Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two Crazy Flavors Of Florida, One To Make You Laugh, One To Make You Cry

"Don't all the nuts roll downhill to Florida?"
- from the X-Files episode Agua Mala.

One of the things I've tracked since the beginning of this blog has been the crazy nature of my adopted home state Florida.

I haven't been the only one who noticed.  Since even before the population boom of the 1980s that brought busloads of shifting populations, Florida has been one of the crazier states out of the United States in our past 230-year history.  Florida, thanks to a mad land-scam craze in the 1920s, may have been one of the causes of the Great Depression.  Florida, source of early political conflict when it was a Spanish-held territory in the early 1800s.  Florida, just say "hanging chad" and watch half the nation cry.

FloridaMan and FloridaWoman have Twitter accounts.

TV Tropes documents the atrocities.  FARK has an entire tag devoted to Florida- the only state so honored - as a source of all the crazy stories they report.

There's a popular GIF people like to show whenever they talk about Florida:

Okay, so that's the setup to this blog article.  A couple of things happened recently that highlight how psychotic Floridians can be.

First, the story that sent half the Internet into fits of giggles.  A self-described "Floridian-American" woman filed a law suit against a Georgia judge that pretty much violated every rule of legal etiquette and crossed every line.  Per Raw Story:

... (the) sovereign citizen submitted a nine-page, profanity-laced tirade against a judge who dismissed a lawsuit she filed on behalf of her husband and son.
Tamah Jada Clark alleges that her civil rights were violated when she was arrested nearly five years ago in an armed plot to break her baby’s father out of prison.
“F*ck this court and everything it stands for,” Clark titled her April 20 filing.
“Look here, old man, when I told you I AM Justice – I meant it,” Clark notified U.S. District Court Judge Willis B. Hunt. “It took me about 1 month to study the history of the world and to learn the history and inner workings American jurisprudence, literally. I was born to do this here. Don’t you know that your FBI and CIA have been trying to recruit me since grade school? Lol. But they’re unscrupulous losers like you, so it won’t be happening.”

There aren't a lot of legal briefs that include an LOL.  There aren't a lot of legal briefs that openly insult a sitting judge.

The thing about audacity is that even in the craziest, scariest moments like this you gotta respect the willingness of the crazy person to tap-dance over the Line That Dare Not Be Crossed.

The entire brief deserves reading, much thanks to Gawker for posting screen-captures (shown here are two of the pages with some of the most no-f*cks-given epic insults you will see in your life):

"Just for the record: you are a hoe. This court is a hoe. And I will backhand you both, should you continue to waste my time." - Tamah Jada Clark's submission for quote of the year.

In all honesty, Ms. Clark is in a sh-tload of trouble.  Someone up the chain of the judicial system is going to consider her rant troubling as she mentions her gun-ownership and willingness to get violent to those she views as "hoes".  At the least, this rant falls into Contempt and defamation towards a sitting judge that could well lead to jail time.

Still, the rant itself crosses the line into a warped kind of brilliance.  It's every conspiracy nut's arrogant self-worth elevated to Everest-level heights.  Read how Clark insists she's "much too intelligent" and that the FBI and CIA have been trying to recruit her since grade school.  That she's able to read all of world history in one hour, and how she knows a complex legal system that even half our law students can barely grasp.  That she's the Most Important and Powerful Person In the World... who was easily captured running around Georgia during a half-baked prison break scheme.  /headdesk

Second, the story that outraged much of the nation.  A group of drunken fraternity brothers - so far confirmed as being from my alma mater University of Florida - were caught insulting and spitting on war veterans, as well as stealing a veteran's flag and pissing on it:

A University of Florida fraternity already on conduct probation is under investigation after being accused of disrespecting a group of disabled military veterans by spitting on them and stealing their flags at a Panama City Beach resort last weekend...
...Fraternity members from the UF and Emory University chapters of Zeta Beta Tau holding their spring formals at the Laketown Wharf Resort in Panama City Beach disrupted the Warrior Beach Retreat Friday night, witnesses said...
One letter to UF's President Fuchs described students spitting on veterans, throwing beer bottles over a balcony, ripping flags off their cars and urinating on an American flag.
“These guys were getting out of control,” Cope said. “I was just in tears. This was supposed to be a safe place.”
Cope also said the students had to have known they were insulting veterans from the Warrior Beach Retreat because these veterans were wearing caps and T-shirts.
“They knew who they were and were just getting a kick out of it,” she said. “It is heartbreaking as a mom with a son who sacrificed so much for their freedom.”
About 60 veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan attended the retreat, which has been held twice a year for the last six years, Cope said...
The last I ever heard about anybody spitting on war vets was from legends about the Vietnam War, something that hippies did back in the 1960s and 1970s (although the stories themselves remain apocryphal).

The problem with fraternities reach far across the nation, not just here in Florida, but this particular assault on men and women makes me reflect on the darker, dangerous aspect of the Florida Crazy.  The drunken, violent aspect.  There is nothing audacious or funny about what those fraternity men (not frat boys, which implies youthful indiscretions rather than adult criminal misdeeds) did at that hotel.  Nothing about what they did was forgivable.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

I think I know the feeling. I love my home state (I'm Californian by birth, by nature, and by choice), but sometimes we do some of the stupidest shit imaginable...
Stuff like proposition 8, or removing a duly elected governor in a recall election and replacing him with Arnold Schwarzenegger, or becoming the only state on the west coast where marijuana isn't legal.
And I was always told (by my relations "back east") that all of the nuts would roll to California. Hmm. Maybe the Rocky Mountains get in the way?
Here is a post by a wonderful legal humor blog about the judge insulting crazy woman for your enjoyment. (The previous post on there was about her also, but not included in the link because I don't know how).

-Doug in Oakland