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Monday October 31, 2005

Another tuesday linkup




What’s better then a bunch of bunch of sellout hipsters from Chicago writing a blog about Miami (compare this search to Miamist’s latest posts . . . cerfew lifted? check. generator death? check. lotto winner? do these people have no shame?)?

How about a Miami blogger invading their city during a hurricane weekend? That, dear readers, is serendipity. Yes, we checked out Chicago, thanks to the endless generosity (and patience) of Jeroen Nelamans, currently working on his Masters at the Art Institute (the grand tour of which included a brief visit to their metalshop/foundry).

Chicago is fucking fierce, yo. The Sears Tower view is for chumps – the real view is from the John Hancock building (which you’ll recognize from the 1991 version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, which always seemed to start facing the building). The pizza is amazing (getting out of the booth after you’ve eaten it is another thing, but neermind). Navy Pier is lame. The El is grungier then you’d have any right to expect. The Art Institute museum has an eye-popping collection of room miniatures. The bean was being cleaned, but yes, we were allowed to photograph it.

Are we buggin’ you with non-Miami content? You’d better take your seat, punk; Miami Beach 411 just called us a “Miami A-list blogger,” and we’ll do whatever we please (though is sort of under construction right now).


Sunday October 30, 2005

Price gouging?

All this talk about “price gouging” post-Wilma has got us thinking. Actually, it started when we saw this guy on TV, charged in court and tar-n-feathered on the news, for selling cases of water for $10. How much is a case of water supposed to sell for? Critical Miami recently bought a case of water at BJ’s for $5. Mind you, this was well after the hurricane, and at a discount membership superstore. Was David charging more for the water then Publix? Yes. Was he getting rich off the suffering of hurricane victims? Unless he had a very high-volume operation going, it’s unlikely he was getting rich. Look: there’s a reason economists don’t get worked up about price gouging. Heck, even Wikipedia has some trepidation about it.

This price-gouging stuff started up after Andrew, when people were buying generators in upstate Florida, driving them down to Kendall, and selling them for twice the original price. Whether this is exploitation or free-market economics comes down to a matter of perception. As a society, we have made the collective decision that the former is the case. Is the unavailability of, say, gasoline, a consequence?

Say I’m a gas station owner. I see the reports of rowdy 3-mile lines and ornery customers. Am I going to bust my ass getting out of bed to open my shop for you assholes? Not for $2.83 a gallon, I’m not. Our guess, though, is that if you were one of the poor bastards who really needed to fill up last Wednesday, you’d gladly have paid $4.50 a gallon; all the more so if the line was shorter for all the people who suddenly realized they didn’t really need fuel so bad. So the price gouging law is what made fuel extremely difficult to buy.

Florida saw 246 price gouging reports during Wilma. Some are from assholes looking to make a quick buck, and some are from people looking to cover their costs while providing needed supplies to people in need.

Whatever. David Brown explains the idea better then we’re going to. Report price gouging if you must; just remember that that paying too much for something may be better then not having it at all.


Saturday October 29, 2005



Friday October 28, 2005


[Yeah, we spent Wilma weekend in Chicago in a counter-offensive against the Miamist crowd. The rest of this week has been in info-isolation bliss, until the Critical Miami Broward Annex was among the first 20% to have power restored. Now with data lines restored, all we’re waiting for is the wenches we ordered from FEMA (they’re so eager to make up for past fuckups they’ll issue a reimbursement check for pretty much anything).]

What with the spike in tropical storm activity over the last two years, it seems like we should expect a hurricane like Wilma to tag us every few years for awhile, so let’s get used to this, and take stock. Wilma took out lots of trees. Not much we can do about that. It’s probably a good idea to replant them anyway (though we don’t want to hear anymore complaining about how Miami has one of the worst developed canopies in the nation). Some signs and traffic signals got knocked down, and maybe those can be put back better. And of course FPL likes to re-create their cardboard-n-ducktape electrical grid from scratch each time a storm hits, so that’s great. So what’s buggin?

It’s the people in the lines, man. Water? Meals? What the fuck? How hard is it to get a few cans of black beans and candles (fuck flashlights) at the beginning of the hurricane season? Sorry – Publix was open within 48 hours of the strike selling non-perishables. If you can’t stock enough food and water to make it that long, the problem is with you. Ice? Sorry, dude. You need to throw your baloney in the trash after one day, and go back to the beans. It might be like that until you get your power back. There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to need a cold drink.

