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August 20, 2013 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Which US State is the most overrated? Which would you like to see kicked out of America? Which has the weirdest accent? Which has the best food? Business Insider polls Americans across the country on important questions like these and maps the results.

Bonus: What do Europeans think about other European countries?
posted by Solon and Thanks (210 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Business Insider polls Americans across the country on important questions like these and maps the results.

Bless their heart.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:04 AM on August 20, 2013 [16 favorites]


Kansas has the worst scenery.

Hey now!

*Looks out a window*

...you don't like cows and fields? Carry on.
posted by RainyJay at 9:06 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I wonder what most people are categorizing as "weird accents"? None of the winning states seem at all weird to me. Some regional accents are mildly difficult to decipher, but that doesn't make them "weird".
posted by elizardbits at 9:06 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like the Colorado/Kansas thing is driven by conveniently forgetting that the eastern portion of Colorado looks equally as desolate as the Western half of Kansas and you don't want to drive through either. But Colorado has the mountains, which is all everyone remembers, and while I like the Flint Hills, there ain't much else to look at while you're driving on I-70.

That said, of Iowa-Nebraska-Kansas-Missouri, Iowa seems to me to have the prettiest countryside and I have no idea why.
posted by dismas at 9:09 AM on August 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


There's a reason they're called flyover states.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:09 AM on August 20, 2013


So those of us who hail from them can recognize jerks easily?
posted by dismas at 9:10 AM on August 20, 2013 [60 favorites]


Kansas has the worst scenery.

Honestly, I think there is a difference between "worst scenery" and "no scenery."

I am also disappointed that Rhode Island didn't score at all. The accents here are at least as weird as the Bay State's, and they have the "endearing" trait of changing slightly every 10 5 miles. It's uncanny.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:10 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Needs some form of normalisation of the data for an accurate response.
posted by koolkat at 9:11 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Elizardbits: IDK I'd have pinpointed Boston and Minn as the weirdest American accents. But then again, I'm from the south.

So California is both the most favorite, the most crazy, and the sexiest, and New York is arrogant and rude but our food is awesome. And we have the best sports fans and worst sports fans.

It's not a huge shock, but it is pretty dramatic to see how many of our 50 states just... don't even have enough stereotypes, positive or negative, to place in a poll like this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:11 AM on August 20, 2013


Least favorite is Texas? I mean, I get it, Texans are still a cliche, but the state itself is nowhere near the worst.
posted by mattbucher at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some regional accents are mildly difficult to decipher, but that doesn't make them "weird".

As someone who deeply loves his inlaws, Massachusettes accents are in fact almost deliberately weird.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems like each set of answers for this is either: California/Florida/Texas/New York/Massachusetts or Alabama/Mississippi/West Virgina/Kansas, +/- a few distinct answers like Minnesota for accents.
posted by kiltedtaco at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


PS: This seems as good a time as any to share Stupid Texas Song, which was originally shown to me by a Texan. She said it was pretty accurate.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:13 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


New York is arrogant and rude but our food is awesome. And we have the best sports fans and worst sports fans.

New Yorkers are pretty self-obsessed. They probably skewed the results by voting multiple times, for and against themselves.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:14 AM on August 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


The only accent on earth that I can think of that I would classify as weird is prolly Afrikaans, because it's like noodles in your ear.
posted by elizardbits at 9:15 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


In summary, Texas is a land of contrasts.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:15 AM on August 20, 2013 [17 favorites]


but the state itself is nowhere near the worst

Going by state gov policy alone, Supreme Badness is an eternal battle between Texas and Florida, with up-and-comer Arizona as a strong contender.
posted by elizardbits at 9:16 AM on August 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


As a former Texan, I've got to say, Texas probably gets relentless bad press in the rest of the Union, and people probably haven't been to Austin. Or even Dallas. Because there is no way the state is THAT bad. It has a good economy, a lot of good food, some fun cowboy culture, and hey, let's not forget oil. I mean, sure, I'd rather live in California or Maine than Texas, but I'd rather live in Texas than in most of the Midwest or the South, you know?? Sheesh.
posted by quincunx at 9:16 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I figured that Vermont wouldn't be on any list, especially since the number of people who always ask what state Vermont is in when I tell them I am from Vermont. I thought that everyone learned all 50 states in like grade 4 or something.
posted by koolkat at 9:17 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Genji, They weren't supposed to vote for their own state, and like everything else on Business Insider I believe 100% in the accuracy of the information presented.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:17 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a Virginian, I don't know whether to be proud or sad that the state is white in every single one of those maps.
posted by downing street memo at 9:17 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Texas is the worst because the other terrible states don't go around yelling about how great they are. Also, I'm pretty sure Austin is not technically a part of Texas.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:18 AM on August 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


What kind of state pronounces P-e-a-b-o-d-y as PEEBIDDY. I ask you. A weird one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:18 AM on August 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


So it appears that people get most of their information from vague media stereotypes, right? Minnesota is the nicest, our accent is weird and...that's about it, because people have listened to an episode of Lake Wobegon Days and that's all they know about Minnesota (when actually we're kind of mean). Similarly, everyone knows that California girls are hot, New Yorkers are rude, and it's fun to vacation in the mountains. Also, California, New York and Texas have substantial symbolic political weight, perhaps because of their political clout and perhaps because we have all heard of them.
posted by Frowner at 9:19 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


In polls like these, they really should treat New York City as a separate entity. I have to think it wildly skews the results for New York State.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:20 AM on August 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


While this appears quite rigorous at first glance, I think a look behind the scenes at the methodology is warranted: it is impossible that New York is the state with the worst sports fans when the state of Pennsylvania contains Philadelphia. Something is afoot here.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


You haven't tasted the food in Buffalo? To die for.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a lifelong Texan, I'm not surprised everyone else hates the state and wants us gone. Hell, there are plenty of times I hate Texas too, and I live here by choice.

