Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tony Lopez RIP

Words can not describe the loss of my dear humble master. Long live the memory of Juan Antonio Lopez.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene, a perfect storm

Having skirted widespread destruction, South Florida's attention is on the residents of the mid-atlantic coast struggling in tropical anticipation under the howling alarm of hurricane Irene. Those in her wake breathe a sigh of relief while those upwind in NYC hunker down in dreaded fantasy for the coming act of gawd.

The only thing more obscene than the media's ensuing orgy of alarm and enhanced weather reporting is mogul major bloomberg's extreme realtime public service sector dress rehearsal compliments of the perfect storm for this pre-september eleven circus of solemnity. This is a great day to roll out the orchestrated symphony of first-responders and costly contingencies essential for the lockdown of an entire city, it's inhabitants and vital functions.

On each return to the place I knew so well, only to find near pandemonium over a presumed threat past present and future, is a disheartening sensation that frankly I will never get used to.

From Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, past Harlem down to Coney Island, city dwellers of all stripes and persuasion are told with menacing authority to prepare for the worst once again. One bit of good news is that Wall Street is a ghost town.

So, as with the entire east coast from Key West to Canada, the malls and stores are overrun with shoppers preparing for the worst that seldom comes, and the best that for sure will never be.

There are no disasters in acts of god. How could there be the laws of physics are just and true. Natural events are only a disaster to man, particularly as we stand in their path as amatures ill informed and unprepared. There is no natural occurrence that can do more harm to us than we do to ourselves everyday as the mad and upside down world of man unravels.

An urban nuclear family gather provisions for the weekend with Irene.

Bark and Bite. In all honesty, Irene the menace from above is being spun in camouflaged media stealth to further a state of perpetual emergency readiness in the minds a public service sector eager to exercise their over rehearsed response to any terror from wherever. It's sad.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

from the swamp and beyond

One of the hazards of modern living is a tendency to obsess with the trivial and ignore substantive issues worldwide. Folk are distracted by celebrity, smart phones, sports and art. I for one am fixated on endless road work in South Florida. This cone-headed logic serves to shrink our world into a innocuous air-conditioned bubble drifting in the wind. Sifting out the insignificant from the material facts that affect us is a personal challenge in the age of distraction.

Why stare at the teevee or the asphalt when there are major issues looming in plain sight? Because is it easier to stick our heads in the cement than it is to influence global concerns that affect us directly.

Ground Force One gets feather-dusted by secret service. Obama sits in the back of the bus for a presidential ride through the heartland.

UFO or DARPA? Up where the air is thin there are plenty mechanical oddities that defy the eye. The stratosphere also is a vast clutter of satellites and space junk beaming and drifting slowly back to earth. From supersonic air-busses to un-maned predator drones, the sky may not be falling, but there is certainly a change in our collective psychic weather.

God does not create disasters, people do. A stalwart family near Japan's Fukishima nuclear meltdown knows there is unity in homogeneity.

Proud to be stupid. A skinhead wears his cluelessness on its back.

Chilling in Chile. Thousand take to the street in peaceful demonstration.

Royal pain in derriere. The ruling class of aristocrats runs the gamut from true blue blood to nouvelle riche. Where on the totem of privilage do you find yourself ?

A bit of push-back. Exasperated Londoners clash with riot police.

Smile, your on surveillance society. A chap gets his mug and neck snapped in jolly Britain.

Bird of Piccadilly. A lady Diana lookalike in a smashing robo-cop ensemble !

Israel Firsters. Regular folk are taking their grievance with authority to the street, even in Jerusalem.

Bart Cops, Holy San Fransisco. Even here in the USA, people are fed up with the bullshit of overt militarization of civilian police.

Wikileaked. You don't have to be a fanatical theorist or near futurist to see where things are going. People who otherwise would rather ignore the facts, are ticked off and with good reason. The pandora's box of world financial usury is unraveling. No wonder Jesus got so pissed off at the money lenders in his dad's temple.

World whatever. This swamp family is boarding up the windows and officially on summer vacation.

Will Florida be here on our return in two weeks? Probably yeah.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Third Wheel Nation

A short walk to the ocean, another property is boarded shut. Urban developments in Miami are a case study in global trends.

Waste Management, Infrastructure improvements somewhere near you. As the city celebrates 115 years of incorporation, reminders of the perils of progress caution us that when we take one step forward, it is likely to follow with two steps back.

