Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pregnancy is Just a Stomach Virus Waiting to Be Cured

Legalized abortion, for my money, was the single greatest social advance of the 20th century. Some may argue for the automobile, the computer or maybe even the birth control pill, but I believe that legal, easy abortion has done more to help society than any of these things. The vast majority of our domestic social problems can be traced to unwanted children. Crime, welfare, poverty, unemployment, divorce, all of these problems and many others would be solved if people only had kids when they wanted and could afford them. Which is why I always feel like rear-ending some sense into those morons with the goddmaned Florida License plates that say “Choose Life” on them. No, mamn, choosing life will only hurt our state, do you understand that? Middle-class married women in their thirties driving Lexus' like you don’t get abortions. Poor unemployed teenagers do. And them having kids does nothing to help our society AT ALL.

I consider myself a metropolitan republican. That is a Republican in the sense of a Rudy Giuliani or an Arnold Schwarzenegger (both pro-choice). I, like few faith-blinded Republicans, realize that less poor single moms means less money going to welfare, less crime and less poverty. And it costs the government absolutely nothing. What’s more Republican than cutting social costs without spending money? Exactly. I am not pro-choice, people. I am pro-abortion. I think we need to have more and I encourage every female I know who is not in a financial position to support a child to terminate her pregnancy immediately. Because otherwise I, and everyone else, will end up paying for it.

But here is my big question: Say you are a single twenty-something female just starting out her career with her whole life ahead of her and all of a sudden you fuck up and get pregnant. Why are you freaking out? Unless you live in some backwards-ass religious state like Utah or Mississippi, your problem is fixed with a morning doctor’s visit. Unwanted pregnancy is perhaps the single quickest fix of any of life’s major catastrophes. Car accidents can take weeks to recover from. It can take months to find a new job. STDs can last forever. But a pregnancy? Shit, you can have that taken care of in a matter of minutes. What’s the big deal?

Objectively, there is no argument against abortion. Emotionally, religiously, I suppose there are arguments, but then again if you are that religious, what the fuck are you doing having pre-marital sex anyway? Assuming you are not a devout Mormon or Catholic or Evangelical who likes to fuck, why can’t you see that a child will ruin your life? I mean, totally ruin it. Your freedom is gone, your nightlife is gone, your promiscuous dating style is gone. Hell, it even makes your career goals 100 times harder than they would be had you taken that morning trip to Planned Parenthood. Please explain to me where the upside to having a child is? And, furthermore, what’s the downside of this quick fix to a potentially life (as you know it)-ending problem? I see none.

Men are the ones who need to be scared. Once we ejaculate, we officially relinquish all control over decisions made about our sperm. Now, one might say we should have used a condom, or pulled-out, or not had sex in the first place. And one would be right. But once the damage is done, life becomes about damage control. And, unfortunately, if we don’t want that kid we are SOL. Is it fair? No, not at all, but as every feminist in my audience will say “Until you start going through childbirth, shut the fuck up.” So why men would be frightened of a pregnancy, I understand. But a female? Shit, you can have that issue dealt with and still make it in for a half-day at the office.

Before any of you jump down my throat with “You’re not a woman, you wouldn’t understand,” let me tell you about a young lady I know: She is young, extremely intelligent, attractive and not promiscuous by any stretch of the imagination. She got a 3.9 in undergrad while being president of about 15 different organizations and working several different internships. She plans to become an attorney and has just started a prestigious law school in California. Point is she is poised for success. I once asked her what she would do if she ever fucked up and got pregnant and you know what she told me? “It’d be like a stomach virus: I’d get up, go to the gym, go the doctor and get rid of it then go to my 1:00 class. Easy.” You all should be as objective as this young lady. No unwanted brat is going to stand in her way.

If you are young and promiscuous, you must believe in legalized abortion. It is your “Get out of Parenthood Free” card. Love it. Embrace it. To believe anything else is hypocritical. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a lot of late-night drunk dials from me asking if you feel better about yourself while I'm out partying and you're changing diapers. God bless abortion. I just wish others who believed in God saw it the same way.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hurricane Paranoia

The first Hurricane scare after a major storm is always a bitch, since everyone swears never to make the same mistakes again. Even if the storm blowing through is currently experiencing the near-apocalyptic wind gusts of 40 Miles per hour. I think my new rule is if my Saturn goes faster than your wind gusts, I’m not even going to bother buying potato chips. But lacking anytihng better to do on a Monday I fully bought into Ernesto paranoia and spent the afternoon at Publix and Citgo stocking up on such necessities as Totino’s and Blue Bird Doughnuts. Oh, and Gas. Lest we forget gas. Because any South Floridian who didn’t spend at least two days of 2005 in a gas line may as well be called a tourist.