As got weirdest accent I'm amazed that bizarre northwestern accent Sarah Palin used didn't win. Do people from Minnesota really talk like that, or just the fringe right winners?
posted by sotonohito at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2013


Clearly, everything interesting, good or bad, is happening in New York, California, and Texas. Lots of uninteresting states on these maps.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:23 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


So it appears that people get most of their information from vague media stereotypes, right? ... Also, California, New York and Texas have substantial symbolic political weight, perhaps because of their political clout and perhaps because we have all heard of them.

When I think political weight, I think "Iowa" and "New Hampshire," and "not being able to vote for my candidate because these little states with small fractions of the population have eliminated my candidate before my state's primary." But that's just me.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:23 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I think of a "Louisiana accent"
posted by mattbucher at 9:24 AM on August 20, 2013


Wisconsin should have aced the "drunkest state" poll. I shit you not, four out of five of the top stories on the Milwaukee news last night involved DUI arrests/accidents.
posted by desjardins at 9:27 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, California, New York and Texas have substantial symbolic political weight, perhaps because of their political clout and perhaps because we have all heard of them.

Also because, between them, they command a huge number of electoral college votes.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:37 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


But that's not so much symbolic political weight as literal electoral weight.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:39 AM on August 20, 2013


So those of us who hail from them can recognize jerks easily?

As a native Oklahoman, I resemble that remark.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:39 AM on August 20, 2013


Elizardbits: IDK I'd have pinpointed Boston and Minn as the weirdest American accents. But then again, I'm from the south.

I grew up in Boston and lived in MN for 7 years and I even I agree that they're the weirdest accents.
posted by lunasol at 9:40 AM on August 20, 2013


Fat, stupid and ugly is no way to go through statehood, son
posted by Renoroc at 9:40 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maine is definitely underrated as a state. Almost bizarrely so.
posted by the painkiller at 9:41 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Minnesota is the nicest, our accent is weird and...that's about it, because people have listened to an episode of Lake Wobegon Days and that's all they know about Minnesota (when actually we're kind of mean).

Meh, no more or less than anywhere else. As a transplant living in the Twin Cities, I was struck by the friendliness and community-orientation of Minnesotans (ie, people really care about building community). There's definitely some stuff around the "fake-niceness" but that's not the same as being mean.
posted by lunasol at 9:47 AM on August 20, 2013


I would like to take this moment to point out that George W. Bush is still technically from Connecticut. Connecticut. Not like, oh, say, Michael Dell.

Thank you.
posted by quincunx at 9:47 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, Louisiana shows up on all the maps I expected.
posted by brundlefly at 9:50 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised Michigan is tinted for worst scenery. What do people think Michigan looks like?
posted by MaritaCov at 9:54 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


What do people think Michigan looks like?

Robocop.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:55 AM on August 20, 2013 [14 favorites]


and 8 mile.
posted by cmfletcher at 9:56 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am also disappointed that Rhode Island didn't score at all.

Hey, I heard of that place! It's part of New York, right? Next to Canada?
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:57 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can only surmise that Kansas was judged (like it is a lot of the time) by people who have never actually been there.

Also, I'm glad to see my state was generally white or pale coloured on every question except one.
(It's not under-rated. It's over-rated. And expensive. And it rains all the time. You'd hate it. Besides, it's full.)
posted by madajb at 9:57 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


When asked to think of states, people mostly just think of California, New York, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and Alaska, survey says.
posted by 256 at 9:58 AM on August 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Science fact, the weirdest American accent is Pittsburgh's. My friend used to be able to do one because he grew up around there but I always thought he was making it up or at least exaggerating until I heard it from a bus driver IRL. It's like all the vowels are fun-house reflections of each other.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:00 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also: people are not "picking on" New Jersey in that one. Jersey would be beautiful if it had no people in it, but...
posted by 256 at 10:00 AM on August 20, 2013


Also, it is criminal that VT is not on the best scenery list.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:03 AM on August 20, 2013


Also also: what I was really hoping for here was a series of interactive maps where you could hover over each state and see what respondents from that state had said. I'd be curious, for example, to know where Kansans think the ugliest scenery is.
posted by 256 at 10:03 AM on August 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Robocop.

and 8 mile.


Well, fine. More beaches and rivers for me!
posted by MaritaCov at 10:03 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


The South gets high marks here, potentially because the rest of the country doesn't understand that "Bless your heart" is facetious.

Ah yes, good ol' Southern weaponized civility. It's an art form unto itself, and it's nuances are vastly underappreciated.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:05 AM on August 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Everyone that hates Texas has driven across the country. That’s where my involuntary repulsion comes from. When you say "Texas" I want to throw rocks and light bails of hay on fire with torches.

This is a pretty ridiculous bunch of stereotypes though. I think all the people who vote for California, in pretty much every category, have only seen it on TV or visited Disneyland. It’s just not that freakin interesting, and pretty ugly in most spots.

When asked to think of states, people mostly just think of California, New York, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and Alaska, survey says.

When asked to think of states, most Americans think of what they’ve seen on TV and go by that.
posted by bongo_x at 10:05 AM on August 20, 2013


Science fact, the weirdest American accent is Pittsburgh's.

This is more or less true, and said population often appears to believe that having that accent is an accomplishment of such tremendous skill, bravery, and honor that it makes winning a Nobel prize look like a coloring contest for four-year-olds.

You don't know how many times I've had this explained to me.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:07 AM on August 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why am I such a sucker for this sort of listicle or bogus survey?
posted by Area Man at 10:08 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


As got weirdest accent I'm amazed that bizarre northwestern accent Sarah Palin used didn't win. Do people from Minnesota really talk like that, or just the fringe right winners?

Sarah Palin is from Alaska. Michelle Bachman is from Minnesota. I can see how this might be confusing.


Minnesotans really do talk like that, though.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:10 AM on August 20, 2013


it's

*MORTIFIED GASP*

Minnesotans also know how to use apostrophes. The edit window, not so much.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:13 AM on August 20, 2013


They're both from the North-by-Crazy-Right.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:13 AM on August 20, 2013


Sigh. Way to not surprise me, Texas.
posted by emjaybee at 10:17 AM on August 20, 2013


Why am I such a sucker for this sort of listicle or bogus survey?

