Oy Vey Can You See?

I keep trying to get my brain around this. Why does anybody think it’s a good idea?

A Coral Gables billionaire wants to hoist a 500-pound American flag atop a massive, 40-story flagpole over downtown Miami.

flag over Miami[Mike] Fernandez, a major donor to Republican candidates and the former chief fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott, has been mulling a way to pay homage to the United States for years. He came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1964 as a penniless child and made his fortune in healthcare.

“I started to chat with my wife and I said it would be a wonderful idea as a sign of gratitude for many of us who weren’t born in this country to do it in Miami,” said Fernandez. — Miami Hurled

Can you say “meaningless gesture?” How about “shallow ostentation?”

This comes out the same week as Pamela Drukerman’s NY Times column that pissed off all the local Miam-uh clan — the one that noted how shallow, ostentatious, vapid, plastic, and classless Miami was and still is (although less so almost maybe). Ooh, snap, truth stings.

At least it’s an American flag, not a picture of the donor himself or a gigantic $100 bill.  Or anything by Brito.  Still, why would anybody associate this tasteless monstrosity as a sign of gratitude?

I suppose it makes sense to the same empty suits who confuse wearing a plastic American flag lapel pin on their pajamas with patriotism. Seems like ‘Pubs are especially susceptible to this strain of shallow thinking. Remember their official response to terrorism? “Freedom Fries”?

Lisle image Miami

credit: John Lisle, NYTimes

Now if I were a real journalist, I’d dig a little into Fernandez’s past to see how many backbones he snapped and lives he ruined to achieve financial success. Just for fun, you know. He made it on health care — big Medicaid contracts. Sounds above board and clean, innit? Ask Governor Dickwithears.

But I’d also like to know what percentage of his fortune he uses to support charitable endeavor, and which ones he favors. I know he gave $1 Million to Alonzo Mourning’s Foundation, and has generously supported PAMM. I wonder if he has supported organizations established to assist people like himself who didn’t do as well — immigrants from repressive countries who arrive in the US penniless, and could use some help adjusting and getting established. There’s several thousand in shelters along the Mexico border right now, in fact. Lots of little kids among them.. And every day the paperboy brings more.

Perhaps he has — good. That would be a far more meaningful act than displaying a giant erection downtown. Just about anything would.

Wise up, Miami, and reject this stunt.

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17 Responses to Oy Vey Can You See?

  1. Red White & Blue says:

    Why do you hate America?

    • Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Then it occurred to me that the writer probably just hates Republicans. Or maybe Cubans. Or, just Cuban Republicans.

      In any event, when I see the American flag flying – large or small – it never occurs to me to think “tasteless monstrosity.” What does come to mind is gratitude. I think of the many men and women who have given their lives for the privilege of freedom we have been given. Then I realize how incredibly blessed I am to be an American.

      Silly me.

      • Dawgbowl says:

        I can relate. I feel the same way whenever I see a flag with a peace sign.

      • Merkin Way says:

        The only thought this writer expresses that I agree with is “Silly me.”

        But I confess I experience similar sensations of gratitude when I see such things as donor walls on museums and hospitals, armies of volunteers working with disabled children and adults on weekends, clergyman visiting patients in hospitals regardless of those patients’ religious beliefs, members of Rotary and Lions Clubs staffing tables as humanitarian events, veterans helping other veterans in need, etc. You know, *real* actions, not symbolic gestures.

        That’s when I realize how incredibly blessed I am to be an American. Silly me.

      • Squathole says:

        Stephanie Kienzle: Oh, snap! With uncanny perspicacity, you homed in on my dog whistle clues to expose me raw. Hate Republicans, hate Cubans — what else could it possibly be? Certainly nothing I actually mentioned. All I left out was demanding to see his birth certificate. Heh heh heh.

        Thanks for confirming everything Drukerman noted regarding how shallow south Florida remains, despite an influx of internationals and nationals who arrive sharing education, culture, and wealth.

