major” candidates polling zero percent on this and every other issue you can cite. And for my fifth TKO, my plan to outlaw lying by politicians will forever clean up government, as this will almost single-handedly fix half the problems in society. Crime, failing public schools, Iraq, terrorism, poverty, violence, homelessness, and nearly every ill you can name is the by-product of our crooked politicians. 100% of New Yorkers agree with me that we must make it illegal for any politician to make any deceptive statements, just as it’s already illegal for used car dealers, auto mechanics and every other businessman to do so. If I can make enough noise, we can force Bloomberg and the other clowns to address this issue and squirm.
Rail: You need to be brief on this one. Try an exercise in modern political spin and give us a soundbite on why voters should pay attention to you.
CXB: NYC is dying and almost dead. Every day, more mom and pop stores close (due to 400% rent hikes) and corporations are taking over everything. The deficit and debt in NYC is the largest of any municipality on earth and growing at record pace, just as your rent, your taxes, your bills, trash, and most other problems are. If you want more of the same, then vote for one of these clowns. But if you want new leadership (and guaranteed solutions or your money back), vote CXB. The choice is yours. Good luck.
69. (Lower West Side)By Raphael Rubinstein
SEPT 2021 | The Miraculous
On an overcast day in 1993 an artist arranges some scraps of wood and bits of water-logged litter next to a concrete Jersey barrier being used to block off an empty expanse of asphalt on Manhattans West Side. In the photograph he takes of this casual-looking arrangement, which seems to rise from a puddle left by a recent rainstorm, we can see in the distance a swath of the New York City skyline.
72. (Various walls around the city)By Raphael Rubinstein
OCT 2021 | The Miraculous
One day in 1986, more than a dozen years after Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Cardiss Collins have been elected to Congress, a group of artists, activists and art historians who keep their identities secret by donning gorilla masks surreptitiously plaster the walls of the city with a poster noting, in thick sans serif type: Only 4 Commercial Galleries in N.Y. Show Black Women. Only 1 Shows More Than 1.
from City of BlowsBy Tim Blake Nelson
FEB 2023 | Fiction
Those familiar with Tim Blake Nelson's work in Coen brothers films, the Watchmen series, or last year's Old Henry, will immediately understand that this novel's depictions of Hollywood machinations are of a higher caliber than those in any other literary work that's attempted to depict that world. City of Blows abounds in the economy and fluidity that accompanies true authorityseen in this description of a producer: “One of the biggest pricks in LA. But he gets his movies made. Directors rarely work for him twice.” What's less expected is Nelson’s investigation of the relationship between insecurity and toxicity, seen in Weinstein-esque predators but also applicable to masculinity at large. The psychological motivations and character examinations develop City of Blows from a roman à clef to a work far more universal.
Motor City Underground: Leni Sinclair Photographs 19631978By Nolan Kelly
SEPT 2021 | Art Books
Unlike so many other exhibition monographswhich are often treated as something between a program guide and show souvenirMotor City Underground presents detailed reproductions of Sinclairs photographs, often blown up to full-page, alongside a wide variety of testimony. The range of dates and sources across which these statements are culled suggests years of research combing through a decades worth of underground missivesthe type of ephemera that does not often make it into digital archives.