Welcome to the annual meeting of the Cosa Nostra. As you all know, I’m Anthony Lombardi Jr., and my pronouns are he/him.

Let’s begin with a drink in memory of our crew who’ve been whacked—salute—and a land acknowledgment. We will continue to do the work, as Italianx allies, by atoning with community service on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Heat from the feds on the waterfront has been reported by Fat Tommy. Note that this is Fat Tommy’s self-identified nickname and is not in any way intended to body-shame him or anyone else who may have a B.M.I. not deemed “ideal” by the medical establishment, which has a long history of gaslighting patients of certain races, genders, and pasta-consumption habits.

It’s come to my attention that the phrase “sleep with the fishes” upsets some vegetarians. Can you believe that shit? ’Cause I sure can, once I perform the emotional labor of empathizing with their position. Please consider a less offensive alternative when you threaten to clip someone. As always, any severed heads placed in beds should be from animals that died of natural causes.

Keep on expressing gratitude to small-business owners for providing a physical space to build community when we do our shakedowns. On that note, Independent Bookstore Day is around the corner—good time to get a few clams and pick up the new Robin DiAngelo.

Some a youse goombahs are caterwauling to send a message to the mayor by icing a cop, but I think it’ll be more powerful to partner with grassroots groups slowly amassing support to de-fund the police. You can learn more about our campaign from Joey Left Wing.

Good news: our consiglieres are as diverse as they’ve ever been. But let’s do better, folks. We can create more equity by creating paid internships and initiating outreach to recent law-school graduates from Yeshiva.

On a personal note, this Saturday is my firstborn son’s wedding, and my wife and I couldn’t be happier to bring Oliver into our family. Believe you me, if you woulda told me 30 years ago that my baby boy would end up marrying a guy who’s a museum curator of contemporary textile art, I’da said, “The fuck outta heah! It’s Renaissance textiles or nothin.’” But Oliver’s really opened my eyes, and I now understand I had a lot of unexamined prejudices against modern materials and techniques.

Finally, I will no longer be referred to as “godfather,” a word that reinforces the patriarchy right when we’re trying to make our organization’s feminism more intersectional. It’s also hierarchical, and I don’t deserve no more respect than anyone else, whether it’s a pimple-faced palooka who’s never popped anyone before or some first-year schnook in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Bard who still hasn’t read Judith Butler.

Remember, we have to be very careful with what we say, because you never know who’s listening: F.B.I., rats, TikTok influencers ready to drag you. So if our language ever makes anyone feel “less than,” or perpetuates a harmful cultural stereotype—fuhgeddaboudit.

Teddy Wayne is the author of five novels, including The Great Man Theory