Monday, 1 March 2010
State by State. Part 2: Missives on Montana to Wyoming
The home of the boob, 90% of all little people here are fed on the tit, not formula. Must make good warriors, no state contributes more soldiers per capita than Montana. Gave us Evel Knievel and the 17th Amendment. God Bless the Treasure State!
A state to travel through, going east or west, a half-way house, it just goes on and on and on...Practical, polite, respectful, conservative and plain; Republicans to an extreme but never extreme Republicans.
72% of Nevada was born outside of Nevada. My question is: why the fuck come to Nevada? Since 1950 no state has seen its population increase quicker or by such a huge margin. There can only be one answer: Las Vegas. I've been there and it is not my kind of town.
The roller coaster capital of America! The state that gave us the best fictional President of all time. It is the wilderness next door to Massachusetts, where conservations go something like this:
(A New Hampshire graveyard has to be moved, one of the occupants had been buried there for seventy years, the grand-nephew was present at the exhumation)
"Were you thar?"
"How was the box?"
"Purty nigh gone."
"D'ja look in?"
"How was Uncle John?"
What is it with the New thing? Big lover of roller coasters but warring with arch rival New York to spend more on education than they do, NY is winning, as it does with most things as it looms over NJ like an annoying and better looking younger brother. Has no state song, famous New Jerseyite Bruce Springsteen's epic "Born to Run" was suggested but then it was pointed out that song is about getting the fuck out of New Jersey. New Jersey is a punchline to more jokes than any other state and I've been there so can vouch for that.
I've been there. Named after Mexico. Not a big fan of health insurance here. They test nuclear weapons, aliens and military technology in this state because they can.
Where to begin? Thinks it is the best, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. A mythical land. Obviously, I have been here but all over, not just some New York City whore. The least suicidal state of all. Can you believe it? No state spends more on education but New Yorkers spend more time commuting to work than any other, on average 40 minutes. If you're born in New York, you stay there, unbelievably, other Americans do not seem to want to go live there but if you're not American, it is a Mecca and nearly as foreign as California but not quite. Unbelievable.
I've been there and why you may ask? I was passing and it was pretty. The pig capital of America, or hogs as they like to call them. There are more pigs in North Carolina than humans and it is the state that lays claim to inventing barbecue. As Winston Churchill said: "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."
Smile. Be Polite. Say Thanks. Be Nice.
They like to drink round these parts but not lock folks up, safest state apart from Maine, also the most religious, with a tiny 2% claiming atheism as their own. America's shortest commute, 15 mins, give or take. The most Native American of all the states.
Mythically flat. Actually more bumpy. Not technically Mid-Western, more Mid-North-Central or West-of-Eastern/East-of-Western/North-of-Southern/Mid-Rustbelt-ish. Has contributed more Presidents than any other state, all of them were pretty crap.
People cannot stay married here, more divorces than any other state. Maybe something to do with the sheer variety and ferocity of weather here, a place where meteorologists are Gods in a land of extreme heat, cold, floods, droughts and of course...twisters.
As with other liberal states, Oregon loves the boob but unfortunately, no one has any idea what Oregon actually means. Rains a lot.
I've been to the keystone state, heart of old America perhaps, the greedy old colony that it is; a nursery ground that makes good people that go elsewhere. Fear of the South which is on its doorstep hangs heavily around still, black communities combusting in its inner-cities, a state of ancient immigration becoming something else all together.
I've been there and can vouch that no one has more drive-ins or Dunkin' Donuts than these chaps. Named after the Greek island of Rhodes, as you did in those days I suppose but actually not very Greek at all. The 13th of the original 13 states and first to renounce allegiance to the King, back in 1776. A home to religious tolerance but not the bottle bill.
I have been there. It is the most violent of all the 50 states, yes, even more violent than Tennessee. South Carolina is too small to be a sovereign nation and large to be an insane asylum. A place of easy rage, recklessness and eccentricity; halfway between freedom and insanity. Charleston SC is one of the finest cities I have ever had the honour of visiting in my life.
Lowest unemployment of any state, nudging a percent. Arch rivals ND just pip them for shortest commute to work, the bastards! Good for trout fishing and Mount Rushmore.
Tee-total state? Oddly enough, not big drinkers here but love their violent crime and not voting. More bankrupts reside here than in any other state. A lot of country here and it pushes back hard against the city sprawl, a powerful root system that goes very deep. Apt, considering the state is a tranche of rich, deep soil sitting beneath hot, humid weather...things grow well and deep here.
Honk if you hate Texas? I've been there. It is big. Health insurance? What health insurance? Only freakishly young Utah is younger than Texas, where they are also very big fans of sex and having babies. Never mind Texas seceding from the Union, Austin might secede from Texas. Car ownership compulsory. Don't mess with Texas.
Winning war of non-smokers versus California, just, spends the smallest amount on education than any other state but who needs books when you've got the Latter Day Saint scam...sorry...religion? Youngest state, median age of 28, some 4 years younger than the nearest: Texas. Loves sexual intercourse and babies are everywhere here, as are wives.
Who is this Jesus fella? 23% of Vermont is atheist. Babies are also off the agenda, only 10 born per 1,000 people, state has a French name which must have been difficult during the Bush-idiot years. Lots of hills.
I've been there, to the old core of America, the Old Dominion. Like New Jersey it has no state song, for what tune could encompass the long history and epic narrative that is Virginia? Steeped in gore and tobacco, plenty dead are under your feet here, even after the state has had so many chunks taken out of it to make other states up.
Atheism is God here, if you know what I mean. A liberal state where people come to disappear and get away from the rest of America. Grunge was formulated under the trees, wilderness and rain, hence the practical work wear in adverse weather conditions.
I've been there. They like a smoke. Fattest state in all of Americadom (what an honour!) with 63% obesity, also the worst teeth, the poor bastards. Actually West Virginians are also nearly the poorest too. But how come they live so fucking long? "You're not from round here are you?" was coined in WV, where only 1% of the population is foreign born. Only state in the last 60 years to see its population go down by a huge 10%. May soon be empty.
America's top drinkers with 22% of population taking part in serious booze sessions, this also goes hand in hand with huge voter turn out. Worried? You should be.
Consumes more petrol than any other state, it is after all a big place where hardly anyone lives, humans just outnumber antelope in the least populated state by a royal mile and very square, in every sense of the word.
A good place to end actually because years ago, back in 2006, I did an Internet experiment about Wyoming, something called the Wyoming Project, inspired by Dick Cheney and how empty the state was.
The findings of the Wyoming Project are here and here, it was great fun, a nice little blog mission that I undertook some time ago that has kinda come full circle.