“The Cronut — a reminder of why you just need to ignore the sheep.”
Once upon a time, I was a proper New Yorker. I hardly left my neighborhood without good cause. It was hard to get me above 14th Street unless something truly special was going on. I hardly noticed the rats or the grime that covered downtown Manhattan, though both were everywhere.
Other weeks, I would be in all five boroughs over the course of a few days — yes, even Staten Island.
I would keep an eye on my neighborhood and knew my neighbors. I had waiters, bartenders, managers, and friends who were glad to see me and could open a few doors when I needed doors opened. I knew how to get from my downtown apartment and onto a plane in under 45 minutes. I knew how to get cross-town during taxi cab shift change even when it rained. I liked watching things work, which meant I knew a lot of building superintendents and talked to cops, garbage men, construction workers, and taxi drivers every chance I got. Guys who know how things work spend a lot of time making fun of people who do not seem to know how anything works — such as the trend followers and the chattering classes. By virtue of spending time with guys like that, that meant I also heard about all the latest goofy trends, of which New York was in no short supply.
The goofy trends always led to preposterously long lines. Preposterously…long…lines.
New Yorkers are not unique in this. New Yorkers and San Franciscans share something in common with the people of let’s say Moscow circa 1917 to circa 1992: they spend a lot of time standing in lines.
I, for one, am allergic to lines.
Muscovites were ruled by a communist regime that goofed up the economy of a prosperous land real bad, so Muscovites had to wait in line to get basic staples and not starve. New Yorkers and San Franciscans do not really have an excuse for waiting in lines. One hour lines, two hours lines, three hour lines. No sweat. These people know how to wait.
This is a hallmark of a frivolous people. They have so much comfort that time means nothing to them anymore. They have all they need. They will eat up their non-work time like it is disposable and limitless, then reach middle life, complain about not having achieved anything, and not having enough time left.
To illustrate this example, Nick Paumgarten, a member of the chattering classes wrote fawningly for The New Yorker of his love of lines, “New York used to be a city of queues—movies, concert tickets, the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now technology sorts you out. A good line is hard to find.” New Yorkers are so connected to their lines, they even have a special English phrase to denote their unique relationship with the term. They do not wait “in line.” They wait “on line,” they say.
- There was that time cupcakesbecame the rage. Lines out the door.
- New Yorkers at one time could not get enough warm Krispy Kreme donuts fresh off the conveyor belt. Lines out the door.
- In the days pre-societal shutdown, an hour-long brunch line remained a perennial weekend favorite. The longer, the better.
- Also in the day’s pre-societal shutdown, lines, long waits to get tickets, and high prices were the norm for Broadway shows such as Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Wicked. This included even bigger lines for their rush tickets. You might get 2,000 people packed into a city block for a lunchtime ticket raffle.
- But lines were also the norm for little venues like Comedy Cellar on MacDougal in the Village or Terra Blues on Bleecker or improv at Upright Citizens Brigade. Lines, lines, lines.
- There was the time someone decided to sell cookie dough in scoops for $8. It was just like a dip of ice cream, only it was pure cookie dough. Line around the corner, and then almost around another corner. Long lines. Now you can find several brands of that in the grocery store. No more cookie dough line.
- And yes, there was that time that someone made a donut that was like a croissant, or maybe it was a croissant that was like a donut — I don’t really know. They called it a Cronut.It made national news over and over and over again for hundreds of days. Probably more. I lost count. Some years later, The New York Times felt it necessary to run a piece entitled “The Mysterious Persistence of the Cronut.”
The lines were so long, no one knew what to do with them or where to put people. The lines started early, before the sun came up, and kept going and going.
Those lines helped bring about the ultimate downfall of Elliot Spitzer.
When the Cronut hit it big at Dominique Ansel Bakery, I lived very close. Eliot Spitzer was showing up in my building at all hours to see his goomah, who was 20 or 30 years his junior and lived upstairs from me. Sometimes his driver would wait on the stairs inside the building. It was not the most discrete maneuver. This was not Spanish Harlem or Hell’s Kitchen, where the apartment buildings might have people loitering about. It was SoHo. Spitzer had a big oaf of a man who would sit or stand on the stairs in an elegant apartment building that no one ever hung out in the hallways of. It was in plain view for all to see. Something was wrong with that picture.
Oh, and his goomah, by the way, worked for Mayor DeBlasio.
Hard to have been more indiscreet.
Party to all of that was the Cronut line. When those comings and goings into and out of my building were midday, the Cronut line saw it. When those comings and goings were early in the morning, the Cronut line saw it.
Well, one day, at some strange hour, someone with enough wherewithal to recognize the guy, saw Spitzer come and go from our building. Until then, it was not clear who it was who was coming and going with a gabagool eating body guard and leaving a black-on-black Suburban double parked outside. He did not belong in that neighborhood. He especially did not belong in that neighborhood coming out of a residential building. He definitely did not belong in that neighborhood coming out of a residential building at that time of day.
If it were not for the Cronut and the three-hour-long line, that wrapped around a corner or two, past my building, the man might still have a political career.
