Articles tagged "florida"
In Florida’s vast Everglades National Park, there reside tens of thousands of Burmese pythons. As a devout fearer of snakes, shipwrecks, and the sound of the toilet flushing in the middle of the night, this sounds like my worst nightmare. Turns out, it’s Florida’s too: these huge snakes are chomping up endangered species, like the adorable-sounding Key Largo wood rat. Plus, a report released in January of this year states that the numbers of raccoons, opossums and bobcats in South Florida’s famed River of Grass have dropped as much as 99%.
These pythons like to eat.
So the Sunshine State is tackling its Burmese python problem in a truly Floridian way: by holding a hunting contest. According to the Python Challenge rules, a grand prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the person who kills the most pythons. Additionally, $1,000 will go to the person who kills the longest one.
I don’t know about you, but I’d need WAY more than $1,500 to even consider wading through the Everglades with the hope of encountering a slew of Burmese pythons. Do you know how huge these beasts are? A few months ago, a seventy-six pound deer was found in the stomach of one of these snakes.
A FUCKING DEER. That snake just swallowed it whole.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to offer me, like, one month’s rent in a shitty studio apartment in some weird neighborhood of Manhattan in exchange for hunting down the winning number of Burmese pythons in a vast area of wetland? I will CERTAINLY die. No, thank you. I would need at least $10 million on the line. At least.
Also, Florida, who am I? Who am I to slap a gun to my back, pull on some rubber boots, and walk around shooting snakes in the head? This is not me. I like to sit at a coffee shop and read Real Simple on my iPad. The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done has probably been going to Paris with my dad last summer. I definitely don’t think I am the kind of person to go tromping through marshes on the hunt for a 17-foot long, 164-lb. snake.
It’s a good thing you have those people living nearby, though.
Florida, best of luck on the Python Challenge. I hope more snakes die than crazy people.
Check out Political Subversities LIVE at Ars Nova on December 12th and 13th! Info and tickets HERE.
During the interview, Rubio was asked how old he thinks the Earth is. And his response began with:
Cross your fingers. Let’s see how he actually finished up:
”I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”
There’s so much crazily wrong with this I don’t even know where to start.
More importantly, acknowledging the age of the universe actually has an imperial fuck-ton to do with the GDP and our economic policies, because believing that evidence is important in evaluating solutions is a sign that our political philosophy is going to be based on reason and not on playing pretend. It’s a sign that when all (ALL!) of the available evidence says that cutting taxes on the wealthy does not lead to greater prosperity, we’ll go “Huh, guess THAT doesn’t work” and try something else, instead of saying “Guess it’s a debate amongst economists” and punting the ball while actual people suffer. It’s a sign that when faced with consumption that far outpaces the scarce resources available to us, we’ll search for new ways of being, rather than hoping everything’ll just shake out in the end. It’s a sign that when someone suggests that our economy can just keep on growing forever and ever amen, we’ll evaluate the likelihood of that being true (hint: none) and adjust accordingly. Sheesh.
Finally, nobody — really, nobody at all, anywhere — thinks the earth was created in “7 actual eras”. It was clearly created in 9 Semi-Actual Eons. Duh. Come on, Marco: TEACH THE DEBATE.
Political Subversities recently acquired this totally real memo sent by from Governor of Florida Rick Scott:
To:Florida Board of Elections
From:Governor Rick Scott
RE: Your Friggng Screw-Up on the Voter Rolls
In case you bimbos missed the signature, this is Rick Scott talking. That’s Governor Rick Scott. When I said PURGE, what did you think I meant? Have you looked at the poll numbers lately? We still have undesirables who think they’re voting. So unless you all want to be back parking cars at Sea World, I expect you to eliminate the following dreck from the voter rolls immediately.
And if they flash a student ID that’s expired, take away their clothes and send them to my hotel room. No wait, I’m married. Okay, send them to my wife’s hotel room. I’m kidding. Really. Room 601.
Jerry Polner is a writer of sketches, parodies, and stage plays. His script FIX NUMBER SIX, was chosen by the Boomerang Theatre Company to be presented as part of its First Flight reading series, and it was recently published by Next Stage Press. Jerry’s short plays FLORENCE FAREWELL, GONE WITH THE MASHA, THANK YOU FOR APPLYING, and SAUTE YOUR FACE were produced by the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective at the Manhattan Theatre Source, the Brecht Forum, the Greek Cultural Center, Under Minerva, the Williamsburg Art and History Center, and Galapogos Artspace. He has contributed to the McSweeney’s web site, and his play WEATHERMAN was published by Samuel French and has been performed by high school groups around the country. Jerry’s comedy sketch script “Fugitive Math Teachers” was one of the winning entries in Break Media’s Break.com Video Contest. Jerry’s web site, RadicalGags.com, is a political comedy sketch site for grassroots activists and people who should be.
Dear whoever is responsible for deciding what is and is not breaking news,
First off, let me make clear that I appreciate getting an optional breaking news update about world events of broad general significance and/or that may have direct serious impact on my life. If you were to only send me tweets in all caps and dramatic push notifications on my mobile devices about such events and news items then I would not only be grateful, but would not need to write the rest of this letter.
Who decides what is “breaking” news? Isn’t all news “breaking” at some point? Do you just open up the newspaper and throw darts at it to decide what to bug me about? Because that system might actually provide more relevant news updates.