Gasoline, on the other hand, seems like a public-policy planning problem. It turns out that newer stations are not even designed to be able to run off a generator. It’s only not that it’s being suggested that gas stations should be able to operate without the power grid. Thanks a lot, guys. That would be a case where both private enterprise and government planning fell inexcusably short. Still, the smart money takes a minute to top off the tank when the hurricane is just sort-of threatening, and you’re ok until most gas stations are operating sort of like before, which should be early next week. (Apropos of which, did you hear that oil companies earned a sloppy gross $100billion in profits in the last three months?)

Whatever. Our hearts go out to our hourly-employed friends, who got this week’s vacation unpaid. Other then creepiness from lots and lots of missing trees, we’re rejoining regular life on the other side of this weekend.


Thursday October 20, 2005

Miamist stumbles onto the scene

Hey, check out our about page [Our about page has changed, the original one is here.], and it’s pretty clear we were inspired by the -ist family of city blogs. So when Kathleen dropped us a note earlier tonight about Miamist, we were very exited. On first glance (actually, the second glance – on first glance miamist crashed firefox), it’s hard not to notice the absence of a skyline icon, typical of the other -ist sites. On second glance, the site seems a bit of a mess overall; broken links abound, and the staff page is a complete train wreck (we got a screen grab; click the image to see the whole horrid thing, if they’ve improved things by the time you read this). Clicking on the staff suggests they’re writing for Chicagoist, but we assume someone just copied a page and hasn’t plugged in the information yet (no idea on what the garbage at the top is).

Oh right, so their archives indicate they went online at the end of September, about three weeks ago. So far the focus seems disproportionately on sports, with little tidbits thrown in. Some of it is clearly hack-work (hurricane prep tips??), while some of it is decent (a post on South Beach vendors works, but someone should tell them that “Google Images” isn’t really a photo credit!). Nothing we saw definitively proved that any of the writers has ever set foot outside Chicago, but doesn’t disprove Miami-nativeness, either.

Miamist is the competition, but we are thrilled to have them. Hi, guys! Thanks for gracing our town with your presence. Please clean up your links, import a skyline photo (we know you know how to use google image search!) into illustrator and get up a logo, maybe reconsider the puke yellow, and get down to business. We’ll try to compete with our (thus far) non-commercial resources. It’ll be fun.

Meanwhile, we’ll be rewriting our about page. And, especially in light of Wilma (Category 5, y’all), we’re packing an overnight bag and heading up to Chicago for a little Critical counteroffensive.


Wednesday October 19, 2005

Wednesday morning clickage


Tuesday October 18, 2005

Grouper? We Hardly Touched Her!

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

The Sunday Hurled (10.16.05) kicked off a two-part story about the ongoing destruction of the world’s fisheries. To sum up: thanks to many factors, many of which attributable to human abuse, we’re running out of fish to eat. There’s a pun here about the “scales” of justice, but I’ll resist it. And you’ll thank me.

Seems that we’re running out of edible fish. Tuna, flounder, snapper, Chilean sea bass, orange roughy, grouper, you name it—we’re in short supply. Fish today are shrimps (sorry) compared to a their ancestors of only 50 years ago; smaller, less healthy, less plentiful. We’re overfishing the oceans, and at last—this has been going on for some time—we see the end of the underwater world. We’re running out.

Run on over to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach and look at the size of the creatures hauled out of the sea in Hemingway’s time. It was commonplace to stick a hook in a thousand pound tuna. Zane Grey reports swarms of the bastards off the coast of California; now you’d scan the seas for the rest of your life in vain. The big guys are gone, and the little ones are getting eaten before they have a chance to spawn, let alone grow up.

Not until Part II of the story (in Monday’s Hurled) does it mention this little incidental fact: as of Monday 10/12, it is illegal to catch and keep grouper in the waters considered the Florida fishery. As summed up in an excellent, factual report in the New York Times:

The federal government outlawed commercial grouper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for the rest of the year after fishermen reached a quota for red grouper – a splotchy, scarlet-mouthed variety that scientists consider overfished.

If you’re living in Florida, and if you eat any fish at all, you’re eating grouper. It’s in everything: salads, fish sandwiches, bouillabaisse, fish sticks, and for all I know, hamburgers, cat food, and that slut you picked up at the titty bar. It’s as ubiquitous as fungus, but tastier. That the Feds shut down its harvest should be as shocking as if the same Authority padlocked Krispy Kremes.

