According to today's Daily News, the clown prince of Brooklyn, Borough President Marty Markowitz, has proposed not one new slogan for Brooklyn but several, because "Brooklyn is too broad and diverse for one slogan." Now, I thought we already had a plethora of dippy, Rat-Pack-era slogans festooning our boundaries thanks to Marty's inexhaustible zest for promotion, but we would seem to need more, or more official, ones. So far, these incredibly lame efforts include "Brooklyn: Bridge to the World" (gosh how did they think of that one?) and "Brooklyn: The 10th Planet" (brilliantly implying that we are more distant from the center of the solar system than Uranus, a view already held by 87% of Manhattanites).
Well, possums, as Dame Edna might exhort, we can do better! Let's start with just a few possibilities from the latest treasure I have posted for your edification to the right, under "Why Brooklyn?": the full text of a ravishing short essay by Mark Helprin (yes, the mystical Winter's Tale novelist turned odd political animal), back in 1985--a year when loveliness could seem elusive here. It is, quite simply, one of the best things ever written about Brooklyn, and to my knowledge is out of print.
Helprin's luminous prose contains at least three cracking good slogan possibilities for those willing to rise above Martyisms:
Brooklyn: Virtually InfiniteBrooklyn: It Puts the Soul at Rest
and my personal favorite,
Brooklyn: Paradise, Purgatory and Hell
Of course, many of us who love this place--or our place within its "infinitude"--have developed or spotted our own slogans, or at least our most evocative fragments, the words that best say why we don't live somewhere else. I suspect few are boosterish in the Marty sense, and some may be deeply ambivalent. Mine is, but it's mine and I'm sticking with it. Here it is, the Crazy Stable Brooklyn Slogan:
Brooklyn: Never Easy, Never Dull
All my readers, whoever on earth you are, dears, are invited to contribute your better-than-Marty's Brooklyn slogans with a comment below. The Christmas cookies are all eaten, the eggnog is all drunk, Spouse and Child are back at their respective labors, and I haven't even gotten a seed catalog yet. Etonne-moi!