Thanks be to Rudy

Thanks be to Rudy
: John Podhoretz says that we can still thank Rudy Guliani for the fact that New York was calm and civilized and even good-hearted through the blackout.

What’s happening right now is a mere inconvenience compared to the world-changing horror of 9/11, but the wondrous spirit of New York that emerged from that catastrophe is still very much in evidence nearly two years later. Maybe that’s because we’ve been through that hell and we really do know the difference.

And once again, the city should recognize and acknowledge its enormous debt to the one man who really made it possible for us to weather these storms: Rudy Giuliani.

: The New York Times has a daintier — more sociological, less political — view of the same story.

But the reasons are also writ small, in commonplaces of New York life that would have been unthinkable in 1977. For one thing, you can smell the roses, or at least the city parks’ more varied assortment of flowers.

In innumerable locations they sprout unencumbered by the chicken wire that used to protect them from flower thieves, when they were grown at all.

: Not everybody was civlized all the time, of course. Everything’s relative. On the Real pay service, I saw a clip from CNN of a reporter using a payphone being harrassed by an angry mob wanting, understandably, to use the same phone. They hung it up on her.

It’s still New York.

: By the way, Maureen Dowd has lost it. I know that’s old news. But she wrote an OK column or two during 9.11 and the anthrax attacks. Those were the last she wrote. I thought she’d be able to tackle the blackout with at least a feature-writer’s flair, but instead she recycles old news in the cause of her tortured, lame, crippled, gimpy gags:

Steamed Iraqis offered us tips, including: Sleep on the roof and take showers. As in showdenfreude?