In case you’re keeping score or even still paying attention, there has been exactly no progress on New York City’s carriage horse debate. Mayor Bill de Blasio has reasserted his commitment to banning the industry, but says the matter won’t come to a City Council vote until sometime later this year. That leaves plenty of time for both sides to churn out screeds denouncing one another: the Daily News runs a new pro-carriage horse piece every couple days, while NYCLASS, the lead animal rights group behind the proposed ban, continues to try to generate excitement for their horseless e-carriage.
The latest skirmish happened last night, when the carriage horse industry debuted a short film called “Save the NYC Carriage Horses” at the Kraine Theater in the Bowery. The movie is narrated by Liam Neeson. Try to guess what the thesis is.
“And so it is that 59th Street has become a dividing line between who we were and who we want to be,” Neeson intones, over grim black-and-white images of de Blasio, and clips of anti-carriage protesters shouting at drivers at the Central Park hack line, their faces blurred out. “Between ideas just arriving and a tradition that pre-dates Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.”
The film was made by Pennsylvania-based filmmakers Mary Haverstick, and Michele Mercure and narrated by Neeson for free. The carriage folks say the movie premiere was mostly attended by carriage drivers, union members, and their families. (Neeson wasn’t there. He was talking to Jimmy Fallon about being a cowboy.) Unsurprisingly, NYCLASS and other animal rights group also stopped by to declare the event a failure:
— NYCLASS (@NYCLASS) May 20, 2014
We’ll wake you in the unlikely event that this fight is ever resolved. In the meantime, here’s the full movie: