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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where Buddy Dyer wrote a rose-colored blog, Rick Scott sold more of his influence and we got to split hairs about the voter purge. The best week ever?

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Now that we're all bathing in the invigorating rays of superlatives, rubbing tanning butter (or, in some cases, gold body paint) up and down our loins in celebration as we await that perfect Zen moment of "Best-of" transcendence, it only seems appropriate that a little bit of that obnoxious euphoria rub off on some of those around us. Otherwise, we'd be having one of those one-man parties where you don't realize just how intoxicated you are, running off at the lips about this screenplay and that promotion "in the pipeline," before somehow losing your clothes beneath a bloody nose. Nobody likes that guy.

But what we didn't expect in our annual grand exchange of awesomeness was that our own Mayor Buddy Dyer would be taking to the Internets for a little civic gloating of his own. On July 11, Dyer popped up among the politically cantankerous (and hilariously unpaid) vanity plates of the Huffington Post to execute a thinly veiled victory lap for the City Beautiful – we're awesome! – before dousing it all in a cooler full of misplaced rhetoric.

Dyer's stated inspiration for his moonlighting essayist gig was the recent Forbes survey that declared Orlando to be "America's Next Boomtown," except Forbes didn't really rank us at No. 1 so much as it did rank us at No. 10 (beneath Phoenix, sadly). Regardless, in his painfully earnest piece, Dyer sniffed the good stuff and blurted out a bullet-pointed treatise on what makes us so much better than everyone else and how it is that we intend to continue glowing into the future.

"These bold predictions aren't some pixie-dust fueled mirage," Dyer mixed metaphors, like we often do. "They are the result of a decade of hard work by the Orlando community to diversify our economy beyond its base of tourism to create the industries and jobs of the future." In other words, I've got a legacy, and I'm going to use it someday to be governor. Dyer's laundry list included the old standbys like the Medical City, the Creative Village, SunRail and the venues, none of which are actually complete things yet, but who's counting. On his prosaic dismount, Dyer went on to decry partisan politics before engaging in that passive-aggressive version of humility so symptomatic of other HuffPo celebrities with iPads.

"The sad truth is Orlando's story, and our newfound 'culture of collaboration,' should not be remarkable," he faced downward while looking up to measure reactions. "We're not exactly splitting the atom here in Central Florida. Our success only seems remarkable because of the toxic political climate that seems to surround us all." Cough. Aw, shucks.

Then, the very next day, CNBC came out with its report on states that are attractive to business, and Florida took a pounding.

Based on calculations including access to capital (we're No. 24!), education (we're No. 42!) and infrastructure (we're No. 11!), the CNBC abacus showed Florida as a whole dropping from No. 18 to No. 29 in the span of just one year.

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