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3/24/2010

Columns > Happytown

Happytown

 

What’s more dangerous to the 3,000 quickly aging orphans tied up in Florida’s adoption web: Bubba’s unlocked guns or same-sex couples with disposable incomes? That’s the question that had a surprise airing March 16 in Tallahassee.

The National Rifle Association has been pulling out its guns to force HB 315/SB 530, a kid-friendly piece of legislation that “prohibits [any] adoption agency or entity from making suitability determinations based on, requiring disclosure relating to, or restricting lawful possession, storage, or use of firearm or ammunition.” The NRA, notably, is a big bully of a lobby, so even Democrats jumped on board through its committee life; the bill passed the House unanimously with 112 votes on Thursday and is now headed to the Senate for the same.

How do the gays fit into this? Well, our progressive state representative, Scott Randolph (not gay!), D-Orlando, seized on the opportunity of any adoption bill being thrown to the floor for debate, and introduced an amendment that would piggyback on the wingnuts’ trigger-happy tendencies with a bit of queer love.

“This bill and this amendment point out that government should not ask irrelevant questions in the adoption process which tell us nothing about a person’s ability to provide a permanent and loving home,” he told the floor. Gays are just like guns!

Anyway, Randolph went on to pull at the purse strings, saying that the state’s 33-year-old ban on gay adoption is presently costing the state $2.5 million a year “in an era of very tight budgets.”

House Rules Chair Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, threw a fit, and refused to even allow the concept to enter the realm of a possible up-or-down vote. The Florida Family Association’s executive director, David Caton, caught wind of it late and issued an S.O.S. railing against this surprise “pro-homosexual legislation.” The moral majority shuddered. Could it really be this easy to undermine them?

Of course not.

Randolph, having proved his point to the rousing cheers of equality activists in the room, withdrew the amendment. But not before shooting off one more flare.

“Even those who voted for [the gay adoption] ban more than three decades ago say they were caught up in the hysteria of the time and regret passing the legislation,” he said. “I hope there is a day very soon when this body will truly debate this issue. But, unfortunately, that’s not today.”

How’d we miss this? While we were busy rambling on (and on) about the discord between the local performing arts and the upcoming performing arts center (see “Keeping up appearances,” page 12), we stumbled upon a little “where are they now?” nugget that we never could have seen coming.

See, as synergy would have it, our tobacco-spitting sister city San Antonio, the home of our slutty twin-sister publication the San Antonio Current, is also going through the motions of revitalizing both its downtown and its arts community – at the very same time! – with an exciting “world-class” pin-drop palace of their own. Expected to open in 2013, the Bexar County Performing Arts Center is set to be the new home for the San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Opera and Ballet San Antonio, which used to be exactly what the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts was going to do here. Also of note, the San Antonio performing arts project is a much more modest refurb of their old Municipal Auditorium, meaning that it will only cost $100 million in tax funds and $32 million in private funding. Our slutty sister is smarter than us.

But we have something on her, too. We just uncovered a San Antonio Business Journal story from January that started with this sentence, “James Ireland will be the new director of development for the San Antonio Opera.” You might recall Jim Ireland as the president and chief executive officer who bankrupted the Orlando Opera Company last April (see “The opera is dead, long live the opera,” Sept. 9, 2009). You might also recall the hijinks that followed his stepping down, most notably the series of e-mails the old opera board sent around asking for money to send this great man on a motherfucking cruise (see “No refunds,” June 25, 2009). Well, from what we hear, Ireland has his Central Florida house on the market, and is now in line to boost the financially struggling San Antonio Opera into its future home with the very same financial skills that made him such a hero for the arts here. One former opera employee texted us upon hearing the news, simply typing “dead in a year.” Sorry ‘bout your luck, sis.

Rielle Hunter has been spread all over the news lately – the mistress and probable baby-mama of John Edwards posed for shots in GQ Magazine, then went on TV sobbing that she thought they were photographing her face.

Rielle started life down here as Lisa Jo Druck, born in Fort Lauderdale but growing up in Ocala. The Ugly Druckling is the spawn of James Druck, hotshot insurance lawyer and owner of show horse Henry the Hawk, which teenage Lisa rode. In 1982 Henry mysteriously died, and James Druck collected the $150,000 insurance. But an FBI informant later said Lisa’s dad planned the whole thing, and was thus a key figure in the long-running scandal that cashed in numerous show horses for insurance. James Druck was under investigation when he died in 1990, but li’l Lisa went on to become the inspiration for slutty New York party-girl characters in several novels. A marriage, a divorce and a name change later, she was ready to get down and dirty with John-boy. Everybody loves a happy ending.

Not a day goes by in which someone doesn’t ask, “Hey, Happytown™, whatever happened to that Ask Ian the I.T. Guy? He sure had a nice ponytail.” In an effort to satiate Orlando’s thirst for information on our former I.T. guru and columnist, Ian Monroe, we tracked down the man himself and found him with a newly minted degree from the Medill School of Journalism in Chicago and, more exciting still, a new book! It’s called The ____ of _____ by Means of Natural _____, which probably needs a tiny bit of explanation.

See, Monroe, ever the intellectual prankster, “cleaned up” Charles Darwin’s masterwork, The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, for evangelical Christians by redacting every word in Darwin’s book not also found in the Bible. Now even Baptists can read about evolution without risking their immortal soul! Thanks Ian!

Here’s our tiny little interview with Monroe. For more information on the book check his website at www.ianmonroe.com.

Happytown™: Aren’t you making fun of Jesus and thus risking eternal damnation?

Monroe: On the contrary, Jesus is never mentioned in the Origin of Species. If he were, I assure you, he would retain his rightful place as lord of lords within my King James Version as well.

Happytown™: Is it possible to still glean important concepts from Darwin’s work after running it through your Jesus sieve?

Monroe: Not really, no. It’s pretty unreadable. However, I did learn some interesting things about the Bible while I was working on it. For instance, did you know that unicorns are mentioned in the Bible twice? That makes them more real than the entire continent of South America, which didn’t even appear once.

Happytown™: Are you planning to do the same for other great works of science?

Monroe: Darwin was particularly well-suited to analysis through a biblically correct lens; I imagine that most modern science would yield even more redactions. However, I invite readers to “correct” their own texts with the interactive Bible masher on my website, ianmonroe.com/bibleizer/.

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