I am not averse to giving space on my page to other people's internet efforts but there is one Key West Blog I find obnoxious not least because of it's rather unsubtle attempt to piggyback on my web page. Key West- The Conch Diary may not be plagiarism but it sure is close as a blog title and the author is no Conch. Those quibbles aside it is not a sterling literary effort ("to revisit a passion we have done") and the author has not yet apparently made the acquaintance of any photographic device to make those white pages more interesting. I like pictures, even of boring old Florida.
Cattle pen, Seminole Reservation, Everglades.
Koreshan State Park. You want characters? Check out the former Koreshans of Bonita Springs.
Roadside taco stand, Homestead. No strip malls in sight:
Thus I'd like to imagine that the two Web pages will not ever be confused. Not least because I find the tone of the Conch Diary to be decidedly off putting. It is a page that gleans its sarcasm from putting people down and not in a warmly empathetic way or a self deprecating way. Let their words speak for themselves and decide for yourself if they sound as entitled to you as they sound to me, in both content and tone:
An essay titled, obscurely, The Impossible Dream:
It seems to me if you are enough of a big shot to drive a car which needs $450 tires you are also big enough to change them when they go flat. But apparently these charmers not only can't do the basics they put down the "good old boy" truck driver who came out in the rain to help them. Then they put down the rest of Florida. Now I'm not going to say Highway 41 is a great scenic highway but if you are stupid enough to drive it without researching it first don't publish your snotty attitude where anyone who has traveled the back roads of Florida will read it. Apparently the classic Jaguar snobs have never heard of the Florida where cowboys roam, where the coolest freshwater springs bubble up and where small town America is alive and well. You won't find Labelle on Highway 41.
I'm not saying I want to live in Arcadia or Brooksville but I'm not ready to say everyone that lives there is an idiot. I like living in the Keys, anyone who reads my blog knows how grateful I am for my life here, warts and all, but I don't think Key West has any special dispensation when it comes to idiots. And some of them publish blogs...
I like the back roads of Florida and I enjoy exploring them. Sure, they are flat and tend to be straight but if that comes as a surprise to you, the idiocy is on you. Florida is a large state and with a population well above 22 million there are bound to be societal short comings. The weather is the glue that binds us together here and sunshine attracts scam artists as well as arthritics, scientists and low functioning adults.
That we seem to manage to elect public leaders with no respect for public policy doesn't help but despite that Florida has an astonishing network of state parks, thriving agriculture and enough eccentrics with money that the state is dotted with monuments to human ingenuity. But you have to know where they are and go looking for them. Cruising the strip malls will garner you a view of ...strip malls. Duh!
In the end I guess it's foolish of me to take offense when someone who clearly has no sense of adventure, no ability to look after themselves on the road and no ability to see the subtle beauties of an easily stereotyped state speaks up. Let me say this in defense of Florida, if you need rocks and mountains and sweeping panoramas presented in front of you to be able to see beauty, stay away from Florida, including Key West where, believe me, idiocy is not hard to find if you are allergic to idiots.
I don't think snobbery does Key West any honor either. Rant over. I like Florida. So sue me.