Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Gate

We commissioned a simple gate from a local ironworker from one of the Caribbean islands--IW, I'll call him-- to go at the top of the stairs and prevent the intrepid kelpie Katie, now lame with spondylosis, from charging  down to intercept some threat, real or imagined, like the Fed-Ex man, and taking a misstep into oblivion.  

IW is not anomalous in Miami--used here in the common sense for both the city and the county.  He's a craftsman who does much of his work off the books--for cash whenever possible.  Who can blame them?

We are devolving into a Third World city.  I know the word is in disrepute, but here it fits.  The city is one of the costliest in the world and one of the richest, according to City Mayors.  But increasingly here, you're rich or poor serving the rich or middle to upper middle class doing the same.

I'd like to make the gate a metaphor for all that's fucked up in the world, but I can't.  If you open the door into a house of bedlam, you get bedlam.  If you open a door out of a house of bedlam, you get insanity loose in the world.  The gate works in terms of the opening inward and outward, but it fails because unlike a door, which provides a solid barrier between those worlds, or states, if you will, the gate is permeable, allowing much of the lunacy to cross back and forth.  The solid door keeps everything out; the gate discriminates by design.

The 1990-page healthcare reform act of the House of Representatives is the same way--neither one thing nor the other, impressive for its size; lilliputian in its execution.

There, i've done it, anyway, which at the end of the day is all one can say of healthcare reform.  .  It promises a lot.  It might make some changes. but in the ned, the world's it dividies and uites are no long our own.  

Friday, October 09, 2009


The Norwegian Nobel Committee says that it awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to the singularity that is Barack Obama because of his work the past nine months to reach out to the rest of the world and emphasize diplomacy and international cooperation over unilateral declarations of war.  But one can't help but think that the Norwegians, whose mythological heritage is not given to a hopeful end game--i.e., the bad guys win--have opted for "hope" that he will fulfill his promise to make the world a safer place.  It is the promise of Obama that has long been his strong suit.  It is his inability to deliver on that promise--or to deliver decisively programs and policies that make a difference, or at least match in ambition his soaring rhetoric--that increasingly is dragging his presidency toward mediocrity.  We can only hope that this Prize will strengthen and embolden him.