Sunday, October 05, 2008

Then and now...

From Time Magazine's infamous Nov. 23, 1981 "Paradise Lost" cover story on Miami:
"Besides buying such standard gear as pistols and window grates, residents are purchasing attack dogs, alarms that scream out "Burglar! burglar!" and even armor-plated cars usually made for export to the war zones of Central America. George Wackenhut, who heads a giant Coral Gables-based security firm that bears his name, has watched his business in South Florida grow by 22% this year. "When I was growing up, a murder story used to be good for ten days in the papers," says Wackenhut, a onetime FBI agent. "Here a morning kill may not even make the afternoon news.
"Drug shootouts are becoming a frequent sight in certain parts of Miami. At a busy intersection in Coral Gables last month, for example, a Mercedes Benz was suddenly surrounded and its 30-year-old Colombian driver killed in a burst of machine-gun fire."
I was reminded of TIME's overblown prose when reading this story in today's New York Times:
"But tucked on a leafy side street in the Polanco neighborhood is a shop unlike the others, one whose bustling business says much about the dire state of security in this country. At Miguel Caballero, named after its Colombian owner, all the garments are bulletproof.

"There are bulletproof leather jackets and bulletproof polo shirts. Armored guayabera shirts hang next to protective windbreakers, parkas and even white ruffled tuxedo shirts. Every member of the sales staff has had to take a turn being shot while wearing one of the products, which range from a few hundred dollars to as much as $7,000, so they can attest to the efficacy of the secret fabric."

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