Unleashing Florida Pulp Nonfiction
The dashboard thing on the New Times' archaic blogging system shows me sites that link to the Pulp and one yesterday was the Florida, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Caucus. They ran the You Have the Right To Remain Absolutely Fabulous post in its entirety -- only with one major difference. They switched out the photo at right for this more sedate one.
It reminded me that an editor at a local publication privately -- and lightly -- chided me earlier this week for running the original photograph in the first place. Said it was a "promotion of inaccurate gay stereotypes."
Maybe so. I'm not going to lie and say I had no idea that a few people might find if offensive when I put it up there. But I felt I had to stick to my own principles, one being that things that are funnier than hell must trump taste and sensitivity every single time.
But hey, I support gay marriage, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is it's the only decent position to take ("civil union" is a copout, my Democratic blowhard brothers). These holy rollers ought to be for it, too. I mean, they're always carping that gays are deviants who will fornicate with anything, anytime, anywhere. So what are they afraid of with this marriage thing? That gays and lesbians might become more respectable?
Yes, precisely. The idea of normalizing homosexuality scares the bejesus out of the Christian Coalition, even though marriage and other advancements, like, say, shared health benefits, would ultimately lead to more conformity -- and, yes, even conservatism -- in the gay community.
It really ought to be the other way around. Republicans should demand that gays get married and, dammit, stay married. And the Democrats ought to be against it, if covertly, for sheer realpolitikal reasons. Once gays get all the rights and privileges of everyone else, they won't need the Democrats anymore. If they are kept marginalized, however, they'll be in the Donkeys' corner forever. (Cue diabolical laughter).
One more thing: Why the hell are "bisexuals" recognized in the title of that caucus? I understand transgendereds being rep'd officially, since they are a bonafide brand of wingnut. But bisexuals? What the hell kind of laws are they trying to get passed? The right to walk down the middle of the road?
This, people, is the 100th Pulp post on the New Times site. And, you know, it only feels like 97 or 98. So what better time to unveil Pulp, The Book. Florida Pulp Nonfictionstill hasn't been released, but you can have a copy shipped to you now if you click here. Florida Pulp is sort of the like this blog, only with solid research, good writing, and some semblance of professionalism. I'm not going to hawk FPN too hard here. Suffice it to say that I think every Floridian should keep a copy in their homes, preferably by the toilet. It's a great read for the crapper. That is my only guarantee.
So what is it? Florida Pulp is full of sex, drugs, violence, and soccer moms. And I ask you, what else worthwhile is there in life? In it, there is Georgia Roberts, the accused stalker of WPLG anchor Kristi Krueger who shot her high school's homecoming queen. There's a haunting tale about serial killer Lucious Boyd and the horrific shortcomings by not only a very bad Broward Sheriff's Office deputy but the entire justice system. The Coral Springs Police Department comes in for a beating for its handling of the deaths of a couple involving enough cocaine to kill a water buffalo. Can't forget the definitive story of the downfall of legal lion F. Lee Bailey. Local P.I. extraordinaire Max Caulfield pays a visit, as does September 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta, who never should have slipped past the feds at Miami International Airport. And then there's Frank Lee Smith, one of the great failures in a long line of great failures by State Attorney Michael Satz.
The great Joe McGinniss, author of The Selling of the President 1968 and Fatal Vision, calls Florida Pulp a "precise, illuminating, and often wildly funny look inside 21st Century Florida." And bestselling true crime writer Aphrodite Jones (whose work was the basis for the movie Boys Don't Cry) wrote that it was a "shocking portrait of the streets and beaches of our American paradies" that left her "spellbound." A few other authors -- A.J. Langguth and homies Sean Rowe (Fever) and Robert Andrew Powell (We Own This Game) -- were also kind enough to say some nice things.
The book would never have happened without the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, which financed the venture as part of a journalism award. All I had to do was put together the best damn crime stories (period) and rework them a bit. I call it the writer's cut. I also updated each story and added introductions. And I name numerous reporters in the Acknowledgements, including many who surely read of this blog. It was a strange, spontaneous thing I did before sending the final draft into the publisher. Click here to check out the list.
You can get it on Amazon (and a few strange folk, according to the ranking, already have) but it's cheaper to order here.