Not only is the Dalai Lama scheduled to speak at the University of Miami campus in the Gables on Oct. 26, but the City of Coral Gables announced yesterday that they are giving away 500 free tickets to see him. The only catch: you have to live in the Gables to the tickets. Kind of makes you want to take his holiness's message of peace and humility and kick him in the shin with it.
There are a couple of things wrong with this picture. Firstly, his holiness might be getting soft (oh wait, that's his thing!). He agrees to speak in one of the poorest cities in the country--and yeah, we're talking about Miami--but he just happens to pick among its snazziest places: the Gables and UM. His other engagement in South Florida is at a temple on Miami Beach. Wouldn't his message of peace go over better in the inner city?
It's also interesting that in his visit to The U, the Dalai Lama will speak about "The Quest for Happiness in Challenging Times." Challenging times? Really? Last time we checked, the University of Miami was ranked the number one party school in the nation. Oh wait, that was last year. This year they dropped back to fourth. Maybe the challenge is getting back to No. 1.
According to UM's website, the event is open to UM students, faculty, staff and invited guests. As far as we can tell, most those people are rich white folks. Add the 500 Gables invitees and it's like WASP Convention. His holiness visited UM once before, in 2004, as part of a peace conference. On that occasion he was given an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his dedication to promoting peace.
As for the free tickets, if you're lucky enough to be a Gables resident--or have good fake ID connections--then you should show up at the War Memorial Youth Center on Oct. 4. There is a two ticket limit per household.
Dalai Lama ticket giveaway, Monday, October 4 at the War Memorial Youth Center (405 University Drive, Coral Gables). Call 305-460-5600.