It’s a rainy Friday evening in New York, at the end of a hectic week. The UN General Assembly has gridlocked Manhattan for days, leaving just enough room for Ahmadinejad in his limousine to speed past the demonstrators to his next speaking engagement. But he’s gone, leaving the UN stage to such lesser attractions, scheduled for next week, as the spokesmen for Venezuela, Burma, Syria and North Korea. The UN is about to take a break for the weekend.
So it seems a great time to kick back at home and watch a cable TV movie-on-demand. We were looking forward to “Flags of Our Fathers.” But the movie won’t load. It cannot be accessed. We try, and try, and try again. Finally, we call the Time-Warner Cable helpline number shown on the screen, 718-358-0900. And this is what we hear:
“Due to the UN annual General Assembly session in progress from September 18th through September 30th, Time-Warner technicians may experience delays” — and so, it seems, may their customers, who can expect “a brief, intermittent delay in picture quality on some of their channels” due to UN-related “security transmission.”
That explains not only why there is no movie, but why the TV news broadcasts have been flickering and freezing up all week.
If the UN were really busy making a better world, it would of course be worth sacrificing access to the high-ticket NY TV services of Time-Warner, so UN eminences could beam their urgent secret messages in and out of Manhattan this week (instead, although no one asked permission of the local cable customers, it is apparently our privilege to give priority to the UN).
But apart from giving Iran’s mullocracy a megaphone in America, what exactly has the UN accomplished this week while jamming up local traffic and transmissions? Absolutely nothing of substance has been achieved in the way of stopping terrorist-regime nuclear programs, dealing with any of the other assorted threats to democracy and humanity worldwide, promoting peace, freedom or delivering a better life to anyone except UN dignitaries — who, when I dropped by the Waldorf-Astoria last evening, were on parade with their retinues, all in their evening finery. enroute to another set of post-shopping banquets and haute cuisine blowouts in NY. The UN envoy dispatched post-haste to protect the beleaguered dissident monks of Burma has reportedly ended up stranded amid the luxuries of a Singapore hotel (the UN has failed to persuade the Rangoon junta to allow any intermittent interruptions of its crackdown on dissident monks). And Ban Ki-Moon has devoted his time to trying to persuade the free countries of the world to sign on to a UN-orchestrated experiment in central planning under the label of addressing climate change (the UN can’t even audit its own books, but it is proposing to manage the world’s weather) — for which this same gang of UN worthies will jet to a UN pow-wow in December, on Bali.
So, in the world that the UN brings us, there is no “Flags of Our Fathers.” We went rummaging on the shelves, and pulled out a DVD with the appropriate title: “The Gods Must Be Crazy.”