HAPPYTOWN 


;Sure does suck to be Exodus ;International.

;;The Orlando-based "ex-gay" group was recently out in Irvine, Calif., having their annual powwow on God curing the queer. (Way back in 2003, the annual conference happened right here in Orlando, and ex-commissioner Vicki Vargo gave Exodus a key to the city, which pissed off the city's not-so-ex-gay population.)

;;But there's trouble brewin' in ex-Mary land. First, Exodus leader Alan Chambers confided to the Los Angeles Times that he resents the term "ex-gay" because he still struggles with temptation.

;;"By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete," he told the paper for a June 18 story. And that set off the far right's storm troopers, because it runs counter to the notion that you can pray away the gay. Stephen Bennett, an ex-gay who runs a ministry named after himself, put out a press release condemning Chambers for turning his back on Holy Scripture.

;;Then, on June 28, as the Exodus conference got underway, three of the group's founders released a statement denouncing the ministry, saying it caused isolation, shame and fear – and it didn't work, either.

;;One of the men, Michael Bussee, is also featured in an easy-to-find YouTube clip describing how he formed the organization, and how he abandoned it a few years later after falling in love with one of his volunteers while they traveled the country preaching the former-fag gospel. Clearly they just didn't pray hard enough.

;;

;On June 27, Orlando Food Not Bombs made good on its promise to hound Buddy Dyer, this time at a fundraiser hizzoner had at Graze Restaurant on Lake Eola Drive.

;;In case you haven't been paying attention, the OFNB kids are pissed about Dyer's adversarial policies toward the homeless, and about the fact that Orlando police arrested one of their own for feeding more than 25 homeless people in a public park.

;;So, as they've done before, OFNB lined the sidewalks outside the Dyer event and raised a ruckus for the TV cameras. "Fuck you, Dyer. Fuck you, Cruddy Dyer," they screamed, according to police reports. (Cruddy Dyer? Is that the best they could do?)

;

;And then six of the 30 protesters started beating on drums, annoying everyone inside the restaurant and in the condos above it.

;

;Cops asked the drummers to stop. The drummers refused, thinking it their constitutional right to annoy the shit out of everyone. And that's kind of where they went wrong. See, as part of its noise ordinance, the city code specifically says, "It shall be unlawful to play any radio, phonograph or any musical instrument or operate a sound-amplifying device within the City in such a manner or with such volume, especially during the hours between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling."

;

;True, this went down at 6 p.m., but the drummers were disturbing the "quiet, comfort or repose of persons." So they got arrested.

;

;Incidentally, one of the arrestees was Eric Montanez, the same 21-year-old currently facing charges for feeding too many homeless people in the park. He's developing quite the odd rap sheet.

;;

;Remember a few weeks back, when we told you about the federal government's refusal to let a porn czar trademark the word "fuckingmachines" because it included a derivative of the word "fuck," which is naughty ["The F-bomb," June 7]? Turns out, it's not just the bad words that get you in trouble. It's also words that are "shocking to the sense of truth," like "Bin Laden" and "Obama," especially when combined.

;;Earlier this year, a Miami man tried to trademark the phrase "Obama Bin Laden" to market on hats and T-shirts to crazy right-wingers who think that a black presidential candidate must be a terrorist mastermind. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office smacked down that request in February because it's stupid and because neither of the individuals referenced on the shirt – the senator and the world's most hated man – consented to have their names used in this manner. (Ten bucks says neither were even asked.)

;;

;Ever wonder what city could ;nab the title of the "next Orlando"? Us neither, but here's the answer anyway: San Carlos, Panama. And you thought we were going to say Des Moines.

;;That hapless Panamanian burg hopes to take the title by opening a marine-mammal theme park that will feature familiar-sounding activities such as the "swim with the dolphins" attraction. The park, the brainchild of a bunch of ex-SeaWorld execs, is modeled after Orlando's own Discovery Cove, where you can spend a day with dolphins (who are sentient enough to loathe you and resent the fact that they are stuck in a tank swimming with fat-ass tourists) and other sea critters for $279.

;;The area "could become the next Orlando," Mark Simmons, formerly a senior dolphin trainer at SeaWorld, tells The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind. But first they have to deal with pissed-off activists, including Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter, Alexandra, who says the place would be enslaving dolphins.

;

;As if one Orlando weren't enough.

;;

;Hoping to capitalize on the ;City Beautiful's drunks, losers and assorted Jerry Springer Show hopefuls, Devin James, the distinguished publisher of mags such as Jail and Bounty Hunter, is preparing to put out an Orlando-based, black version of the National Enquirer.

;;James came up with the idea after realizing that "he has a lot of neighbors who go to jail." Off the Chain, primarily available at gas stations, will be out in two weeks.

;;

;On Friday July ;6, the end of the world comes to Lake Eola Park in the form of the Supernanny producers – thankfully not the dour Jo Frost herself (at least according to the press release) – from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., which we can only suppose means that you should starve your kids so they are super-bratty and screaming, "I'm going to kill you, Mom!"

;;They're seeking "families who are preparing for a big event like a wedding or reunion; sports-obsessed parents; parents with mean girls or bullying boys, teens and pre-teens." But we're sure any goth kid, meth mom or drunk dad will do. And we got those aplenty.

;;If your spawn doesn't make the show, remember that Lake Eola is perfect for accidental drownings this time of year.

;

;;This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes and Deanna Sheffield.

happytown@orlandoweekly.com

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