Monday, June 29, 2009

Blunder on the Beach

Things Are Not Always What they Appear To Be.
This fisherman has been befriended by a great white that follows him around like a puppy hungry for love.

It pains swampthing to post regarding the Surfside Community Center issue. I have lived in Surfside for 18 years, like most residents, an inadvertent transplant. Being just a few blocks from the ocean has been a central theme of our lifestyle. Having a community center was a big selling point for buying a house in this town. The community center and pool was where familiar and new neighbors gathered; our kids learned to swim there, our aged told stories at the library, we had schmaltzy holiday events, we went there to vote. The facility was like your favorite old swimsuit, a bit out of fashion but it fit well somewhat worn with charm and history. It was a well kept secret destination for Canadians tourists and locals.

To their credit and our support, the current commission of deciders got into office the hard way, they campaigned as activist citizens doing the heady lifting. They were and still are concerned neighbors. But for some inexplicable reason they made a big strategic mistake. Once in, they quickly condemned the community center and soon after demolished the old place... ready for the kicker?... before securing the funds to build a new one.

Like most folk in 2006 , they saw the gop/bush/cheney/wallst. years of credit excess and thought it would last forever. Few back then were interested in the naysayers warnings about the predatory culture train-wreck approaching. This current world economic disaster is so big that they just did not see it coming... are they still in denial?

A Date with the Wrecking Ball....

It took just a few days to level the thing and haul the rubble away. What was the hurry? People were like, wait a minute! but it was too late. With calm indignation, I wrote about this some time ago.

Everyone misses the old place something awful. By the time a new facility is funded and built, my daughter will be off to college and any direct benefits or perks will have been in vain. I will guess other resident taxpayers are also not so benevolent as to plop down a big chunk of change for a luxurious clubhouse for the sake of the future of Surfside.

This from the Herald soapbox:
There must be some belt-tightening and rearranging of our budget, while at the same time acknowledging the need for a community center.

Too Little, Too Late.

More soapbox dribble:

It is surely agreed, Surfside residents would be ecstatic to see a beautifully designed community center replace a vacant lot where once stood our bulldozed previous center.

At the Crossroads of Finance and Finesse.

It is easy to look forward if you don't look back to see just how we got to this empty lot. To the credit of the Mayor, borrowing the big funds needed is now in the hands of the residents who will likely vote down the multi-million Bond Issue, the commission will wash their hands of it in salt water. Putting aside all the posturing and politicing of the past few years, it is disappointing that we will probably be without a central social meeting place for the foreseeable future. So much for "progress".


Saturday, June 27, 2009

the Wizard of Pop

To Have and Have Not. Half price of hemingway.

Is there a human out there that does not know who michael jackson was? are there people out there who have never heard of... jesus christ!

Bag News Notes
knocks it out of the market with this masterpiece image of mass-appeal.

juan cole had an unexpected take on michael jackson:

Michael Jackson's sad death at age 50 has provoked an outpouring of emotion around the whole world. Because of globalization, it is an event that affects fans in Asia and the Middle East, as well. In early 2007, his brother Jermaine, a Muslim, announced that Michael would embrace that religion. In November of 2008, just months before his death press reports said that Michael Jackson had formally converted to Islam.

UPDATE: we report, you'all decide.



A Better Place

"Man In The Mirror"

I'm Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On My
Favourite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street,
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See Their Needs
A Summer's Disregard,
A Broken Bottle Top
And One Man's Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya' Know
'Cause They Got Nowhere To Go
That's Why I Want You To Know
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways

And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place

Take A Look At Yourself Then Make A



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Haiti Lovefest

Big Lips, Sink Big Ships.

MIAMI - Five members of South Florida's congressional delegation are in Haiti for a one-day tour to discuss hurricane preparation, immigration policy and security issues with Haitian President Rene Preval.

The MSM reports this as another benevolent feel-good story, but what were they really doing there?

It takes allot of nerve and callous insensitivity for the 'non-partisan' party of Kendrick Meek, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz to go to Haiti for one day only and return with proclaimations that things are not so bad there. Debbie does warn Preval that if they can't have democratic elections then we can't help them. Huhum, who are we to lecture about fair elections. Then one of the Ballzart brothers returns with recomemdations that Obama lift the US tourism warnings in order to boost the Haitian economy while keeping the 'do-not-deport' policy for Haitian refugees already here.

MVP- money, vice, power.

We the silent tax base pay for our delegation of dignitaries to travel where they will, for what? To deliver our colonial communiques loaded with condescending arrogance, righteous indignation and most importantly no real help for the people of Big Haiti.

Keeping the Peace, UN blue-hats roll out the welcome wire.

