Travel Blog - Miami, Vol. 1: Disney, Deco, and Debauchery

Immediately, you in the Florida-know will be aghast at such an idiotic title. Disney?? Surely even a fool such as myself must know that Disney World is nearly 400 km away from Miami in this gun-loving, alligator-ridden, voting-booth-malfunctioning state.

Bulls on wheels move faster than bulls on feet

That's true. But the spirit is alive and well these 400 km away, where the sun shines hotter, the music plays louder, and only peasants drive cars whose names don't end in -ini, -ari, or -entley. There might not be Donald Duck down here, but on the other hand there are a lot of supporters for Donald Trump, both politically and also domestically, if you can call it that. Only 10 minutes from me are three of his towers, with thousands of people supporting him even if they don't think there should be a giant wall built between 'murica and Mexico. But Trump aside, Miami is deeply in a Disney state of mind.

With Disney, it's all about fantasy. Go to Tomorrow Land or Space Mountain or whatever the hell world you'd like, and for a short time your problems are suspended and you can believe that mice are nice and tall and smiling, and all the rest. I guess, writing it like that, it has a similar appeal as alcohol and drugs. Maybe marijuana is getting a bad rap – Disney World is the gateway drug. I won't push that theory too far though because I'll surely be slapped by a heavy lawsuit, if I won't already be for not using a © after every instance of their name. I am living on the edge.

But all this lawsuit business aside – you take kids for whom Disney World is realer than Real World, wait 20 or 30 years, give them an expendable income, and ¡presto! I give you Miami.

Please note the airplane-towed-billboard. You say 'empty sky' I say 'wasted advertising opportunity'. Next, we will put something on that bro's back.

Here's my sense of what's going on down here. There's a pretty small group of near-royalty who like spending time here for the weather and all the nice other luxuries on offer. For these folks, having to use money is just an inconvenience that acts as a lag between a desire and its fulfillment. In the game of limited resources, they've won. But that might be 2 or 3 percent of the folks milling about down here. Maybe that's even a generous number. And the rest? Well it's really hard to tell who is who and what is what, because they're pros at putting on a show of being in that caste.

So what. In one way or another that's society.

But what's different down here is that every business seems to not only be in on the scheme, but they're really pushing it along. Everyone looks sharp as a german knife and clean as a whistle and perfectly distant from any known problem – first-world ones included – and for whatever time you're down here you can live in that fantasy land that mice are nice and you're a king.

Everyone's in quiet cahoots about this, I'm pretty sure. A bar (and I can't blame them) might decide they'll charge quintuple for a drink, and when your 'tender announces the price with a straight face (always with a straight face, this is a joke that can't be acknowledged), if you balk or even hesitate as you reach for your money, you've shown your hand. You're not really royalty, so off with your head! 

On the one hand, people are being absolutely screwed and can't do a thing about it, because this is the price of feeling like a king. I guess you can call it an admission price to get into the palace. Really, though, this isn't something to lose sleep over. This isn't exploitation of powerless people, it's exploitation of powerful people.

Maybe this is the place where dreams come true, after all.

On the other hand, though, there really is some nice life to enjoy down here, and there's something to be said for using Times New Roman when in Rome. While the heat is on and my parka is away, I, too am a king. 

Serfdom may resume when I'm back in subzero temperatures.