It's because you live in Minnesota.
posted by dubold at 10:18 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not gonna click any links, but:

1. New York (or Texas, if you count self overratedness) is the most overrated state
2. Hawaii should be kicked out b/c they want sovereignty anyway (then let in Puerto Rico)
3. Indiana - no fucking doubt - HOOSIERS
4. New York City has the best food in the country, but California is a very good state for food.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:18 AM on August 20, 2013


Minnesotans really do talk like that, though.

Yeah?

(I know that's (supposed to be) SD ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on August 20, 2013


What do people think Michigan looks like?

Buttplug.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on August 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sarah Palin is from a part of Alaska where a bunch of Minnesotans settled in the 1930s. That's why her accent sounds so Minnesotan.

Minnesota accents are a real thing, and not some right-wing affectation. The two people I know with the strongest accents (a friend and a counsin) are actually very liberal politically.
posted by Area Man at 10:22 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


mrgrimm: "1. New York (or Texas, if you count self overratedness) is the most overrated state"

Yo come over here and say dat to my face, ya bum.
posted by zarq at 10:24 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


States are weird entities, as we've often discussed here. East and West Texas do not feel like the same state, at all. And the whole "Austin's ok" thing is overrated; it has highly visible hipsters and a somewhat liberal city government, but it's not hard to find a conservative there, even discounting the politicians.

And then there's the myth-y bit that gets trotted out for the tourists, flags and bluebonnets and state-shaped whatsits and the Alamo and staged cattle runs down the streets of Fort Worth. Most states are happy just to be states, we are always trying to prove we're better in all the ways that don't count, like BBQ competitions and high school football, instead of the ways that do, like education. Very macho and adolescent. It's the middle-school boys' locker room of America.
posted by emjaybee at 10:26 AM on August 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


Going by state gov policy alone, Supreme Badness is an eternal battle between Texas and Florida, with up-and-comer Arizona as a strong contender.

Have you been sleeping on North Carolina? Arizona is looking positively civilized next to that crazy.

Science fact, the weirdest American accent is Pittsburgh's.

That's just, like, yins opinion, man.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:26 AM on August 20, 2013


There's a reason they're called flyover states.

Because people steeped in privilege are often uninterested in the world outside their teeny tiny bubble? Just my first guess.

Also I'm convinced that a lot of the Texas hate even here on MeFi is just racism/classism, at its heart. The geographic majority of the state is Hispanic and poor. Yeah, the government is awful, but that's not representative of the values of people who actually live in the state.






Why, yes, I am an upstanding member of the Spoilsports Club, why do you ask.
posted by byanyothername at 10:28 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


So I'm smart and have a weird accent? Wicked.
posted by pentagoet at 10:31 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can get rid of 1/3 of our states and it doesn't matter which ones they are.
posted by Postroad at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also I'm convinced that a lot of the Texas hate even here on MeFi is just racism/classism, at its heart. The geographic majority of the state is Hispanic and poor. Yeah, the government is awful, but that's not representative of the values of people who actually live in the state.

Occam's Razor would suggest that a lot of the Texas hate is because the government is awful, not the people. In fact, most recent discussions here have revolved around how it sucks for Texans--especially minorities and the poor--to have to deal with the people that run Texas (politically or otherwise).
posted by zombieflanders at 10:34 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


First of all, I apologize to upstate New York for the apparent sins of us city folk. Secondly, I'm starting to think the rest of America confuses California with Los Angeles.
posted by Mooseli at 10:41 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think all the people who vote for California, in pretty much every category, have only seen it on TV or visited Disneyland. It’s just not that freakin interesting, and pretty ugly in most spots.

I'm sorry but this is one of the craziest things I have ever heard. I have lived on both coasts and travelled both nationally and internationally, and if you think California is not beautiful, I just wonder if you have eyes?

Yosemite. Lesser mountain ranges. Fucking redwoods. All of PCH. Joshua Tree and the rest of the desert. Creepy post-apocalyptic soaring interchanges. Adorable little city nooks in LA and SF. Raw, yellow hills against hard blue skies. Sweet foggy romance, with lighthouses and mournful horns. Farmlands that feed the whole nation (which I think are ugly but you know, no accounting for taste). Before it was Silicon Valley? Valley of Heart's Delight. Pretty much whatever definition you have of beautiful, California has it. Have you seen this map? You know why you can film all those countries in one state? Because it is so diverse in its beauty it can be nearly anywhere, as long as you know where to look.

There is a lot to dislike about this state, but ugliness I am just confused.
posted by dame at 10:43 AM on August 20, 2013 [32 favorites]


New Mexico not only has the best food, but we have the best Internet threads where we mention our great food and sad expats come in to say they miss green chile.
posted by NoraReed at 10:47 AM on August 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


States are weird entities, as we've often discussed here. East and West Texas do not feel like the same state, at all.

Exhibit B: Western New York and downstate New York. Two entirely different worlds.
posted by Lucinda at 10:49 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


New Orleans accents vs Cajun accent (Southwest Louisiana) vs Yat accent (Irish channel area in New Orleans)
posted by JujuB at 10:50 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Occam's Razor would suggest that a lot of the Texas hate is because the government is awful, not the people. In fact, most recent discussions here have revolved around how it sucks for Texans--especially minorities and the poor--to have to deal with the people that run Texas (politically or otherwise).

Take a look at some of the comments trashing the McAllen public library in this thread. They're pretty oblivious to the realities of the region and full of classist superiority. The posters probably don't mean to do that; I don't think there are very many people who are racist/classist on MetaFilter deliberately. But I think a lot of the cultural disdain for Texas in the US boils down to racism/classism.

