Culture x

Three reasons to get your loathe on.

From the moment I emerged from the womb into another sticky state of discomfort, my opinion of Florida has been pretty low. There’s a reason people call the place “the dick of America,” and it ain’t just because of its comically phallic contours. It’s all well and good when you picture the Sunshine State as the peninsular paradise of popular propaganda. How could the warm, sunny, tropical balloon animal of a state you visited with your grandparents every summer break be anything but Disney-magical?

Well, believe it or not, there’s such a thing as too much sunshine, folks, and that amount is 11.5 months of hiding out in the movie theater just to mooch off their air conditioning. When every step outside means squinting as if Jesus himself has come down to say hello, you stop trying entirely and resign yourself to a life of long-term summer agoraphobia. Not all native Floridians harbor quite the flaming hatred for their home state that I do—but that’s because they’re too busy literally being on fire. Seriously, you could brick-oven a pizza on top of most peoples’ heads these days.

But even besides the spirit-squashing heat, Florida is a bit of a disaster. Actually, to be 100 percent frank with you, it’s a consumeristic clusterfuck of crunchy-grass suburbs, strip mall restaurants called such charmingly-descriptive names as “GRILL,” and people’s midnight-snack chicken nuggets baking on the curb.

My advice: Don’t venture too far from the maniacally family-friendly grins of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (I hear that guy doesn’t wear pants). The rednecks have been known to bite.

1. The Soul-Sapping Weather

I realize that any old chump can complain about the hellfire presently barbecuing all residents of the United States, but even so, Florida’s brand of heat is particularly…enjoyable. Why, you inquire?

Let me tell you a little something about going outside in Florida: Every walk to class feels like you’re in a crowded public pool swimming a marathon you didn’t sign up for, racing desperately to get to the other side before your lungs give out and you’re flopping on your side like a beached Magikarp. (I wouldn’t recommend reaching this point—people tend to stare.)

Why Everyone Hates Florida

It’s a thing called humidity, and believe you me, it is one cruel bastard. Nothing sucks the joy out of a happy face quite so nauseatingly as stepping into air the thickness of a deluxe Krabby Patty with cheese. And let’s not forget the blisteringly-direct sunlight Florida suffers from, thanks to its dangerous proximity to that lovely equator. I made the mistake of playing Pokémon Go at high noon the other day, and I could literally hear my fingertips sizzling like nubs of bacon with every touch of the screen. I’m still nursing the third-degree burns.

As a person who lived in the Sunshine State with only minimal use of air conditioning for 18 long, frugal years, it’s a miracle this article was written by a semi-functioning human being and not a burnt piece of popcorn.

2. The Culture of Cheap Recreation

There’s a special kind of commercialistic disillusionment that comes from being delivered by a guy in a Goofy suit at the peak of Space Mountain. After a few years of living a short drive away from the good ol’ Mouse residence, the idea of flambéing yourself in a 140-minute line for your sixteenth go at spinning a teacup starts to lose its luster.

Not to mention the heat exhaustion you’ll probably die from if you schedule your trip between March and December. (If you still want to come to Disney even after reading this scathing roast of mine, do yourself a favor and come in the winter—by which I mean the two-week window in January when you can’t scramble your eggs on the sidewalk. Your scalp will thank you.)

And don’t get me started on the beach. I’ve seen so many tourists laying themselves out on the sand like leather handbags and frying themselves to a breaded crisp in my day, that I feel I’ll need to bleach my corneas before I can ever set foot on the beach again. I shudder to think of the melanoma.

When you’re born here in Florida, the novelty of getting off the plane and enjoying the sweet smell of green foam pool noodles from Walmart mixed with your grandmother’s SPF 100 sunscreen is totally lost on you. Hell, I recently came to the unsettling realization that I’ve never—never in my life—looked at a palm tree and thought, “By golly, that’s a palm tree!” To my tropics-weary eyes, they’ve always just been trees, albeit floppy ones.

