Sunday, September 14, 2014


Earlier tonight, Reverend Billy And The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir stopped by Tompkins Square Park to say a prayer ("Bendy-lujah!"), offer commentary and sing for the doomed Bendy Tree, the leaning elm that an arborist hired by the Parks Department found to be "structurally unsound." It will need to be removed soon.

Photo by Bobby Williams.

Updated 9/15

Here's video of Rev. Billy and the Choir via Gammablog's Tompkins Trees site ...


shmnyc said...

It wasn't so much a prayer for the tree as a challenge to the science used to determine that the tree was structurally unsound, criticizing "professional arborists," "academics," etc., equating the removal of the tree to gentrification at one point, to removing anything "different". It was pretty appalling to listen to (except for the singing, which was very good, I'll say!).

If it had just been a farewell to the tree, I'd have thought it was silly enough to do at night, but not worth commenting on. As it was, if you exchanged a few of the nouns, it could have been a global warming denial sermon.

Mark Hand The Catchman said...


Mark Hand The Catchman said...

Gotta love people who put arborists/academics/scientist in quotation marks and try to criticize their findings when, if lucky, they are at most weekend gardeners... these arborists tried to save any trees from being cut down, but here it suddenly becomes some ridiculous tiresome tirade that its being done as some gentrification scheme so Ben Shoul can out a micro apartment building in its place.
IIRC last year there were 3 or so incidents of trees/limbs falling and killing people, including a pregnant lady... this year heard of no such incidents

Rev. Billy Talen said...

ShutUpHooker there you go all the way to the violent option. You assume that city pros who want safety have only the option of destroying the tree. When we assume that we are a community that can value a life that's been here since the 1880s and creatively protect it and ourselves - suddenly that's not possible? When Anne Frank's tree was dying, the Amsterdam people made a fenced off area for the inevitable to take place in, and the final days were honored, thought about, days we all face. That's better than bringing out the chain saws for an unprovable theory. In fact, the Bendy Tree is full of leaves. --Rev Billy

john penley said...

I suggest that Rev. Billy and his tribe of tree worshipers tie Ben Shaoul and Shut Up Hooker to the Bendy tree so they will be forced to support it and act as human shields to prevent it from being taken down. FYI I know for a fact the spirit of LES Jewels went into the Bendy tree and that is why it is Bendy.PS Kate W why don't you start using your real name since we all know who Shut Up Hooker really is now.

Mark Hand The Catchman said...

WoW, incredible.. taking down a tree that is diseased is seen as some sort of violence and should be allowed until it collapses on some poor sap [pun intended]
I sure do hope that EV Grive publishes this reply since s/he chose not to publish my last one in which without any "violence" or even cursing told "Reverend" Billy how an arborist can tell when tree is more of a danger and the reasons it need to be removed
And John, I'd really like to see you try and lash me to a tree... and no, don't know who Kate W. is

Rev Billy said...

I keep coming back to the soft landing arranged for the Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam when it died. The city made an open area with a fence, it was respected, and the tree rotted and fell in dignity. We do have the community here to achieve that kind of cooperation.