As you all know, Bushwick, and Brooklyn in general, has been freaking out since the news broke that SantaCon was puking up on the neighborhood’s shores. In fact, since the announcement, Bushwick bars have been falling all over themselves to let it be known that SantaCon isn’t welcome in their establishments. It’s understandable, given that even in the gentrified state it’s in now, Bushwick doesn’t seem like prime bro stomping ground. Given this predictable reaction, and other information that’s been collected since the announcement was made, we have to start asking if there was ever any plan for a Bushwick SantaCon to begin with. And if there wasn’t, who benefits from the chaos this has caused in Bushwick, in Brooklyn and beyond?
First, what we know. Bushwick Daily got a tip from an anonymous bar owner, who passed along an email purporting to be from a SantaCon organizer, asking if the bar would participate in the bar crawl. This being Bushwick, the unnamed bar owner said there was no way they’d be doing it, and decided to pass along the email. After this bar owner said no and passed the email to the press, Pearl’s, Three Diamond Door, Roberta’s and Montana’s Trailhouse all pledged not to welcome the event on a Heritage Radio Podcast. Fellow Bushwick bar Left Hand Path released a statement to the media passing on the even as well, stating “Left Hand Path will be open to the community for business as usual on December 13, but drunken Santas will not be permitted.”
In the email from the organizers, they claimed to be working with both Community Board 4 and Bushwick’s 83rd Precinct, but according to DNA Info, no one from either governmental organization claims to have heard from SantaCon organizers, and the site further reports that before organizers could even put in an application to use Maria Hernandez Park as a staging ground for the event, the city told them to get lost.
If you can’t have a staging ground and you can’t have bars, how could you have a SantaCon? And how could someone organizing SantaCon not expect this reaction? What exactly is going on here? Some theories:
Theory One: This was put together by a collection of ludicrously non-savvy individuals who didn’t see what could go wrong with choosing Bushwick because they heard it’s a cool place to hang out and they say things like “Oh yeah let’s go to Bushwick and smash some hipster bitches.” The evidence doesn’t point to that though.
For instance, the email leaked to the press claimed that SantaCon was coming to “Bushwick/Jefftown,” So the writer of the email was familiar enough with Bushwick to mention the the already controversial “Jefftown” area. Why would someone from New York, who’s that familiar with Bushwick and its sub-neighborhoods think its bars would welcome an event viewed as a rolling frat party held by people who can’t leave Greek life behind? Especially in a neighborhood that for all of its bars and dance parties, is much more residential than the neighborhoods SantaCon usually rolls through. It doesn’t check out, not in the least.
Theory Two: This is just a lone troublemaker sowing panic among the people of Bushwick, just for the lulz. After all, SantaCon thrives on anonymity and doesn’t release its schedule until the day before it happens. So why couldn’t a “SantaCon organizer” email bars claiming they’ve been picked, when this person knows for a fact that there isn’t anyone who’s going to standup as an “official” SantaCon organizer to say otherwise. The theory takes a small hit given the news that the Parks Department claims to have been contacted by the group, but it could still be the same prankster.
Theory Three: The Bushwick gambit has been a distraction all along, because the metropolitan area’s bros have become aware enough to realize how hated SantaCon is. So, introduce the idea of SantaCon to an area where it’s sure to get media coverage and throw the machinery of the press and the state into tamping it out in a panic, all while quietly plotting a SantaCon the likes the world has never seen in the crawl’s usual East Village/Hell’s Kitchen haunt.
Obviously this would violate the conciliatory tone that SantaCon has taken in recent years when they’ve worked with local precincts and community boards, but put yourself in the shoes of the SantaCon attendees. They were hated even though they reached out to community boards, they were hated even after attaching the veneer of charity to the bar crawl. Given that the city would never accept them, why not just say “Fuck it” and create chaos without even the smallest shred of approval by the authorities? It’s easier than organizing it with the city’s blessing, and the next time police violently beat up a white middle-class drunken gathering will be the first time it happens.
Theory Four: The Bilderberg Group and the Illuminati are just pulling strings to distract us while they plot something right under our nose that’s much worse than SantaCon.
Who’s right, who’s wrong? As December 13 approaches, we suppose we’ll find out. Just remember to keep your eyes open and keep asking questions.
Follow Dave for more theories at @DaveCoIon