Consumeristic enchantment attracts tourists to Florida in droves, and once the families have completed their annual trampling of Walt’s house, cultural disenchantment drives them right back out. Believe me—I can hear the door slamming from under my cabinet of “Frozen” coffee mugs 32 miles away.

3. The Famous Floridian Loonies

My home state is rather well-known for housing a collection of possibly the most, shall I say, interesting characters in the country. For one thing, as famously noted by every Floridian ever, the governor split his soul into seven Horcruxes when Congress wasn’t looking.

Disney-characters

But the truly special members of this wretched swamp are the (seemingly) normal people from (seemingly) normal suburbia. For example, my childhood slice of Floridian suburb is known for exactly two things: cows and nudist resorts. Nothing warms your heart quite like driving by endless fields of future hamburgers followed by the giant bubble letters that shout “CLOTHING OPTIONAL” to every family of four chugging down Route 41. Oh, the nostalgia.

I concede that the rampant nakedness may have just been my odd little corner of the marsh (and hey, congrats to the nudists—pants are overrated), but Florida in general is still often a poisonous concoction of elderly snowbirds, spring break hooligans, lamentable crazies who never fail to make the nightly news and, last but certainly not least, hordes of casually racist hickeroos. Doorless Jeeps sailing the Confederate flag were not an uncommon sight in my high school parking lot—and for the sake of your sanity, shield your eyes from the bumper stickers.

The only myth I can (somewhat) debunk is my good buddy “Florida Man,” the spirited rustic who wields a bearded dragon lizard in his right hand and a machete in his left, while riding off into the sunset on his dolphin seductress—but I don’t want to, because it fuels my point. Suffice it to say, the Sunshine State probably doesn’t really hold more sociopathic buffoons than the rest of the states, but I wouldn’t discount the hot steaming commercialism’s propensity to make lifelong residents a bit screwy ‘round the eyes.

Okay, I’ll admit, Florida isn’t all bad. The sidewalk doubles as a pancake griddle, so there’s that. Stick a spatula and some batter in your pocket and you’re good to go! Instant breakfast on the concrete before Spanish class. Nothing like the taste of gravel in the morning.

All kidding aside, I recommend not doing that—sidewalk waffles put sidewalk pancakes to shame. Ask anyone. (And don’t forget the syrup! Goes great with your tears. I’m the expert, of course.)

Now excuse me as I attempt to reconcile, for the 3,028th time in my life, my condemnation to this cooking appliance of a domicile for the next three years.

I am standing in a wet oven, friends, and its contents are quickly turning into steamed broccoli.

Send help.

  1. I’m trying my best to move to Florida. I’ve been stuck in Ohio for over 35 years and I’m SICK of freezing to death. Potholes, crappy snow, sub zero temperatures while Floridians are in swimming pools and riding motorcycles. Yes, I’m jealous of anyone who lives in Florida. A permanent summer is what I want.

    1. Move to north Florida in the panhandle. Pensacola and the emeral coast is the ONLY place in Florida I’ve enjoyed. Stay far far away from the rest of this state. The more south you go, the more shitty it gets. Tampa and Orlando are the worst.

  2. Compliments on the person who wrote this article. It was interesting and funny. Anyone who is thinking about moving to Florida please do extensive research. Visit if you can for a few weeks. Florida, at least Orlando where I am, is like Hell on Earth, truly. If you aren’t used to permanent summer it gets really old, really fast because you really CANNOT enjoy nature. Just don’t do it.

  3. This was a very entertaining article to say the least. You’re a talented writer. But yes everyone, he’s completely right. Florida is literally garbage. I live in South Florida (Broward County, City of Pembroke Pines) specifically. It’s a nice little city generally speaking but there really is nothing to do down here. The culture down here is completely hispanic and it’s annoying. It’s too blooming hot to enjoy any sort of nature here. If you don’t have a car, too bad because public transportation here really isn’t reliable. The beaches are nice in theory but try going between 9am and 6pm? HAHAHAHAHAH. When we say it’s hot here, we’re not exaggerating. It’s not the dry type of hot that’s bearable but EXTREMELY humid. If you don’t have central air in this state, you’re screwed. Northerners say they envy Floridians? Nonsense. I’d switch Ohio for this oven any day. Never move to a state that is the same shape of a penis. Never.

