On February 17, 1967, the newspapers ran stories about a sensational new investigation into JFK’s assassination, headed by a New Orleans DA named Jim Garrison, who called into question the “lone gunman” theory laying all the blame on Lee Harvey Oswald. Five days after the news story broke, the prime target of Garrison’s investigation, David Ferrie, a right-wing pilot linked to the CIA, was found dead of a “cerebral hemorrhage.”
Public opinion was polarized over JFK’s assassination. Forty-six percent of Americans doubted the Warren Commission’s finding that Oswald “acted alone;” Garrison was becoming more vocal about Oswald’s alleged CIA connection; and independent journalists were asking potentially embarrassing questions. Nerves in Washington were frayed. (more…)
Even the strongest Afghani brown can’t save Scottish junkies from the waking-nightmare that’s gripped them since December—when word first leaked out in the press of dope-fiends dropping dead from Anthrax-tainted heroin. Since December, press reports say there have been 14 confirmed anthrax poisonings among Scottish heroin junkies, and one in Germany. Eight of those have died. As any Irvine Welsh reader knows, the slums of Glasgow and Edinburgh are notoriously smack-plagued, so panic has no doubt hit copping centers in these towns especially hard. (more…)
Posted: January 20th, 2010
I was in Detroit to visit my girlfriend’s family for Thanksgiving and decided to take a look around. Knowing my tastes, locals told me to head for a burnt-out slum called Highland Park, HP for short, as it’s hands-down the worst neighborhood in the city. And that’s saying a lot because in Detroit, beyond the bunker that is the revitalized downtown, the whole world’s a ghetto.
If you want directions to see what happened to the American Dream in the age of globalization, go north on Woodward Avenue. When the empty sidewalks and spiffed-up ghosts of department stores give way to miles of vacant lots, piles of arsonists’ ash and ruined factories, you’ve hit your destination: Highland Park. A beaten-down man in a black vinyl coat was there to greet me. Waving his hands furiously while I drove by, the crack-addicted hustler shouted, “Right here! I got that shit right here!” (more…)
Posted: December 14th, 2009
This article was first published in the New York Press.
HE WEARS A black hoodie to protect himself from the cold rain. The baby-faced guy is Dominican, probably in his early twenties. He rushes by me at the Graham Avenue L train entrance, pauses and asks, “Matt?” I nod. He leads me down the stairs, examines me silently. Once he’s satisfied that I’m not a threat, he takes $30 from my left hand and pushes a sealed bag of Cheez Doodles into my right jacket pocket. Without another word, he splits for the opposite staircase and races back above ground. I check my watch. It’s 6:30 on a Saturday night under a busy Williamsburg intersection, and I’ve just scored three bags of “Nike” heroin, all hidden inside a re-sealed bag of chips. (more…)
Posted: October 21st, 2009
In front of Bangkok’s countless sex fronts—massage parlors, hotels and go-go bars—brown-skinned northern women clad in logo-stamped fast-food styled polo shirts still let out their trademark drawn out hiss. “Maaaaaahhhh-ssaaaaaggggee.” But the deepest global recession since the onset of cheap jet travel has rendered the sight of hordes of horny foreigners itching for $10 hand-jobs scarce. With no takers, the cries get a little more desperate and insistent every day. (more…)
Posted: September 27th, 2009
I’ve always taken it for granted that brokers disseminate lies through the media to tweak property values. But a couple of weeks ago, I became a small cog in the national real estate propaganda machine myself while reporting for the New York edition of Time Out—on Kensington, Brooklyn, a supposedly “hot” new neighborhood stretch bordering wealthy the Park Slope district. Given the slick nature of the magazine, I filed a smoothed over narrative of what I saw—Bengalis, Hispanics and Hasids, chattering away amongst themselves in ancient dialects. I left out the trash filled yards, chop shops and nasty eyed stares from the locals. But a questioning email came back from my editor: where are the boutiques, cafes and charming restaurants? My answer, that there weren’t any, didn’t cut it with him. (more…)