If there was any place in the world where this should be taken seriously, it’s right here, south Florida, the sportsfishing capital of the world, and a major commercial fishery . But it isn’t. Sportsfishing isn’t football, so Floridians don’t give a damn. And as if to demonstrate just how insignificant the depletion of the world’s fish is, the story in the Hurled is written by Georgia Tasker, whose regular, Sunday raised pinky column appears in the Home and Garden section, where she provides helpful hints on color-coordinating your household garden plantings with your venereal warts.

So long as the Miami Hurled wastes valuable column-inches on Fred ‘Goober’ Grimm, Georgia Tasker will never finish last in any journalism competition, but that’s like calling the Atlanta Braves “winners.” Tasker has about as much business writing about fish and fishing as Boy George does about birthing techniques. Her sugary, la-di-dah commentaries on cute little houseplants and adorable cozy gardens have been known to induce diabetic comas in grown men. This two-part series, a rehash of 20-year old scientific findings and a sprinkling of dialog illustrating the longstanding, horn-locked battle between recreational anglers and commercial fishermen, simply stunk. Like a fish kill.

The wholesale, systematic slaughter of fish, leading to extinction of entire species and god only knows what rippling effects on the food chain and life on earth, needs to be recognized for the crisis it is, and south Florida, with its 12-month fishing season, should be leading the charge. But we’re not. The afore-mentioned IGFA is run by stuffed shirts and do-nothing, high-end business types who just wanna have fun tracking world records. The fishing industry will suck every finned and scaled creature out of the sea before they admit there’s a problem. And the ever-vigilant watchdog media, epitomized by the Hurled, puts ace potting-soil maven Georgia Tasker on the case.

Want seafood? Pass the python.

[See all Articles by Steve]


Sunday October 16, 2005

Ana Mendieta at Miami Art Museum

Entering adulthood at the beginning of the 1970s, Ana Mendieta took stock of what was happening in the art world and abandoned her abstract expressionist painting for an intersection of what were then called ‘body art’ and ‘land art.’ Both of these movements were already somewhat established, yet Mendieta is remarkable for creating from them her own unique vision, based very much on her personal life and ancestry, and creating, in just over a decade, a powerful body of work that flowed very directly from that vision. Her artmaking was brought to an abrupt stop when she was murdered by her husband, Carl Andre (yeah, we said it), when she was just 36 years old.

The show at the MAM, Ana Mendieta: Earth Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972-85, effectively documents her life’s work, revealing her for a hungry, effective, and extremely productive artist. Her best known series, Silueta, is represented with many photographs, videos, and slide sequences. In these works Mendieta directly married her body to nature, creating its impression in various juxtapositions of materials, including living plants, gunpowder, blood, pigment, ash, and earth. This is strong stuff – the combinations of materials and settings provide unexpected visual delight, and the elemental symbol of the human figure juxtaposed with the earth recalls ancient civilizations, magic, and the desire to transcend one’s self.

Also included in the show are a collection of early work, using roughly the same materials and preoccupation with the body, but a wider variety of modes of work. Many pieces in this series involve a combination of blood and red paint (though the blood content in these pieces appears symbolic, based on how they have retained their color). One sequence of photographs, Cosmetic Facial Variations, shows Mendieta disguising herself in various ways with a stocking and a wig, six years before Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills. Another, Facial Hair Transplant, shows the artist attaching the just-shaved beard of a friend to her face.

The bulk of the show, though, concerns itself with sculptural work that originally appeared in nature, brought to us mostly in photograph (sometimes, annoyingly, in large black and white “Time Life Photographs” posthumous prints; one of which is hung sideways to how it was photographed). This additional distance from the piece gives the impression that her work is not well suited to being collected in this way; indeed, that its power is diffused. The inclusion of one or two of the actual sculptures (made in more lasting materials) ironically confirms this impression. The exhibition ends up being a much more intellectual, and much less visceral, experience then the artist surely wanted from her work.

Perhaps in answer to this concern, the show includes a “Mendieta in Miami” brochure [PDF link], and we are welcome to visit scenes from Mendieta’s life in our city, along with some re-created pieces. The brochure actually begs another question prompts us to woner [thanks to Eugenio E Zaldivar, Jr. for pointing out the incorrect use of begs the question]: why is this show coming from Washington? If the MAM is interested in art of the 20th and 21’s centuries, at the crossroads of the Americas, then wouldn’t a Cuban-born feminist artist, who spent much of her time in Mexico, and made numerous trips to Miami throughout her life, be right up their alley? Why wasn’t this show curated by the MAM?


