in New York lately. A couple weeks ago I was meeting a friend at Union Square and I saw this small crowd of people, dressed in yellow t-shirts and yellow baseball caps, standing on the steps and singing “Down By the Riverside.” They had instruments and a sound system and everything, along with stacks of pamphlets and newspapers that they were handing out to passersby, smiling ghoulish smiles. I thought it was a group of peace activists or union workers or something until I received one of the newspapers myself. The nice Asian lady that handed it to me smiled sweetly and said something I couldn’t understand, and then I saw the words “Sun Myung Moon” on the cover and dropped it like a hot potato.
Then the other day at work I was going to eat lunch at the pizza place where I always eat, and there on the street corner, where there is usually some struggling actor handing out coupons for a free massage, there was a yellow-clad person handing out newspapers. I shivered as I wondered what happened to the coupon guy, and walked quickly by before I was targeted by the smiling Moonie. Close call.
And then just yesterday as I was walking in the East Village, I passed several more, smiling and handing out newspapers as they walked down the sidewalk near Astor Place. I suspect that they are trying to recruit impressionable NYU students who don’t know any better, which would be all of them.
Anyway, after the recent Salon article about Moon’s connections to the Bush family and other places, I wonder if he isn’t planning a takeover, with New York as his first target. My strategy for now is to scream and run away if I see someone dressed all in yellow, but that can’t work in the long run. Let’s hope that NYU builds a “how to protect yourself from Moonies” workshop into their freshman orientation this year or we’re sunk.