In that sprit, I would like to submit a proposal to Governor Jeb Bush: Anyone caught cutting a Gas Line two days prior, or two weeks after, a hurricane is sent immediately to Old Smokey with no questions asked. Listen, Dickwad: We all need fucking gas, here. And some of us have been sitting in this line since we woke up this morning and you think you are just going to throw on your blinker and scoot right in? Remember Reginald Denny? Yeah, that’s about the reaction you are going to get from me and the other 78 people trying desperately to fill our tanks with some of Citgo’s finest.

And just because the cops aren’t guarding the other entrance doesn’t mean you can zip in there in your Black Jaguar and fill up while the rest of us sit on US-1 for the better part of our afternoon. That is why that guy in the F-350 rammed you backwards. And the cops had no sympathy when they got there. Sorry about your chipped paint, but I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time to work on it while your car is stuck in your driveway unable to move since you decided to try and cut the gas line. Order and civility, usually not the strong suit of your typical Miamian, is what keeps us from being New Orleans. When people start cutting gas lines, it is only a hop skip and a jump from mass rapings at Dolphin Stadium. So I propose they, along with price gougers, have whatever gas they got immediately poured on their bodies and be lit on fire, their only option for relief being the urine of everyone behind them on that gas line.

And then it was on to Publix. I was there to get a few things so I didn’t starve during the 24 hours before Little Caesar’s opens up. But Jesus Fucking Christ you’d have thought Publix was giving the store away for free. Listen, kids: There is no need to go to Publix and buy three weeks worth of groceries, especially when these groceries include meat, dairy, eggs and frozen food. So, when you power goes out around 11AM on Wednesday, what exactly were you planning to do with that four pounds of bacon you just bought? Fry it on your car radiator? And five cases of bottled water? Most people I know are hard pressed to consume 48 ounces of water in a day. But I guess somehow when the prospect of there being no open grocery stores for 48 hours comes about, we all seem to down water like we are going on a two day patrol through Fallujah. Either that or all the folks in Coral Gables are planning on bathing with Evian.

Oh, and lets make sure we all stock up on ice. Because nothing, and I mean nothing, sucks more than having no power, no running water, no gas, and not being able to chill your martini. Or, even worse, having to drink warm water. Again, what exactly are you planning to do with that ice when your freezer isn’t working for a week? Ice it with more ice? Hurricane logic just baffles me.

And before I forget, let me just reiterate once again why having kids is probably the worst idea you could ever have: While you were busy buying up half of Publix for your “family,” waiting on line at the checkout stand for the better part of 90 minutes, I bought five cans of coup, two bags of chips and a gallon of water. That’s less than 10 items, so I was in and out in under half an hour. God bless the Express Lanes. I don’t need to board anything up since, once again, I have nothing worth protecting, and most people with power don’t mind having one person over to take shower. That’s a little different when you’re dragging along three snot-nosed punks and a dog. Not to mention there’s a good chance you’ll be stuck in house with no A/C for a week with those little brats. Let me know how that works out for you. I’ll be drinking heavily and nursing my hangover with a nice long run. Have a great week! I’ll see when the “storm” blows over.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Aks White Dade: If You Hate Miami So Much, Why Don't You Leave

I’m sure this comes as a great disappointment to all of you Miami haters out there, but the fact is I do not hate Miami at all. Quite the contrary, I love this city. I point out its many, many, many flaws on this blog because it is a hell of a lot more entertaining than me talking about how awesome it is here, and I feel I need to let those who have never been to Dade County know that it is hardly all fashion models and palm trees. But I love this town in spite of its flaws and, like in any good relationship, because of them.

