Ah, Florida Man – the hero that the Sunshine States needs and deserves. He’s an enigma wrapped in mystery, a classic vigilante that plays by his own rules but may act on either side of the law. Florida Man is a general of disorder, a commander of chaos, a welcome dose of weirdness for those in far less interesting bits of North America.
But while Florida Man consistently makes headlines for his majestic feats, how much do we really know about him, this ever-changing paragon of oddity? MS-pp looks at one of 21st-century America’s most celebrated figures, knowing we can’t hope to penetrate the surface of this cultural icon.
Is it about Florida’s Sunshine Laws?
In a 2018 piece ostensibly finding root causes for the ubiquity of Florida Man, CNN.com reports cited Florida’s incredibly liberal public records system, which allows essentially every police report to be made readily available to the public – not to mention journalists, bloggers and everyone else on the interwebs.
However, some 16 other states have comparable statutes to Florida’s “Sunshine Laws”, and news outlets are hardly jampacked with stories about “Kentucky Man” or “New Hampshire Woman.” We have to believe that the intrepid Florida Man would remain devoted to his way of life even if his notoriety was only revealed through word of mouth, murmured about in mythical tones, like Batman in his earliest days on the job…
Not OK Boomers
The numbers show that some 20% of Florida’s population are those of 65 or more years old; the next closest state in the statistical measure is, predictably enough, Arizona at 17%. The Sunshine State takes in tens of thousands of retirees per year, therefore steadily increasing the inherent wealth gap further. Sometimes Florida Man needs to play a little Robin Hood to even out such inequality by, likesay, raiding the larder of a Keys mansion while in the nude, or robbing a Florida casino brandishing a small alligator. (The latter, incidentally, a great reason to maybe stick to online casino slots for Florida Players.)
Combine this wealth disparity with the effects of aging on the human brain from Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia to simple short-term memory loss plus the general drugstore party vibe in much of the state (more on this below), and that’s a potent formula to create Florida Man in many incarnations. And though Florida Man takes on various guises, his most common form is Boomer aged.
Drugs, lots and lots of drugs – or perhaps none at all
One of the founding members of the DC Comics’ Justice Society of America (precursor to the Justice League) was a dude called Hourman. Chemist Rex Tyler would pop a pill of his own devising called “Miraclo” which gave him superhuman abilities – but only for one hour.
Well, Florida Man thinks Hourman is a wuss who can’t hold his drugs. Florida Man’s own unique metahuman qualities may be unleashed through any number of chemical substances, most of which are in plentiful supply. On its own, Miami has long been a national hotspot for cocaine and XTC, while meth labs are prevalent enough to have ranked Florida no. 10 in a national study of 2018. We may also note that Florida is a top-10 state in opioid addiction, and that open-container laws for alcohol only apply to drivers.
Yet, despite the pharmaceutical cornucopia that is Florida, the state has one of America’s *lowest* drug overdose death rates. Florida Man’s got tolerance.
Amazingly enough, Florida Man’s powers sometimes manifest due to a lack of drugs. Since Florida ranks dead last in public funding for psychiatric medicine: Thus are many of the psychologically or mentally impaired are simply going without treatment and must co-exist at the extremes of society.
Just one question about Florida Man
So when does he get his movie? No matter how the production shakes out, Florida Man: The Motion Picture can’t possibly be worse than Batman v. Superman.