Just a leisurely boat ride from Miami is this irresistible tourist attraction.
If ever there was a tragedy more heartbreaking than Cuba, it is Haiti.


When it rains, that's swampy

Ahmadinejad takes a smoke break with the sisters... Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and mother superior.

Very swampy day today in the swamp. Good day to visit the swampspace gallery.


sign of the times

Getting your car towed illegally... 150 dollars.

No customers in your parking lot... zero dollars.

FDOT ineptitudes... priceless.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Are you my Papi?

Papa Don't Paint No More.

I did not know my father personally, but all the stories told paint a picture of a wonderful man. Standing six feet tall, good teeth, green eyes and a physique that made women swoon and men revere. He was heir to a family dynasty, educated in the US, sported signature style in Levi jeans, and Stetson hat that made him a most eligible bachelor in the old provincial town. He was a friend in deed, a son, husband and father. It was the best of times.

But Castro's revolution changed everything. In November 1958 father was informed of a massacre in one of our farms on the outskirts of town. He hurriedly took off towards that dreadful scene but never returned. His body was found soon after. Consequently there were charges filed against Batista's renegade cops, a quick trial was set, judgement delivered and it was of to the firings squad for a bunch of hooligans. It was the worst of times.

Twenty days later I was born. One year later we left Cuba and everything we knew. It is no wonder that after 50 years my parents generation is to this day very resentful of the tragedy that is cuba. It's like it all happed yesterday.

The photo above shows him having a good time back in good old Cuba.

He was a gentle loving happy man, far less bellicose than I am today.

Posterity on the Porch.

During the Clinton years i had my pilgrimage. Here is a photo of the terrazzo monogram on the front porch of my grandfather's house is Cuba. Today the house is a public building, the headquarters for the "Daughters of the Revolution". I was raised by a pack of females in exile. There was plenty of love in the house, but no male role model as all the men are dead. I thought there was something wrong with me during adolescence. But in time i was able to formulate my own brand of macho, a soothing blend of velvety feminist charm and cromagnum man certainty that has served me well. Today everyone in my family wears pants and skirts.

Sugar Daddy Extraordinary Shows Off Adopted Daughter.

Kenny Scharf has been like a cosmic astral brother to me. He was born in LA on the very same day my father was killed in Cuba. Coincidence is Fate. We met in 1980 in NYC, best friends ever since.

The Artist and his daughter stroll Lincoln Road.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

I ran, in the opposite direction

Scenes of Mayhem and Democracy.

This post would have been timely last week when the mainstream media giants were withholding information on the protests over the democratic elections in Iran. It took them a week to figure out how to spin the thing for some self-serving end.

Maybe they needed the advice of their keepers before acting.

Lawful Assembly Iranian Style.

The Iranian people are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. The islamic revolution is working. The entrenched power structure is realizing that democracy has its devils. That the church/state is showing tolerance, restraint for a dissenting multitude is commendable. This level of maturity is something very new for the seemingly backward middle east cultures.

Hey, We Also Speak English Here!

So that we Americans here can get the full scope of the turmoil in Tehran, someone there has very conveniently provided protesters with English graphics. But was there any credentialed foreign journalists there last week? a few maybe. Did we see anything on TV ? not much really.

Heads will RocknRoll.

I have high hopes for the Iranian people. I never bought into the Bush era demonizing. Regular folk in Iran today are educated, affluent and not ubereligious. They are well positioned to propel the transformation of their country by peaceable means.

They definitely don't need us to meddle, cause when we do there is blow-back.

They don't call them DICK-tators for nothing.

But trust me, you have not seen the end of the irreversible irony that is Iran.

When your done bleeding, start reading.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

what the ocean says to me often

She says.....

Yes the ocean is perfect, the beach is good and they are both free. It is practically the only good thing around here that you can count on. Sky, sand and water, simple perfect harmony. Oh yeah and if you are not a native don't forget to buy the sun block, yahoo it's hot!

Money Makes My Head Go Round.

Yes we all know what is foremost on people's minds these days, money and ideas like is there enough to go around, when will it get to me? Do we spend or save, borrow or steal? Money matters take up allot of our time and braincells for what, chump-change. I guarantee a dunk in the ocean will not cure your fiduciary woes but it will make you all salty, picked and grounded. We are after all 90% water... the remaining 10% is up to you.

All work an no pray makes Abdul a dull boy.

Big plans and big dreams can turn to scams and fig creams when self-fulfilling prophesies are at play. Such is the wall of streets that man builds as the adults chant is unison "We have not hit the bottom of the real-estate crash, hold on to your galoshes and squirrel away that cash."


Fear of the Deep?