Saturday October 15, 2005

More stuff then you can handle

Hope you haven’t made any plans for the weekend yet! Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of your cultural events for the next few days.





Friday October 14, 2005

Best $3 meal

This is a project we’ve been working on for awhile, but after multiple trips to Taco Bell and the Wendy’s dollar menu, and experiments involving ramen noodles and tofu from Publix, we are prepared to award this coveted crown to the Texas Taco Factory chicken burrito. The thing comes from the kitchen a monster: three times the size of a Taco Hell burrioto and packed with fresh ingredients (including grilled chicken breast), it’s delicious straight out of the foil.

The trick, though, is to ask for a plate, pop the burriot on it, and douse it liberally with items from their 12 item condiment bar. Wow: cilantro, chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and lime wedges, a half dozen different salsas and sauces. It’s going to be christmas for your taste buds (if you don’t like it spicy, careful with the green stuff).

At $2.79, you’re on your own with a beverage (they’ll give you water if you ask nice), and while high-quality plastic utensils are provided (speaking of which, did you ever notice the flimsy-ass utensils at Pollo Tropical? Our theory is that Pollo has some sort of creepy inter-continental social-engineer plot to get Americans to eat chicken on the bone with their fingers. They give you delicious chicken and sub-par utensils, almost requiring you to pick up the poultry to get all your morsels. Plus, unmentioned on the menu, every meal comes with a little roll; maybe to get you in the frame of mind of touching your food?), bringing your own metal silverware may not be a bad idea.

[Link to video of your author snarfing one of these down (11mb .avi file)]


Tuesday October 11, 2005

Tuesday afternoon linkup

Update: Another python, this time eating a turkey.



Happy Jew Year!

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

If you know any Jewish folks (and “some of your best friends are Jews,” right?), you might be aware that they’re in the midst of the holiest time of year. The 10 days between Rosh Hashana
(New Year’s) and Yom Kippur (Juvenile Sardine) include Shabbat Shuva, the “Sabbath of Returning,” a period for self-reflection in which to justify their existence to god. The way it works, god opens the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah, and by the time he slams it shut 10 days later on Yom Kippur, he has determined whether or not your dirt nap is scheduled in the next 12 moons.

Sounds cut and dried, no? But the way it’s set up, you have those 10 days to repent, to cleanse, to ask forgiveness of those you’ve screwed over or treated badly in the course of the year. And if your performance is satisfactory, maybe the Big Guy cuts you a break, although let’s face it—the god of the Old Testament was known for having a shorter fuse than George Steinbrenner. And a little less money.

On Yom Kippur, often referred to as the Holiest Day of the Year, Jews are required to fast, avoiding all food and beverages from sundown to sundown (actually, 25 hours). In so doing, they emulate the angels, which never eat or drink—or bathe, and in fact, certain Orthodox Jewish groups practice this omission as well. In sticky South Florida, this is inadvisable if popularity is a priority. In any event, it means that at the conclusion of the holiday—yeah, some holiday, sort of like calling a trip to the colon cleanser a holiday—there are lots of teeth-grindingly hungry people let loose in the streets. Many head for restaurants to break their fast.

South Florida has a large Jewish population, which suggests that area restaurants must brace themselves for an influx of ravenously hungry diners. I called around to a few that share their neighborhood with synagogues to ask what it was like. (None of them would talk to me unless I promised not to identify them.)

“It’s the worst goddam day of the year,” one deli owner exploded. “I wanna tell you, and remember, these are my people I’m talkin’ about, they’re pushy and demanding when they’re not starvin’ to death. When they bust through that door on Thursday they’re positively drooling. Some of ‘em start licking the salt shakers!”

The manager of a Spanish cuisine restaurant shrugged his shoulders. “The customers are no worse than they are any other night around here,” he said. (Pause. Smile.) “They’re no better, either.”

The Chinese restaurant manager got indignant. “Jews good customers! Jews very good customers! You no make fun of Jewish customers! Thursday very big day here for Jewish customers. You come you see! You no make fun!”

The guy behind the barbecue waved his hand dismissively. “Nobody’s eatin’ pulled pork sandwiches on Yom Kippur, ” he said. “A lotta Jews come in here alla time, but Yom Kippur Pork? That’s just fuckin’ wrong.”

