I picked up the Orlando Weekly this week because of the clever illustration of "Peninsula Pete" an anthropomorphic rendering of our state as a vaudeville character. The feature article was "Our Dumb State Vol.5." While the Weekly always has a smarmy, sarcastic tone, and this article is no exception, I can't disagree wit the basic premise of the piece that Florida has been "the epicenter of idiocy" in recent years. And the more I learn about our state's history, the more I discover that collectively as a state, we've have a discouraging legacy of making short-sighted decisions that ultimately could harm the quality of life in our state. So now that this tendency is so blatant that a weekly tabloid like the Weekly can make a 5 part series about stupidity in our state, will we work to make things better? The news stories coming out of the current state legislative session seem to indicate we are right the middle of a tsunami of stupidity. Despite what's going in Tallahassee right now, we still have a State Park system that is second to none and a forward-thinking program like Florida Forever as long as we continue to fund them both. I'd like to see what is left of old Florida preserved so the next generation can see what it was like when the state was unspoiled.
The Orlando Sentinel also has a feature called Floriduh with the subhead "We've been in the sun too long." Is this part of Florida's colorful character, without the lens of time to make it seem eccentric and fun? Do we attract wackiness and silly behavior? Or if you looked hard enough at any state, could you find the same kind of stuff going on?