Megalomania. Delusions of grandeur. Hubris. The pop diagnoses are numerous and all seem to apply, at least in part. The little man in power who reads his own press clippings and comes to believe them. Who are we talking about? Hugo Chavez? Kim Jong Il? Robert Mugabe? The cadaverous Fidel? Ah no. No one quite so exotic. This petty little dictator who seems to be increasingly in need of a visit from the friendly white-coated gentlemen is none other than that foe of fast food, the cigarette-snuffing, sodium snatching gun-grabbing, MAIG maven and man about town, Michael Bloomberg. No longer content to simply play uber nanny to eight million New Yorkers, Mike has his eye on bigger things these days than simply telling people in his own burg how to live and eat. And he’s happy to tell the world about it…
The mayor, of course, has always known what’s best for his poor benighted subjects. Just ask him. He’s dictated how much salt they should put on their food. How many calories to consume. What kind of fat to fry their donuts in. Where they can smoke. How guns should be sold in other states. Even what can be sold at school bake sales. No existential detail is so small as to escape his Sauron-like gaze.
It’s not hard to picture him, perched in his city hall office – Oz-like, with jets of flame to either side – proclaiming this and decreeing that. Truly, his desire for control over the lives of New Yorkers – a bunch clearly too dumb to be left to their own devices – is positively Soviet in its ambition and reach. Now, though, he seems to be looking at NYC not as the Big Apple, but as his Personal Banana. Republic that is.
nypost.com recounts a recent address by the bilious billionaire to an undoubtedly stupefied group at MIT where he regaled them with tales of his power and world-wide reach.
“I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh largest army in the world,” he said.
“I have my own state department, to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance. We have the UN in New York, so we have entree into the diplomatic world that Washington does not have. I don’t listen to Washington very much, which is something they’re not thrilled about.”
Is it a sign of dementia or delusion that Hizzoner actually thinks his proximity and access to the United Nations, easily the world’s most expensive and ineffectual conglomeration of useless bureaucrats – outside of Brussels, of course – is a positive thing? You say tomato, I say tomahto.
It can’t be long now before the annual Columbus Day parade is moved to May 1 and includes Bloomie’s Army goose-stepping past while he’s perched atop a boxy stand in Columbus Circle, Lenin’s tomb-style, reviewing the troops and firepower at his command.
It’s nice that Mikey likes to play commander in chief of his own little Freedonia on the Hudson. The one saving grace for the rest of us, perhaps, is that the only thing bigger than his ginormous ego is the extent of the city’s (and state’s) fiscal mismanagement. Which will make it hard to maintain that standing army of his when all the money to pay them is sucked up by municipal pensions.
Oh well. Mike’s the resourceful type. Surely he’ll come up with a new scheme to fund his little empire no matter how little help he gets from Albany. Maybe an incandescent light tax. Or a user fee paid by those purchasing standard, rather than organic food. Or maybe he can put pen to paper, redcounting his rise to power, his brilliance and his vision for himself and his glorious city. Maybe he could call it Mein Stadt.