We are a stupid people. All you need to apprehend this reality is to drive in a car from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The colossal congestion, cookie-crumbling condition of the roads, failure to plan for capacity, the refusal of the plutocracy to invest, the aggression of the 18-wheel truckers who are taking speed on the last leg across the country, the crisscrossing at the tolls, the sidelong dangers that reside just beyond your peripheral vision, the desire to murder fellow drivers, the desire of fellow drivers to murder you, the inaccuracy of the radio traffic reports combined with their speeded jumbling of words (did they say Lincoln or Holland!?), the need for despicable drivers of monster vehicles like Hummers, Escalades , Yukons and other living-room-sized vehicles to hinder the progress of me going to Brooklyn and the human race to survive in any civilized way, the need for your passenger to ask for help with the crossword in a rainstorm while making a lane change you shouldn’t really make, the unforeseen construction that means you end up on the 59th Street Bridge, a very poetic structure, from which Coltrane serenaded that is nonetheless built so tall and rickety that you go all shaky in your mind and bowels mid-span, the exit ramps from the various bridges over the East River that make you feel that you are in a World War One fighter plane impetuously banking down and to the right to shake the enemy pilot so that you can make it onto the Brooklyn-Queens -(not)Expressway, the way the whole experience is like trying to read a too-long sentence with way too many set-off phrases and relative clauses written by a desperate lamebrain making a futile lament that bores even him, so many times has he made it aloud on the way to Brooklyn where he eventually parks and tries to forget that he’ll have to fight his way out some hours later. But, this time, we got there okay through a major rainstorm, and Roberto Clemente was on the wall, making it all more than worthwhile.