August 26, 2009 | 10:48am
Riptide loves a good underdog, but if you've been running for two months and we haven't heard of you yet, that means you're really flying below the radar. In fact, not until yesterday were we notified of the existence of Michael E. Arth. (Do you think he uses his middle initial only because it spells "Earth"?) So, to do our part, we've gathered our ten favorite facts about Arth, Democratic candidate for governor.
- He's sent out a complaint titled "The Florida Democratic Party Is Not Being Democratic," because party leaders won't indulge his long-shot run for governor. Arth has no previous political experience and doesn't seem to have raised much money.
- "More than 3.8 billion years ago, his ancestors were rather rudimentary life forms that either immigrated to Earth on an asteroid or were cooked up in the primordial soup," according to Arth's website's bio page.
- As a child, he used to dig underground forts to escape nuns and his family and to be able to say "I" aloud to himself. From the same bio: "If you have not guessed by now, this is actually an autobiography written in the third person partly because some of the Marys considered I-itis a disease. I was also convinced that it looked more professional to pretend that I just happened to find someone to write my biography who knows as much about me as I do... So anyway, I sought solace from the frocked Marys and the scorching desert sun by digging underground forts in the desert wherein I could utter the shortest word in our language without shame."
His issue page on the War on Drugs, for reasons that are unclear, includes a passage about the life of 2Pac: "The biggest rap hero of all time was Tupac Shakur (AKA 2Pac and Makaveli), who sold 75 million albums. He was shot five times and survived, just in time to be sent to prison for a sexual battery charge. When he got out, he was shot four more times and killed in a drive-by shooting. His band was called Outlaw Immortalz (Operating Under Thug Laws as Warriorz). His bandmates reportedly mixed some of his ashes with marijuana and smoked him. Some fans think he is still alive somewhere, or consider him immortal, like Elvis."
- Arth invited Charlie Crist, Alex Sink, and Bill McCollum to a debate, which of course he won, because they didn't show up.
- He is the founder of "new pedestrianism." "Old pedestrianism" refers to the lost sport of competitive walking, while the new version is a take on new urbanism, which shuns the use of the automobile for walking.
- There was a documentary produced about Arth and his new pedestrianism. Who produced and filmed it? Michael E. Arth, of course.
- "I even considered being a priest -- at least until I fully understood what the term vow of celibacy meant."
- He wrote a book about the 12 "Herculean" tasks facing modern-day America.
- He actually does some rather nice artwork. Enough to be the first Florida governor to paint his own portrait, anyway.