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COLUMN

Happytown

Looking back in anger, looking forward to no performing arts center and looking out for trigger-happy cops!

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It’s all coming back to us now. With one swift bump of the holiday-hangover head against the faux-wood news desk, the overhead-baggage compartments unlatch, revealing the dirty socks and broken promises of the year that compassion forgot. Wait, are we crashing? No, no, no. It’s just time for our annual tradition of simplistic summation known as our Happytown™ year in review – hopefully in fewer than 600 words. Put your head between your legs and think 
happy thoughts.

It was the worst of times and the worst of times (some more) as 2010 nosedived into the political morass of an election year. Relatively inconsequential municipal races early in the year saw Orlando Commissioners Daisy Lynum and Robert Stuart cakewalk back to their seats, though in the case of Lynum that involved an ongoing lawsuit from bathroom-banging challenger Vibert White. A wild and crazy county mayoral stakes soon followed, with chilly librarian Teresa Jacobs finally coming up roses in the fiscal shitstorm; also, we’ll probably never have to utter the name Matthew Falconer again, so that’s good.

But the real political gloves wouldn’t come out until primary season. That’s when Florida politics plummeted into absurdity thanks to cash cows Jeff Greene and Rick Scott. Greene’s expensive bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate seat was lost in the cocaine splash of tabloid headlines, but Scott’s gubernatorial pay-to-play was an unmitigated success, despite a history of Medicare fraud in a state that lives and wheezes on the iron lung of that program. How did that happen? Look no further than hapless Democratic haircut Alex Sink and her rootsy drawl down the political middle. American psycho Marco Rubio whizzed his way into the U.S. Senate on the backs of nowhere man Kendrick “Weak” Meek and party-dropper Charlie Crist. Our man Alan Grayson finally nailed his own coffin with his leaden tongue, allowing crotchety old “Taliban Dan” Webster to ascend to the U.S. House. And then 
we all died.

No, we didn’t! Instead we endured as the national spotlight shone on the Sunshine State due to pratfalls from unhinged zealots. First there was the sneaky rentboy scandal tied around the lifted ankles of one George Rekers, who was considered an anti-gay expert until the lying lube fell out of his tented pants pockets. Then it was all about a man, a mustache and his religiously intolerant lighter when Gainesville nightmare Terry Jones crept out of the Bible and forced the world to contemplate what might happen if a redneck burns a Koran. Answer: He doesn’t do it but gets a free car.

On the local front, a bunch of political cigars got busted for clogging up some luxury humidors with power-mingles under the moniker of the “No Name Club.” The whole city’s jaw dropped at the feel-good story of the century when some swans absconded from Lake Eola were safely returned to their retention roost. A stupid dream became a glassy reality when Rich DeVos’ Golden Pleasure Dome™ swung open its doors under the inscrutable banner of “ENTERLEGEND.” Exit broke.

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