Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, August 29, 2021

I moved out of Florida nearly four years ago. It took a Great Recession for others to follow: The Sunshine State lost 58,000 in population last year, the first non-wartime drop in more than a century.

“It’s dramatic,” said Stanley K. Smith, an economics professor at the University of Florida who compiled the report. “You have a state that was booming and has been a leader in population growth for the last 100 years that suddenly has seen a substantial shift.”

The loss is more than a data point. Growth gave Florida its notorious flip-flop and flower-print swagger. Life could be carefree under the sun because, as a famous state tourism advertisement put it in 1986, “The rules are different here.”

But what if they are not? Or if those Florida rules — an approach that made growth paramount in the state’s sales pitch, self-image and revenue structure — no longer apply?

“It’s got to be a real psychological blow,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who predicted that census data in December would confirm the findings. “I don’t know if you can take a whole state to a psychiatrist, but the whole Florida economy was based on migration flows.”

All that sounds like gloating from the North, the main source of Florida’s former 1,100-per-day new-resident influx. But the mindset is certainly real. Attractions like a low tax rate, non-wintry weather, and cheap land have kept folks flocking to the peninsula for decades; the housing meltdown and lack of a truly diversified economy show how fragile the state’s foundations are.

I’m sure the trend will reverse again, as early as next year. But for now, I’ll take smug satisfaction in having been ahead of the curve.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/29/2009 05:00:01 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Society
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swatch dogs and diet coke heads
Deeming that the ghosts of Westerberg High have lain dormant long enough, a modern-day, small-screen remake is being planned for the ’80s dark satire Heathers.

I think this nerdy bird’s reaction sums it up best:

Fox is planning a “contemporary take” of Heathers for television. I’d throw up but bulimia’s so ‘87.

As cherished as the original is, there’s no ignoring its extreme datedness today. Look-and-feel is easily overlooked in a period piece, but the movie’s overall low-budget quality isn’t: The cheesy synthesizer soundtrack, bad cinematography, and shaky plot points stick out like sore thumbs. Still, the whole wound up being greater than the parts, and any attempted redo — especially as an instantly-disposable TV movie or series — is ill-advised.

Easy prediction: The rebooted Veronica character chronicles her torments not in a hard-copy diary, but on her (”real”) Facebook page. Or is Twitter more optimal for teen-angst bullshit with a body count?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/29/2009 02:52:17 PM
Category: Movies, Pop Culture, TV
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