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Aristocracy by Darwin Leon L
DIS SHING POLIT TICAL L DIRT T IN MIAMI M B BEACH
Co ourt-Life at Ma adrid by Luis de d Góngora
To liv ve bewitch'd with w beasts of f Circe's crew, Where Harpies H league ed your purse e's life-blood draw; d Place-h hunting, fool'd d by hope, with famish'd ma aw, Watching g each wind, great g statesm men's grace to sue; Amidst grooms, co oaches, pages s, liveries new w, Bright uniforms, fine e clothes, but maiden sword ds; Or fed with emb bassies of lad dies' words, With ho ouse-rent dear, and friends ships never tru ue : Midst tric cks and sham ms of pleaders s bought and sold; s Churchmen on mules,-and veriest t mules are th hey; Foul cheats s, foul streets, , where Dirt and Sloth hold revels; Poor cripp ples from the wars, maim'd d, starved, and d old; High titles, lisping flatteries, Tru uth made prey y: This is Madrid, M Spain n's Court,-mor re like the Dev vil's.
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Columbu us Day 2013 Filed by David Arthu ur Walters Miami Mirror M MIAMI BEACH—E Everybody knows k that he h should not n cast his vote for pol litical candi idates based up pon what th hey say in the t heat of battle for their t office, when polit ticians contr radict themselv ves, smear their t oppone ents, lie thro ough their te eeth, and pr romise the moon. m But th hat is what alm most every vo oter does any yway, makin ng a fool of himself h in th he end. The calu umny reached d such heigh hts of malici ious falseho ood in one re egion that a high court threw t in the tow wel on all political p defa amation cases, holding that campai ign defamati ion is not le egally actionabl le. That is no ot to say that t all allegatio ons of moral l and crimina al corruption n are true. City of Miami M Beach h election ca ampaigns are e notorious for f dirt dishin ng but are no n worse than n any other loc cality. After all, people love to dish h dirt becaus se people lov ve to eat an nd handle it, as is proven by b babes in backyards b a sandboxes, wherefor and re our excre emental cultu ure lain dow wn or piled up in concrete everywhere. . Politicians use satanic consultants to dish it ou ut secretly so o they can prete end they are above stoop ping to such odorous o dep pths. Miami Beach’s B onlin ne weekly an nd free sidew walk rag, the e SunPost, de edicated its October O 3 ed dition to the rec cent smears under the fr ront page rub bric, “Wicke ed Game – Is I Election 2013 2 Dirtier Than Previous Races?” an nd an image e of mayora al candidate es Michael Góngora G an nd Phillip Le evine having at t it in a box xing ring. Ye et its editor, Kim Stark, , who mastered the art of o absurdity after resurrecting her fami ily’s publica ation from ba ankruptcy, fo orgot that he er publication is online media m regardles ss of the few w printed pa apers that sh he salts choi ice locations s with to pro ovide adver rtisers with the illusion of f substantial lity. She de evoted the ‘Wicked’ ‘ ed dition to ug gly campaig gning, ing all the sm mears, yet ha ad her report ter quote her r as follows: referenci “It isn’t something we are interested in pl laying up, although a we recognize that other media m outlets, particularly online ‘med p dia,’ (sic) en njoys exploi iting things like this, p playing it up p and contribut ting to the ug gliness of the election pr rocess.”
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Thanks largely to the SunPost, the most relished of all the dirt dished to date from the fray between the leading contenders in the mayoral campaign, wealthy businessman Phillip Levine versus current city commissioner and lawyer Michael Góngora, is the Gongorite allegation that the Levinites are anti-Hispanic because Levine used the Spanish word ‘mañana’ when referring to the alleged tendency of the current regime to “kick the can down the road.” Góngora was so outraged that he lapsed into speaking Spanish, as did several elderly Hispanic Levinites who were allegedly induced with favors to support Levine instead of Góngora. Góngora said Levine’s “mañana” was disrespectful, that it was a shame the Hispanic Levinites present did not speak English, because if they understood what was going on, they would know that Levine was buying their votes. Someone else referred to a mailer identifying Levine with Fidel Castro, alleging that Levine was robbing taxpayers of their dinero, thus lending an anti-Jewish implication to the ethnic tussling, countered with, “Do you trust Góngora with your dinero?” Levine was dismissive, noting that both his campaign consultant and his girlfriend are Cuban. We take that with a grain of salt because prejudice appertains to the categorization of groups, some of whose members we may get along with quite well as individuals whom we may refer to as “my Jewish friend” or “my Cuban friend.” Comedian Steve Berke, also running for mayor and present at the event to tangle, was forgotten in the rumble. People take the ethnic thing, call it racial if you will, all too seriously; it would do them good to laugh at some ethnic jokes on themselves, realizing that their differences can be the spice of life instead of a curse. For those unfamiliar with the shifting ethnic sands of Miami Beach, the sunny city was originally developed and dominated by white Anglo-American Protestants. Jews were not allowed to own land in Miami Beach except in the ghetto south of Fifth Street, now the upscale neighborhood known as South Pointe. Jews as well as famous black entertainers were banned from staying in hotels. The sands soon shifted in favor of Jews as they immigrated, took possession of a great deal of the land and dominated the government. The first Jewish mayor, Mitchell Wolfson, Sr., was elected in 1943. Since then there have been fourteen Jewish mayors. Hundreds of thousands of middle and upper class Cubans immigrated into South Florida from 1960 to 1979 along with 10,000 Jews expelled in 1960, with Miami Beach getting its fair share of the newcomers. The small number of Cuban Jews, most of them Sephardic (“Spanish” i.e. expelled from the Iberian peninsula in the 15th century), were discriminated against by local Ashkenazi (Germanic) Jews of north American and north European extract, sometimes to the verge of what Jews call “groundless hatred,” the self-destructive hatred of one’s own kind. Still, Cuban Hebrews, as they are called, have risen to leadership positions in the Jewish community disproportionate to their numbers because, it has been said, they were not repressed and assimilated in Cuba prior to Castro, and therefore they retained their Jewish culture. Still, non-Hispanics consider them as more Hispanic than Jewish. The election of Jose Smith to the city commission in 2001 was