I tried leaving once and went to the most logical place someone leaving Miami would go: Southern California. And let me tell you if you think people in South Beach are shallow, or girls in South Florida are materialistic and vapid, we are the AAA to SoCal’s Major League. Not the only reason I left, but suffice to say Orange County just wasn’t the place for someone like me. And LA sucked even worse. So I came to the following conclusion:

Miami is, hands down, the best place in America to live if you are single and under thirty. Now before all you New Yorkers start jumping down my throat about your town being “The Center of the Universe” and “The Best of Everything,” remember that one can actually afford to live here on $35,000 a year, which is extremely important when you are young. The nightlife in Miami is as good as it gets in America, and we have clubs that stay open until noon the next day. Now, not everyone wants to take advantage of that, but it’s nice to know that nobody is going to be pushing you out the door at 1:45. We have beaches that you can go to year round, and a few of them are topless. The population, contrary to our national reputation, is extremely young and extremely lively, making this a great place to meet people for social endeavors. Notice I said “social endeavors” and not “relationships.” If you are a guy, there is a steady flow of tourist girls that adopt the “I’m on Vacation so it doesn’t count” attitude. Miami is the East Coast’s version of Las Vegas. If you are female, there is a steady flow of “I’m on vacation and will spend as much money as I can” guys who will be more than happy to buy your drinks all night. Just not me.

Granted, there is a shortage of white girls, which are really the only girls I am attracted to. But the good news is that when you find one they are usually grateful to meet you. There is a shortage of white guys in Miami too, and most white girls I’ve met in Miami aren’t too into the whole “Smoldering Latino” thing. Just like me.

The biggest drawbacks to living here really don’t apply too much when you are young. Skyrocketing Housing costs? I’m still renting, and while my rent may go up a little, it is nothing compared to what a mortgage or property tax increase would be. Hurricane Insurance? What’s that? I’m a renter. Hurricane Damage? An inconvenience, but ultimately the landlord is paying. Poor job market? Well, low-paying jobs are always open and unlike in some cities you can live off an entry level salary in Miami. And not have to wait tables at night. Bad Schools? The High School football is outstanding, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Traffic? I base my apartment searches on where I won’t have to sit in traffic, not where the good schools are, where I can afford a house or what my neighborhood is like. Government Corruption? As long as they’re not trying to move closing time back form 5AM, I couldn’t care less if they are embezzling school funds. This is why I say the good outweighs the bad here so much: The bad things are mostly avoidable while the good are available on a daily basis.

There are still flaws that affect you when you’re young, though, and most of them begin with the letter H. Hurricanes, humidity, and another one I can’t think of right now. Hurricanes suck, plain and simple. But so do blizzards, earthquakes, weeks of sub-zero temperatures and 10 months of overcast. The heat and humidity you get used to, or at least I have, to the point where Southern California is too cold. The cultural differences? Well, in case you didn’t notice I’m still dealing with that one. But, again, it is really the major flaw of this city and if my biggest problem with a place is hearing too much Reggaeton, well, I guess I can live with that. It is a small price to pay to be surrounded by friends, perpetual summer weather, world-class nightlife and postcard-esque beaches. And tourist girls, lest I forget the tourist girls.

If you are a young person concerned with long-term career goals, finding a serious relationship and owning property, this is not the town for you. Stay in whatever boring shithole you are reading this from. But if you are young, attractive, hedonistic and not overly concerned with anything other than where your next drink or piece of ass is coming from, this is definitely the town for you. Bienvenidos!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Innocent on Labor Day, Whore by Thanksgiving

As I walk around the University of Miami campus a few days before school starts, I can't help but notice all the cute young girls walking around with mommy and daddy, buying dorm "necessities" like storage racks and Teddy Grahams, and strolling around with a look of fear, confusion and excitement. And until Mom and Dad go back to Maryland or Long Island or Palm Beach County, their little girl is safe. But as I look around at these innocent young faces, on the boys too but moreso on the girls, I wonder:

I wonder how long it will be before these rail thin nubile beauties discover the cornucopia of teenage drinking that is The Tavern. How long before those magical jugs full of Miller Lite turn her form Daddy's Little Girl to Unlce Neal's Little Whore? Her stomach magically spilling over those size 2 jeans she bought before she moved down, her innocence floating up through the Tavern rafters like so much smoke form a Marlboro Light.

She'll start going out every night and telling herself she'll work it off at the Wellness Center tomorrow. But that dirty-line Miller Lite hangover is a bitch and the all-you-can-eat at Chartwells sounds much more inviting. Followed by a delicious Menthol 100 and another night of domestic beer at the Tavern. That size 2 will be a size 6 by Columbus Day, and she will most likely go home with any guy around at 2:30 just to bolster her sagging self-esteem. It's hard to do that and stay skinny like the older girls when you haven't taken up cocaine yet.

