Friday, June 26, 2009

This City Is a Jungle. A Ninja Jungle Gym to Be Exact.

Look how a city is constructed, with its towering spires, its building ledges, rooftops, awning, fire escapes, poles, chimneys, windows, wires, signs, alleys—it is nothing more than a playground for the acrobatically able. Haven’t you ever seen those parkour guys? And you want to tell me a city isn’t a fit place for a ninja?

Compare a rural village with its few hiding places, namely darkness and trees and rooftops, to a city and its millions of different spawnings and protrusions. A ninja must feel overjoyed at the amount of objects he can creatively utilize in order to remain hidden and eventually assassinate. It’s like playing ‘hide and seek’ in an open field compared to, well, a gigantic city.

Would it be easier to infiltrate a Lord’s castle when approaching from miles of empty land? Or would it be easier to infiltrate your landlord’s apartment from a dazzling, packed array of building blocks, all of different sizes and shapes?

Just look out your window and admire all of those buildings our city has grown. Let me ask you something, can you see through any of those building walls? Then why wouldn’t a ninja also hide or travel within them when needed, like how a rat crawls through your pipes and the guts of your wall until it finally reaches the trashcan?

Perhaps there’s a ninja in your home right now. “I’d know,” you may boast. But, the thing is, you really wouldn’t—this ain’t some kid playing secret agent or just your average clumsy New Yorker, no, I hate to be redundant, but these are real ninja, the greatest assassins of all history. Stealth is their game, their lifeblood since birth. They are pros and to be seen by the average man—even though ‘to see’ is far easier than it is ‘to hide’—would be a shame so terrible for a ninja as to be worthy of suicide. Us versus them is like your kid’s basketball team taking on the Knicks. And don’t make any jokes about that. I’m mad enough as it is that we didn’t get Stephen Curry.

I just want to clear something up because people keep asking me the same question. I am not na├»ve enough to think that a ninja operates primarily in traditional costume, at night, sneaking, hiding, and killing. On the contrary, I’d say that NYC shinobi spend about ninety percent of their on-the-job time using the best camouflage a city has to offer: the people.

That’s right, they are among you and me both, walking in line with the globs of people on these NYC streets, gathering information, totally hidden, until they know your entire day’s schedule and where you live and how best to take your life without making one speck of mess. Perhaps even, when the time is ripe and the crowd is rushing and swarming across a red lit crossway, the ninja can walk up real close to you and give a good prick to your back—you, the finance banker—that they’ve been stalking. And perhaps that finance banker will be dead in two hours from dioxin poisoning, and people will frown and refuse to even think that maybe, just maybe, it was ninja. But the rumors will still get out because people just don’t die from dioxin.

And you could never spot that ninja in a massive crowd. Not ever.
Ninja would only dress in black when the need presented itself, when extra measures were required to complete an assignment, like, for example, if their target was very rich and well protected, or if they needed to steal information from a very secure business.

This is nothing new. The ninja have always employed disguise before they resorted to placing themselves out on the line. It is far more romantic, however, when they opt to remain completely unseen rather than completely overlooked. And it is also far from obsolete for a ninja to do so, even though the New York citizen disguise is so seductively effective. How do I know this? Because in Old Japan they didn’t always rely on disguise—in this line of work you can’t or else you’re second rate at best. Sometimes people have thick waves of security and seemingly impregnable headquarters at both work and home. Sometimes there are too many witnesses during the day. Sometimes special skills are required. The ninja must still venture out beneath the moon and the stars because it is a necessary part of their job and one that can never be outsourced.

So here’s what I want you to do NYC. I want you to look out of your windows at whatever view you’ve got, and I want you to imagine where and how a ninja could be hiding, as unlikely as it is that there’s a ninja there at all—this means along air conditioning units, and inside chimneys, and atop gargoyles—I don’t care, so long as you look because as ridiculously likely as it is that there’s nothing there, somewhere in this city, on this very summer night, I can almost guarantee you that there is a ninja hiding somewhere. And it might just be right outside of your window.

And if you see a ninja, don’t be embarrassed, let the city know at once—contact me, the crazy person who will believe you because he’s got nothing better to do.

But hoaxer’s beware, don’t mess with me. I’ve seen some of the homemade pictures and videos lately and it isn’t right. Listen: the next entry deals with the art of disinformation, an old ninja favorite that they are finding ever more effective in the city because of hoaxers like you and, hell, even bloggers like me. If you keep making hoax videos, not a soul will believe ninja are real. Which is exactly what the ninja want!

One last thing, I do not believe in ninja. I am not sure what I believe. But in exploring the problem I’ve found, at least at first, that I must play the role of the believer if only to convince people that there is a problem to be debated—that this isn’t all some joke or piece of fiction. Thank you and please subscribe. I don’t think anyone is reading. And if no one is reading, I might just have to ninja vanish myself.

But someday, I swear, NYC is going to realize what strange birds are nesting on its roofs when the sun goes down—even if the ninja aren’t real—the rumor is ripe to explode, and once it does New York isn’t just going to have a new tourist attraction, it’s going to have a problem, because people are going to start making it real—not just with pictures, not just with videos and made up sightings, but with costumes.

And when that happens and if ninja do actually exist, then I’m going to be the only guy who warned you all ahead of time, before the pop culture bomb exploded and masked it all in shadows forever. We don’t have much time to figure this all out. Join the hunt! NYC ninja—fact or fiction?

-- Manhattan Joe

No comments:

Post a Comment