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realclearworld

New York Times: all the snobbery that’s fit to print

plastic-pink-flamingo-inventor_5

Take a look at this latest condescending snobbish snort published by The New York Times.

The writer -- a Miami native deeply ashamed of her birthplace -- decides to heap scorn on her native land.  She barely disguises her scorn, even as she stoops to offer a few tidbits of  backhanded praise.

And, with all of the earth-shaking events taking place in the world this week, The New York Times dedicates precious space on its pages to this embarrassingly snobbish puff piece.

Let's make fun of those little people again.  Aren't they ever so tacky, so gauche, so utterly contemptible?  

And those Cuban exiles: Mon Dieu, let's make sure the world knows that they might have slightly improved Miami, but they remain so far below us all.  After all, their children and grandchildren still don't know how to speak English correctly.  And... aren't those Cubans even more déclassé than everyone else in Dade County, too?   All they care about is their "stuff." 

The writer lives in Paris, and she stresses that point.  So, there's a little bit of bi-polar schadenfreude at work here.  Most New Yorkers still feel they are still inferior to Parisians, but that no one other than elite Manhattanites can come close to Parisians, not even Londoners.   The elites of both of these cities still love to look down on the rest of the world and to feel a deep sense of pleasure in measuring everyone else's inferiority.

So, when a Parisian spits on Miami, it makes elite New Yorkers feel ever so good.  It confirms their own snobbery: only rubes from Queens and Jersey go to Miami... and Eurotrash, too.

An overwhelmingly vast majority of those who consider themselves "intellectuals" in the United States venerate The New York Times.   Sometimes, you have to wonder whether American intellectuals and all avid readers of The New York Times still have a lot of growing up to do.

I have no reason to take umbrage at this essay, other than purely ethical and aesthetic.   Gloating over the inferiority of others is neither right nor pretty.

I don't love Miami or hanker to live there.  I only lived in Miami for 16 months in the early 1960's, under miserable circumstances,  and have only been back a few times since then.  I have no attachment to it, for quirky personal reasons that some might think insane.  I like living up North. I hate hot weather and love snow, and couldn't live anywhere where it doesn't snow steadily for at least four months out of the year.  I love shoveling snow.  I love looking at it.  I love smelling it.  I love to hear the snowflakes fall.  My love of snow prevents me from living in Havana and Paris, for one city gets no snow at all, and the other gets damn little.  Even New York City gets too little snow for me.

I understand preferring one place over another.  But I don't appreciate snobbery, especially when it's thinly disguised as cultural commentary.  This snarky solipsistic essay offends me, and it should embarrass the hell out of the author and the awful newspaper that deigned to publish it.

t1larg.flamingos

Miami Grows Up. A Little.
Pamela Druckerman

MIAMI — IF you had asked me what I wanted when I was 12 years old, I probably would have said, “to marry a plastic surgeon.”

You can hardly blame me: I was growing up in Miami. My life plan elegantly combined the city’s worship of bodies and money, and its indifference to how you came by either. When I left for college, I put Miami behind me, and tried to have a life of the mind. I got a graduate degree. I traveled. I even married a fellow writer, whose only real estate was a dingy one-bedroom apartment in Paris, where we lived.

But with kids came long summer pilgrimages to Miami to see family. It took a lot of effort to keep spurning the city, especially since the weather was so good. Miami had grown up a bit, and so had I. Hadn’t it developed a soul beneath its vapid, extremely pleasant, slightly menacing exterior? If I understood Miami better, could I grow to like it? Maybe I was the problem?

Like practically everyone who grew up in Miami, I knew little about its history. We were more worried about mangoes falling on our cars. It took just a bit of reading to realize that Florida had always attracted people with “an inordinate desire to get rich quickly with a minimum of physical effort,” as the economist John Kenneth Galbraith once described them.

And if the Miami of my childhood had the temperament of a spoiled teenager, that’s because, effectively, it was one. The city was founded in 1896, but for its first 60 years or so it was a segregated backwater, with fewer than a million people. (Despite the occasional celebrity sighting, “There was nothing, not even a Neiman Marcus,” someone who lived there in the 1950s told me).

versailles

The 1959 Cuban revolution was modern Miami’s unofficial birthday. Over the next 20 years, practically the entire Cuban upper class arrived. Many other Cubans followed. One of my neighbors in the 1970s had been imprisoned by Fidel Castro’s government. Another was doing his best to overthrow it. After the 1980 Mariel boatlift, which brought 125,000 more Cubans to Florida, surprised-looking children who spoke no English suddenly appeared in my sixth-grade class. Colombians, Nicaraguans and others arrived later.

The upper-class Cubans who became Miami’s new aristocracy had little trouble adapting to the city’s materialistic ethos. After all, they had been forced to leave all their stuff in Cuba. Soon there were two dominant modes of conversation in Miami: discussions about where to get your hair done, and anti-Castro rants.