People love to project Texas' awful government onto the people who actually live here, too, which I think is tangled up in the racism/classism. Even among Texans online (read: Houstonians and Austinites), I don't see a lot of sympathy for people suffering under bad government so much as contempt for people suffering under bad government.

I'm a bit of a grumpypants, though. I have a very adversarial relationship with this state. My overall attitude is less love/hate and more, "I'm not gonna let you kill me."
posted by byanyothername at 10:55 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Throw 'em ALL out and let 'em cage fight to get back in!
posted by briank at 10:57 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


The craziest state is not Florida. Interesting.
posted by cazoo at 11:03 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


States are weird entities, as we've often discussed here. East and West Texas do not feel like the same state, at all.

Exhibit C: Northern, Southern, and Central California do not feel like the same state at all either.

I have only been Rochester, Minnesota and they were not nice there. They were polite and that's about all I can say for them there.

Also, I STILL can't get past the idea that listsicles have something to do with testicles.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:04 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd've voted for Florida for craziest state, too. And I'm from California, so I know from crazy.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:05 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


we are always trying to prove we're better in all the ways that don't count, like BBQ competitions and high school football

A continual source of delight to me since we knocked the dust of D/FW from our feet is the simple fact that when we walk the dogs, we go past a high school that is bigger than its football stadium. In fact, it doesn't really have what a normal person would call a stadium, just a field and a few bleachers. Like sane people build.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:09 AM on August 20, 2013


I am also disappointed that Rhode Island didn't score at all.

Whereas I am completely unsurprised that Connecticut didn't score at all either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:13 AM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maine is definitely underrated as a state. Almost bizarrely so.

It looks like it would be a lovely maritime province. Canada would be happy to play a little moneyball.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:14 AM on August 20, 2013


Maine for Alberta?
posted by Area Man at 11:17 AM on August 20, 2013


There is a lot to dislike about this state, but ugliness I am just confused.

There are some very nice places. There are nice places in every state. It’s a really big state. In between those nice areas is a lot of area ranging from non-descript to ugly. Saying California is beautiful because it has the features you listed is like saying all of the U.S. is beautiful because it has the Grand Canyon.
posted by bongo_x at 11:17 AM on August 20, 2013


Well, anyone who says the US is ugly would have to explain the Grand Canyon though.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:20 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


*Shrugs* I'm glad I don't live there any more, but Jersey isn't half-bad.
posted by schmod at 11:21 AM on August 20, 2013


Isn't a lot of New Jersey actually nicely wooded? That's why they have all those problems with bears, right?
posted by Area Man at 11:26 AM on August 20, 2013


In between those nice areas is a lot of area ranging from non-descript to ugly.

I would say that you have this exactly backwards. The few ugly places in California are surrounded by a lot of beautiful areas.
posted by ogooglebar at 11:27 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


What do people think Michigan looks like?

Kind of like a mitten, but not as much like a mitten as Wisconsin.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:29 AM on August 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


You know what blew my mind when I moved to Texas? The wildflowers are fucking gorgeous here. Holy shit.

I think in general, people have pretty unreliable impressions of regions they've never lived in. I know I do. Every time I visit a new state or even a new region of a familiar one, I'm bowled over by little details that I never saw coming. Not "this fits the stereotype," not "this goes against the stereotype," just like "huh, I never even thought about this one way or the other." Like wildflowers. It did not occur to me to ask myself whether the sides of the highway in Texas get so pretty in early spring that you end up a little bit weepy as you drive past. Turns out they do. Awesome.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 11:30 AM on August 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


What do people think Michigan looks like?
Buttplug.
Nah. Maybe an unusually short and girthy rabbit-style vibrator?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 11:31 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess that pretty much settles "most defensive state."
posted by enn at 11:33 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


New Orleans accents vs Cajun accent (Southwest Louisiana) vs Yat accent (Irish channel area in New Orleans)

Cajun accents sound like they feel good in your mouth when you are speaking with them.
posted by elizardbits at 11:45 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yet they still call New Jersey "the Garden State".
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:46 AM on August 20, 2013


Kind of like a mitten, but not as much like a mitten as Wisconsin.

A CHICKEN MITTEN
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


dame: "Have you seen this map? You know why you can film all those countries in one state?"

Because most movie viewers haven't travelled too much?

Look, there's a lot to be said for the unique qualities of California's natural beauty (and what a diverse and awesome collection of nature for such a relatively small location!), but if you think those parts of California hold a fucking candle to the beauty of the areas they're trying to ape (SOUTH SEA ISLANDS DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED) ... yikes, dame, you and that map-maker have got to get out more.
posted by barnacles at 11:46 AM on August 20, 2013


Hey, all of the dirty jerz isn't Bayonne and Newark. The parts that are a bitch to get to on public transportation are really nice.
posted by elizardbits at 11:47 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


How are Arizona and South Carolina not craziest, hands-down?
posted by professor plum with a rope at 11:48 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


bongo_x: "This is a pretty ridiculous bunch of stereotypes though. I think all the people who vote for California, in pretty much every category, have only seen it on TV or visited Disneyland. It’s just not that freakin interesting, and pretty ugly in most spots."

what

No, seriously, what are you smoking? I have literally driven to Yosemite on a day trip from the Bay Area, but even the ugly parts of California have interesting history behind them.

Speaking as someone who's lived here since 1998 and spent a lot of time running around in both the hinterlands and the cities, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Jesus, even my daily commute has some real beauty to it, and that's a goddamned highway (280 between the Peninsula and San Francisco).
posted by scrump at 11:50 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


barnacles: you're right that the actual locations tend to be far more beautiful than the California stand-ins. But that doesn't mean (not that you said this) there are parts of California that are at least as beautiful as anywhere else. Hell, the coastal Redwood forests are almost a platonic ideal of beauty as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Justinian at 11:51 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, more excellent scholarship on public opinion from...Business Insider, and...Survey...Monkey. Hm.
posted by clockzero at 11:51 AM on August 20, 2013


bongo_x: "It’s a really big state. In between those nice areas is a lot of area ranging from non-descript to ugly. "

You have no sense of history, place, or culture, then, because those desolate areas you mention tend to have all three. Even if there's no human history, there's an entire geological history written in the land and the nature.
posted by scrump at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2013


You have no sense of history, place, or culture, then, because those desolate areas you mention tend to have all three. Even if there's no human history, there's an entire geological history written in the land and the nature.

