Friday, February 09, 2007

Floridian Fame

Florida is famous! Not in a good way. The state I'm longing to leave keeps giving me reasons to drive, crawl, or hitch my way out of here. Recent Florida stories include:

1) The 21-year old rape victim who was jailed hours after the rape. While in jail, she was denied the second dose of Plan B because it didn't jive with the medical supervisor's "religious beliefs." She finally obtained the pill 24 hours after the allotted time, rendering the medicine ineffective. The story hasn't hit many other headlines since that first day, though has details on how to contact Governor Crist to get a serious investigation going. I have a question - if they had found the outstanding warrant before the victim was examined by a nurse, would she have been allowed to take Plan B at all?

2) In yesterday's winner for oddest story, Anna Nicole Smith died. No one really knows what to do with this information, although CNN seems to be sticking with a mix of tribute and "holy shit this girl was screwed up." They also insist on highlighting a connection between Smith's life and Marilyn Monroe's. I think that's a bit offensive. Smith was discovered unconscious in a hotel room in Hollywood, Florida and died in the hospital. The autopsy is today. Her life is a soap opera, complete with a dead child, a fight for money (inheritance from the 80 year old man she married), an investigation into the paternity of her newest child, big boobs, weight problems, alcohol problems, intelligence problems, and slut problems.

3) And Florida hits it out of the park with this story from Atlantic Beach, FL. Let me set the scene for you: The Atlantic Theater had a sign up on their marquee advertising their upcoming production of "The Vagina Monologues." A woman drove by with her 12-year-old niece. "What's a vagina?" asks the niece. The woman called the theater, blaming the sign for her niece's question (why she didn't blame her sister for not teaching a TWELVE-YEAR-OLD the word vagina escapes me). The theater changed the sign to read "The Hoohaa Monologues." No. This is not a joke.

This is ridiculous. CNN has a video taken from local television that's pretty funny. The fact that the theater changed the word is insulting. The fact that the woman called to complain is insulting. And the fact that this girl didn't know what a vagina is...that's almost unbelievable.

4) Let's not forget the astronaut love triangle. Lisa M. Nowak drove to Orlando and attacked a fellow astronaut with pepper spray on Monday. There's not much to be said about this. The media is alternately taking it as a big joke (with headlines like "Astro-nut" and "Lust in Space") and an opportunity to psychoanalyze the lives of astronauts. It's a depressing story. I think we're all so interested because it's a "catfight" in space, as Broadsheet points out. But I also think we're disillusioned by this story. Astronauts are our heroes. They are hard-working, highly intelligent people. To find out that they're human - that's news-worthy.
So there's Florida for you. According to these stories, we're free-speech-hating, rights-crushing, potential billionaire-killing, voyeurs who live in America's penis.
I know that this is an unfair portrayal of Florida, but it's stories like these that make Florida "special."

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