How many of these girls are virgins? How many won't be when they go home for Thanksgiving? And how many will regret that fact? Who will be the first to wake up in a fraternity house and not remember how she got there or where her clothes are? Who will be deemed a "groupie" by Pike or Lambda Chi or the baseball team? Who will be the first to have a train run on her by the 7th Floor Crew, the first to garner a bad reputation, the first to take up hard drugs? Because I'm sure daddy never saw that coming when he was moving her stuff into Hecht. They never do.

Yes, Daddy, how long before your little girl starts sleeping with frat guys and athletes to feel popular? So the other girls will look up to her? How long until she realizes that while other girls may secretly be jealous, it will manifest itself as rumors and exile and she will ultimately become the girl who "prefers to hang around with guys because they're so much cooler." And by "cooler" you mean "nicer to me because they all want to/already have gotten into my pants." But you'll never see that now. You're too busy having lunch on Lincoln Road. Oh, but once you check out of the Biltmore, let the games begin.

Which one of these lovely young ladies from the north will be the first to be taken home down a long, dark, windy road we like to call Old Cutler to a part of Miami she didn't even know existed? "Palmetto where?" she'll say. How long before she realizes that she went home with a hardened local who has been doing this since she was in 5th grade? Perhaps when she mentions she needs to be back for class at 9AM. See that thing across from the 7-11? That's called the Busway. Take it 8 miles north to the Metrorail, take that to the University Station and you'll be home. Because I don’t go north on US-1 during Rush Hour for anybody.

Who will be the first douchebag guy to think it's cool to wear a double-popped collar to the Tavern and have it turned down my me or one of my friends? How long before one of these stupid young guys becomes a cocky frat boy who assumes he has the rights to the back table on a Thursday? And no, I don't care if you were pledge of the year at Pike or were an all-state wrestler in New Jersey.

All of you will be calling your friends in December from the beach, telling them where you are and making fun of how cold it is in State College or Bloomington or Storrs. And you will tell everyone when you go home for Christmas how awesome it is here and how much you love the "Latin flavor" and the "nonstop nightlife." Then, little by little, you will experience life outside the "UM Bubble." Maybe when you go to get a Florida Drivers License, or try and pay a ticket at the Coral Gables Courthouse. Or maybe like me you’ll be at an Eckerd trying to buy boot polish and have to ask 5 different people because they didn’t teach you that particular phrase in Spanish 105. At what point will you say "Fuck this place" and decide to go home after graduation like 90% of the out-of-staters do. Except for the white guys dating Latin girls. At what point will the Miami mystique wear off and the reality of life in Dade County sets in? But you don't know that now. You're still hypnotized by the palm trees and subservient to the humidity.

Enjoy your South Floirda innocence while you can, kids. I remember when I was like you, young, excited and innocent. If I see you at Ted's I'll buy you a drink, but something tells me you'll never make it that far. Welcome to Dade County. Let's see how long you last.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Free Wine and Food Isn't Really THAT Bad

On The C, it was not. But then again, it would have been difficult to duplicate that particular event given that it had been held, you know, in my honor. But I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout at 8 ½ on Saturday for the big Wine-sponsored blogger event.

I showed up a little after 7, surprised to see that I was not the only person there within an hour of the prescribed starting time. Of course, I knew nobody in the room and, surprisingly to some of you I’m sure, I am terrible in situations like that. Like, absolutely terrified of approaching people I don’t know, especially when I’m sure half of them probably think I’m some sort or racist zealot to begin with. And since Erik, the only person I’d talked to on the phone that day, was still looking for parking, I was forced to down as much free red wine as possible to keep myself amused. So might I suggest for the next one of these that someone decides to throw a little helpful tool we call NAMETAGS. That way I’m not standing alone in a room going “Man, I’m like the youngest person in here by 8 years. Awesome!”