Isn't that true of many or even most places? If know what to look for, lots of places are interesting.
posted by Area Man at 11:58 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even if there's no human history, there's an entire geological history written in the land and the nature.

That's true of literally every square foot of the planet. It doesn't, by itself, make any one place more beautiful or interesting than anywhere else.
posted by enn at 11:59 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Louisiana is drunkest? Hells yeah. i am drubk now at work.
posted by govtdrone at 11:59 AM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lots of California is indeed ugly. That's what happens when you're a big place and contain multitudes. I bet I could find some ugly parts of anywhere that's not tiny.
posted by Justinian at 12:01 PM on August 20, 2013


Related, from the same site: 22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other

I was giggling at this one until I discovered that most of you pronounce merry, marry, and Mary exactly the same way. WHAT?!
posted by inertia at 12:03 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: "Hey, all of the dirty jerz isn't Bayonne and Newark. The parts that are a bitch to get to on public transportation are really nice."

NJTransit can take you to some rather nice places.

Admittedly, this photo was taken just across the border in NY, but Jersey's got quite a bit of transit-accessible greenery. Yes, you probably need a car to do anything useful at most/all of the far-out stations, but there are huge parts of the state that are very picturesque, and the commuter rail network goes all over the place.

Similarly, quite a few of the towns on the (rail-accessible) portions of the Jersey Shore are very nice. Spring Lake is pretty much the antithesis of all of the Jersey Shore stereotypes.
posted by schmod at 12:03 PM on August 20, 2013


I've begun to realize that, far more than the sex stuff, Freud's most important contribution to psychology was the concept of the narcissism of small differences. It explains sports. It explains consumerism. And when I think about all the incentives a publication like Business Insider has to maximize small differences about our republic to distract from its real problems ... I get a little sick to my stomach.
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let us solve these matters of opinon by citing facts!
posted by dhartung at 12:15 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maine for Alberta?

No deal. Parts of Alberta have been turned into Mordor by oil sands development but quite a lot of it is rather nice. The intersection of the Rockies and the great prairie is beautiful. Both are enhanced by the contrast.

Alberta is Texas by Canadian standards, which still leaves it looking like a Communist worker's paradise by typical American standards. We consider it a right wing province, positioned as it is in roughly the same part of the political spectrum as your Democratic party.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:16 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


And when I think about all the incentives a publication like Business Insider has to maximize small differences about our republic to distract from its real problems ... I get a little sick to my stomach.

I think maybe you are taking this a little too seriously. This article has about as much sociopolitical influencing power as an average article in the NYT style section.
posted by elizardbits at 12:16 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


California is the #1 Favorite "besides their own state" (so our highest population doesn't come into play), Craziest (which I do NOT consider an insult), and Hottest residents (I'm assuming they don't mean body temp, or Arizona would be way ahead). Honorable mentions for Best Food, Beautiful Scenery, Drunkenness, Vacation Spot, Smarts and Arrogance (it's hard to be humble...) As for #1 Overrated and #2 "like to see kicked out of America", well, the masses who didn't vote for us in any other categories saw the results and thought "WTF? Get rid of them and give US a chance!" All in all, I'd say a damn fine showing; I just don't want to fight New York for Most #1's.

Northern, Southern, and Central California do not feel like the same state at all either.

And parts of Southern California do not feel like the same state.

Lots of California is indeed ugly. That's what happens when you're a big place and contain multitudes.

This state could probably divide up sensibly into 13 new colonies. I would suggest my area to be named "The Weird Al Coast". But we're weird in a good, non-Florida, way.

And in their next infographic, Business Insider challenges Buzzfeed and HuffPo for "Best LinkBait"!
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:17 PM on August 20, 2013


Whereas I am completely unsurprised that Connecticut didn't score at all either.

Shhhh, we like it quiet here!
posted by dabug at 12:18 PM on August 20, 2013


Maine is definitely underrated as a state. Almost bizarrely so.

No, no it's not. It's definitely misunderstood, but Maine's got enough bad to balance out the copipus good. There's a difference between "obscure" and "underrated," and in this case it works out in Maine's favor.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2013


"As to scenery (giving my own thought and feeling), while I know the standard claim is that Yosemite, Niagara Falls, the Upper Yellowstone and the like afford the greatest natural shows, I am not so sure but the prairies and plains, while less stunning at first sight, last longer, fill the esthetic sense fuller, precede all the rest, and make North America’s characteristic landscape.” –Walt Whitman
posted by weston at 12:21 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alberta is Texas by Canadian standards, which still leaves it looking like a Communist worker's paradise by typical American standards. We consider it a right wing province, positioned as it is in roughly the same part of the political spectrum as your Democratic party.

So adding Alberta to the U.S. would move both countries to the left!
posted by Area Man at 12:23 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Take a look at some of the comments trashing the McAllen public library in this thread. They're pretty oblivious to the realities of the region and full of classist superiority.

I just read that whole thread, and I'm not seeing this at all. Texas is mentioned twice, in two comments referencing the climate. The people who are critical of the design are critical of the design, not of Texans. Nor does being critical of architecture equate to "trashing" the library. And there are far more people defending the concept of turning a disused big-box store into a library than there are people expressing dismay over the interior. None of these opinions have anything to do with the community the library serves, other than some concern expressed about people being able to walk or ride bikes.

I'm not saying people here don't pick on geographical regions without knowing much of anything about them (I'm from Oakland). But that thread is an incredibly strange one to point to as an example of people on Metafilter hating poor and working class Texans of Latino heritage.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:24 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bring it on dorks. I can see the witty barbs coming from a mile away thanks to the flat, windswept plains of Kansas.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:28 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carry on, my wayward son.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:35 PM on August 20, 2013


The craziest state is not Florida. Interesting."

