“Fiddle-dee-dee!” On Mobile’s Tasteless Display of Reporter Affection

It doesn’t take much these days to make a story it seems, At least this is true for those willing to consume their bait fish hook-line-and-sinker, just because you’re a potential mayor or Business Insider. Speaking of Business Insider, Deputy Editor Julie Zeveloff was flown off to misty Mobile the other day just so a would-be mayor could emboss a political campaign – oh, but ostensibly too, to polish the tarnish off the great southern city’s name!

Courtesy of the Sandy Stimpson Facebook profile

Courtesy of the Sandy Stimpson Facebook profile

As if anyone who ever visited Mobile cared what the Business Insider, or Gallup for the matter, had to say about one of the south’s most charming places. Okay, I am from the South, and lived in Mobile for a spell too. BUT, I also wrote for Mashable once, and when old Pete Cashmore ran the show back when… Well, Pete invented what they now call “munch-able bites” of information. A blurb and some coolness attached, a dash of influence peddling and… That’s all fodder for me techie memoirs, but this latest BI bit is pretty hokey pokey in this southern belle’s book.

So the story goes, a Zeveloff story, “The 11 Most Miserable Cities In America”, this prompted mayoral candidate Sandy Stimpson to beckon the well storied BI editor down South for a dose of hospitality. The whole affair is sort of vintage Mashable, a little bit of teenage cutesy mixed in with the near perfect “good ole’ boy” attitude of Stimpson, who snatches up Zeveloff’s tab as fast as a South Georgia redneck can say “gotcha”, right after blasting a 60 pound deer with an elephant rifle.

The ladies dressed in costumes, pretty deserves better - courtesy the future mayor's Facebook

The ladies dressed in costumes, pretty deserves better – courtesy the future mayor’s Facebook

Sorry, I do love my southern sheep roots and ballistic coefficients too, but big yeller dresses’n petticoats’n all – this video pretty much paint Mobile as some sort of Yeehaah! home of futility and inbreeding for me. I know that’s not exactly the best PR in the world, but honesty is the best policy. Megan Willet’s coverage of the boss’ coverage, of Mobile’s “downright quaintness”, AWWWW, it just makes a sophisticated Seattle type up yonder want to chuckle, don’t it?

Milking it for all it is worth, the “true southern style” these folks speak of is about as far away from flowerdy and puffy parasols as these gals can imagine. But maybe that’s a generational thing, rather than some cultural or other norm? The coverage below from Local 15 reporter Derrick Rose, says more than I can even begin to utter.

Venture over to the Sandyformayor.com site and see more cliche southern icons bloom too. Anyhow, it could just be the guy is the best candidate for the job down there on the bay, it just could be. At least there’s the effort. It’s just the corny and syrupy inaccurate “charm” these folks speak of. Scarlett O’Hara is certainly rolling over in her plot over this one (hey, don’t mess with me, my Mom’s owners were at the premier).

Lovely girls are lovely girls. Mobile certainly has its share of these too. I would be no true southerner though, if I called the dresses at top anything more than cartoon representations of a South so long idealized (more bluntly clown outfits). Baaaah-ut the fear here is, the beautiful ladies who attend the Cape Fear Confederate Ball Susan Taylor) night hastily turn their petticoats to such uniformly clad impostors. As charming as Mobile’s ladies surely are, I am a bit surprised more protests a la Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind were not loudly heard.

Photo by Millie Maready, 2012

Photo by Millie Maready, 2012

Look, if we’re going to do sound bites for reporting, or campaign as progressive on the force of being “old cool” like Sandy seems intent on – let’s at least look the part. A twenty second Google search turned up this Pinterest board of wonderful Southern Belle attire. Can you detect any differences from the Mobile gals’ garb?

Hey Sandi, how bout you fly me and my bosses (herders) down to Mobile for some high end southern charm lessons?

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