Film and Television Rights: Dear Mayor Bloomberg

Thank you for arranging the GOP Convention in our fair city. It was a wonderful tribute to a city that gets very little national and international attention. You showed our visitors a grand time, and I'm certain they will come back and visit often, as long as they can be ferried by armed motorcade to the city's many famous landmarks, such as Disney's "The Lion King", ESPN Zone, and Applebees.

Also, it was wise to keep unruly protestors, like those who crowded together and hampered sidewalk traffic without a license (ooh, how annoying when tourists block the sidewalk), locked behind barbed wire on gasoline-covered concrete until the convention was over. Judges, what do they know? Leveling a $500,000 fine against our city for contempt of court. Due process, due schmocess I'd say.

Sure, some businesses may close, because a week's lost revenue may kill them. But that's the free market at its best. Only the strong survive. And who needs those silly delis and fruit vendors and restaurants (what the hell kind of word is deli anyhow)? Why have a business unless its easily recognizable as a national brand? Imagine everyone in the city as driving on the Delaware Turnpike. Are you really going to stop at some odd place called Katz's, or say, Starbucks?

So what, the cabbies barely had any business. They don't really need extra money--all they do is drive around all day!

Sure, billions were lost in tax revenue and disposable income and all the other economic ripple effects, but you can easily get that cash back the same ways you've done before. You'll raise the tobacco tax again, and I look forward to it. $7.50 a pack is just silly. $8.00 would make it much easier for everyone; there'd be no annoying quarters jangling in smoker's pockets, wearing down the fabric of their pants. Ten bucks would be all the better. I know I'm often in a hurry to get out there and continue surviving--and why wait for change--especially if it'll help pay for that line of 25 black SUVs I saw in Union Square. Who knows, instead of the mere 100K it cost to equip those 40K GMCs, you could go one better and order Cadillac Escalades.

And obviously, you will increase, even more, the daily ticketing of New York Cityzens (Cityzens, I just made that up). I've noticed NewYorkCityzens enjoy conversing with our army of Parking Violations officers. Parking fines were doubled last year, the cheapest ticket now $110. Doubling it to $220 is expected, and I imagine anticipated. 220 has that alliterative quality so popular among our street poets. Say it with me, it makes one's lips pucker as if in a sweet kiss, and may do much for the city's creative output. And if that's not enough cashflow, there are plenty of people who still sit on milk crates intead of chairs, worthy of a hefty fine for unauthorized use of a milk crate.

Thanks again. It was good for this forgetful city to be reminded of the less-regarded points of September 2001--the mass exodus, fear, checkpoints, the automatic weaponry, to be outnumbered at every turn by uniformed officers. I will miss that. And the new twists, which were also appreciated, such as buying all the thousands of undercover agents and officers matching outfits rather than relying on them to wear their own street clothes, was truly remarkable and generous. Plus, in those instances when I wasn't surrounded by uniformed officers, it made me feel at ease to so easily recognize the undercover agents (shhhhh), even when they tried to blend in with their matching shopping bags and cameras. In fact, just yesterday, two gentleman took my photograph while I was arguably being suspicious by photographing street scenes. Thank you for making me feel important! Like someone from Texas or Ohio!

Yours truly,

John Ball

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