Well, there's "Crazy Hot", which is California. Then there's "Crazy rant about the guvmint and oh crap you're going to sit next to me in the bus", which be more in the territory of Florida and Texas.
posted by happyroach at 12:36 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yet they still call New Jersey "the Garden State".

Because there's a Rosenblum on every corner.

sorry. I'll see myself out.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:39 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Really, I'm surprised that Florida didn't rank #1 in at least one of several categories. I suppose they could poll on largest insects and arachnids, or reptiles, and we'd get in there somewhere.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:41 PM on August 20, 2013


Florida is definitely the state of The Most Things That Are Flying At Your Face Which Should Never Even Be Flying In The First Fucking Place.
posted by elizardbits at 12:44 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's no way Texas is worse than Alabama. (Before the inevitable dogpile, I lived in Alabama for a while).

My Kansas story: Wife and I were driving, reached the border and hit a tollbooth. Wife asked how they were going to enforce a toll on the interstate. I said "Pfft, it's Kansas, they only have like 4 exits anyway." The joke was on me, I was right. Nothing but corn, wind turbines, and creepy religious preachers on the radio.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:47 PM on August 20, 2013


Lets redo all the state borders. Texas should be E, W and South. Cali should be Marin & North, Fresno, LA and San Diego. New York City gets it own state, merge 90% of the western states and North/South Carolina and all of NE Except MA.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:49 PM on August 20, 2013


Grandpa Simpson (typing a letter):

Dear Mr. President,

There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.

P.S. I am not a crackpot.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:49 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Texas is so awful and terrible and ugly and fat and rude and stupid and poopypants, which is a perfect explanation why so many people leave their state and move to Texas in droves, far more than anywhere else in this country. Texas consistently has the highest net migration into it.

But, to understand why that is occurring, you'd have to actually know about the state and what the realities of life in Texas are. And that would require too much nuance and critical thinking for most of the ignorant assholes who regularly fire reed-thin criticisms at the state.
posted by dios at 12:51 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: "I think maybe you are taking this a little too seriously. This article has about as much sociopolitical influencing power as an average article in the NYT style section."

No, that's precisely the point. Linkbait is a distraction from real issues positioned as real issues. Someone who comes away from, say, the Huffington Post with the perception that they are now informed is far more dangerous than someone who just reads it for fun. Publishing a web poll about differences between US states maximizes a set of small differences and diminishes the idea that we're all in this together, or that I might have common cause with someone from Alaska or Texas or Alabama that's getting short shrifted by the system because they're a hick or because their food is crappy or because they like the the Cowboys and I like the Seahawks.
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:52 PM on August 20, 2013


Minnesotans really do talk like that, though.

I'm a native Tennessean, with a corresponding braying hillbilly accent (albeit mildly muted after 12 years in the Northeast). My husband (Virginian) and I are moving to Minnesota in October, and we plan to have a kid in a few years.

There are lots of things I'm looking forward to about parenthood, but the potentially hilarious, hybrid Minnesotan/Appalachian accent of my offspring is right at the top.
posted by timetoevolve at 1:00 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nothing but corn, wind turbines, and creepy religious preachers on the radio.

and billboards for dentures.
posted by goethean at 1:02 PM on August 20, 2013


I'm confused. I see California gets all these #1 and #2 spots and then gets #1 for overrated. Does this mean Californians overrate their own state?

And if so, why would non-Californians give the state so many pleasant #1 and #2 mentions and so simply imply California has an ego?

Or are non-Californians overrating California for those questions and at the same time being hypocrites by also voting it most overrated?
posted by linux at 1:04 PM on August 20, 2013


But, to understand why that is occurring, you'd have to actually know about the state and what the realities of life in Texas are.

Cheap cost of living and fracking jobs, mostly.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:05 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are lots of things I'm looking forward to about parenthood, but the potentially hilarious, hybrid Minnesotan/Appalachian accent of my offspring is right at the top.

I know a couple from Kentucky who are raising three kids in Minneapolis. The parents have Kentucky accents still, but the kids sound like other kids in Minneapolis. Basically, they have a light version of the Minnesota accent.
posted by Area Man at 1:07 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cheap cost of living and fracking jobs, mostly.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:05 PM on August 20


Were you attempting to provide an example of the ignorant, unnuanced comments to which I was referring? If so, thanks.
posted by dios at 1:12 PM on August 20, 2013


Anyone who doesn't vote Hawaii as having the best food has never been to Hawaii.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:12 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah but you guys get really excited/nostalgic about Spam.
posted by elizardbits at 1:14 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah but you guys get really excited/nostalgic about Spam.

If you've never eaten a spam musubi, you don't get to judge. If you have and you didn't like it, your taste is questionable.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:15 PM on August 20, 2013


IT'S SO SQUISHY THOUGH

(also i am allergic to seafoods)
posted by elizardbits at 1:16 PM on August 20, 2013


If you are out in Hawaii, I will take you to five restaurants and one food truck that will make you never want to move home. And the great thing is, I can make that same offer to ten other people and never visit the same restaurant twice.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:17 PM on August 20, 2013


Ok, but dios, I was born in Texas. I somewhat reluctantly still live in Texas, for many reasons related to family, not because it's so damn awesome.

We gots problems, is all I'm sayin. Ignore the stupid opinion polls and just look at the pollution numbers, or education rankings, or rising average temperatures (and declining rainfall), or uninsured numbers or poverty in general.

There are many great people in Texas, many whom I love, I like the food overall, and like any state, it has its natural beauties.

But you can't drive to the southern coast without the stink of oil in your nose. You can't have a summer without ozone days anymore. You can't get anywhere without a car, and gas is going up and so are cars. You can't afford healthcare in a whole lot of jobs, and the state is doing its damndest to make sure you can't get government healthcare either. People worship guns and (their interpretation of) bibles and money and masculinity to a scary degree.

