Some newspapers -- I'm looking north here -- are starting to take these memorial guestbook things way too far. When the Miami Herald did one for Gene Miller, it proved that these things can transcend the coverage of an event. But at the Palm Beach Post this weekend, they made one for Yovy Suarez Jimenez, the woman killed by the alligator in Sunrise. Jimenez didn't die -- or live -- in the Post's coverage area, but that didn't stop the newspaper from plugging the book on the home page of its web site. It seems exploitative — and it doesn't even seem that a single of the posters actually knew her. Worse, most of those who wandered in there seemed more intent on hawking their religion than in remembering Jimenez. "May the peace of God that passes all understanding surround you in this time of tragedy as you trust Him," one yahoo from Georgia wrote. "Commit your way to Him and trust also in Him. Blessings through Yeshua!!!" When the news came down Sunday that Daniel Wultz, the Broward boy injured in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing, had died, the Post promptly opened up another patronizing guest book. Again, Wultz lived and died well outside of the Post's coverage area. It's pretty much the same thing — strangers serving up platitudes in the face of tragedy. Only this time, God has been replaced G-d, and in one case, "Master of the Universe." Please, Post, take a rest (in peace) on the gratuitous memorials.
Sadly, neither God nor G-d could save the latest known victims of the bloody alligator uprising. Stunned state wildlife offiicials offer up excuses for the spate of deaths, but seem to have totally missed the real reasonfor the attacks.
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And the Story of the Day (yeah, I still occasionally call it) goes to Lydia Martin for her story on the Lesbian extravaganza on South Beach known as Aqua Girl. Martin digs into the event with zeal, lining up some pop-cliche opposing traits among those in attendance -- "butch/lipstick, urban gear/Birkenstocks, baby dyke/older lesbian." Okay, count me in the lipstick, urban gear, baby dyke club. Photographer Ronna Gradus seems to lean that way, as well, as the pictures from the event seem to focus in on the h0t young dyke variety. Hey, there's newspapers to sell, people.