Monday, August 14, 2006

I Think I've Heard Before What Happens To Countries With Such Radical Divides Between The Rich And The Poor. Oh, Well. Let Them Drink Stoli.

You know, Barbara Ehrenreich completely rocks. I have zero interest in seeing the new Miami Vice movie. Hell, I never even watched the old Miami Vice tv show. But Ms. Ehrenreich uses the movie to make some excellent points. Among them:

(1) Mann’s bleak vision of a world divided between shanty-towns and trailer parks, at one end, and unimaginable luxury, at the other, is not far off the mark. Take the crucial matter of travel: While the poor creep around in buses and the affluent creep a little faster in taxis, there’s a class of people who take helicopters to the airport, where they then embark on private planes. According the August 6 New York Times, private aviation has gone “mainstream,” with even the “merely rich,” who can’t afford their own planes, buying up 25 hours of air travel for $299,000.

No pretzels on their menu. As the Times reports, one private fleet met a passenger’s requirement for “Grey Goose vodka frozen two hours before flight, ice cubes made with Fiji water; filet mignon of precise cut and dimension; and Froot Loops… for the kids.”

(2) Meanwhile, according to, nearly half the world's people -- 3 billion --– live on less than $2 a day. Their lives are too cramped and squalid to make for good summer viewing. But they do serve a function as local color-- and by catching the occasional bullet or bomb.

(3) He offers her a drink. She favors mojitos, and tells him the best one's are in Havana. They're in Miami when this exchange takes place, but --– no problem --– a high-speed power boat whisks them off to the mojito source. If she'd asked for a Stoli on million-year-old ice, no doubt they would have hightailed right down to Antarctica.

I'm proud to say that I was only violently attracted to the thought of "Stoli on million-year-old ice" for three or four minutes before the angels of my better nature took over. Honest.

1 comment:

Ellie Finlay said...

This of course reminds me of Ghandi's words: Live simply that others may simply live.

But that will never happen, sadly. It's going to take a revolution to change anything.