Gated communities are all the rage here in Florida and elsewhere. Pull up. Security gives you the once over. May I please see some form of identification? Who are you visiting? What is the purpose of your visit?. How long are you staying? Is this customs or Checkpoint Charlie in old Berlin? I just want to drive down the palm lined streets to my old buddy’s house. Can I go now? Yes, I will keep my pass on me at all times and not go past the due date. Thank you officer. You are so kind. What’s that? German shepherds patrol at night? I’ll put that in my memory bank. This must be paradise. Later dude.
The concept sells. Paranoia reigns. Even inside the massive gates people lock their cars when they come to your house for dinner. Is this for real? I have left the keys in my car while it’s sat on the street in Denver. I know I am the other side of the spectrum but Ted’s Head got to thinking about this whole form of living one’s life. That’s where the trouble started. Is it paralyzing fear or just the ability to withdraw into one’s own little world?
Inside the gates we are among our own kind. There is a marvelous realization that the rest of the world doesn’t exist or at least I don’t have to deal with it. You are going to play by my rules or else. If you don’t like it you can tee up your golf ball elsewhere smart ass. We do things a certain way here and have done so for a long long time. Stability instead of creativity. That’s the Golden Rule. Why? Don’t ask such a stupid question.
But wait, there’s more. If you really think about it there are lots of communities that exist with or without the gates that are the same. Isn’t the whole state of Florida just like one of those? We don’t worry about the fact that the Northeast is getting the crap kicked out of it weather wise. We are just fine down here. The drought in the west? Serves those weirdos right. This is starting to get good.
Could we consider the wrong side of town one of these enclaves? I believe they have rules in the “hood”. The guys guarding the gates are sitting in low riders. I think if I were to show up in my pinks and greens I would have to be violating the dress code. You would probably fear more for your life than you car. Teeing off probably uses your head instead of a ProV. C’est la guerre.
Jews,Mormons,Muslims, Catholics? Sure, they are gated communities. How about Polish, Italian and Korean parts of town? We keep to ourselves. Let’s not even talk about nations. Ukraine? What business is that of ours? We have so much to do at home. India, China, Mexico. Let’s just build a big fence. I think we have tried that already.
I am knee deep in LaLa land down here in the Sunshine State. That’s not a shot but an observation. Some guy asked me once what I thought of Florida. Very nice, I replied. He said,”We kind of look at it as God’s waiting room.” Holy Shiite! This is a mindset and its contagious. I had to shake myself from the doldrums to conjure up this version of Ted’s Head. Don’t fear I am getting back to my feisty self as we speak and I pound the keyboard mightily.
But think about it. As we stand behind our fortresses of whatever sort we don’t even look out. There’s gentility here in Pleasantville. We claim we are too busy to keep up with current events. Sound bytes are just fine. Don’t want anybody messing with my deeply held beliefs. We despise the government but won’t raise a finger of our own to do something about it. And then from environmentalists to Occupiers of Wall Street we decry the activist. Jerks. Bums. Get a job.
I watched Bill Moyers this weekend. He is as left as you can get but there is a beauty to his show. It lies in its intensity. The guests have a passion whether misguided or not that comes out as sweet prose rather than hyperbolic rhetoric. Harshness can have a smooth edge. I think I have told you before about Louis Farrakhan, the black radical. I watched him speak on the telly one afternoon for over an hour. I didn’t agree with him but it was fascinating to hear him. He actually made some decent points. And at least I listened. Does that make me a weirdo too? Please don’t answer that.
We are all entitled to live our lives any way we want. You can stay behind the gates and make the by laws for your part of town, your belief and even your own home. You call it freedom. I call it incarceration. As in everything it is just a matter of semantics. But when things go bad don’t blame anyone but ourselves. Our government is out of touch but we don’t hold them to task. We are just so thankful they haven’t really hit our beloved self interests. Minor inconveniences. That’s all.
My gated community is the world. It is moving so fast and uncontrollably that it really is hard for this old fart to keep up. But I am going to keep at it. There are streets and neighborhoods to travel. There are people to meet and ideas to exchange. There is so much to understand and learn. If we are going down life’s highway and you are doing 25 mph, please get in the right lane. I really don’t want to run into you. I am doing at least 75.
Ted The Great
Florida is not the southernmost state. It is Hawaii.
The oldest average age for a state in the country is not Florida(40.5) but Maine(42.7).The National average is 37.2 and the youngest state is Utah(29.2) It does have the oldest percentage of their population considered seniors (17.3)
There are 1484 golf courses in Florida with about 200 being private. It will cost you from $5,000 to $200,000 initiation fee to whack the little white ball in seclusion.The annual dues? Somewhere between $1,000-30,000 per annum.
The world wide population of people 60 years of age and older has doubled since 1980 and is forecast to reach 2 billion by 2050
a part of a city, occupied by a minority group or groups…..Hmmmm!
Sorry we missed you in Vero. We had a great trip staying with my brother who has rented a house outside of the gates for four years now. The house is on a cul-de-sac between town and John’s Island. It’s a great street where everyone stops to chat on their way back and forth to the beach. Dogs are welcome on the beach as well as anything else you want to do. I found it a real throw back to the old beach communities I grew up in – bare feet, beach chairs and bring your own cooler! Not being inside the gates I found driving down A1A in Vero very strange with all of the security gates guarding the communities hidden behind thick Florida foliage. I want to be one of those guards when I retire!
We look forward to seeing you guys when you come East!