More seriously, I suspect the reason you send me bullshit “news alerts” is because you think you know what will draw traffic to your website. However, as someone you probably fired must have pointed out, your attempts to drive traffic to your news site based on what’s trending or on what you think people are likely to click on debases your value to me as a gatherer and curator of pertinent information. I WILL STOP ENGAGING WITH YOUR NEWS PUBLICATION IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND STOP ACTING LIKE YOU’RE TMZ. I’m looking at you New York Times.
For the news industry’s benefit, I have crafted some examples of what I think ARE and ARE NOT legitimate stories to send barreling to the forefront of my attention.
“BREAKING: NORTH KOREA DETONATES NUCLEAR WEAPON IN SEOUL.” // My god, yes. I want to know immediately if something this horrific should ever happen.
“BREAKING: NORTH KOREA NOT VERY GOOD AT ROCKET SCIENCE” // NO. This is not breaking news. We all already knew this. I don’t need you blowing up my phone to tell me what North Korea sucks at. It can wait until I pick up your paper or open your app.
“BREAKING: BRAD PITT AND ANGELINA JOLIE TO WED” // NO. This is not life affecting news AT ALL. TO ALMOST ANYONE. Yes they are breaking their promise to forgo marriage until there is marriage equality, but I don’t need a text message alert dedicated to telling me that celebrities are flakey humanitarians.
BREAKING: BRAD PITT AND ANGELINA JOLIE DETONATE NUCLEAR WEAPON IN SEOUL. // YES. Unlikely, but all the more reason to let me know ASAP. Who knows, I might see one of them in SoHo and survive to contact the UN.
“BREAKING: FLORIDA SINKS INTO THE OCEAN” // YES. My mom lives there, as do lots of moms. National tragedy.
“BREAKING: FLORIDA OFFICIALS REJECT RESIGNATION OF POLICE CHEIF IN TRAYVON MARTIN CASE” // NO. Do I care? Yes. Is it important? Yes. Does finding out now vs one hour from now matter? no.
“BREAKING: ATHLETE DOES SOMETHING COOL!” // NO
“BREAKING: ATHLETE DOES SOMETHING SO COOL THAT WATCHING IT WILL LITERALLY MAKE YOU POOP YOURSELF” // STILL NO. I can sign up for ESPN updates if I need instant notification of future sports trivia.
“BREAKING: WE ARE REALLY SORRY YOU ARE SO ANAL ABOUT YOUR NEWS ALERTS, MAYBE YOU SHOULD RELAX” // NO. See, this one is too personal, while it does affect me, I wouldn’t want everyone else to have to check their phone in the middle of watching Mad Men, only to think “what’s the big deal, unless I’m Andrew there is no reason you needed to interrupt Don Draper to give me this information.” WHO’S THE ASSHOLE NOW NEWS SERVICES???
“BREAKING: STILL YOU” // WHATEVER. You’re just mad because you know I’m right.
Florida primaries today huh? Everybody talking about Romney’s likely to win, but Newt’s gonna stay in it, too many negative tv ads, blah, blah, blah. SHUT UP. YOU ARE MISSING THE ACTUALLY SIGNIFICANT HORRIFYING STORY COMING OUT OF FLORIDA.
GIANT SNAKES ARE TAKING OVER OUR NATION’S GREAT PENINSULA. (sorry Alaska peninsula.)
Burmese pythons are eating all the mammals in the Everglades. We’re talking as much as a 99% reduction in observations of some species. That doesn’t mean that there are 99% less of them, they just get seen 99% less often. WHY? Because they’re hiding from TWENTY-FIVE FOOT PYTHONS, that’s why. You’d be hiding too if the only place you had to live was crawling (slithering?) with giant hungry snakes that are afraid of nothing.
The only thing that eats a Burmese Python in the Everglades is an alligator, and only if it’s a lot bigger than the snake. If it’s smaller than the snake, then the gator gets eaten. Anything that eats an alligator is bad news. (That includes Florida natives, a population including yours truly. Unless you’re a Burmese Python larger than me, I WILL deep fry and consume you with a side of hushpuppies.)
I know what you’re thinking as you sit at your laptop rocking back and forth and weeping hysterically: “How did this happen? And what are hushpuppies?” Hush puppies are fried dough, have you never been to a seafood restaurant? I know they have hushpuppies above the Mason Dixon. You need to get out more. The snake question is a little harder to answer.
There are two big theories:
1.) Released pets (remember that goth kid with the pet snake in middle school who decided to go all preppy in 11th grade? Snakes and Abercrombie & Fitch don’t mix, so he set it loose in the swamp.)
2.) Escapees from pet stores. (Lots of fingers pointed at Hurricane Andrew in 1992.)
Obama banned importing the snakes and since 2010 it has been illegal to own them in Florida, but with potentially tens of thousands of these South East Asian reptiles copulating in the Everglades at this very moment, it’s too little too late. SO WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO??? Steve Irwin is no longer with us, and Crocodile Dundee is in his 70s. But all hope is not lost. Two words:
Have you SEEN the trailer for The Grey? If he can handle a pack of killer wolves in a desolate world of ice and snow, certainly he can wrestle a few giant snakes in the mucky tropics. Liam, our peninsula needs you, you are our last hope.