To order a copy of the book and to donate to NYUFASP (NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan) visit: http://nyufasp.com/how-to-donate/
For further information about Mark Crispin Miller, please visit: http://markcrispinmiller.com/
Crimes Against Urbanity
By Mark Crispin Miller
In this book, a dazzling company of New Yorkers, mostly Villagers, reflect on the grave wrong that NYU has done to its own neighborhood, the city, and on the death-blow NYU will deal that neighborhood, the city, and the university itself, if we don’t stop “NYU 2031”—and by extension, all such imperial efforts to wipe out New York, to make way for Mayor Bloomberg’s “luxury city.”
The voices gathered here—novelists, playwrights and poets, journalists and cartoonists, painters and photographers, activists and (NYU) professors—variously tell us, or remind us, what we’ve lost as NYU has gained on Greenwich Village. There was “the feeling for space,” of open sky out in the lowrise streets, that the young Nat Hentoff savored when he first came here to cover the jazz scene in the early Fifties; and then, as Eileen Myles recalls, “the tall buildings started to pop up all over the place,” chopping up the ample sky, and making those streets darker, more exclusive and less interesting. (And yet we’re told that NYU’s four huge new buildings will—though crushing all the trees, and blotting out the stars, and raising everybody’s rent—somehow create more “open space” in Greenwich Village.)
And then there was that other, subtler sense of space—of freedom that was not for sale, and that was only possible because the Village was a place where you could live without much money. “Out in Washington Square Village, people were doing just about anything they liked,” recalls Kevin Baker of that motley, gritty gathering place in 1976—a far cry from the more symmetrical and “safer” Square today, with its round-the-clock police surveillance. Today, these streets—indeed, all city streets in America—belong to them, as millions saw on that November day last year, when the NYPD’s Anthony Bologna pepper-sprayed those women trying to protest peacefully at University and 12th, close to where Thomas Wolfe lived at the Hotel Albert (when he taught at NYU), and The Dial and The Liberator had their offices.
This little book helps ell us where we were, and where we’ve all been taken—and therefore, that we have the choice of going somewhere else, if we will only make it, all together, come what may.
Mark Crispin Miller is a Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He is the author of several books, including Boxed In: The Culture of TV; The Bush Dyslexicon; Observations on a National Disorder; Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New world Order and Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform. He is also the editor of Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008. His essays and articles have appeared in many journals, magazines, and newspapers throughout the nation and the world, and he has given countless interviews worldwide.