Roger Kimball at Quadrant Online:
Muggers are prowling Central Park once more while public nuisances shake down New York’s motorists and crime soars. Welcome to the increasingly bruised Big Apple of Mayor Bill de Blasio, his progressive agenda — and the inevitable results
Welcome to the 1970s! In New York, anyway, one of the decades Tom Wolfe denominated “purple” has made a stunning comeback. Consider crime. After a precipitous decline that began under the mayoralty of Rudy Giuliani and continued under Michael Bloomberg, violent crime has soared in the city. From May 2014 to the end of May this year, shootings increased almost 10 per cent while murders jumped a stunning 19.5 per cent during the same period. Meanwhile, Central Park has once again become a haven for thieves and muggers. “Police are investigating another mugging in Central Park,” begins a May 20 story in the New York Post, “the latest in a string of robberies that has residents on edge.”
The squeegee men are back also, having returned in hideous mutation:
Squeegee Man is making a comeback, both in his traditional form … and in a new, mutant form: Sunday Hijacker. Sunday Hijacker is cleverer and more cynical than his predecessor, and his modus operandi is to make a scene inside a church during worship until somebody pays him to go away. Screaming, knocking over furnishings, and threatening violence are his shtick.
Not to be outdone by rising crime, bums sleeping on steam grates, Sunday Hijackers, and all manner of sordid behavior, New York is becoming the principal center of transgender hysteria.
The New York Times, always a reliable barometer of radical chic attitudes, blustered into the debate in May with a long and extraordinary editorial called “The Quest for Transgender Equality”. “Being transgender today,” the Times intoned, “remains unreasonably and unnecessarily hard. But it is far from hopeless.” For one thing, “President Obama has advanced transgender rights more than any American president.” But there is so much work to do! The military, can you believe it, “continues to ban openly transgender people from joining the military”
New York has not yet descended into barbarism, as some exotic places have done. Dr. Paul McHugh of John Hopkins University notes this about the Mother country:
Some surgeons and medical centers can be persuaded to carry out almost any kind of surgery when pressed by patients with sexual deviations, especially if those patients find a psychiatrist to vouch for them. The most astonishing example is the surgeon in England who is prepared to amputate the legs of patients who claim to find sexual excitement in gazing at and exhibiting stumps of amputated legs.
There is almost no form of madness that is not celebrated and practiced wherever elite opinion reigns.