From the archives: Memorable Orlando stories from 1999-2014

From the archives: Memorable Orlando stories from 1999-2014

March 2-8, 2000

To anyone who really wants either a long or lucrative Disney career (something I will never have), here is my advice: Never stand up for your rights; don't worry about your skills or talent; simply get to know the right people; and for goodness' sake, never, ever tell the truth. – Al Krulick, "A serf exiled from Mouse monarchy," Real Politics

July 5-11, 2001

NSync have fallen prey to the evil of irony, titling their current single "Pop" and its host album Celebrity (perhaps in a vain attempt at social criticism for dummies). "It's just about respect," rasps former fruit-filing Justin Timberlake. 

No, it's not. It's about breakfast cakes. 

Two weeks after Pop Tarts sponsored the Backstreet Boys' Black and Blue nightmare at T.D. Waterhouse Centre, in came Pillsbury, plugging its softer, gentler Toaster Strudel in a ploy for their own teen-market share. What's more, they called their recent concert Strudelpalooza. 

Oh, heartburn. – Billy Manes, "Warmed over," The B List

April 2-8, 2003

You gotta hand it to the brave men and women collectively known as the House Republicans.

A month after erasing the word "French" from the House cafeteria; a couple of days after floating the idea of digging up the red, white and blue remains of Americans buried in the dishonorable soil of France; and less than 24 hours after the bombs began falling on Baghdad, our proud leaders drafted a resolution "recognizing the public need for fasting and prayer in order to secure the blessings and protection of Providence for the people of the United States and our Armed Forces during the conflict with Iraq ..." (The Senate passed a similar resolution via voice vote a week earlier.)

House Resolution 153 passed 346-49. (Twenty-three tough-minded lawmakers answered "present," 16 didn't vote).

In these troubled times, who would reject a formal appeal to God, especially when proffered from such a divinely inspired body of public officials? – Jeffrey C. Billman, "Dear God, please help us smite the Iraqis" 

July 29-Aug. 4, 2004

Despite 2,000 complaints to state investigators alleging that the modeling company [Lou] Pearlman owned from September 2002 to October 2003 was a scam, the state attorney general's office decided the case wasn't worth pursuing. (Recall that Pearlman publicly, and vehemently, distanced himself from the companies in question by suing dozens of Options Talent consultants and employees for $100 million, alleging they misled him during negotiations for Pearlman's takeover. That got him a big headline in the Sentinel. What the paper didn't report was that Pearlman dropped the suit in April.)

But Pearlman isn't satisfied. Perhaps pissed off at the months of bad press, Pearlman's newest offering, Fashion Rock LLC, has gone on the offensive, inundating his critics with lawsuits. On June 4, Fashion Rock, which sells weekend conventions to wannabe actors and models for $1,500 a pop, filed a lawsuit against 200-plus named and unnamed detractors and 50 unnamed companies. He's alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, misappropriation of trade secrets, civil conspiracy and racketeering. – Jeffrey C. Billman, "Pearlman's jihad," Slug

Oct. 19-25, 2011

Just as thousands have been doing in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park since September, those who are part of Occupy Orlando are laying claim to public space to protest economic inequality in the United States. In Orlando, Senator Beth Johnson Park was chosen because of its proximity to the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, which has been singled out for special opprobrium by leftists because it lobbies for business-friendly legislation – a term associated with corporate tax loopholes and stripped-down worker protections.

After a sizable march kicked off the occupation on Oct. 15, Doug Head, former Orange County Democratic Executive Committee chair, accused the chamber of "indoctrinating" potential political candidates through its Leadership Orlando program. "They all get trained, in that building, on how to screw you," he told the crowd during Saturday's protest. The chamber's director of communications and president of Leadership Orlando, Ruth Mustian, could not be reached for comment. – Jeff Gore, "The long haul"

Feb. 27-March 5, 2013

Long after the public figures stopped showing up in Sanford and the crowds of protesters dispersed, local groups and supporters keep [Trayvon] Martin's memory alive. On Feb. 5, 2013, Martin's birthday (he would have been 18 this year), a crowd held a subdued celebration honoring the teen in Goldsboro, a small, traditionally African-American neighborhood in Sanford. They didn't call for vengeance, they didn't cast blame and they didn't gather in anger – they called for the community to come together to combat violence. – Erin Sullivan, "Six things that have barely changed since Trayvon Martin's death"


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