Cuban radio won’t know what hit them

Having concluded during the first year of the Obama presidency that even mild doses of Cuban talk radio whitened my nose hairs, I ceded listening to the aging and the calcifying. Readers living elsewhere can’t know the shockwaves sent when a consortium of former Obama and Hillary Clinton aides joined with George Soros to buyContinue reading “Cuban radio won’t know what hit them”

What Joan Didion saw in Miami thirty-five years ago

WLRN’s Tim Padgett wrote a column explaining the prescience of Joan Didion’s best book Miami: Didion profiled a Cuban exile community frustrated by Washington’s repeated, empty promises to dislodge Fidel Castro — but one that too often lashed out by brutally attacking free speech here if it deemed that civic right an affront to theContinue reading “What Joan Didion saw in Miami thirty-five years ago”

If the skeeters don’t get ya, the gators will: Songs about Florida

“The state with the prettiest name,” Elizabeth Bishop wrote during the era when air conditioning was as rare as an integrated diner. Florida is like that: sundry contradictions that won’t even brush up against each other dialectically. I’ve done my par to explain our maniacal politics; Miami-Dade County went from Barack Obama handily and HilaryContinue reading “If the skeeters don’t get ya, the gators will: Songs about Florida”

‘In the Hispanic world, black isn’t always black’

The Democratic Party’s failure to understand what distinguishes even moderate Cubans from other immigrants will, I hope, trigger an appraisal of their vote drive appeals. I’ve written often about my people’s unsubtle attitude toward their color, i.e. they ain’t Black and, besides, Uncle Sam said we weren’t. Pollsters like Carlos Odio have explained these phenomenaContinue reading “‘In the Hispanic world, black isn’t always black’”

Being Black in Miami

Long form journalism is still possible, a conclusion proven by The Miami Herald‘s excellent story on my county’s broken promises to its Black residents. With important context from scholars Marvin Dunn, N.D.B. Connolly, and Ned Murray and Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem, Andres Viglucci and his co-byliners stress how “urban development” (code for highway construction),Continue reading “Being Black in Miami”

‘The four subjects actually made a derogatory, anti-gay slur in Spanish’

A reminder, as if one were needed, that the grossest crimes against the queer community can happen in one of the two or three gay friendliest cities in the United States: In video footage of the incident, four young men — one wearing a Florida International University T-shirt — are seen walking up to aContinue reading “‘The four subjects actually made a derogatory, anti-gay slur in Spanish’”

Miamians are just wild about turn signals

Miami-Dade County boast several miles of beautiful beaches and many first-rate hotels, but to enjoy them you have to make it to them alive. In my county, drivers make right turns from the leftmost lane, cruise in the rain with blinkers on, drop passengers off in the middle of a busy street, and abjure theContinue reading “Miamians are just wild about turn signals”

Miami — part of the art installation

Other than the chance to watch the spectacle of Jamie XX and Four Tet’s often stirring electronic music getting co-opted by an international crowd of 1 percenters, Art Basel offers nothing to twentysomethings in Miami whose work isn’t getting exhibited. Free booze you can find at any gallery opening. Parking is a nightmare. The onlyContinue reading “Miami — part of the art installation”

‘That’s what lawyers do: make the law work for them.’

The NYT profiles Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, who became the first same-sex couple known to apply for a marriage license. Following the journalism adage of going through the window when the door is locked, the couple took advantage of a loophole: McConnell adopted Baker, then McConnell wrested a marriage certificate from an oblivious clerk:Continue reading “‘That’s what lawyers do: make the law work for them.’”

The politics of language

Fine: “It’s not as if active citizens are always right — they’re not,” he continued. “Sometimes people start yelling at me or arguing at me, and, I think, you don’t know what you’re talking about. But sometimes they do. And the question is not whether they’re always right; the question is, do you have aContinue reading “The politics of language”