Soon enough, a few attentive people started to know what was going on. But more on that later.
All this is to say that the Cronut line was a long and enduring line, and New Yorkers are not ones to shy away from a long and enduring line, especially in the name of following the latest trend.
I have yet to mention an even more notable detail that makes the preposterous, voluntary line-waiting even more extra. In this era when Spitzer was still politically viable, some years ago, before delivery apps, if you phoned in a Cronut order, or placed the order online, you could have had Cronuts delivered to you anywhere in that neighborhood with no wait in a line. Hundreds and even thousands still chose an hours long line, every day for months. This behavior seemed like the height of frivolity, but about that I was mistaken. Because it got worse.
When Covid came, and life was limited to stores that were only “essential,” some of these trend-seekers and line aficionados knew exactly what to do: buy all the toilet paper they could find, beg managers to limit entry in a store to a small select few — perhaps even one at a time, put a doorman in place for crowd control at the grocery store, the only kind of store that was open, and form an artificially long line around the block.
These people are so frivolous that they stood hours for a croissant that looked like a donut. They are so frivolous that they stood in line for hours for a few rolls of toilet paper. They are so frivolous that they blew up society for a cold that even the World Health Organization will admit was not the plague (1/3 dead), not a decimation of a population under siege (1/10 dead), but was about as deadly as a bad cold and flu season (which, in a bad year might be give or take 1/1000). For an excuse like that, you allow people destroyed, homes destroyed, families destroyed, businesses destroyed, an economy destroyed, and arguably even a society destroyed?
Such frivolity is a valid reason not to pay attention to the more frivolous members of society.
Throughout all history, you have these three distinct groups of people. You have the folks that are more hyena-like. They are looking for an opportunity to take advantage of others. They are bad news.
Throughout all periods of history, you have a mass of people. They are more sheeplike. They are just looking for someone to follow. They have little faith in their own judgment. They walk through life skittish and fearful and are constantly shifting eyes at the newest best leader around them to follow. It is a true blessing that these two groups of people do not determine the trajectory of history.
The third group does.
It is the lions. It really comes down to one question: Are the lions in a society awake and on the prowl, or are they asleep and letting their territory be overrun? If they are awake and on the prowl, they are busy spreading greater freedom with their every step through life. If they are asleep, well, that is a different story and bad times are ahead until they wake up.
In a time like this, one may choose to look at the hyenas. Their names are Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, Sleepy Joe Biden, Klaus Schwab, and others.
In a time like this, one may choose to look at the sheep. They are your neighbors who triple mask, your sister who is on her eighth shot, your 38-year-old cousin who had a massive stroke 12 hours after getting boosted. Through his now slurred speech, he does not praise the Lord for saving his life; he thanks the shot for saving his life.
These people are as preposterous as the people in the three hour Cronut line. In fact, they are the people in the three hour cronut line.
Stop focusing on them. Focus on you. Focus on your home. Focus on the lions in your community. Together, you guys can weather anything. That which you focus on, is that whose influence you magnify in the world. If you focus on waking the lions, you are going to have a crew of masterful lions around you. If you focus on convincing sheep, you will exhaust yourself and in the end will only be surrounded by skittish sheep.
If you focus on sharing links to news stories with your friends about the latest dastardly deeds of the hyenas, you will depress yourself and everyone who knows you, as you obsess over the latest dastardly deeds of the hyenas.
But if you focus on the lions, then you empower yourself, you awaken others, and you pave a path to victory.
————————The End. ——————
“Wait!!!….But what happened to Eliot Spitzer?” you may ask. Well, The New York Post got alerted, waited outside for him to drop by, and our building ended up on the front page of the paper that Christmas season. The married man’s political career dissolved a second time in the midst of the dishonor and stupidity.
To wrap that all up…
Do not get caught up in trends, how illusory and harmful they can be. Avoid letting your fleeting feelings run the show. Do not obsess over sheep, do not obsess over hyenas, and do not be a dummy like Spitzer.
Be the smart, solid, courageous, lion you were meant to be.
And if you are going to run for office, have me on speed dial. Cuz you’ve gotta have a guy around who knows how things work.
Courageous lions don’t wear face masks. Not for any reason. If you don’t know how to do that, read this — the bestselling “Face Masks in One Lesson.”
Courageous lions don’t let their children wear face masks, not for any reason. If you don’t understand how unsafe and ineffective face masks are, have a look at the recently-released “Face Masks Hurt Kids.” No book like it exists in the marketplace. It is a creative, passionate, delivery of decades of the best science that illustrates the harm done by the foolish and trendy masking policies implemented since Spring 2020. Face masks don’t just hurt kids. They hurt everyone, and they hurt our most vulnerable in society the most — children, the elderly, and the sick. None of those people should be masked against a respiratory virus, in fact, no one should.
To read more on those topics, you can also check out LewRockwell.com posts by Allan Stevo. And to watch the awesome videos on this and other topics, sign up at www.RealStevo.com and join the legion of rabid fans who love the videos.