So the fine folks at Gawker are busy this week counting down America's 50 worst states. We were bracing ourselves to find Florida either near or at the very top of the list. After all, Gawker does take delight in chronicling our weird news. Yet today we find that the Gawker staff considers Florida only the 12th worst state. Apparently the finer qualities of Miami, Key West, St. Augustine, Disney World, and alligators kept us from appearing higher on the list.
The Good: Miami can be fun in the right context. And it certainly has culture and cuisine and all that going for it. Key West is grand and gay. St. Augustine is a cool old place (oldest in the States, fyi) that's good for a day visit. Plus, you know, beaches. And warm weather. And, yeah, what the hell, DisneyWorld. That shit's fun! Alligators are cool, too.
The Bad: So many crazy, News of the Weird-type things happen in Florida that Fark has created an entire tag just for them. Think of Florida as a cookie or candy with a grandparent crust and a frothing, criminally insane filling. The middle of the state is a cultureless void from which crystal meth (or, like, moving away) is the only escape. Florida's brand of conservatism is one of the dumbest, and who can forget when the state was the trigger-man for that whole election theft back in 2000. Florida is a swampy morass of misery and boredom and church and guns and drug-addicted babies. Florida feels like a work of fiction. But it's depressingly real.
So Miami is one of the few things keeping our state's reputation afloat. Sure, being told we're "fun in the right context" is sort of a back-handed compliment, but let's be honest, we all know that context is drunk, nearly naked, and hedonistic (either that or, for a certain type of New Yorker, "during Art Basel," which really means drunk, very nicely dressed, and hedonistic.)
We can't argue with that. Even most Miamians agree we wouldn't live in this state if we weren't already living here.
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The top ten will be revealed tomorrow, but with Florida safely out of the way, we're already preparing our congratulatory croquet for New Jersey.
In the meantime, we're going to go have a drunk, naked beach party with a gay conch, an alligator, Mickey Mouse, and a Spanish Conquistador while hoping the rest of the state swiftly sinks into the ocean.