At the pizzeria the chef laughed and clapped his hands. “Oh, boy, Young Kipper!” he exclaimed. “Bigger than the SuperBowl! Better’n Christmas and the 4th of July! What I do is I bake ahead—I got dozens and dozens of shells all set to go half heated. They come through the door all dressed up screamin’ and wavin’ and shovin’ aside the old and the lame and I’m slicin’ and boxin’ and grabbing the cash! You never seen so many people burnin’ their mouths, tomato stain all over their white shirts, neckties and beanies. Hooey! I bring in my whole family to help out. I fuckin’ love Young Kipper!”

So there’s your story, South Florida. Family values, respect for tradition, celebration of diversity, observation of faith. What a great community we share.

[See all Articles by Steve]


Sunday October 9, 2005

What's wrong with Miami university arts programs?

Yes, Miami is attracting more and more art fairs with every year. We have the collectors, and an ever growing population of interesting artists and art bloggers.

There is something lacking, though, in Miami’s university fine arts programs. They appear to be staffed with old-fashinoned, old-thinking professors who are concerned with teaching their students how to draw well, but not how to think in the terms that the contemporary art scene thinks in, nor how to navigate that world. There are contemporary artists, and the way art is taught in our local universities is oblivious not just to their work, but seemingly to their very thinking process, their approach, and their work’s relationship to its audience. Let’s look at some specific schools (it should be mentioned that university web sites are a disgraceful mess pretty much worldwide; we shall try not to hold the incoherence of our local universities’ sites against them).

FIU’s art program is often regarded as the best in the city. And in fact, there are lots of wonderful art teachers there; note this (illegible and unclickable) list. Bill Burke, Manny Torres, and of course Peggy Nolan come to mind right away. The problem is that, on ballance, the pervasive view is backwards, ignoring the last 25 years of art history; a little of that is great, but it needs to be matched with some truly contemporary, theorist perspectives. The FIU photography department’s touchstone is William Eggleston. How, then, do you deal with a student who’s references are Thomas Ruff or Cindy Sherman (who are hardly cutting edge)? Not well. The result is that artists headed to a place on the international art scene may be abetted by the FIU art program, but they will have to work hard to get their money’s worth from their education.

The University of Miami art department deserves mention. Led by the esteemed Darby Bannard, they have what you would expect: a department that leans heavily on painting, and considers a lab with 16 Macs to be the height of state-of-the-art, with nary a trace of video art, computer art, or sound art.

We have the Art Institute, where “visual art” is largely synonymous with “painting.” We have FAU, where the home page of the art department looks like this. Finally, we have New World, which actually has something called “Electronic Intermedia” in its Areas of Concentration. Then again, “Graphic Design” is also an area, so maybe electronic intermedia is a website building class?

Overall, the scene is bleak. If the contemporary artists studying in Miami are going to break new ground on the international art scene, they will be doing it in spite of, not because of, their education. And meanwhile we are probably loosing artists to schools in other places, and failing to attract the students we need to insure that Miami can give all those artfair-goers something to stick around for after the first week in December.

Naturally, a good caveat here is that we have no idea what we’re talking about here. This is based on general impressions, anecdotal conversations, and scrutiny of the schools’ web sites. If anyone has evidence to the contrary, feel free to leave comments or submit counter-arguments.


Friday October 7, 2005

Great big weekend

You wouldn’t know it by checking the recently redesigned website, but dorsch gallery is having an opening this saturday. MAC continues it’s apparently neverending series of series of events with a movie tonight and a band tomorrow (they’ve assured us that they’re working on making the web site a little easier to use).

Most of all, though, we have the beginning of the Miami World Theater Festival, with a selection of free and paid ($25-$75). Miami Beach 411 says ” . . .the most prestigious theater companies of the world will make Miami their meeting place. They are: Rafael Amargo of Spain, Les Deux Mondes of Canada, Theatre Tattoo and Groupe F of France, Strange Fruit of Australia . . .,” while the Herald is concerned that nobody will come.

More: Maximum Dance Company’s season begins; at Books and Books, a talk about Jack Kerouac in Florida; Global Lens, a festival of films from developing nations; this Tiki thing , which looks great, but has a site which is, like, totaly down as of this writing.

Update: An Italian Film Festival (thanks Maggie!).


Wednesday October 5, 2005

Python in Everglades bursts after trying to eat gator

Burmese pythons are one of the species that have thrived in the Everglades after being released as pets. Biologists have long wondered how they would get along with gators, formerly the apex of the Everglades’ food chain.

