Ironic Quote of the Week: Library-Closing Carlos Gimenez Says Favorite Book is Fahrenheit 451

Categories: Politicks
Book_burning.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
First go the libraries...
Miamians were pissed off yesterday about Carlos Gimenez's plan to shutter 13 libraries around town. So when we saw him at a groundbreaking ceremony today, we thought we'd ask Gimenez a simple question: what's his favorite book? His answer:  Fahrenheit 451.

Yes, that's right. Our library-closing county mayor's favorite book is about a dystopian future in which the government closes libraries, burns books, and does not want people to read.

Which leads us to believe that either (1) Gimenez has some rare disease that inhibits his ability to detect irony, or (2) that he's never actually read Fahrenheit 451.

Either way, his answer speaks volumes about our new mayor. As did his brief speech at the groundbreaking ceremony. He started by introducing himself.

"Hi, I'm Carlos Gimenez and I'm the mayor of Miami-Dade County," he began. Somebody please tell him that he doesn't have to do that anymore. It sounds like he's still trying to convince himself he's up to the job.

Then, following up on Sen. Bill Nelson's claim that he was a Latin Dancer as a kid in the Orange Bowl Parade, Gimenez made things... awkward.

"I just have one comment," he said. "Senator Nelson, I think I'll pay to watch you do some Latin dancing. Como estas?"

(Cue uncomfortable laughs from the audience.)

Carlos Gimenez.jpg
Michael E. Miller
Gimenez at today's groundbreaking ceremony for a Port of Miami rail project.

Thankfully, when we approached Gimenez after his speech, he did not offer to pay us to dance. But he was taken aback by our favorite book question.

A bystander -- perhaps detecting a geeky underbelly to our newly elected county mayor -- suggested Harry Potter. Not so, Gimenez said.

"I'm more of a Tom Clancy kind of guy," he asserted. Then he thought about it for a moment and added, "Probably Clear and Present Danger."

But five minutes later, the mayor tracked us down to correct himself.

"You asked me my favorite book," he said, catching Riptide starring at Sen. Ben Nelson's papery, translucent old-person skin. "I've been thinking about it and I'd have to say my favorite book is Fahrenheit 451."

We mumbled our thanks and drifted away, only for Gimenez to yell after us: "Have you read it?"

Yes, mayor, we've read it -- along with every other highschooler in America. It's 200 pages long, for Christ's sake. We could have read it during one of your campaign speeches. Just because we write about porn, pot, and Jose Canseco (sometimes all three at once) doesn't mean we don't read.

Speaking of not reading, Gimenez explained his decision to close the 13 libraries as one of simple priorities.

"We had to prioritize, you know, things," he said. "Do you want to keep fire stations open or not?"

So let's see. Gimenez's plan is to close libraries, keep open fire stations open, and his favorite book is about a fireman whose job is to burn books to ensure that people remain mentally enslaved.

Hide your Herman Melville, Miami.

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17 comments
SaltyEggs
SaltyEggs

Poor Mayor Gimenez. He's the villain in his favorite story that he's surely never read! 

Nameless
Nameless

It's unfortunate, but I think he was trying too hard. He should have stuck to his original answer.

CHARTERREFORMNOW
CHARTERREFORMNOW

Mr. Miller, you clearly need to read the book again...  The moral of the story is pretty clear, as you seem to understand in this blog post..  What you are doing is akin to calling a Harry Potter fan a follower of Voldemort and fan of blackmagic...  The point of 451 is to illustrate the ills of totalitarianism and its strive to further ignorance through censorship.. The Hero is a figherfighter who actually fights against the censorship... 

Fire dumb staffers
Fire dumb staffers

Close libraries?

Why not fire the incompetent County staffers who allowed the taxpayers to lose over $3 BILLION to the Canadian owned Marlins.

Yes, the Marlins are owned by a company based in Nova Scotia.

$1+ BILLION loss projected
$1+ BILLION loss projected

Carlos Gimenez should fire any county staffer or county attorney who is involved in handing over taxpayer money to either of the two broke museums that want to go on the taxpayer owned (at the moment) waterfront Bicentennial Park. Those staffers have been conned and the taxpayers will lose over $1 BILLION on those two deadbeats fake museums.

Fire the gullible and corrupt.

Fire the slackers
Fire the slackers

The point is Carlos Gimenez needs to fire 2,500 actual employees, not justeliminate unfilled positions, and he needs to fire them fast.

FloydIan4ever
FloydIan4ever

Hi Gary though you are right in one aspect, the society portrayed LOVED and supported the firemen (that weren't the main character) for burning them, which is probably what Giminez adores so much. The most delicious irony here is the fact that he chased New Times down to tell them he'd been thinking about it when he chose F451!

Mingercat
Mingercat

perhaps he was pointing out how transparent and petty you are 

Michael Miller
Michael Miller

Hmm... you mean some type of double reverse irony in which he knew that I knew that Fahrenheit 451 was a loaded choice, thereby anticipating my overzealous blog post by ridiculing it in advance?

Nah. He probably just thought that Tom Clancy sounded way too much like what Carlos Alvarez would have said.

Gary Nemeth
Gary Nemeth

Mike, in F451 the firefighter main character is trying to protect the books from being burned. He saves the books so that he can read them.   

Martin Rheaume
Martin Rheaume

But you do recognize that there is a difference between banning/burning books, and not providing them for free through libraries. We have a right to read whichever books we want, but we don't have a fundamental right to have them provided for us.

Michael Miller
Michael Miller

Yes. Thank you. As I pointed out in the blog, most Americans have read the book -- myself included. My point was that it's ironic that Gimenez identifies with a book about protecting books & free speech when he is choosing to close libraries.

No favorites!
No favorites!

Carlos Gimenez is still a member of the fire union at heart. He left the City of Miami taxpayers burdened with having to pay it's firemen the highest pay and benefits in the world. True.

Carlos Gimenez is receiving a $150,000 per year pension from the City taxpayers. That's a $4 MILLION perk.

Carlos,Don't play favorites.

DaGuerre
DaGuerre

He's closing some libraries not all. Relax, you'll still be able to find a book.

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