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Sunday, August 9, 2015


Change Is Good--Woodbury

Capital Bank of New Jersey. After I took a photo of them, however, the manager appeared to ask what I was doing. I explained that I simply found his signs interesting. I even volunteered that I had come over from Philly. Tall and stern, he declared that seeing someone taking photos of a bank would arouse suspicion. These signs, though, were separated from the money lending den by landscaping and a parking lot, and even if I’d snapped the bank itself, that would certainly not be illegal. I told him these were like election signs. Though I was smiling the whole time, he never relaxed and kept staring at me with deep suspicion. Since 9/11, we’ve had this idiotic paranoia over photography.



Rudy said...

This idiotic paranoia over photography is, I think, just one manifestation of the politics of fear. The idea, as I understand it, is to choreograph and execute an event - in this case 9/11 - and then unleash the dogs of propaganda to generate, both through explicit and implicit association to that event, a general feeling of fear of a diverse range of specific things. Emotions are non-discerning. Once established as a fundamental component of perceived social reality, fear can be attached to anything.

x larry said...

yes. also, i think it's not only since 911 but long before that, though 911 certainly increased all this kind of thing several fold. but fear of 'authority'--bank managers, school principals, god forbid a ceo but any manager of any kind, any business owner, and obviously most of all the police and military--i grew up with this even in the relatively gentle 70s. it is inculcated from birth, in every children's book and PROGRAM, then of course reinforced hundreds of times every day through the long schooling years

Chuck Olroski said...

Shortly after 9/11, in December 2001, I was called to supervise an emergency gasoline spill at a (large) Sheetz gas station, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Sheetz Altoona,PA based EH&S Coordinator reported that "three Middle east-looking men spilled gasoline at a pump island, and were observed taking pictures of the entire island, including canopy."

In company E.R. vehicle, I raced to the scene and found approximately 20-gallons of gasoline spilled upon pavement, and migrating downward and into a a storm drain. Routine, but I admit the matter got blood flowing.

Cops on scene, pump island completely shut down, the Sheetz store manager showed me video camera footage of the actual deed. Turned out that the men were local, Italian heritage, and having identified their car including license plate, Wilkes-Barre P.D. eventually called them in for questioning on the incident. Post 9/11, very weird and nerve racking for Emergency (Haz-Mat) responders.

Wish all well!

awyn said...

Reminded me of the old Burma Shave road signs in the early 60s.

Change to Cope
Embrace Change
Ch .. Ch .. Ch .. Ching!
Change is Inevitable.
Bank at Bank of New Jersey

Cine said...

What sort of change is the FDIC wanting people to accept? The FDIC is responsible for winding bankrupt banks up, which it does to small banks all the time.


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.