Not that I really needed one, though. After Erik showed up we bellied up to the bar and began what we knew would be a long night of drinking. Within a few minutes we were approached by MiamiBeach411 (who I am not linking on purpose after he made fun of me for explaining the linking process to him “Oh, is that how linking works? Thanks?” he told me. Look, it was my birthday. Leave me alone) who said “Excuse me, is one of you guys White Dade?” Being the attention whore that I am, I piped up and said “Yes,” waiting for the inevitable wine glass or blunt object to be hurled in my direction. But he, along with everyone else I met, was extremely polite. I was approached a few more times by people asking if I was White Dade, I guess since me and Erik were the only 2 white guys in the room under about 35. It wasn’t hard to tell.

Amy from Miami Beach was true to her word and was “The Mormon Girl in The Red Dress.” Despite the fact that she looked way more Spanish than she did Spanish Fork, she was still easy to spot by the “I was brainwashed at age 7” look that even Mormons who hang around with Jews and Fags still seem to have. Amy was a delightful individual as she, Erik and myself compared “Miami is not at all what you think it is when you move here” stories. I found that this was a common thread among transplants to the area: Love it or hate it, Miami is absolutely 100% different than what you see on TV and movies, and it’s always good to see that everyone agrees with me.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Maria, the creator of Manola BlaBlaBlanik, who claims to still be working on a post based on my spreadsheet called “The F-List.” But I’ll believe it when I see it. And Rebecca from GreenerMiami and her husband also stopped by to tell me hello. I was about 9 Glasses of wine into the party by then, but I do remember Rebecca sharing my confusion as to why anyone wouldn’t want to come to this event.

The poor folks at Stormhoek tried in vain to give some sort of presentation about their winery about 90 minutes into the open wine bar. What I think they failed to realize is that a bunch of drunk bloggers are not going to shut up for more than two minutes to listen to anything, unless, of course, it’s about them. Some guy form “The Apprentice” spoke, but I had no fucking clue who he was and I think pretty much talked about how hot the girls at Penn State are with Erik during most of his presentation. Seth Gordon FINALLY realized that we all just wanted to talk about ourselves at that point, and decided to have us go around the room and introduce ourselves and our blogs. When it was finally my turn I looked up from leaning on the bar and said “Hi, I write blog called White Dade.” And a collective groan or “ooooh” came up form the audience, I couldn’t tell. “It’s pretty much about the novelty of being a white guy living in Miami.” Which garnered a little chuckle. Seth was nice enough to tell everyone he enjoyed my tips on sex and dating to which I replied “yeah, because when I try and write about sports or politics I have no fucking idea what I’m talking about” Which got a bigger laugh. Well, at least they found me entertaining in person.

At the end of the night, Social Diva and her husband came up to me and said “you seem like an outgoing person. How are you?” I don’t even think they read White Dade, but anybody who buys me a Hennessey on the Rocks for my birthday is okay in my book. Later, Seth and I both commiserated on the inexplicable backlash to the event, as he seemed as confused as I was. Eventually, the party ended and Erik and I went and had a slice at Rustica before he came and attended the Ice Luge bash. Which I think was a welcome change for him from lawyer parties on Brickell. At any rate, I look forward to meeting those of you who didn’t show up, for whatever reasons you had, at the next blogger get-together. Ask anyone who was there, I am extremely nice in person and gracious to anyone who wants to come up and say hi and/or buy me a drink. At least, I am after 11 glasses of free wine.

Oh, and a special thanks to Tara for sending me a birthday card. Best gift a blogger ever gave me on my birthday. Except for maybe that Hennessey form Mr. Diva.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Frat Boy Friday

Remember in college how you used to wake up on Friday after a rough night out, drink some beer, do some dumb shit, drink some more, then go out partying again? Oh, wait, that was my Friday.

I got a call about 10 this morning form my boy Aaron who was like “Dude, we should totally build an ice luge for Saturday’s party.” There’s a phrase I haven’t head since 2001. Oh, wait I went to University of Miami. I’ve never heard a phrase like that ever. So I am now making up for all the frat boy time I lost going to a small expensive private school.

We took Aaron’s Saab up to Home Depot (or Depot De Casa as it is known on Calle Ocho), completely ruined his nice pristine leather interior with 13 cinder blocks and three pieces of plywood, got made fun of my no less than five separate people saying “Hey, nice truck!” and “You brought the wrong car!” and “Something unintelligible but definitely insulting in Spanish!” then proceeded to roll back down Calle Ocho with a 2 by 4 sticking out of the sunroof and some plywood sticking out the truck. Classy or trashy, I can’t decide.

