Pick Your Prize

Date: September 29th, 2012
Location: Brooklyn, New York

In case you haven’t noticed, the elections are coming up in the United States.

Every day my e-mail inbox gets flooded with e-mails from both the Obama and the Romney campaign. I am not surprised anymore when I receive a message from Bill Clinton, wishing me good morning and asking me for a donation of 5 Dollars or more. I am not surprised anymore when I receive a message from Ann Romney, letting me know that her husband Mitt is going to make this country stronger, if I would only donate 10 Dollars.

If I actually would have made these donations, I could have won a meet and greet with Jay-Z and Beyoncé and a seat at Obama’s last campaign dinner in New York. I could also have won a seat on the private Romney campaign plane.

If you’re interested in knowing what kind of messages I have been receiving the last three weeks, then here’s a little selection. After reading, you might be interested in making a donation. Just pick the prize you want most and the matching Presidential candidate will be tossed in for free!

Prize number one:

Laura,

Paul and I are on the road every day now, and it’s always better when we can bring supporters like you along with us. That’s why we’re both excited about this Day on the Road contest.

If you want to hit the road with one of us for a day, now is your chance to enter — but time is running out.

Donate $3 or more by midnight tonight to be entered for a chance to win — and soon you and a friend could join one of us on the campaign trail.

Thanks for your support,

Mitt Romney

Or maybe prize number two?

Laura —

I want to thank you for all you’re doing for this campaign.

If we get to continue this work, it’s going to be because of you.

Next week I’m meeting up with President Clinton on the campaign trail, and we both want to thank you in person.

Donate $5 or whatever you can today to be automatically entered to fly out to join us.

Thanks,

Barack

P.S. — If there’s one person who knows how hard we need to fight in these final weeks, it’s President Clinton. I’m grateful he’ll be joining me on the trail. You should be there, too.

Make your choice, pick your prize! Remember, the prize you want and therefore the donation you make, is going to determine who is going to be the 45th President of the United States of America.

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Joey

Date: September 11th 2012
Location: Ground Zero, New York City

Joey is wearing a red baseball hat, a blue backpack and a black T-shirt that says ‘Iraq Veterans Against the War’. I’m guessing he is from Queens. He is walking back and forth in the little park that is situated at Liberty Street and Trinity Place, right across from the brand new World Trade Center.

He is listening to an older man with a greasy grey beard who is holding up a handwritten sign and is preaching against the war in Syria. People have gathered around the older man, most of them are tourists. They have just taken a picture of the World Trade Center and now they are taking pictures of him. Some of them are laughing at the enthusiasm the man is preaching with. Others are quietly listening and nodding along.

Joey is nodding as well. His hands are in his pockets and he is looking at the pavement. After about fifteen minutes or so the man with the beard is done. He looks around with a satisfied look on his face, then puts his sign under his arm and walks away. Joey starts walking back and forth again, but now his eyes are at the people in the park.

Then he starts talking, no, screaming actually. About the upcoming elections; about the war in Iraq, Afghanistan; and about 9/11. Joey doesn’t believe that the World Trade Center collapsed by coincidence. He thinks there is more going on. He has witnessed terrible things while he was serving in the army and now he wants to tell his story. He is asking the people around him to think for themselves and not to listen to politicians or the American media.

Joey looks like your typical American. Someone you would probably meet in a baseball or football stadium on Sundays.  And I’m guessing he actually did go to baseball or football games. Until his beliefs were shattered and he felt the need to take the subway to Ground Zero on September 11th and tell other people what he strongly believes in. Out loud. Just a couple of blocks away from where family members of the victims of 9/11 are reading out the names of the people who died on 9/11 eleven years ago.

Joey is not the only one using this day to spread his words. But he is the most inconspicuous one. He doesn’t have a sign, apart from the words on his T-shirt. He doesn’t have a funny beard or weird clothes. But he is angry. Very angry. I think he stopped being nice years ago.

When I walk over to him to ask him about the text on his T-shirt, he looks at me suspiciously. He says he is not representing any organization, nor is he a member of any kind of club.  He wonders if I have anything to do with the government. When I tell him that I am from Europe, he relaxes a little bit. He might be willing to talk to me for a report or article. He might. He gives me his e-mail address. I wonder if it’s real.

Not Every Story is Newsworthy…

… but is still worth mentioning.

As a freelance journalist I travel around the world to explore, observe, discover, report and write. Every trip is an adventure and in every place I visit I come across people or see things that might not make the headlines, but are worth writing about.

These are the stories the behind the news. Engaging, bizarre, sweet, extraordinary moments or simple musings from around the world.

– Laura Postma –