The Bitch

On November 2, weeks before the December 21 solstice, a long, dark winter began for our country, its icy tendrils curling around the equator and stretching from pole to pole. During this new Ice Age, species will perish. The Alaskan wilderness will become an oil field. Government will be based upon the New Testament, at least the six paragraphs that pertain to homosexuals. That "thou shalt not kill" business will be disregarded, especially as regards more than 100,000 collaterally damaged Iraqi civilians. More than half our citizens, bundled in fur parkas, think all of this is okay.

Or draw inspiration from the prophets of doom at and imagine a different future ... you wake up one morning a few days from now and find out the Dow Jones has just plunged 3000 points. Bombs empty schools, Wal-Marts, and churches. Banks close, ATMs are offline, and cash is useless anyway. Grocery store shelves are empty, pumps at gas stations run dry. Electrical power is intermittent, the Internet unreliable. Violent gangs and bandits roam the streets. People get out of the city -- if they can. Governments try to maintain order, yet it appears that -- finally -- the old globalized order is gone, if not forever, then for a long, long time.

You hear that The Bitch is working on a post-crash column. There may be a positive trend in what happened: Innovative survival strategies are emerging, along with thriving local economic systems; borders are being redrawn along bioregional lines.

You have a chance to create the new world "in a time between civilizations and a place ignored by authority," as Denis Johnson envisioned in Fiskadoro, his 1985 novel about a post-apocalyptic South Florida of rice paddies and clarinet players.

Can you take a mental trip into this strange future? Can you envision what life would be like? Where did you end up? How did you survive? What are you doing now? Write an obituary, a poem, the love letter you never got around to penning. What have you seen or heard in your neighborhood?

How do you cook, brush your teeth, power your laptop? How do you milk a goat?

Send your descriptions of Armageddon and what comes after to The Bitch, [email protected]. Your messages will be printed in an upcoming issue of the New Times. No, The Bitch doesn't know what the end of days will bring, but the end of accepting your thoughts (on this subject) is December 4.

Barcia's Woes

On November 10, Mario Barcia returned to the scene of a possible crime -- the single-story Cutler Ridge house he used to own where he was arrested last year.

On October 24, 2003, shortly after midnight, Barcia fired his Glock handgun at two armed men lurking in his backyard. Although Barcia feared they were home invaders, the two men turned out to be Sgt. David Dominguez and Ofcr. Chad Murphy of the Miami-Dade Police Department. Murphy was struck in the back; his bullet-proof vest saved his life.The two cops had entered Barcia's property in search of an unidentified vandal who allegedly threw a rock at Dominguez's squad car.

Barcia is suspended from his job as a clerk with the county's family court in downtown Miami, is otherwise unemployed, wears an ankle bracelet and reports regularly to a probation officer. He and his wife Mercedes sold their house to pay bills.

This past week Barcia's attorney, Ronald Lowy, conducted a reenactment of the shooting to demonstrate the theory that his client did not know Dominguez and Murphy were police officers. While Barcia waited patiently outside his old home, Lowy conducted his test inside the house in the presence of Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Timothy VanderGiesen, who is prosecuting the case, and Miami-Dade Police Det. Charles McCully, the lead investigator. "To his credit, VanderGiesen took a minute to acclimate his eyes to the dark so he could get a sense of what Barcia saw that night," Lowy said.

VanderGiesen declined comment. However, Ed Griffith, spokesman for the State Attorney's Office, says it is not uncommon for prosecutors to observe reenactments conducted by the defense. "We certainly want to be there in case we have to raise concerns as to whether or not a reenactment was done or was not done accurately," Griffith said.

Barcia is set to stand trial December 1, facing two felony counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

When Bullets Fly at Dancing Feet

In this past week's column, Club Space fired a shot across the bow of the world-famous Ultra Music Festival, announcing its intentions to throw a rival event, Spacefest, and steal away Ultra's top DJs through contracts with noncompete clauses.

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