Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Laughing Policeman

Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at its beauty, its genius?
A society that admires its shock troops had better be bloody careful about where it’s going.

— John le Carré, A Perfect Spy

This picture is beautiful. Just beautiful.

It was posted earlier today by Twitter account @reclaimuc. I have no idea whether it was posed, photoshopped, or merely a serendipitous tableau. I have no idea why the policemen and woman in the picture are laughing. But the framing—capturing the police, the telephone booth ad, the TD Bank branch entrance, and the building address of Two Wall Street—is simply spectacular. As an extra bonus, and for extra frisson, the tonality of the photo perfectly evokes that in The Matrix movies. Urban photojournalism doesn’t get any better than this.

Kevin Roose of New York Magazine later tweeted to explain that the ad in the picture is a fake, designed to promote an upcoming series on Cinemax. This makes sense, as it seems unlikely any real organization would be so tone deaf as to publicly advertise its services in earnest in such a way.1 I don’t care.

Sometimes fate and fiction collide in such a way that the veil of dissembling and polite convention covering our everyday life is torn aside, revealing the slightly sordid truth beneath. It would be hard for anyone to pen a better exposé of the naked power structures undergirding the surface of my fair city in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve than this serendipitous little photograph.

Mayor Bloomberg must be exceedingly annoyed.

1 Although behavior by certain Presidential candidates recently exposed in the news does plant a seed of doubt in my mind as to just how clueless members of the plutocracy can actually be.

© 2012 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.