La Peninsula De La Muerte
by m bates

This is an open call to all red-blooded 'Mericans. The time has come... to declare war on our most insidious enemy: the state of Florida. Yeah, you thought it was all orange groves and Walt Disney dreams. If you doubt that Florida is the peninsula mala, indeed the peninsula de la muerte, and should be summarily nuked to glass and earthquaked under the sea to join Atlantis, please consider the following Reasons Why Florida is Evil:

  • Mosquitoes as big as vampire bats.
  • It's not the heat, it's the humidity.
  • People go there to die. The oldest state keeps getting older as fading sacks of dried out bones migrate to where they can be steam-sealed and preserved in comfortable condos.
  • "Kokomo," which everybody knows is the most evil song by the Beach Boys, begins "Off the Florida Keys..."
  • Florida Death Metal. I used to figure you should never write off an entire genre of music. Then I got a taste of modern commercial country-and-western music. Death metal, that tired rehash of Sabbath, Metallica, and Slayer played by interchangeable bands of aging Hessians, featuring repetitious sex-and-violence-obsessed lyrics that reach new lows of unintentional self-parody and unimaginative fiction not even reached by '90's gangsta rap that are barked out in the funniest set of vocal gargling, grunting, and fart noises since I cleared out the phlegm before bed last night, is almost as bad.
  • Marilyn Manson. SPIN magazine uncharacteristically hit the nail on the head when describing Manson as a Saturday-morning cartoon version of Trent Reznor's already inflated post-industrial brooding ang(st)er. Too bad they still rated this retread as more musically "vital" than Mr. Self-Destruct himself. MM was kind of funny at first, but then a contingent of impressionable and clueless adolescents took him seriously as a self-styled "philosopher" and made him their leader (to piss off their parents). Then again, maybe they deserve him. As with most inept songwriters, his biggest hit to date has been a cover song, that "spooky" remake of a Eurythmics song. Sure, he followed up with that "Beautiful Meatball" song, the hit The Fall never had, but I think the song he can credit the entirety of his career and influence to is... "Closer." Reznor's naughty-word disco-pop hit opened the floodgates for neuveau ninnies who would otherwise be digging on ska or whatever else is selling to the wallet-chain crowd to suddenly become "dark." Take away "Closer," and what do you have? Tired, make-up metal shock rock (albeit in a shiny synth/industrial coating)-- done better when watered down by Mötley Crüe from Kiss who watered it down from Alice Cooper, Mr. Warner's true progenitor. Get some umlauts before it's too late, Marilyn.
  • Limp Bizkit. Oh Suicidal, Biohazard, Rage! What hath thou wrought?!
  • Bass music. What happens when you strip hip hop of lyrical intelligence, mic skills, and any production work beyond simplistic drum machine ticks and bass levels EQ'd to ten? Well, add some sophomoric locker room lyrics that play to stereotypes of blacks as sex-crazed savages, and you get shit like Luke Skyywalker, The 69 Boyz, et al: useless, disposable crap that gives hip hop a bad name.
  • The Backstreet Boys. Don't get me wrong-- I'm no homophobe. Melding blue-eyed New Jack Swing with synth-pop touches is fine by me. Vapid lyrics, cool by me. The strong homosexual undertones almost get them out of the negative column. But they come up short in two vitals areas of being teen idols: (1) they are not teens: while the youngest is 18 years old, the oldest is 27, an age at which a sensible man should be getting his prostate checked and planning his 401k, not crooning to pimply adolescent gurls and gesticulating on stage; and (2) they are not cute: again, save for the youngest (he looks like Leo *be still my heart*), they look like the greasy, muscle-bound, vaguely ethnic, unappealing schmucks who wear vests with no shirts underneath and hang out... well, on Miami Beach.
  • Anybody vaguely cool or talented left. Tom Petty. Johnny Depp. Cameron Diaz. Gone. Smart.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd were from Florida, but who did they praise in song? Alabama, a state that rivals only Arkansas for inbred bass-ackwardness. And Skynyrd liked Alabama better than Florida. Says somethin', don't it?

    So there you have it. Indisputable evidence that Florida must go! Join up now, and make this country a better place to live.