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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, December 01, 2006

Half-full or Half-empty

A debate on the quality of Miami started last week with an article in Time Magazine that said in so many words that Miami was a dirt ball, glammed over by too many condos, too much traffic, too high a cost of living, and too much traffic.

Some of those complaints are valid.

A few days later Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Co.) lashed out at Miami calling it a "third world country" and blaming it for the country's illegal immigration problem.

Then George Gittoes, an Australian documentary filmmaker, released a documentary on Miami in which he declares the city is more dangerous than Baghdad.

My eds asked me to write a response. Keep in mind it's tongue-in-cheek. No one who lives in Miami (and who has good sense) thinks this area is problem free. I swear the traffic (and more so the bad drivers) are gonna send me to Rageaholics Anonymous. And property taxes are gonna drive me into the poor house. Folks here know it can get crazy, but it's a choice to live here or not. And for negatives, there are plenty of positives too. I gotta tell you, I'm not complaining, walking around today - in December - in a t-shirt. So I say to the critics, lighten up. And if you can't lighten up, then fully clean your own backyards before starting in on this yard.

Anyway, here's the response I wrote to Time, Tancredo, and Gittoes. It ran in today's Miami Herald.


  • The quality of life in Miami is a sliding scale. My problem is that it has all the big city problems without enough of the big city enhancements. No good public transportation, no decent affordable housing, an incredibly awful education system, and severely overpriced drinks. If it weren't for the sheer number and variety of adult entertainment here, Miami would have nothing to offer. It is essentially a womb that other people come here to pound like a porno movie. Except there's no money shot, the girl has syphillis and HIV, she has your baby in 9 months and scams you for child support for the rest of your life. After a few cocaine benders and several failed rehabs, you finally figure it out that that Miami is exactly what Tancredo said it was, except with 7-11's. It's an adult Disneyworld where the ride you take is in proportion to the money you make. And like the girl whose faults are on a sliding scale in ratio to her looks, Miami keeps us coming back because, when it comes to keeping you interested, there is never a dull moment here.

    I mean, Jesus, just on early Thursday morning a naked man, admittedly high on crack, was saved from the jaws of a 13 foot alligator in a lake in front of the Moose Lodge only 4 hours driving time from here and there's a 911 recording of the rescue. You find me a location that provides more free entertainment than this place, and I'll pay the same premium to live there too. But, until then, there's no place like home.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 4:42 PM  

  • The link didn't work for me. I'll be back later.

    By Anonymous Freddie, at 4:56 PM  

  • It's ok...let them complain and give Miami a bad rep. Then maybe less people will move there and there will be less traffic and things won't be as expensive??? By the way, can you go have a Cuban sandwich for me?? thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 PM  

  • uhhh yeah no kiddin but fy freakin i...

    the link goes nowhere.


    ain't i helpful?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 PM  

  • I couldn't get that URL for some reason.

    I think it'd have been funny if you surprised your editors by saying that, "As an African American man" I f-cking hate this sh-thole!"

    Just to mess w/ 'em, you understand. I would be willing to brave a few IEDs for the Miami women I see on t.v., though.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 PM  

  • The link is broken, James.

    By Blogger mkh, at 7:07 PM  

  • oh yeah..just an FYI..I had to hunt the article down because the link wouldn't work.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 PM  

  • Big Daddy is on the head. I think you took it way too easy. Tancredo is such an ass that no one actually deals with some of the validity of his points too. I know I for one sometimes creep out the back door of PC because I don't want to validate his general bullshit. I'll say more on all this when time permits. Love what you're doing man. One of the few I've been keeping up w in Mia. 1L

    By Blogger Miamista, at 3:34 PM  

  • That link should be:

    This has been a public service from The Yearning Heart.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 PM  

  • Yearning Heart, thanks for hooking that link up. Don't know how I got it wrong yesterday, but I think I got it straight in the follow-up. Just in case though, we have this link that you put up.

    And Miamista, where the hell have you been? Thanks for commenting.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:36 PM  

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