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celebrated as the first time Hispanics had a majority on the commission although he was a Cuban Hebrew, theoretically resulting in a tie of 3 ½ Hispanics and 3 ½ Jews. Many Jews fled Miami Beach with the influx of Cuban criminals and mentally ill during the Mariel Boatlift of the 80s: Jewish population plummeted from roughly 70% of the population in 1970 to 20% in recent times. The southern part of Miami Beach, branded South Beach, favored by many Jews, experience the most radical decline in Jewish population with the rising real estate values and crime. According to the 2010 census, roughly 54% of the Miami Beach population is Hispanic, of which 40%, or 20% of the total population, are Cubans. Non-Hispanic Caucasians constitute 41% of which 49%, or around 20% of the total population, are Jews. That leaves 5% of the total for other categories including non-Hispanic blacks. More than half of Miami Beach residents speak only Spanish at home while a third speak only English. The area I live in on South Beach has very few non-Hispanic whites—there are two or three living on my block, perhaps a few dozen living in the neighborhood. Birds of a feather flock together, and humans of a kind like to look at themselves differently than others. Indeed, differentiating, evaluating the differences, and fighting over some of them is necessary to survival and what is called progress. We extend the process symbolically in the absence of biological differences such as skin color, nose shape, hair quality, and so on, by resort to cultural differences including flags and uniforms for war and sports.
Of course staunch racists may as well vote on the shape of a candidate’s nose, and presume that a certain nature follows it. I thought it amazing that the shape of a man’s nose could determine his nature when my BornAgain stepmother sat me down and told me to look at my father’s proboscis for proof that he is a Jew. He confessed to me that his mother was in fact Jewish, and said she converted to Catholicism after being of some use to the Resistance as a translator. He said he was secretly a messianic Jew. I inherited a rather cute nose from my mother, nothing like his “Roman” protrusion. I worried that my nose would grow longer after I read about Pinocchio. I read Gogol’s nasal story with great interest, about the man who lost his nose to shaving at the barber shop, and later saw it exiting a cathedral. And there is the long nose of Cyrano de Bergerac to contemplate. Now the reader may imagine my surprise to discover the significance of a reputedly Jewish Roman nose to the noble Góngora family, and how my discovery might pick up at least 235
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ethnic vo otes for Mic chael Góngo ora in the current c elect tion. The fa amous Spani ish poet Lu uis de Góngora y Argote (1 1561-1627) of the Cultu uralism Scho ool, was acc cused by his arch-enemy y, the equally talented poet t, Francisco de Quevedo o of the Conc ceptual or Conceited C School, of hav ving a ose. Jewish no
Luis de d Góngora
Micha ael Góngora
Phillip Levine e
A UN HO OMBRE DE E GRAN NA ARIZ by Luis de Góngora Érase un hombre a un na nariz peg gado, érase una a nariz super rlativa, érase una a nariz sayón n y escriba, érase un peje espada muy barbad do. Era un re eloj de sol mal m encarado, , érase una a alquitara pe ensativa, érase un elefante boc ca arriba, era Ovidi io Nasón má ás narizado. Érase el espolón e de una u galera, érase una a pirámide de d Egipto, las doce Tribus de na arices era. Érase un naricísimo infinito, i muchísim mo nariz, nar riz tan fiera que en la a cara de Aná ás fuera delito. Quevedo o threatened to anoint hi is own poem ms with baco on to keep Góngora G fro om stealing them, t and he ac ccused him of o sodomy, a capital crim me. The poetic insinuatio on of Jewry was a big deal at the time, for Christia an purity of blood b was a prerequisite e to success. Maybe that is why Lui is put his mom’s name (Leanor de Gón ngora) before e his dad’s. Góngora’s dad, d by the way, w was a ju udge. Luis, a sociable s and d jovial fello ow, took up holy orders s, bullfights, and card playing, and went broke gam mbling and advancing a la awsuits for his h relatives. Quevedo’s fate was no better.
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Forsooth h, Michael Góngora, G who o does have warm relatio onships with h the Jewish community, , may be Jewis sh enough to o win the el lection desp pite his Span nish heritage e, which ma ay have incl luded running Spain S as Jew ws for the Mu uslims befor re the Expuls sion, even th hough he is a Judeo-Chri istian and his nose n is some ewhat Greek according to one chart. But that wo ould not obv viate the “ma añana attitude” aspersion, for Jews in those da ays were denounced d f their “e for esperar (wai iting) —Jews to th his day are st till waiting for f the adven nt of the mes ssiah. attitude”— Góngora, who agreed d that he is of o noble des scent, did no ot respond to o the Jewish question no or did hether or no ot he is a Catholic. “I was s raised a Ch hristian and am a Christi ian,” he said d. he say wh The rest is left to th he imaginati ion, biases, and prejudices of our readers, r who om we hope e can laugh at this present tation, do so ome serious research, an nd vote for the right ma an for the jo ob of f the City of Miami Beac ch. mayor of —I LI IKE MIKE E—
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