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A Much-Heralded Cock's Life in South Beach

A Much-Heralded Cock's Life in South Beach

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Published by davidwalters
We might blame the mess on so-called low-class or trashy culture.
We might blame the mess on so-called low-class or trashy culture.

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Published by: davidwalters on Apr 15, 2013
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04/15/2013

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A Much-Heralded Cock's Life in South Beach
 
6/8/2009 6:28:00 AM
 
My Pet Peeve
 
 The Miami Herald has lately been recognizing theimportance of South
Beach on its front page. It’s about
time, for Miami would not be worth very much withoutSouth Beach, at least not in my sober SOBE opinion.Before McClatchy took over the Herald from KnightRidder, the paper was more or less a trumpet for the powerelite, especially real estate developers and their politicalhacks. About all the rag was otherwise good for was its TV guide and coupons, and to alert neighbors to the fact thatone might be dead when papers piled up on the doorstep.
So we’ve got a better maj
or daily now, but the Heraldarticles on South Beach, although deeply appreciated, stilllack depth. Take for instance the Sunday (June 7, 2009)piece about Mr. Clucky, our iconic mascot(www.mrclucky.com), a rooster who is kept along with his
 
mate, a black hen named Wallflower, in the closet of 
caretaker Mark Buckley’s Jefferson Avenue apartment.
 Apparently Mr. Clucky crowed one time too often, at 6 amas usual, just after South Beach revelers and their bartendersand other drug dealers retired for the day. As aconsequence, a Code Compliance officer arrived at Mr.
Buckley’s place and handed him a $50 ticket for living with
a farm animal. He has 10 days to get rid of the rooster, orelse. Or else nothing, except more fines and citations, which
he won’t be a
rrested for, said Assistant City Manager Hilda
Fernandez, if he doesn’t cough up – 
whether or not therooster and hen will be taken by force has not been figuredout yet. Although your illegally parked car will be towed in nothinflat for a fat fee, the lack of stiff enforcement of certain city ordinances is certainly nothing new in the history of SouthBeach, notwithstanding Urban Week. A far greater nuisancethan a single cock crowing at dawn is the tolerance of dogscrapping all over the neighborhood at all hours of day andnight. So lax is enforcement that many residents havedeveloped the habit of looking down while walking, notbecause they are depressed by the flagrant violation of the
ordinance, but because they don’t want to step in a pile.
Dog lovers used to at least curb their dogs, but our tolerantsociety has lately encouraged them to allow their dogs tocrap directly on the sidewalk. Some sidewalks and curbs are worse than others
 – 
lazy dog owners do not even bother totake their dogs in front of another building, or at least into
the alley in back of their own building, to answer Nature’s
call. The small apartment complex where I live has a fencearound it. The landlord has allowed his tenants to turn ourcommon yard into a kennel
 – 
he refuses to fix the lock on
 
the back gate, so human animals come into the yard atnight, on their way home from the clubs, to also relievethemselves. If a tenant complains about the piles of fecesand streams of urine on their outside doors, or the open useof drugs on the premises, not to mention noise unto the wee hours, he is scorned by the landlord and neighbors, and
called a “racist” or “crazy” or “nosy.” One neighbor,
however, was apparently ratted out by someone unknown,and was then fooled by a ticket for keeping a mixed-breedpit bull. Thinking that he would have to pay fines and mightbe arrested and have his dog seized, he left the city.It has gotten so bad that some of us have started referring to dogs as crapping machines. But it is not their fault. Theirowners are to blame. The owners are from all walks of life
 – 
 one affluent woman in my neighborhood allows her hugedog to crap regularly in the middle of the sidewalk right ona Washington Avenue corner
 – 
one block away, a rundownbuilding is surrounded by feces left by three huge dogs kepton its lanais. We might blame the mess on so-called low-class or trashy culture, on the acquisition of bad habits. Buthabits, which are at first learned hence are dispositions thatare the result of previous changes, can be changed.Negative reinforcement or punishment for offenses mightdo some good. Sociologists and cops will tell you that thegreat majority of people will routinely violate rules of behavior if they know they can get away with it becauseeverybody else does; and if they can do wrong long enough, wrong feels right to them, so the law must be wrong, right?Of course, one might reason, it would be too costly to postCompliance officers on every block, on dog-dodostakeouts. In fact, several officers have been laid off due tobudgetary concerns. Anyway, they have more important
things to do. Well, then, let’s up the penalty to $1,000 and

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