What good is living near the ocean if you never go to it, to get in the water and get advice from Yemaya, to make an offering to inner space?

The ocean said to me, "Beauty and danger are just beneath the surface. "

I said to her, "I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut".


Monday, June 15, 2009

a swampy fable

Align Centera swampy fable


The old moose thought himself a gentleman but was more a curmudgeon. The Hyena was a spotty blond in the prime of her adolescence. The Monkey was a descendant of ape royalty, but mostly just plain ripe from a life of sloth and mischief.

The three lived in captivity comfortably since birth at the Metro Zoo on the edge of the Florida Everglades. Not knowing the hardships of life in the wild, they yearned with instinct for adventure in the great microcosms beyond the confines of the zoo. At night the Zoo keepers would watch Netflix movies and the animals would lay awake in their respective dens and listen to the stories told. One of Moose's favorite films was The Great Escape with Steve McQueen, Hyena's favorite was Cameron Diaz in Charley's Angels and it was no secret that Monkey wanted to be just like Jim Carrey in The Mask.

One day as the tropical storm season neared the three were hanging out rather bored and got to joking about breaking out of the Zoo to see firsthand what the big world was all about. The conversation suddenly got serious when the shifty Monkey challenged Moose's mettle. The Hyena, who was reading the New Times newspaper , suddenly proclaimed the headline "Hurricane Wilma Makes Landfall Tonight". They all looked at each other and thought of past storms like Andrew when other animals had escaped and wandered off into the swamp or the bright lights of downtown. Bored and naive they quickly hatched a plan to escape that night but could not agree on where to go once out.

The Moose always wanted to go to Key West for that old-world Hemingway charm. Hyena naturally had a nose for the nocturnal thrills of South Beach. Monkey, though having family that would take him in at Monkey Jungle, decided to go to West Palm Beach to hobnob with the affluent. As the storm bore down on South Florida they made a mad dash for the battered gates. After a treacherous hike through the windy rains, debris and darkness they found shelter in an empty MetroRail station. The next morning they bid farewell and parted ways for their favored destination.

Once there Moose was startled by hordes of overdeveloped tourists buying tee-shirts and sweet frozen drinks in fake coconuts. Finally his prudishness was confounded by the freakishness of Fantasy Fest. The next morning, with moldy indignation, Moose lumbered back to the Zoo.

Meanwhile our lass Hyena was soon basking in the bacchanal of Miami's Riviera with eyes bigger than her tummy and soon the room began to spin like a dervish. She awoke on the sandy beach in the jaws of a slimy land shark. With her shrieking pleas and the shark’s growl, she was gnawed to bits and left for bait on the shore.

Mister Monkey Prince grabbed some nice pants at a laundromat then made his way hitching rides northbound to Phillips Point Private Golf Club inthe spoils of West Palm Beach. He managed to make his way into the clubhouse where members were mingling at a fundraiser. No one would talk to him at first, the snoots were snubbing him! But with his big-talk, pedigee and balderdash, he was soon made a distinguished member. No one ever discovered he had made a home in the stables with his new confidants, the polo horses.

People like what they are used to.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cut Collages, Not Cats

Did Young Fidel Castro Torture Animals? Probably Yes.

Eye on Miami has the link to the Capture of the Cat Killer:

An 18-year-old was arrested early Sunday and charged in the recent killings and mutilation of more than a dozen cats which have terrorized pet owners in Palmetto and Cutler bays, authorities said.

Tyler Hayes Weinman, who recently graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High, was charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary.

Police said he was arrested while attending a party in Coral Gables.

The All-Scratching Hair-Ball Curse for Young Boys

May the Feline Deities hound young Tyler's every thought. May his morally bankrupt gap of a soul be filled with the light of a creative spirit of Cheshire Cat to save his sorry bony-white .

Divorce is Sicker Than Cat Blood.

"Weinman's parents divorced in 2006, according to county civil records."

Why can't some families just learn to get along. I am going to guess there was no joy for art in that household. Art bonds human experience with magic and color. Disregard art and you turn off the light of love.

Collage Your Way To Mental Health.

You know they say the arts and crafts can be a useful tool for reforming the criminal, but if you start a real art education at an early age the likelihood of boys becoming cat killers by 18 is greatly diminished.

Sylvester The Super Mutilated Cat For Donkey Lovers.


Friday, June 12, 2009

things swampy

S W A M P S P A C E saturday








Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Finger Food for New Times

Sampling the Delectables.

Like a trained monkey without the organ grinder, I have been invited to perform at the New Times Design and Dine Thursday night in the Design District around the corner from the new SWAMPSPACE Gallery. It's all for a good cause... bring your own hand sanitizer and rolaids.