Is one allowed to pray for a crime wave? It seems like a pretty malicious thing to actively will upon your neighbors, particularly if they number in the millions and you’ve never met them. But the fact is, as far as I can tell, no one can afford to live in New York City anymore. Unless there’s a crime wave. Soon…
Yes, granted, there are thousands upon thousands of millionaires in the city (I think I read there are 700,000 in New York magazine, which I read when I want to feel like I have enough money for a magazine) but the other 7+ million are probably all going to be evicted next month. So while everyone except for my cousin who works Goldman Sachs (and lets me sleep on his couch, God bless him) is looking for an apartment next month, here are some things to do to make all our lives easier by lowering property values. In short, here are 5 ways to spark a crime wave (or make it look like one has been sparked.)
5.) Insist, Insist, Insist
This is an easy way to get involved without much personal risk. All it requires is walking up to people in coffee shops and faux dive bars (bars with Pabst signs everywhere but where shirt-wearing jerks order Schneider Weisse) and asking “So, how ‘bout that crime wave?” or quietly mumbling to yourself “so many bodies, so many bodies” over and over. Working the crime wave into your everyday conversation is also good, but beware: chalking up the heat wave to the crime wave is a good way to get found out.
4.) The Broken Windows Theory
New York’s crime turnaround is largely credited to their enforcement of small crimes as a way of deterring large ones. The theory behind this theory states that when people see broken windows and other small crimes being permitted, they are emboldened to try larger ones. So the NYPD started arresting people for jumping turnstiles and other small-time things, and in addition to looking tough, they caught a lot of people who were wanted for larger crimes by checking their records. My theory, the Breaking Windows theory, works on this same principle, but in reverse. So, I recommend these two things:
a.) Break some windows or glass bottles around your neighborhood, to give the impression of an area on the decline.
b.) Free some hardened prisoners from jail.
Really, whichever one works for your schedule. Personally, I pass by a number of windows on my way to work, but few prisons, so the former would probably work better for me, but this varies from person to person.
3.) Drive Up Police Statistics
Did you know that the cops have anonymous tip lines? They are there to provide a valuable civil service: to allow people to report crime without retaliation by the criminals for “snitching.” They’re also there for me to call in twice a week to report the rapid spread of organized crime in Murray Hill.
Note: it’s important to actually know what the things you’re reporting are. The cops quickly realized my claims were bogus when I complained that a numbers racket in the area “wasn’t letting anybody use numbers.”
2.) Play HBO’s “The Wire” At Full Volume At Night
Bring crime-ridden Baltimoreto posh Manhattan using the magic of a really sweet speaker system pointed out the windows of your miniscule, overpriced studio. Plus, it’s the best show on television.
1.) Urban Dystopia: The Way 2007 Was Supposed To Look
Remember the 70’s and 80’s, when America’s big cities were flaming shitholes filled with roaming bands of unruly teens mugging the crap out of everything in sight with baseball bats and chains? And remember how all the movies from the period imagined that by now all those gangs would have lasers?
Instead of looking at the lack of apocalyptic wasteland and asking “why?” you should pull a cyberpunk JFK and ask “Why The Fuck Not?” So go down to Williamsburg and round up all those skinny-pants hipsters and switch out those flannel shirts for spiked leather jackets, those Buddy Holly specs for iridescent wraparounds and immerse yourselves in toxic waste. Give yourselves a chant-able name* and ignite as many trashcans as possible, decimate the landscape and declare yourself the Viking Lord of Park Slope. True, you’ll have to fight vicious street battles with a revamped, Judge-Dredd-like NYPD and will eventually be murdered by one of your mutant lieutenants or overtaken by an even more violent gang of cyborg record-store clerks, but for some beautiful months of mayhem and death you shall reside rent-free in a historic brownstone within walking distance of the L.
* “The Record-Store Clerks Who Murder People Who Don’t like the New Pornographers,” although it may sum up your ethos, is a little too long. “You Shall Know Our Ferocity” is out because Dave Eggers is a tool. Maybe “The Unrequited Crush On All Female Hipsters By All Male Hipsters” would work, but you’ll probably just call yourselves “The Bonecrushers” and have a really tortured explanation for why it’s ironic.