long island city, queens: tank full, yimby empty

Fuck Yeah, Jimmy Van Bramer

Fuck yes, Jimmy Van Bramer!

I get it.

The word “fuck” is offensive, abrasive, unchristian, inappropriate for mixed company, even subject to federal censure in some instances.

It is a slap of a word.

For some of us, though, that slap is a common occurrence, a word we use and hear often, not a big deal, a regular visitor. It is not that the word has become meaningless in its repetition but rather that it has remained a satisfying sound to use, a reverberation which suitably fits particular moments and situations as the best means of expression.

For others, however, the eff bomb is appalling, gratuitous, a betrayer of low class, a demonstration of anger, a denouncement of God, even an expression of violence. When the word is said to them, it is as if they cannot hear anything else beyond that word: the uttering of it ends the communication and the utterer is held in contempt and subject to judgment for having dared to have used it. The word is then held against the speaker as if it were the sole act committed, a great crime which conveniently diminishes the integrity of all else spoken.

But maybe such a word falls somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, between complete ease and complete inconsolable horror. Because there is a credibility to sporadic use of a good curse word: when utilized sparingly, there is a gravitas to it, however offensive it may be.

Sometimes, no other word will do. Sometimes, “fuck” just simply fits.

And in the case of Jimmy Van Bramer’s pointed response to the latest false accusation of Pat Lynch who heads of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York: that “fuck” fit.

Mr. Lynch’s assertion that “LIC residents should know that this is exactly what @JimmyVanBramer and his radicals comrades wanted: decriminalize everything, then undermine and sideline the NYPD” is a lie about me, too as one of those “radicals [sic] comrades.”

Lynch’s habitual, fear-mongering whine belies his rage that his zero-credibility “benevolent association” is under especially deep scrutiny these days as the call to defunding the police builds momentum. The PBA is known for consistent dishonesty so the demand for greater transparency has never been more warranted.

At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement here in the city, in order to plea for pro-cop sympathy, the PBA dramatically tweeted that police officers had been “poisoned” at Shake Shack which was immediately called out for the lie it was.

The NYCPBA continually reveal themselves to be desperate, cheating, greedy fabricators who will do anything to maintain their power, which ultimately means maintaining their cash flow.

Because no one wants to “sideline the NYPD:” every NYC citizen wants order but we also seek to manage the financial and political power of an abusive union.

And no one is “pro-crime” in this city, either: that is as much of a lie as Donald Trump’s present claim that American cities are “on fire.”

New York City is a population which wants fairness, a dynamic that somehow threatens the quite oddly monikered Benevolent Association. Is that why they endorsed Trump for a second term? What an absurd and inappropriate gesture: it is like they are in fact the ones who are trying to “sideline” the city with such misguided support.

Police unions are corrupt, blatantly corrupt in this city in particular. They fool no one.

So, in this instance, Jimmy Van Bramer telling the NYCPBA to “fuck off” is fitting.

It is forceful, it is offensive but it is also fitting.

And Jimmy catches hell when he drops an eff bomb, which isn’t often.

In January 2019, at what turned out to be the final NYC Council hearing for Amazon HQ2 LIC, Van Bramer derided Amazon Global Public Policy Head Brian Huseman for Amazon’s inability to guarantee any significant job numbers for low income public housing residents; the best Huseman could come up with was a one-office-site call center, offering 30 part-time, no-benefits roles.

30 jobs, are you fucking kidding me?” spat Van Bramer.

The passage of time has since confirmed the treachery of Amazon, Brian Huseman and their ever-present team of lobbyists: their secrecy and inability to partner warranted such a response.

Amazon was not in NYC to try to make HQ2LIC work for everyone involved: it was in New York to do whatever it wanted to do. That’s how Amazon operates.

When HQ2 was met by the Queens community with suspicion and the demand for transparency and negotiation, Amazon decided leaving was a better option than trying. Two weeks after that January 2019 NY City Council hearing, Amazon quit.

Amazon spent over two years whittling down choices on which Northern Hemisphere city it would take as its new HQ2 bride: a commitment of years which then culminated in a lukewarm, 12-week courtship where a reluctant, evasive and absent Amazon, after having spent no time in Long Island City and met with no constituents, at least not publicly, rolled its eye at the deserved criticism and just walked out.

I mean, are you fucking kidding me?

This year’s story of fired warehouse manager Chris Smalls corroborates Amazon’s inability to partner or lead, which directly reflects exactly LIC’s experience of Amazon as an entity here in Queens. It is a sneaky, silent, cheating liar.

Jimmy was right to say “fuck” to Amazon almost two years ago and he is right to use it now with the NYCPBA.

Because a lie is a lie is a lie and all lies need to be called out each and every time they happen.

Jimmy was endlessly criticized for using rough language, that one word, at that city council meeting: it is still held against him.

But I come from the camp which believes politicians are allowed to be angry.

Politicians are allowed, by law and freedom, to express their exasperation and chagrin. In fact, it is beneficial and relieving for the voting public to see the human inside the person they have elected, to hear the anger, to witness its effect.

Cursing is jarring for sure, but not necessarily inappropriate, especially when executed sporadically. Abuse of foul language is not Van Bramer’s style: he knows the strength of a good swear is its spare utilization.

And despite a broad political divide in his district, along with the hatred, homophobia and veiled physical threats thrown at him, Jimmy Van Bramer’s service to our community remains consistent, enthusiastic, thoughtful and passionate. And pandemic notwithstanding, his popularity has even grown.

So, fuck yeah, Jimmy Van Bramer!

Thank you for swearing, thank you for taking the heat, thank you for advocating for sanity, thank you for always taking a stand for what is right.

And Pat Lynch can fuck the fuck off.

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