IMPORTANT NEW NOTES FROM JUSTIN:
US Tour Day 127, Part 1: Miami Beach
Jennifer took me to Miami Beach today. I felt like I was on another plant. And, on this planet everyone was short. Everyone was Hispanic. Everyone was good looking. Everyone wore far too expensive clothes—Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Louis Vuitton.
You could see money—or the illusion of having money—sloughing off the people like gallons of liquified twenty dollar bills pouring out from the fabric of their fancy fabrics and onto the immaculate sidewalk. But, who cares about money when you have even more money, right?
It reminded me of Santa Monica's outdoor promenade area, only far more pretentious. In California rich people are notorious for downplaying their wealth through acting Bohemian. They wear cotton or hemp clothes. They buy organic. They live in houses on the edge of town to stay closer to nature. Oh, but that felt so far away! Miami Beach was full of people whose every movement and every purchased accessory screamed LOOK AT ME AND HOW MUCH MONEY I AM WILLING TO TEAR INTO SHREDS JUST BECAUSE I CAN!
We strolled east through a row of high–end shops and outdoor restaurants where fancy pants folks ate shellfish over pasta and sipped ten dollar bills out of martini glasses.
A north–south sliver of historic buildings known as the Art Deco district lines the Atlantic Coast of Miami Beach. The streets were lined with opulently dressed Hispanics whose obvious work at the gym would make even the most vain gym boys from the Castro look like pot–bellied couch potatoes.
I noticed that all the hotels and condo buildings had names. I guess that addresses weren't enough to differentiate these buildings or something—they needed words, too! They bore pretentious names like The Belvedere, The President, and The Claremont. I imagined Miami Beach to be like a big Art Deco locker room where the poor buildings without a The in front of their names would be teased and made to feel terribly inadequate and small.
It wasn't long before we got tired of walking around and looking at pretentious people and pretentious buildings. I was ready to return to a more inhabitable planet—someplace less like Miami Beach and more like anywhere else.
I wonder, what happened differently in the upbringing of the folks who wear their self–worth in their clothing and cars and high–ticket–item accessories? Who taught them that you could attain happiness if you just buy a fancier shirt or the most elite shoes of the moment? I want to find that person and have a talk with them. We need to make a shift in our patterns. We need to start teaching our children about the self worth that you carry on the inside—rather than encouraging them to toil their whole lives for a fleeting, fake scent of self worth you get at a shop.
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