Why Is Florida So Weird?

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Everyone knows that Carl Hiassen and HuffPost Weird News put Florida on the weird map.

*puts on tweed hat* “Ah, yes, HuffPost Weird News. This thing I just learned exists today. Although that might be because I don’t read unpaid clickbait ‘volunteer’ pieces run for millions in profit for a union-busting gadfly.”

But its insanity is missing its own show, one that seeks to answer how Florida brought us the violent naked pooping masturbator; why people are still, to this day, eating each other’s faces; and what weapons Floridians use to make love.

*begins gesticulating with pipe in hand* “‘Why is Florida so weird?’ Well, 15 years ago, Drew Curtis’ Fark.com caught fire as an entertaining daily news-of-the-weird aggregator, and it had as its first state-specific tag a FLORIDA tag years before adding Ohio. For a generation of content-farming online journalists reared by the internet, Florida’s weirdness is a long established confirmation-bias phenomenon that gets re-fed into the machine by those perceptually warped by it, regurgitating the meme until it just becomes tautological barf.

lol, Florida is sure weird just because it is. Hey, check out this Weird Florida piece we found. It’s about a guy on drugs doing something dumb. Hahaha wouldn’t see someone taking drugs in New York City. And get this sexual deviant story posted stat. Can’t wait to make those yokels in LA go wowsers at this one!

Maybe an influx of the crazy elderly, idle rich and opportunistic poor (the latter including immigrants, drug mules and tax cheats) from all 50 states slightly ups the layers of oddity—and maybe it’s intensified by the many sparsely populated rural counties and more remote small municipalities where virtually anything out of the ordinary can run in the paper as news, thus reinjecting fuel into the cycle—but that’s probably not it. In all likelihood Florida is no weirder per capita than any other state; you’re just too fucking lazy to look anywhere else and too fucking stupid to figure that out…” *trails off talking in a murmur while still eyerolling and making a constant jerkoff motion*

EDIT: To include this observation from Tim Marchman:

This whole Rob Ford thing has been completely entertaining

But it hasn’t been perfect. I keep feeling like people are missing the boat on some real journalistic gimmes.

For instance, the other day, Rob Ford denied harassing a staffer about eating her pussy by “wittily” telling his accusers, “I have plenty to eat at home.” You’d think that alone was bad enough, but you’d be wrong. That’s just the first of the one-two, and everyone missed on part two.

Because any Toronto tabloid or alt weekly worth its salt should have immediately laid out the headline, “ROB FORD SAYS WIFE HAS FAT PUSSY.”

Because Rob Ford deserves to get beaten up at home too.

I keep remembering this 1990-ish ‘60 Minutes’ interview with the creators of Mad Magazine

Morley Safer or Harry Reasoner or some other yellow-eyed liver-spotted 60 Minutes correspondent does his job, straight-manning through the interview. Toward the end, he asks, “What’s the hardest part of putting Mad Magazine together?” 

And the eyes of one writer/editor widen in total incredulity before he answers with that high-school tone you always had when you thought the answer in your head couldn’t be the answer because it was so simple,

"Stapling it." 

Thanks, Salon! or, ‘Here Are Some of the Worst Sentences Ever Written’

All of these are from Salon's routinely shitty Mad Men recapper:

"Not just the hand that fed the agency, but the hand that holds the cigarette we might assume, as SCDP’s former lucky strike turns into a match that could burn down the house."

"Stan grumps that her opinion shouldn’t count more just because she’s a “boob-carrying consumer” (as opposed to a consuming boob like him). But in fact, bras will soon be even less popular with young women than beans, so I award Peggy the winner’s cup in this round."

"In this fish tale, the genders are moving up and down like parallel elevators in the Time-Life building, the workplace that consumes so much of their lives they barely can escape it for a meal that doesn’t involve business – and in this episode, not even for that. But this show is about time and life – the time in these characters’ lives, and the times they’re living in. Unfortunately for them, few seem to be having the time of their lives."


For all those worried that these might go on forever, remember: SUMER IS ICUMEN IN.

C-List Critics Slapfight

Slate published an article last week titled, “Overrated: authors, critics and editors on ‘Great Books’ that aren’t all that great.” I don’t know the author, Juliet Lapidos, but there are two main problems with her list. First, her definition of “great books” seems at once misguided and charitable. Second, the “takedowns” are dreadfully limp and banal.

She takes issue with “several works” on the Modern Library’s Top 100 list. That list is chosen [on the basis of] publicity, sales and an insanely ridiculous voting system and absolutely nothing to do with greatness. So she’s underwhelmed by something underwhelming, which is basically saying less than nothing. If her goal is to ruffle some feathers, why attack a pigeon? Fucking go for it. Take on one of the great dead birds of literature: call Jane Austen the Judy Blume of the 19th century.

Read More Here…

Here is the funniest part of todays NYT op-ed by Paul Krugman:

From the very end:

Making nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out — a cop-out that only encourages more bad behavior. The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.
David Brooks is off today.

A Century of Despair Doesn’t Make You Interesting

The enduring palliative of the Cubs fan is that baseball needs the Cubs fan, celebrates the Cubs fan and is metaphysically enriched for being proximate to the Cubs fan. The Cubs fan is a narcissistic boor.

This history of the last year in which the Cubs earned a championship not only tweaks the volubly agonized Cubs fan but also describes a baseball world lost to the ages. It’s violent, controversial, stupid and totally, totally baseball.

It’s totally worth reading.

As a term, “Dad Rock” is conceptual bullshit.

It’s the ultimate in condemnatory shorthand for music ostensibly appealing to those who are unserious about challenging their tastes and horizons, music whose appeal is as much based on prospective listeners knuckling under to critical/commercial legacy and processed nostalgia as it is on their discovering art that speaks to them. Pillorying that sort of decision-making and horizon-defining is perfectly fine. But as a term, it’s conceptual bullshit. Dad Rock is as migratory as “hipness” or “alternative,” a definition that, unmoored to any sense of time or a body of current work, makes almost zero sense.

Click here to read more.