  4. I can just say, I love Florida, and I hate people that hate my state, it is beautiful here, I live on the east coast, and Key West is pretty nice as well. I don’t get what’s the problem, especially since the heat actually isn’t that bad where I live. I have lived in South Carolina before, and I can say SC is literally the trash of the U.S, all you people complaining about Florida should come to SC. Florida is probably the best state I have lived in so far. (The heat in SC is also hotter than FL.)

    1. no.. the only liveable place in Florida is either north or by the beach, literally move to any other state and it’s better than florida.. I would take the hottest days in Texas over Florida due to such horrible humidity here, I’m in Longwood and there is 0 reason of living here because there’s nothing to do but cook in the heat of the boring endless suburbs. however Florida is great for it’s beaches, that’s about as great as it gets after the Disney world magic wears off after your 132nd trip, Florida’s government is great too, Florida may be fun to visit but depressing to live in. I hate getting off a plane from somewhere cool like California and all the people on the plane are tourists and excited about being in Florida and I’m sitting there looking at the lack of mountains and high heat and feel like buying a ticket back to Cali and just move out. come to Florida to visit, move to Florida to suffer

  5. Ellen, I was born and raised in South Carolina and for you to say South Carolina is the trash of the U.S. you are rude and terribly mistaken. Florida is full of Pedophiles and fugitives, tourists and con artists. Granted the keys are nice but very pricy and the Emerald Coast is pretty not like the rest of Florida. Jacksonville is a nightmare to drive through with perpetual road work and insane drivers. All the way down A1A is a “seen it once seen it all” kind of scenery. St. Augustine is pretty, but again expensive. South Carolina is full of rich history and beautiful places. There is more than just beaches and amusement parks here. Obviously you don’t like history or charm or culture or gardens, mountains, beaches, and yes even amusement parks. Greenville is one of the pretties cities in the state, Aiken is a very pretty town and a paradise for Golf, horses, tennis and small town charm. Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head are very nice coastal towns and have an array of things to see and do. Myrtle Beach is an Icon and

    1. Gotta disagree with you. Not sure what area of sc you’re in but Charleston sc is TRASH. The people suck, the paper mill smell is absolutely horrid, the drivers are the worst, the schools are sub par, the people are unaccepting of anyone who isn’t religious. Hate it here. So glad to be moving.

  6. Yes that was entertaining, but he’s right, I have lived in Florida from 1983 to 2016, 35 years folks, you could pretty much call me a native. Every drop this author has mentioned is absolutely 100% TRUE. I really could not add to it. I did move to Pennsylvania, and I love it. I’m an hour away from NYC, 15 minutes from Jersey, There seems to have a lot more to see and do. Having all 4 seasons is really great.The governement system much more organized. But uhhh….yeah, F*#K Florida, I don’t wanna come back. Thanks for letting me share.

  7. I put that hell hole of stupidity, crappy politics, lunacy, oppressive heat, unimaginable ignorance, knee jerk conservatism, quasi-police state in my rear view mirror 21 years ago for verdant Oregon.

    I’ve never looked back — not once. It has been rewarding to see that state get the bad press it deserves.

    It’s vapid in every way imaginable and full of completely insane people, crooks, drug addicts, and corruption. There are great people there who endure it but I just couldn’t any more.

    Where I was born — in south florida — 25% to 30% of the local economy was driven by laundered drug money.

    It is awful. It is hot. It is buggy. In 30 years most of its coastline will be gone. If you step into a gulf side beach it’s like taking a hot bath.

    Destin, Navarre Beach and a few other places are worth visiting — once — maybe.

