Maybe we are being selfish. Maybe you could pave this whole state and it'd still be better than Cleveland in the Winter, but that doesn't give you the right to destroy my home.
Aaaaa?Carl Hiaasen

Fuck Mickey Mouse. Fuck Mickey Mouse up the ass with a rubber dildo until he bleeds.
Aaaaa?George Carlin

Before I begin answering Tyler Haggard's request for an anti-Orlando piece, I want to clear something up right now: I love Florida. A lot of people don't love Florida. They come down here from somewhere else and then complain that Florida people don't behave exactly like they do up north, which makes only slightly less sense than actually living up north. But I digress. Anyway, let me name some of the places I've been in Florida.

I've been to the Keys, including No Name Key, Key West, and Big Pine Key. I've been to Miami, including Key Biscayne, South Beach and Liberty City. I've been to Panama City, Destin, Ft. Desoto, Ft. Myers, Naples, Sarasota, Ten Thousand Islands, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Daytona, Deltona, Sanford, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Plant City, Tampa, Venice, Lakeland and, last and most definitely least, Orlando.

Now, people like Mr. Haggard will tell you that Orlando is awesome because they come and visit and have so much fun there. And I am not denying that amusement parks can be fun. They can be. I have been to both Disney World and Universal Studios and I admit that I had a good time. And there are a few other things I like about Orlando, such as the radio stations and? okay so that's it.

But to get a little deep here, the fact of the matter is, in the grand scheme of things, life experiences are supposed to change us to some degree. And the thing of it is, purchased experiences don't really count. The fun you derive from strapping yourself into a rollercoaster car and flinging yourself down a track after forty minutes in line does nothing to affect your psyche. It, simply put, does not count.

Not that there's anything wrong with those experiences. Everyone's entitled to a few purchased experiences. Hell, that's why God invented hookers.

And I have nothing against Walt Disney. Not only was he a badass millionaire who invented a business that eventually took over a huge chunk of the landscape of modern media, but he was also dishonorably discharged from the military for smoking pot and used to keep his dishonorable discharge framed, upside down and on the back wall of his office for all to see (including the viewers of the Walt Disney Show). That's bad to the motherhumping ass right there and I can respect that.

But Uncle Walt died three years before the completion of Disney World and his heirs got greedy and cruel. Their construction trucked much of the land near the Disney World site, which they bought on the cheap and then sold to their future employees, resulting in guaranteed sales and what we call synergy, which is cool, but a lot of good people got screwed.

Disney World owns Orlando, much in the way that Coke owns Atlanta and Anheuser Busch owns St. Louis, only to about three and six times the respective degrees. The Mouse monopolizes everything: from their spring training deal with the Braves, (which resulted in the most synthetic spring training experience I have ever been a part of) to their ridiculously subdued Church Street District, which reminds you that life in Orlando is nothing but strip malls and chain restaurants. There's no character in Orlando, except for Mickey Mouse and Company, and that just doesn't fucking cut it. But that's the way Disney wants it so that's what the people get.

And UCF. Don't get me started on those jealous cocksuckers.

Much like Vegas, the architecture in Orlando has no rhyme or reason. Unlike Vegas, the architecture in Orlando is not impressive. The entire town looks like some giant, sick, consumption monster walked around eating grassland and throwing up strip malls, hotels and chain restaurants. The skyline makes me want to murder Huey, Dewey and Louie (Okay, not Louie?he was cool). And the traffic makes me question my Faith.

And look, it's not that Orlando is a bad place to be. I can see how someone could come to like it if they were visiting from Cleveland or Durham or somewhere. I could see how they could enjoy the weather and the entertainment and all that, I do. Really I do. But the fact of the matter is that there are about a million better places to hang in Florida and only eight hundred thousand (give or take a few) of them are inherently risky. This state is a lot of fun.

If someone told me to make them a list of places to see in Florida, it would be as follows:

Key West (and the surrounding Keys)
The Miami Area (including South Beach and Key Biscayne)
Tampa Bay (including Clearwater and beaches, St. Petersburg and surrounding beaches, Sarasota, specifically Ledo Beach and Siesta Key, and of course, Ybor City)
St. Augustine (stop into Jacksonville if you get really bored)
Daytona (and surrounding areas)
Destin (for the beaches)
Fort Myers (for the weather)
Everglades National Park
Panama City (has a few fun parts and laid back people)
Orlando (if and only if you didn't have to pay for it)

Now, maybe that is a sliding scale. Maybe Orlando is awesome to the non-Floridian observer. But I mean, you're already coming here anyway. Wouldn't you want to spend your time at a place that wasn't sponsored by a brainwashing corporation, created by corporatism, ugly as a three toothed whore and congested to boot? I know I would.

That's why, Haggard family, I recommend next year you try Ledo Beach in Sarasota, or Siesta Key, or Sanibel Island, or Destin, or Panama City, or Miami, or the Keys, or you know? anywhere else really.