The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking Miller Lite, listening to Sublime and building an ice luge for the Saturday Night birthday bash. Again, for those of you who did not go to college, an ice luge is an extremely large block of ice with a groove melted down the middle through which shots of hard liquor are simultaneously poured and chilled. The block of ice is tilted at a 45-degree angle and the shot is poured into the awaiting mouth of the drinker at the other end. I’ve never done it but my friends who went to Big State Schools tell me it’s fun. The thing is damned impressive and ready for the 300 pound block of ice we will be going to purchase tomorrow morning. I consider this a feat of engineering on par with the Grand Coulee Dam and the great Pyramids. And what better way to spend a hot weekday afternoon than shopping for Ice-Luge making materials, drinking, and planning a keg party. How old am I turning again? Who fucking cares?

It is painted black, green and orange in the sprit of the great University of Miami. I tagged it with both 305 AND 786 (OVERLAY, mothafucka) and the left side has D-A-D-E written out over four of the cinder blocks. There are various other obscenities spray painted throughout, but I think it should impress out guests. And if not, who cares? It’s my birthday and I like it. I would show you all pictures but my camera phone is acting up again. I hope you all have a weekend as relaxing and fun as my week has been. The overgrown frat boy is turning 21 for the 7th year in a row, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

When is The Right Time to Drop the "B" Bomb?

I suppose some of my New York counterparts never deal with this issue, since if you have a blog in that city everyone knows it and probably knows who you are before they even meet you. Especially if you are dating other bloggers or blog groupies or maybe just people with not enough to do at work. But here in Miami nobody reads this shit. When you mention to someone here that you have a blog, typically their first answer is “Oh, are you on MySpace?” No, I’m not on fucking MySpace, you dolt. I hate MySpace and most self-respecting bloggers view Myspace with a disdain usually reserved for international terrorists and Boy Band members.

So that being said, if there is not a stigma attached to being a blogger here in Miami, there is certainly a lot of confusion. I don’t mention it much to anybody new, since I really don’t think they care. Even if it comes up in conversation, I often try to skirt the issue. Last night, for instance, I was talking to a guy who just graduated from Florida State and I asked him if he was familiar with the Cowgirls. Well, of course he was so I mentioned to him my little involvement with that whole situation, which he found interesting. But not once did I mention the word “blog.” Wanna know why? Because sitting next to me and across from him was a girl I’ve been dating for the past few weeks and lord knows it is waaay to early to let her read “A Tribute to the Slumpbusters.”

I was walking in the Grove with this particular girl last week and some typical Miami trash pulled up to a red light blasting what can only be described as a cat belching over the banging of garbage can lids. The kids call it Reggaeton. I looked at her and said “Yes, please, play your stereo as loud as possible in your PT Cruiser, there, guys. Because you know the WHOLE Grove just loves listening to Reggaeton. Please by all means, crank it up.” Her response: “Wow, you’re bitter.”Oh dear God. You think that's bitter? Glad you weren’t there on Fourth of July. It was merely the tip of the perpetually ranting iceberg that is White Dade.

As anybody who has been doing this for more than two weeks knows, a blog can become an all-consuming fire for which you often forsake your job, family and personal hygeine. Many people get fired because of their blogs, many lose friendships, and some even have their lives turned completely upside down if what they are writing is interesting enough. Suffice to say it becomes a major part of your life. So how do you keep such a major thing a secret from someone? When is the right time to tell somebody about your internet alter ego? If you write a blog like mine, you run the risk of them leaving because they are offended. Even if they are not offended, from that moment forward you are severely limited in what you can write about. No more guides to one night stands, no more misogynistic rants, no more complaining about girls who are bad in bed. Because the next call you get will inevitably be that person saying “Was that about ME?”

There is a part of me that wants her to read all this stuff I’ve written so she can give me the requisite “Wow, you’re a really great writer” compliment and so she can learn more about who I am and what I do. But more the first one. Another side knows that as soon as I do that, my limited post ideas will get even smaller, and the content of this blog will undoubtedly suffer. A friend of mine said there is no way you can maintain a blog and a relationship at the same time. When nobody read this shit, it was easy. Now that I have a larger audience it has gotten harder. Imagine if that audience included someone I had to worry about offending with rants about girls who are boring in bed? This blog would downright suck.

