Robert K. Tanenbaum: Gotham

Remember once upon at time when you watched BATMAN because the last episode had Batman hanging by his toes over a vat of melted rubber hoses? And you had to tune in to the same Bat time, same Bat station to find out what happened? And even though you knew (sort of) that Batman would be OK, there was always the possibility that the music would end, and after a few WHAMs and KAZOOMs  the bad guys would win?

Well bad things happen in Karpland — Islamic terrorists try to

  • 1. bomb the  Brooklyn Bridge
  • 2. crash the New York  Stock Market
  • 3. assassinate an Honest Senator
  • 4. take over St. Patricks Cathedral and do evil to its holy hostages
  • 5. drive suicide bread trucks filled with bombs through Borough Park
  • 6. Dress up as Chassidic Jews
  • 7. Pour money into Mosques in Harlem in order to train black Muslims to join the Jihad against the U.S. Constitution

And the law is alive….

Escape by Robert Tanenbaum read by Mel Foster

On the sidewalk outside of The Kitchennette on West Broadway, the old men are debating the apologetics of New York Liberals bending over to receive  Islamic sensitivity training.

One famous lawyer takes out the day’s NYTIMES,  which reports that: “The Islamic Society of America is complaining that television shows portray Moslems as ‘the bad guys’. …”

“Oh, please…” moans the former US attorney for the Southern District of New York: “It’s not like we’re at war with Blonde Swedish Catholics. I haven’t noticed any Episcopelian Icelanders becoming suicide bombers and charging into any synagogues….”

“They claim to be Islamic to a man and they are terrorists therefore they are Islamic terrorists….

“Bullshit!”, exclaimed Saul Silverstein, an ex-Marine who survived Io Jima, and then made a fortune in women’s apparel. “Six months after a bunch of terrorists who claim to be acting in the name of Islam murdered a few thousand people in the World Trade Center, Columbia University held a one day in service training center for more than 100 NYC high school teachers… its like we’re apologizing because some of their fellow Moslems declared war on us…. ”

This is The Sons of Liberty Breakfast Club and Girl Watching  Society, which meets to haggle over the politics, the rumours, the news … and of course.. the pretty girls walking past, with and without summer dresses.   This is as good as Paris in the 1920s, except that the intellectuals are lawyers, not artists,   they’re chewing  peach pancakes, not brioches… and they’re probably not smoking.

 

Robert Tanenbaum Malice read by Mel Foster

A girl detective who can speak a thousand languages, with her own personal Saint,  New York City’s District Attorney as her father, and an ex Viet-Cong guerrilla as a nanny — only Robert Tanenbaum (and the City itself) could conjure up the sad, inscrutable Lucy Karp. As always when we step into Karpland we are stepping into the heart of  Law,  which is not only the territory of language, but the inherited traditions of men and the relationships these traditions imply.

Where men talk privately, they sit; where they sit, they eat and drink and cross identities. Over Marlene Chiampi’s kitchen table, we find lawyers, detectives, Indians and journalists…A student of Karp’s comes to him for help in defending a coach who has been debunked by his Association, robbed of the liberty to ply his trade. And as always in a Christian kitchen,  food and tragedy mix. At the end of the second bottle of Chianti, the phone rings with news that Ariadne Stupenegel is injured in the bombing of a restaurant — where she was mixing food and words, food and information, food and secrets.