Monday, May 11, 2015

The New York Times finally discovers @_FloridaMan

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2015 at 1:35 PM


How has @_FloridaMan evaded the New York Times' notice until now? The New Yorker, Slate and NPR profiled the feed to similar effect in 2013. New York magazine called him a "Tweeter extraordinaire" who represents "all that is weird and wrong in the Sunshine State." Earlier this year, GQ published @_FloridaMan's guide to spring break.

CNN wrote about the fact that Florida Man now has a beer dedicated to him. 

There's even a Florida Man movie. It's a short documentary (you can watch it below). But still. 

This weekend, the Times finally took notice and pondered the existence of @_FloridaMan. In a story that ran online and in print (in the A1 section, no less). Miami bureau chief Lizette Alvarez wrote about how the Twitter feed offers up "a composite of Florida’s nuttiness unspooled, tweet by tweet" and explores the reasons that Florida Man (and Woman) seem so much more bizarre than, say, Texas Man or California Man (both of whom also have Twitter feeds, but neither of which is very popular). Is it the heat? Is it Spring Break? She interviews writers Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen (everybody's go-to guy for observations about wacky Florida stuff), who tells her that writing about the infamous antics of Florida residents getting into trouble is "not just shooting fish in a barrel, but shooting mutated, deranged, slow-moving fish.” She also talks to filmmaker Billy Corben, who tells her that Florida is "akin to a TV dinner, where sometimes the peas spill over into the mashed potatoes.”

The observations from Barry, Hiaasen and Corben are typical, and the story is nothing we haven't read before. But Alvarez did reveal one thing we didn't know about @_FloridaMan: The feed's profile photo is not actually that of a Florida man. It's a photo of somebody from Indiana. 

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