So, I ask my fellow bloggers, especially those who write blogs similar to mine, when is the right time to tell someone about a blog like this? I am new to the game here, and I am inclined to keep this all a secret. Since I’m not on MySpace and my full name appears nowhere on here, it would be hard for her to find unless she happened to be looking for Jenn Sterger on Deadspin. (Still my #1 referral page) I am thinking the right time is never, or, better still, when I want to make a graceful exit. We all have our secrets, right? I guess White Dade can just be mine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Aks White Dade: What's Up With Miami Cubans?

Today I am going to introduce a new semi-recurring feature here in White Dade called “Aks White Dade.” And, yes, I am well aware that I spelled “Ask” wrong as it is intended to be pronounced like a sharp metal object you would use to cut wood or, if you are stuck in a remote Colorado hotel for the entire winter, murder your entire family. I tend to pronounce it that way for my own entertainment and am in no way trying to offend any of my African-American readers. I have actually been emailed for advice by a couple of readers in the past, most notably Chris from Baby Windows who aksed me if he should tell his girlfriend he had videotaped himself having sex before. My answer was a resounding "yes." So today I will address two questions with similar themes I’ve received in the recent weeks from a couple of readers in New York who know who they are. The first question:

“Hey White Dade, why are Cubans in Florida obsessed with going back there? It's been a communist shithole for decades, they have all their success here, yet they still refuse to treat America like anything but a temporary rest stop. It boggles my mind. I understand a lot of them have family there and are nostalgic, but the pro-Cuban pride blows my mind considering the country really hasn't done that much for them over their lifetime.”

Not being a member of the “exile community” it would be hard for me to answer for them, but here is my THEORY (and before you all jump down my throat, this is my THEORY and by no means the definitive answer): A lot of the more vocal older Cubans here were not part of the Mariel boatlift. They were, in fact, the wealthy Cubans who fled in fear of the communists taking all their shit (which they ultimately did). Their recollections of Cuba are those of the life of the upper class of the country, and not necessarily those of the poor and working classes that Castro claimed to represent (and not to get overly racial here, but most Cuban-Amerianas are lighter-skinned while the majoity of Cubans I met in the actual country were extremely dark. Draw your own conclusions). It’s kind of like what I imagine a slave-owner’s image of the pre-war South was compared with that of a Negro slave. And when you’re in the wealthiest 5%, I suppose even Bangladesh in monsoon season is a pretty nice place. So of course they’re going to miss it and want to go back. This selective memory leads them to think that once “The Beard” is gone, they can return to their plantation homes and mojitos-at-noon lifestyle that they enjoyed like nothing ever happened. I’ve been to Cuba. Those plantation homes are now oversized planters for a variety of sub-tropical weedlife and the only people who can afford mojitos at noon are dumb tourists like me.

Now, Cubans in Cuba always say it’s great there because if they don’t they will be thrown in a dark hole faster than you can say “human rights violation.” So you can’t take what they say as absolute truth. I have been there on vacation (and spent LOTS of money) and I assure you it is, in fact, a communist shithole. It will take a lot of cruise ship and gambling-interest money to make that place nice again should the totalitarian regime subside. If the “exile community’ wants to move back, I would be far from stopping them, but I don’t think they’ll be there long before they realize that Little Havana is actually a lot nicer than Big Havana.

“Hey White Dade, why do 2nd generation Cubans that are our age (mid-twenties) still have accents? I know 2nd generation Greeks, Italians and Asians who sound totally American, why don’t they?”

Because nobody around them does either. I know some 2nd generation Cubans from other parts of the country like LA and the Midwest who sound just like everyone else in those parts of the country. In Miami, though, we have what is called the “Miami accent.” And not the White Dade accent that Janet Reno and some others have, but the one you would most likely recognize on Gloria Estefan. A large percentage of the population here speaks Spanish, and so many Cuban kids who were born here and grew up here still have a definitive accent. Believe it or not, there are some white kids who grew up here who sound Cuban too. Kind of like Eminem growing up in the bad parts of Detroit. So it is not necessarily that they have a Cuban accent, but a Miami accent. I’m sure the two are easily confused, but if people my age moved to Boise and raised their Cuban children there, the accent would probably cease to exist in that next generation.

I wholly encourage the rest of you to email me with any questions you may have. I will use whatever name and location you give me to answer them to the best of my abiality. Much like the above answers, I will answer with my theories or opinions, but, by no means, will I answer with absolute fact.