If there's anything left worth eating after reading the Daily Kos.
Florida-bashing has become a popular sport and of course there's plenty to bash, it being a Red State. It's a corrupt state as well, but then Florida is not unique in either respect nor are we unique in supporting parties and agendas that don't benefit and do harm our quality of life. But sports and parties take on lives of their own and like all things that live, the prime motivation is to live and prosper at all costs. So when we run out of Flori-Duh stories, we confect some tasty and blog-nourishing stories out of a few carefully selected observations and peddle them everywhere. The Daily Kos ran an article the other day putting forth notion that because, in the heat of tropical Summers, a kind of dangerous bacteria knows as vibrio vulnificus can be found in ocean waters. It's warm in Florida in the summer, this is not news.
Now if this "necrotizing" bacteria gets into a cut or scrape it can begin eating your flesh. If it gets into your blood stream, it can kill you. Hot climates everywhere have certain dangers and every year we read of all the many children and dogs that die from being left in hot cars and every year we're made to think there's something new about it. We're never told whether the long term trends, if there are any, are up or down. In fact we're usually made to believe there's a crisis at hand and that we need to be afraid or angry or motivated to read all about it: motivated to vote one way or the other. Florida is deadly! Says the Kos and the comment section is full of hissing hatevipers. Never mind that you can get the bacteria anywhere the ocean is warm, at the beach in Texas or from eating raw oysters in Mobile Alabama. Never mind that you can die from Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba, anywhere: at a Kansas swimming hole or a Minnesota water park, but Florida is dangerous, let us scare you, let us not inform you of the risks or whether it's getting better or getting worse, let's blame it on someone we don't like. You know, there are more boating accidents in Florida than in Utah -- must be the politics.
Perhaps the major difference between the swimming pool drownings, the lightening strikes, the heat stroke deaths, the shark and alligator attacks one finds more of in this climate, and the ordinary risks of disease and accident that account for so many deaths everywhere, is that they can be pinned like a paper tail on that old donkey, Florida by any half-baked blogger or scandal hungry TV station and so all the media needs is some mold to press it into and sell it like candy. Florida is dangerous whether because of the lightening or the gun laws or the sharks or the bacteria or predatory racists.
You see all these people - all 11 of them are getting sick because of the Libertarians in Florida. It's their fault that we don't test the waters at the beaches says Kos -- on our entire 2,276 Statute Miles of tidal coastline, the bays and estuaries although they offer no evidence of it. Of course we do -- of course bacteria levels are monitored constantly in populated areas and beach closings and openings are announced all the time. When someone contracts the disease, it makes headlines even in right wing newspapers.
Water pollution in fact is a very political and very hot issue here, with huge quantities of toxic industrial and agricultural waste being dumped into heretofore pristine waters, but even the Republican populace, if not the Republican representatives, is up in arms about cleaning it up. Fishing and all water sports, in fact, are a very major support to the local economy. The current Gubernatorial race seems to be all bout who will spend the most money on the environment, but nobody in Keokuk, Iowa or Manhattan will question the story and particularly not if they're jealous of Florida's climate or if they just need cheap reasons to be smug about living where the sun don't shine.