  8. South Florida sucms because it’s sinfully hot,flat,boring with nothing but the beach to look at,in Jersey you have scenic farms,hills,meadows,curvy scenic country roads,wineries,not just stucco strip mall retail centers…how boring and sterile

  9. I made a big mistake of leaving Jersey to move to Florida. I made friends easily in Jersey and had multiple networks of ppl in Jersey but I did Not find nearly the same ease of making friends Florida. I’m Not saying that all Florida ppl are bad because there are good people in Florida because I met them. Some of them would give you the shirts off their backs. The biggest problem Florida is lack of employment, low wages abd a high number of transients. You also have a huge population of people that dont work. This isnt just old retirees. You have a huge popukation if young people that are either retired or on disability. An idle mind? Need I say more. I found myself trying to explain to people that I need to work that often fell in on deaf ears. The other issue I had was “some” people Not all were prejudice that I was from “jersey” or a ” Yankee.” I would think in this day and age ppl would be past that. Not so. I have met nice ppl in Florida both that grew up in the state and that moved from other places but even then I found it dufficult to maintain genuine friendships. Perhaps simply because I dont fully understand the Fliridian culture? I thought that I would love summer all year long and it being sunny all the time. I found myself missing the snow, missing Autumn, missing the holidays, and missing out on sleeping all day on a rainy day. It’s hard to sleep in Florida because it’s sunny all the time. The Sun and hear get old. I’m happy for the success stories of people who moved to Florida and live “Happy Ever After,” but for ne, it did Not happen.

  10. For everyone who moved to Florida and hates it, please move back. Natives do not want you here, you dont want to be here, just move. If you guys are looking for culture, then why would you moved to a city that has no Floridians in it. Take Orlando for example, you probably want even meet a person who was actually born in Florida. The single biggest reason why Florida is in an idenity crises is because we have so many different people, from so many different cultures moving into our State. If anybody on this post is still living in Florida, I would encourage you to visit the heartland of the State. Basically anywhere away from the coast. Take a walk in the sugarcane fields of Clewiston, or the Orange groves in Arcadia and tell me it doesnt have a culture.
    Of course it hot, humid, and flat it’s Florida dumbasses. What did you expect? I would not go to Alaska and complain about the cold, then have the nerve to talk shit about the entire State.
    By the way South Carolina is not the trash of the country. Its a gem, and I love it. Charleston is my favorite city to visit and if I could afford it, I would move there. But for the South Carolina woman who called Florida full of pedophiles, and lacking of culture, you should be ashamed of yourself. I know someone was attacking your State, but welcome to my world. You act like Florida is the only one with bad apples. (Then again, our bad apples probably moved here from a different State.) South Carolina does have an awesome history but so does Florida. Google cracker cowboys, the battle of natural bridge, and Olustee. And if you have to lean on golf courses to defend your State, you are obviously not the right person to defend it.
    The bottom line is if you dont like the State then just move. Or before you move, visit the city first. If you do not like the people make sure there from Florida before bashing us.(Like actually from Fl not like ive been here for x amount of years so im basically a native, or thier offspring)

  11. Ok i’ve lived in central Florida for most my life and I’ll say it is hot as fuck here and the humidity is downright awful, but the REALITY of the situation is that it’s only bad June-September with August being the worst. the rest of the year is pretty amazing! Average annual temp is 78 and hurricanes are actually exciting as long as you’re not taking a direct hit lol! The beaches are some of the best in the world… yes the WORLD! The mouse is ok, but totally overrated… just go to Busch Gardens… way more fun. The panhandle is nice but doesn’t really count as “Florida” that’s why it’s so easy to live up there. And don’t tell me you can’t enjoy nature. There are natural springs all over the state, excellent offshore activities and east coast surfing. It’s easy to pick all the shifty aspects of the state, the mosquitos and love bugs… and roaches… and spiders… but that stuff aside, Florida is a beautiful state with amenities not found anywhere else in the country. But, don’t let that encourage anyone to move down here, because the truth is we don’t need anyone new. visit if you must, but please don’t stay. lol!!!

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