        You might also have a look at my follow-up (Tall Story Continued) where I praise Fernandez for his character, intentions, and philanthropy. Or not — why bother disturbing your prejudice when it fits so well.

        Silly you.

      • Oh, snap …um, Squathole? Seriously? Regardless of whether you agree with my opinions or not, at least I have the cojones to use my real name. Since you obviously aren’t acquainted with my writing, I was being flip. In that lovably sarcastic way that was so endearing to my intellectually challenged ex-husband, who also didn’t get it. Then again, your opinion of me is none of my business.
        Either way, as my mentor, Chaz Stevens (who also uses his real name when he writes), once told me, “If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re doing it wrong.” That sage advice has served me well. As such, I try to piss off at least one person per day. Trust me, it works better than the proverbial apple. And a lot more fun.

      • Squathole says:

        Stephanie: Gosh where to begin. How about with an insult?

        1. You insensitive lout! How DARE you poke fun at my Native American name? Like most ill-educated Americans, you only know its popular corruption, Squanto, and feel free to giggle and snort at the genuine article.
        2. Therefore the discussion of a pseudonym is rather moot, but for the record, what does writing pseudonymously have to do with cajones? Mark Twain, Robert Galbreath, George Sand, Dr. Seus — what, all lacking cajones? But I’m glad that balls and all, you and your husband get along somehow. Perhaps you share jockstraps as well as boxers and briefs.
        3. Your mentor is not very original, is he? But even so, who exactly did you piss off this time? I missed it in your amusing unfounded accusations of my hatred for Cuban ‘Pubs and America. And it’s “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” not pisses off anybody. Check your Book of Cliches, or better yet, ask your sage mentor.

        Finally, thanks for stopping by and please do so again. Haven’t had so much fun since Manuel Tellechea dropped out of the picture. I’ll be back on the reservation next week.

      • You’re funny. Thanks for the laughs. You have no idea how much I need that.

        But I gotta tell ya, as an insult hurler, well, meh. I’ve got some really thick skin so I guess you’ll have to try harder next time.

        Seriously, though, (and, yeah, I was messing around)), I’ve had a really effed up few weeks, so I’m a little off my game. Come stop by my website sometime and shoot me a message when you’re free. Maybe we can start this relationship over on a better note. I’m always up for company and making new friends. Even if it’s hate at first sight, I’m really quite lovable once you get to know me.

        Well, except for that creepy ex-husband of mine, who no one can stand. Not even his own kids.


      • Kent Standit says:

        Yo, Squattle! Pretty smooth pick-up move! She drops it that she’s single now and asks you to come up and see her some time. Score!

      • Stephanie Kienzle says:

        WTF? I thought Squathole was a female. Either way, I’m not looking for a hook-up. My BF is the hottest dude in SoFla, bar none. Cold showers for both of you.

      • Kent Standit says:

        Stephanie: Well now I’m confused. Squats IS female, and I figured you knew that as well. I wasn’t being judgmental or anything. Lots of people go both ways. It doubles their odds on a Friday night.

      • Stephanie Kienzle says:

        Let me clear up the confusion. For some reason – probably because of her writing style – I assumed that Squat was a woman. But when you insinuated that I was trying to score with her, I then figured she was a man, but that’s just because I happen to be straight. Did that help any?

      • Kent Standit says:

        Hey it’s all the same to me really. But it’s nothing to be defensive about and I get the appeal. Be good to yourself. Life is short, have an affair and walk on the wild side. Maybe you and Squatters will post some steamy pix?

      • Camiel Toe says:

        Squathole must be one remarkable female — can’t think of any others that had prostate cancer.

  2. E.O. Hippus says:

    Hey it makes sense if he lowers the flagpole enough that the flag throws some shade on the street so homeless people can get some relief from the sun.

  3. Camiel Toe says:

    Classic Miami bullshit. Big gesture, no pay-off. I bet this guy’s wife fakes her orgasms so he goes to sleep happy and proud of himself.

  4. Pingback: Tall Story, continued | Obalesque

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