Happytown 


Remember a couple of weeks ago when CNBC's Rick Santelli called the poors "losers," and patriotic Americans threw "tea parties" — like the Boston Tea Party, geddit? — to protest Maobama's plan to give all your money to some homeless family who can't pay their mortgage because they're losers?

Orlando may be behind the curve, but we're finally getting our own tea party March 21 at the amphitheater on Lake Eola! It's gonna be one awesome festival of crazy!

It'll be hosted by Bud Hedinger, a former news anchor who now hosts a talk show somewhere on the AM dial. He'll be joined by the tinfoil-hat brigade, including Kristinn Taylor of the hilarious FreeRepublic.com, and Andrea Shea King, an "Internet talk show host" who writes for WorldNetDaily.com, a website bravely trying to prove that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, plus he may be a Soviet plant to carry the Marxist torch. Oh, and did you know Wikipedia and Snopes are in on the librul conspiracy? True as well!

Based on the press release, we're guessing you'll hear speeches about how the stimulus is unconstitutional, how Obama's a-comin' for your guns, how the Democrats want to turn your kids queer and how Sarah Palin will save us all, plus some patriotic music! Best of all, it's free.

One other thing: According to OrlandoTeaParty.com, "We will NOT tolerate anything, including tea, to be thrown into the lake!" (Presumably tea-bagging won't be allowed either.) Instead, "We will post symbolic tea bag templates on our web site that participants can print and mail to our civil servants. … Let's echo all the way to Washington and TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!"

Seriously, we can't wait.

Speaking of the crazies, last week a Republican congressman named Bill Posey introduced HR 1503, a bill to "require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include … a copy of the candidate's birth certificate." In other words, the "half-breed Muslin from Kenya" tripe just became official, to the joy of wingnuts everywhere.

Of course Posey is from Florida — Melbourne, to be specific. The bill's going nowhere and he's just a freshman lackey trying to suck up to the tea-party types, but geez, Posey, don't you read? Obama produced a copy of his birth certificate last year. The state of Hawaii has confirmed that the original is in its vaults. The Honolulu Advertiser announced his birth in August 1961. What else do you want?

Rhetorical question: If Obama were white, do you think these birthers would be so obsessed with his birthplace?

This week in the gay: a war of words! Truth Wins Out and other gay-rights groups are demanding that Alan Chambers, head of the locally based ex-gay organization Exodus International, be fired immediately and take Exodus board member Don Schmierer with him. Oh, my!

According to the press release, earlier this month Schmierer spoke at a conference in Uganda that "promoted shocking abuses of basic human rights. This included draconian measures against gay and lesbian people such as forced ex-gay therapy, life imprisonment for people convicted of homosexuality and the formation of an organization designed to ‘wipe out' gay practices in Uganda."

Moreover, the conference featured writer Scott Lively, co-author of a book called The Pink Swastika that blames the Holocaust on — who else? — the gays. Lively argues that gays in Hitler's inner circle masterminded Nazi atrocities. (Actually, the Nazis viewed gays as "defectives" and in 1942 made homosexuality a capital offense, but who needs facts when you're making up anti-queer history?)

In a statement, Exodus tells Happytown™ that the Truth Wins Out folks have it all wrong: Exodus was actually preaching tolerance to fag-hating Ugandans.

"Unfortunately, Uganda as a country has demonstrated severe hostility towards homosexuals, supporting criminalization of homosexual behavior and proposing compulsory therapy — positions that Exodus International unequivocally denounces. It is our sincere desire to offer an alternative message that encompasses a compassionate, biblical view of homosexuality not just here in America, but around the world. "

From the Bad News Desk comes this item: no big wheel for Orlando.

The 400-foot-tall Great Orlando Wheel that we were promised would save International Drive from shirtless British folks in Speedos and brown socks (Happytown™, June 26) has been slapped to the ground.

According to Orlando Attractions Magazine, Great Orlando Wheel Corporation general manager Wil Armstrong is playing cautious with the concept, at least for now. "In the economic environment here and abroad," he said, like everybody is saying now, "Great Orlando Wheel Corporation has decided to temporarily suspend the project. This temporary measure is designed to assure the success of the project in the long run."

So it's not exactly a solid "no wheel for you," as Armstrong promises that once things get better the wheel that shall launch a million marriage proposals — seriously, this happens at Belfast's giant round suspension apparatus — may come back around again.

"Initial preparation and fundamental work will continue," reports the mag, as if the fundamentals of inventing the wheel were still a work in progress.

Lost in all of this figurative double-speak about TARPs, pork and earmarks has been the clumsy machinations of the anti-war movement. It's difficult to maintain any kind of concern about the bloodshed and gun-waving overseas when you can't pay for your own cable anymore to hear pundits tell you what to think.

Worry not. The Florida March for Peace is coming next weekend, March 28, to the mecca of political uprisings and fried shrimp: Melbourne.

According to the press release, "On Saturday, March 28, hundreds will poor `sic!` into the city of Melbourne to send a clear message to local, state, and national elected officials: demilitarize the budget, bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and fund human needs including housing, jobs, and health care."

Some 50 organizations — including Cindy Sheehan, who is now an organization? — are signed on as endorsers. Among their goals: "pressuring Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territory," closing all U.S.-operated military prisons in the world, stopping fighting in Pakistan and, of course, getting honked at by angry pensioners. It all kicks off at 2 p.m. at Front Street Park and will end at Melbourne's hallowed City Hall. For info, go to www.humanistsforpeace.com.

Did you know that Winter Park is the 38th most historic destination on earth? According to National Geographic Traveler's Historic Places Rated list for 2008, our snobby burg is a time capsule of The Way Things Used to Be, thanks to its brick streets, small commercial district and historical residential areas. You can't afford it, but isn't that the way America was before all the poors and minorities moved in anyway?

Winter Park ranked right between Boston (No. 37) and Bologna, the city in Italy and not the delicious lunch meat (No. 39). You can feel good about your staycation knowing that it's way better here than in Phnom Penh (No. 108). Cambodia is so overrated.

happytown@orlandoweekly.com

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