I don't think Texans are naturally stupid or angry, but I do think we have a political machine here that is finely tuned to keep stupidity and anger flowing at a gush 24/7, in order to keep people distracted from being robbed, poisoned and lied to. And a lot of people find the machine convincing (because it's hard to admit you were wrong and that big changes are needed), and so it just keeps getting worse.
posted by emjaybee at 1:18 PM on August 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


We gots problems, is all I'm sayin.

And which State doesn't? Yet it remains the case that Texas is the most popular state to move to by wide margins and has been for years. So maybe it really is the stinkhole of the Country and all those people are morons for moving. Or maybe it offers things that a lot of people find preferable to where they leave; things which can be discussed and evaluated.

But the fact remains that vast majority of criticism levied at this state is painfully ignorant and shallow.

But you can't drive to the southern coast without the stink of oil in your nose.

Really? I do it every year. And I'm pretty sure I can do so to several dozen places along that massive coast without ever smelling oil. Don't exaggerate. Because if anyone reads what you just wrote and assume that the entire southern coast stinks like oil, then you have just perpetuated alarming misinformation, and you should know better.

but I do think we have a political machine

These kind of comments often say a whole lot about the political views of those who say it (both for and against) and very little to do with the realities of the State. If you live here, you know well that this state is trending Democratic heavily, and will be majority blue in a couple cycles. Of course, when that happens, we'll still hear that same complaint but it will come in the opposite direction. That sort of temporal political frustration masked as criticism of a State is one that exists in every state, depending on whose ox is getting gored. It is not a good reason to selectively insult an entire State and its people.
posted by dios at 1:30 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


not because it's so damn awesome.

I missed this on my first read, but let me go ahead and respond to it lest there be any confusion. I am not here saying "it's so damn awesome" or better than everywhere else. It's a place, with lots of good and its share of bad.

What I was responding to was the repetitive, ignorant, prejudiced and predictable insults dropped here about this State that suggest that the State--any by implication its people-- is especially bad or worthy of scorns; statements that are typically made by people who nothing about the State and probably never have been there. It's here in this thread, and you can find it any thread on this site in which the state comes up. That it is permitted and happens so casually is an embarrassment.
posted by dios at 1:42 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


downing street memo, I didn't notice it until they were white in the 'worst food', and then I went back, and they were also nearly white in 'best food'. So I guess it's not so much that Virginia has good or bad food, it's just that no one has an opinion on it. Which is odd, because they actually do pretty well on favorite state, so it's not like people haven't heard of them. And there's good food! Seafood, southern food, vietnamese food...
posted by tavella at 1:44 PM on August 20, 2013


The State of Texas kills people more frequently than other U.S. states. The "system" used to provide defense counsel to defendants in criminal cases is a joke. Innocent people have been executed and probably will continue to be. There is no significant outcry and no real attempt to make the system fairer. I don't need to visit Texas to be critical and criticizing your state does not mean that I'm a bigot who has something against poor and brown-skinned Texans.
posted by Area Man at 1:49 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Based on my experiences bicycle touring through most of the states, I would prefer to live in Iowa, if I had the choice. Genuine friendliness goes a long, long way. It certainly trumps scenery, food and maybe even weather, at least for me.
posted by JeffL at 1:51 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


So you have a policy disagreement about capital punishment, something approximately 2 out of 3 people in this country supports (and something that 80% supported as recently as 1994). http://www.gallup.com/poll/1606/death-penalty.aspx It is also something that legal in 32 of the 50 states, by the federal government, and in the military. I mention this not to suggest that you have a minority viewpoint, a wrong one, or a criticism that is invalid; but rather to note that it is not entirely a policy the state holds that is uniquely unacceptable in a democratic country. But, presumably your opposition to the death penalty is an issue with the policy itself, not particularly the State of Texas or her people. Presumably you would concede that it would misguided or inappropriate to allow your views on capital punishment cloud your views of humans living in the land that is denominated Texas. Therefore, presumably you would not insult the entire state and its People in an effort to advocate for your policy preference on capital punishment.
posted by dios at 1:58 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


But, presumably your opposition to the death penalty is an issue with the policy itself, not particularly the State of Texas or her people.

Why would you get that from my comment? I don't just disagree with the existence of the death penalty, I also disagree with how it is implemented in Texas. It is possible to have a death penalty and also provide quality legal representation to those who are in danger of being killed. Look at Oregon. Texas has chosen not to do that. That does reflect poorly on your state. Why aren't more Texans demanding that the system be reformed?
posted by Area Man at 2:13 PM on August 20, 2013


Lots do. It's a controversial issue and very few people are loud about their support of it; those that are, tend to be quite loud but also mostly aren't really strong supporters of the death penalty so much as people who were just raised on vengeance morality. At my work, we discussed the 500th state execution with somber anger.
posted by byanyothername at 2:29 PM on August 20, 2013


Lots do. It's a controversial issue

This is correct. There are all kinds of public interest groups in this State designed to reforming the penal system and specifically the capital punishment system. There's the TCADP, the Innocent Project, Texas Students Against Death Penalty, a litany of other organizations that exist to oppose it. There have been 41 DNA exoneration in recent years, and Texas passed legislation to compensate the wrongfully convicted. The District Attorney of Dallas County, an African American Democrat, ran on a policy of undoing wrongful convictions and has been elected twice. He has received numerous awards and plaudits in this State for establishing the Conviction Integrity Unit and working to free wrongfully convicted people. It is a plank of the Texas Democratic Party platform to abolish the death penalty, and if, for instance, Wendy Davis successfully runs for governor, that policy may happen in the very near future.

In other words, as I said, you'd have to know a whole lot more about what is going on here and making sweeping generalizations and criticisms of this state that are based on ignorance of the facts is reprehensible. Yet it all too often happens that such ignorant criticisms are used to paint with too broad of a brush about this State.
posted by dios at 2:44 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree that Texas is hated a little too much by some people, but there are number of fair criticisms that can be made. A number of these can be traced to the state government's backwards policies, especially on education. I can provide one niche case that applies to me; there are many others that are more germane to others.

