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Eternal Malcontents Find Only Malintent

Where could you place an enormous eight-foot mushroom on a sidewalk and get nary a glance from most passersby? The streets of Manhattan, of course. Here, given a combination of busy lives in conjunction with a populace that is inured to just about everything, a giant mushroom will easily go unnoticed or, at best, treated as a minor irritant. Some stopped and took photos. But most navigated around it while deep in thought, engaged with their smart phones, or chatting with companions. Some taller individuals ducked to avoid being struck, without even breaking stride or knowing what they ducked for.

The mushroom and tiny lawn, located on Fifth Avenue and Washington Square, were accompanied by a small poster announcing a new TV series on ABC – Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, airing October 10. Most who noticed the display were charmed and, in a childlike impulse, took advantage of the opportunity to be photographed underneath a mushroom on the streets of NYC. Nearby was a plainclothes security guard, hired by ABC to keep an eye out for vandals and dogs who invariably wanted to do their business at the base of the artificial treelike growth. I chatted with the guard for some time as we watched amused at the various scenarios that played out and the reactions of passersby. His work shift was overnight until 8AM, when the mushroom would have to stand on its own.

One couple was particularly offended that the streets of New York City were being used for corporate advertising. This reaction is to be expected, particularly in the Village, the cauldron for political dissent and home of a general cynicism of all things government or corporate. The guard assured them that whatever permissions needed to display and promote on the streets had been gotten by ABC. Not persuaded, the couple fumed and complained for some time before leaving. I imagine this was a recurrent theme for them, disgruntled at being victimized and their powerlessness over the excesses and greed of corporate America.

And so it was, like it has been for eons in this neighborhood. Some come to play here while not over thinking, and, like Alice, they find wonderment in the world around them, while others, more political, look as deeply as need be to find sinister connections to commerce in everything – the world where Eternal Malcontents Find Only Malintent

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5 Responses to Eternal Malcontents Find Only Malintent

  1. I love this post because I would love to do a sydney AUST daily photo blog but am not sure there is enough street view/business and all out craziness that New York offers. Yes people get pissed with commercialism of their streets but it also adds discussion,opinion and interaction with community.

  2. That is a Röd Flugsvamp. I have taken several photos this Autumn of that type of mushroom.

  3. Dawnos,
    Look for personal connections to things you see in Sydney. Avoid the factual, wikipedia or newstyle stories. You need to add something unique to your postings that readers can’t find somewhere else.

  4. In my head I made love up, and I was wrong. That’s all it was -made up, and I thank God. How could I ever leave the hell I live so well?

  5. That’s one thing to make sure that your ad will be notice by any passer by.. make it distracting..

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