Taking one step back and perhaps two forward. Hot Dog Cart vendor on N.W. 71 Street.

Get your trousers tailored, pay the Boost phone and have a cold beer. Corporate tele communications snuggles up with ma n pa storefronts in the hood.

Rims and things. An auto garage offers window tinting, car-bling and an eye-candy attempt at graffiti.

Bus the rhymes. This solitary shelter could do with some piano tunes from Victor's to soothe riders waiting and waiting for the next bus.

Like the arrows of Saint Sebastian, traffic lights pierce the open sky in North Miami.

Snarling thanks FDOT. California is not the only place for Carmageddon. Glad my routine is counter cyclical.

Don't look now... another red-light scamera on a road near you!

Life in South Florida can be more awkward than the third wheel on a bad date. Sometimes it is being most familiar with the critters yet never quite at home or made welcome enough to feel comfortably included. Anyone out there feeling the swampiness?


A Hotel Is Not a Home

Taking a swim in the splendid waters of South Florida, one would think there are no problems in paradise. A daily dunk in the Atlantic is by far the single most rejuvenating lifestyle choice in the swamp. Yes there is the occasional tide of jellyfish or obnoxious tourists on Jetskis but the trouble begins where the ocean ends as the sands of time drift to earth-bound dilemmas. Sussing out the poop from the paradise is the domain of watchdogs and naysayers. The muted sirens are the whistleblowers.

From the rubble of the old Surfside Community Center arose the new phoenix of family fun facility. The town is thumping its chest with self-congratulatory cliche, but the new center will not resuscitate the old heart of the community that was plowed over with the demolition of the old. The new place must win new hearts and new minds to endue itself a sense of home.

Gone with the classic MiMo architectural gem is the town's quaint library, the cheesy snack bar, the swim team and the kids that are soon away to college. Gone are the guests of residents now no longer permitted by the town's new policy of exclusion. With that said, there is a new dawn in Surfside, albeit with many of the same old players.

In the interest of transparency, inclusion and whatever, here below is a comment verbatim on the state of local affairs as opined by one anonymous contributor recently. I am only the messenger:

"Federal money being corrupted. State and local money being corrupted. Where is it going - there is no outside view. All information comes from Surfside Town Hall. Is it credible? Accurate? Or not. How many layers of smoke and blankets are covering up where the money has gone, where it is going, and who is ending up with it. "Contributions" in exchange for zoning "favors"? Changing laws and systems to facilitate administrators and lawyers selling the public out to avarice?

Since the birth of America, men and women have fought and died to protect our nation, our democracy, and our right to vote. Our community here in Surfside Florida has traditionally recognized Independence Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day and honored our nation, its military and veterans,through times of both war and peace and we are proud of our town’s long standing ideals. lf only they were not being disrespected by our own town government.

On this day in 2011 we must sadly recognize that right here in our own community, the Town of Surfside, we are being denied the right to vote. Denied the very rights that Independence Day is all about. Town officials have adamantly refused to comply with the Town Charter and as a result we have not been allowed to have a referendum — no public votes - on critically important matters such as:

—- dozens of no-bid contracts given out, siphoning off & depleting the town’s savings

-— the needless demolition and destruction of the beautiful, historic Community Center

-- the expenditure of millions of dollars of town savings (far more than is being admitted to by Town Hall) for demolition and to build a new and smaller Community Center with no Auditorium or Library, to be run on a deficit basis

—— the sell-out and complete changing of the Town's zoning code to vastly increase allowable development, density and congestion

—— the Town going into debt for 16 million dollars plus 9 million in interest and fees to replace the entire water and sewer system to expand capacity for future development in Bal Harbour and Surfside while simultaneously soaking our residents with enormiously increased, oppressive water and sewer bills.

Surfside is being run far more like a dictatorship than as a participatory democracy. Town officials provide cover for the drain of town money, and they let developers write zoning laws to suit their agenda.

Special interests reign and manipulate all official decisions.

lt is a disgrace that we have been refused the right to vote on such crucial issues. The community has been permanently damaged as a result. We need help! to have our Town Hall return to the ways of the Public Interest and to abandon its current priority of serving special interests at our expense.

Our wallets, and our quality of life, are being ripped off!

Don’t be deceived by town officials’ false, contrived, bullying rhetoric."

Do we see a parade of cement truck in our near future ? Only the schmoracle knows.