New Yorkers love to make fun of people in the middle of America for blindly doing what they are told.
Stop at the intersection! Don’t park here! Go to war with those brown people! Don’t be Gay! Go to church every Sunday! Cover your heart! Give up your freedoms! Do this! Do that! Don’t do that! While North Korea, the old Soviet Russia, and Kansas says, “yes sir!”, New Yorkers respond, “oh yeah? says who?” An eerie event at the Mets game told me those days of NY pride may be over.
Eating overpriced pizza and drinking beer with my significant other on a busy hot Saturday at Citi Field before a Mets game. Thousands of fans were bustling around us in the left field concessions, an area full of food, alcohol, souvenirs, and carnival games such as ‘dunk the poor college kid wearing the opposing team’s jersey’. The sound of a crowd of loud baseball fans talking loudly all at once made it difficult to hear each other without shouting. Then suddenly, it stopped dead. No moving, no talking. Not just some people, but literally everybody but us 2 turned to an quiet immobile statue.
As we looked up to see thousands of people stopped dead where they stood, listening to the National Anthem quietly…we panicked and ran. Not one person seemed to notice us, the only moving people in the area, dodging their stiff bodies. ‘How much time will our baseball caps save our lives if they start to eat our brains?’, we thought as we danced around the statues.
Then, as suddenly as it began, the silence ended. The National Anthem had ended and the multitude of people started moving again loudly, all at once.
I wanted to compare them to well-trained dogs, but even dogs move in anticipation of the next command. Trillions of dollars spent in PR have turned this country into obedient sheep, and I am afraid. And apparently, with only 2 of 40,000 in this sample size, I am in the minority.
We are still freaked by this event. Are we becoming the new Soviet Union, with blind patriotism and poverty replacing freedom and happiness?