This particular python, 13 feet, tried to eat a 6 foot gator. It got him halfway down, and the gator kicked through the side of the python’s gut. Both animals died. From the appropriatly sensationalist Herald article (note their headline):

While unusual, it’s not unheard of for a snake to consume prey that proves too hard or large to digest. Things like claws, hooves or bones can damage the snake’s internal organs. The bulk of a victim can put pressure on the snake’s lungs, essentially suffocating it from within. Slowed by the extra weight, the snake might have been attacked by another gator, which could explain a missing python head. Joe Wasilewski, a South Miami-Dade biologist and expert gator and crocodile tracker, examined the photos and surmised the gator wasn’t quite dead when the snake swallowed it snout-first. That’s not uncommon, he said. ‘’That [gator] could have been kicking its hind legs and ruptured the snake’s stomach wall,’’ Wasilewski said.

Take that, you unholy snake monster! Pythons better watch their asses – evolution is alive and well, and we’re hoping the gators are learning to team up on outside invaders.

Update: At the risk of approaching an incestuous level of miami blog interlinking, Kathleen’s take on the issue includes this:

I’m going to take a moment for a shout-out to all the commitment-averse snake owners out there: Hey jerks, if you get to a point where python ownership is too much for you, and you’re considering the idea of releasing your Burmese python into the wild so that it can be free, at least go to effing Burma to do it!

Get down with your bad self, KH!


Tuesday October 4, 2005

Tuesday morning linkiage, statewide edition

Hey, y’all, our state Attorney General has a blog. Um, sort of. And if you said “he must be running for something,” give yourself some bonus points (via Sayfie).

What are florida developers killing this week? How about manitees?

Dimitri Saïd Chamy is building the new Miami Light Project site. There are some broken links and whatnot right now, but it looks like it’s going to be impressive.

Check out these photos by Onajídé Shabaka.

Entertaining: Florida News has been calling up random FL congressmen and bugging them about taking that money Tom DeLay’s been indicted for.

Doing anything? Go help these nice folks sort books. You might snag a couple of good ones for yourself?

Janaína Reis, 17 years old and from Brasil. Killed by her 22 year old boyfriend.

Didja know that the Drudge Report is based out of South Beach?

Huh? Save the Biltmore?? Oh, they’re not really talking about this Biltmore. Our Biltmore doesn’t need savin’.

Franklin is simultaneously exited and horrified about Bodies: The Exhibition.

What did we think of the Elian interview, you ask? Actually, we sort of agree with 26th Parallell’s take, and with only a slightly lesser sense of weariness.

One more: Check it out: This is broken picked up our Bellsouth rant.


Saturday October 1, 2005

Carnival sucks

Carnival Cruise Lines is starting to wear out its fucking welcome in this town. When we first heard that Carnival was sending 3 ships to house Katrina evacuees, we were pleasantly surprised. There was a lot of talk in the air about the nation coming together, public, private, and government alike, giving ‘till it hurt and fixing the mess. The government definitively screwed up its side, but people were giving piles of money ($1.125 billion to the Red Cross at last count), and with the Carnival boats it looked like private businesses were chipping in, too (if only in-kind).

But it appears that our impressions were a bit off: Carnival is charging us (that would be U.S. taxpayers) $192 million for the use of its 3 ships. You might want to sit down before you hear how much this works out to: $2,550 per person per week.

We’re not sure how this compares to the cost of housing those people in a land-based temporary shelter (since there’s obviously nothing permanent about living on a ship), or, say, a 4-star hotel. We do know, however, that it’s roughly four times the cost of a 7-day cruise on the same boat. From a Carnival press release:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New Orleans and all of the Gulf Coast who have been so terribly devastated by this catastrophic event,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO. “We know that all of our loyal guests, shareholders and employees are very pleased that we were able to join forces with the federal government to participate in the extensive relief efforts that have been launched.”

You know what, Micky? Blow it out your ass. We hope jaws around the country are dropping like ours are, and that people think of any other way to spend their vacation then one of your lame cruises. According to the latest information we could find, Carnival is making around a billion dollars per quarter in clean profits, and we hope the pr from this fiasco takes a chunk out of that that makes them wish they’d given a couple of hundred million, plus the ships to the effort.

By the way, there’s a good reason cruise lines rake in crazy money: these ships operate in a U.S. tourism economy, while employing workers from third world nations in semi-sweatshop conditions. They pay minimal U.S. taxes by registering the ships in foreign ports, and take advantage of maritime law to deprive employees, and, when convenient, passangers of rights they would ordinarily have on shore. Read all about it, and find something else to do for your vacation.