Continue reading HERE to see how much worse things can get.....

snob

5 comments to New York Times: all the snobbery that’s fit to print

  • Rayarena

    You're right Prof. Eire, what a piece of crap. Of course, the NYT's that hates Cuban-Americans and has been otherizing us for the past 50+ years would publish this. First off, because as you say, they are snobbish. NYC is a very snobbish city and the most snobbish people in NYC are the so-called liberal democrats that espouse the editorial line of that paper. Go to Manhattan where even the average one bedroom condo costs well over one million dollars [anything with two or three bedrooms is beyond the realm of possibility for anyone, but an out-and-out millionaire] and tiny studios rent for $3000.00 a month, where brownstones can cost an average of $20,000,000.00 and where buildings have service entrances, so as not to disturb the residents with the sight of impoverished delivery boys, and most of the residents voted for Obama, despise Republicans and regale in how liberal and enlightened they are as opposed to conservatives. Yet, none of them would dream of allowing so-called "minorities" into their buildings. They play a lot of lip service, but from a safe distance. They are liberals, but not on a real level. This is demonstrated every year when during the Puerto Rican Day Parade that [horrors of horrors] goes down Fifth Avenue, they all barricade themselves inside, literally boarding up ground floor windows and garden areas. Try to get property in one of those buildings if you aren't white, chances are you're not getting in. Yet, if you tell them that you are a conservative, they'll bristle with contempt and call you a racist even if you are a Hispanic [who isn't supposed to be white]. This is the hometown of that contemptible paper, so what can we expect of them?

    Secondly, because the idea is to destroy Cuban Americans which they have practically done already. To the average New York Times reader, we are these contemptible ex-batistianos who are so radical that we cannot be taken seriously. Note how the New York Times has espoused the idea that we "run American foreign policy on Cuba to the detriment of the United States" and their constant drumbeat is to tell presidential candidates not to take us seriously, ignore the Miami lobby [yes, because of course, all Cuban exiles are from Miami! Can you imagine if you dismissed all blacks as the Harlem or Watts lobby!] and just make relations with Cuba. That's their message. In other words, our constitutional right to petition our government for something that we hold near and dear to us is constantly challenged.

    So of course, bigoted and snobby anti-Cuban article finds a snug home in the NYT's. By the way, I thought that it was very interesting how the author writes:

    "Confusingly, Miami’s Latinos call these Anglos “Americans.”]

    And I ask, isn't that as confusing as calling all Spanish speaking people [who come from over 20 different countries] "Latinos," especially when as in this case what you mean is Cuban?

    Let me say something else, if she is going to say that Cubans speak with a dialect, she might as well say that everyone in the US speaks with a dialect. Speech patterns are regional. Nooo Yawkers speak differently than Southerners, Bostonians speak different than Midwesterners and so on. All of these local speech patterns are recognizable and correct for their region. I was taught in college that English was a growing and live language and that one can't tell someone not to pronounce a word this way, or use this word instead of that word, because pronunciation and vocabulary is so regional.

    By the way, that bitch talks about the art scene in Miami, but is careful not to say that Cubans, especially the marielitos, where the ones that created that art scene in Miami.

    Ah, the New York Times, they helped destroy Cuba by creating the castro myth and now continue their handiwork by destroying those that escaped the horror that they helped create in Cuba.

  • asombra

    Why, Carlos, you're too sensitive. I'd call you puritanical, but everyone knows a Cuban cannot aspire to such an eminently WASP condition, even if he lives in New England. I was prepared to be offended, but the woman is too much of a lightweight for serious consideration--a curious case of trying too hard in a limp, enervated way. Well, OK, I was offended by the facile and ignorant "Latino" labeling, but again, considering the source, why bother? It appears she's just a "normal-looking person with semi-intellectual aspirations and a mild social conscience," if that. So here's what you do: call yourself an expatriate instead of an exile, avoid anti-Castro rants around would-be intellectuals, or, in keeping with your obvious inferiority, add another plastic flamingo to your winter lawn display. And name it Pamela.

  • FaustaR

    A couple of points:

    1. The NYC-Paris bien-pensant only feel kinship with the like-minded, hence, Druckerman is more at home with "thinkers" like herself.

    2. "Thinkers" of my type, who, after living for nearly 40 years in the north east were fed up with the taxes & headed to Miami (zoundz!), know for a fact that you're as likely to find those with “an inordinate desire to get rich quickly with a minimum of physical effort” in NYC (I worked in Manhattan for 7 yrs) & Paris as you may in Miami.
    Maybe even more likely.

    3. Glad to hear her arm flaps disappeared. If only her tongue would follow.

  • ranavy33

    What an idiotic piece. The NYT should be embarrassed. It's truly snobbish and insulting.

  • Jorge Ponce

    Loved the part where attorneys got lumped together with the non-thinking class.

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