Viral

Everyone’s Making The Same ‘Parks And Recreation’ Joke About A Viral Clip Of Floridians Angry About Masks

On Wednesday, over three months after much of the nation went into quarantine to slow the coronavirus pandemic, America somehow hit a new milestone, reaching its second highest single-day total yet, with 36,000 newly confirmed cases. On the same day a CNN clip went viral, showing denizens of Florida, source of one of the country’s largest new spikes, furiously — and surreally — railing against a new rule that makes masks mandatory. It looked like something out of a too-on-the-nose satirical comedy. Indeed, many on Twitter thought it in particular looked like it was right out of Parks and Recreation.

The beloved NBC show was set in Pawnee, Indiana, an idyllic small town with goofy but competent, even inspiring government officials — who, alas, lorded over a town of eccentrics who loved to voice their out-there gripes at raucous town hall meetings. Perhaps the most famous of these — and there were many — featured Patton Oswalt as a Pawnee-ian who filibusters by talking endlessly about Star Wars.

But truth is stranger than fiction. After a vote to make masks mandatory, residents of Palm Beach County attended a commissioner’s meeting, where they let their elected officials have a piece of their minds. Alas, their minds let them say, in public, with cameras rolling, things like masks are “literally killing people” (they aren’t), referred to “the devil’s laws,” even said “they want to throw God’s wonderful breathing system out the door.” One woman accused officials of having false credentials, “I would ask suggestively that you go back to school and get education.”

Clips of the video went viral, with many horrified about such misinformed views. A subset of these wondered if they’d wandered over from Pawnee.

Others had similar thoughts.

Some channeled specific Parks and Rec episodes.

And, of course, some singled out Oswalt’s beloved bit.

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