I've visited Texas a few times over the last 20 years. I've been to Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville and South Padre Island. Texas is a great place, has great food and some of the nicest people I've ever met. I wish that "driving friendly" would catch on everywhere else. I recently seriously thought about moving to Austin, where there are many jobs in my field. I had a lot of fun in Austin during the week that I spent there but I discovered while researching the subject that Texas would be a poor choice for my family. It's not because I think it's full of ignorant rednecks. We have those here. It's because I have three special-needs children. The educational services available for them there are even worse than they are here in Indiana, which isn't a very high bar to meet. There are some populations that really do depend on a functional state government. As much as I like the place, Texas does very poorly in this regard.

I'll wind taking my talents and contributions to another state, but that state can't be Texas as it is currently governed. I know it's no great loss to Texas that I'm not going to live there, but how many other people who have something positive to offer have come to the same conclusion?
posted by double block and bleed at 2:56 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Going by state gov policy alone, Supreme Badness is an eternal battle between Texas and Florida, with up-and-comer Arizona as a strong contender.

Oh, Florida is the worst, but that wasn't one of the questions.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:57 PM on August 20, 2013


As an Oregonian, I am disappointed by our poor showing in the drunkenness category. We make the finest beer and wine in the US, but no one knows about it because we drink most of it before it has a chance to leave the state. I assure you, we can drink Louisiana under the table.
posted by foobaz at 3:00 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


We are also willing to sit under a table with Louisiana and just keep drinking.
posted by cortex at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


dios,

I don't think that you've actually shown that my criticisms are unfounded. 41 exonnerations means there were at least 41 wrongful convictions, which suggests my critique of the way Texas handles legal services for the indigent is well-founded. Certainly, there are groups in Texas opposed to the death penalty and progressive politicians in certain cities, but I don't see strong evidence that they are likely to prevail any time soon. Greg Abbott, your AG, seems likely to be the next governor, not Wendy Davis.
posted by Area Man at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2013


I'm convinced that a lot of the Texas hate even here on MeFi is just racism/classism, at its heart. The geographic majority of the state is Hispanic and poor.

You're right. We hate Texas b/c it has too many brown people, not because of the Dallas Cowboys (or Cowgirls ... hmm, how many of them are brown ...?), or how the state still treats women like property, or how it pollutes, or that it's #1 in executions, or how it has one of the highest number of hate groups (the most?) or how it's trying to build a fucking wall between itself and Mexico. Yeah, you're probably right.

*second biggest eyeroll ever*
posted by mrgrimm at 3:07 PM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


my critique of the way Texas handles legal services for the indigent is well-founded.

And I am certain your "critique" is not based on anything close to actual knowledge of what the current state of indigent criminal services are. As an attorney in Dallas who volunteers time and donates money to the local attorney program for indigent citizens, I am familiar with it and the struggles that exist here and everything in the country on serving the legal needs of the poor.

You don't like the death penalty? I get it. Criticizing the entire state and her people about it is ignorant prejudice. And that's all I am talking about here. I am not disputing your right to be opposed to the policy. I am suggesting that broad-brush denunciations of the state that are frequent here are almost always based on ignorant and unnuanced claims by people who usually have never actually been here.
posted by dios at 3:11 PM on August 20, 2013


.... such as that one.
posted by dios at 3:12 PM on August 20, 2013


Or that Texas's giant market base means that textbooks across the country are now infected with a bunch of weird Christian versions of biology and history.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:13 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have only been to Dallas and Dallas was pretty shocking in its class divide. I get that Dallas may not be representative of Texas, but it was a TERRIBLE first introduction.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:16 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I notice you aren't actually defending the way Texas handles death penalty defense. I have been to Texas. My firm has handled post appeal work on Texas death penalty cases. In those cases, the quality of defense counsel was very low. I've also read lots of reporting over the years indicating the problems are not isolated.

So, clearly I'm a bigot. No one from outside Texas can possibly dislike anything about the state for legitimate reasons.
posted by Area Man at 3:27 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


We hate Texas b/c of
...not because of the Dallas Cowboys

(A football team)

or how the state still treats women like property

(completely ignorant, unsupported dreck about a state who has had 2 and will soon be first state to have had 3 female governors)

or how it pollutes


(which every state does and Texas is not the worst at; and despite its efforts to held support the country with its petroleum needs, Texas actually has the largest wind production in the country)

or how it has one of the highest number of hate groups (the most?)

(False, see SPLC. That would be California by a wide margin. You must hate that state too. Florida is right there with Texas. And NY isn't too far behind Texas. You hate NY for its hate groups too? It's almost as if the amount of hate groups are correlated to the population of a state...)

how it's trying to build a fucking wall between itself and Mexico.


(Huh? A less ignorant person might realize that border decisions are the office of the federal government and Texas couldn't build a wall on its own if it wanted to.)

Again, it's broad brush ignorant nonsense. And it happens all the time here. Ignorant prejudice.
posted by dios at 3:32 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I notice you aren't actually defending the way Texas handles death penalty defense.

No, I am not. As I said, it is getting better. I understand the issues, and I understand it is a national problem how indigent legal assistance is handled. Texas has its share of problems. As I said, it is something that is debated here and there are efforts to fix and potentially eliminate it. But I certainly recognize that it is an issue that is ripe for criticism. My point is taking criticism of that and painting the entire state and her people with the criticism is improper. If you said, "I think Texas needs to work harder at solving the problem of inadequate representation of indigent people and abolish the death penalty" you would not get any argument from me. But that sort of policy dispute was not what I was addressing. I was addressing the broad-brush prejudicial criticism of the entire state and her people as uniquely deserving of contempt. If you are not painting with a broad brush, then my comments are not addressed to you. You can find above the posters to whom my comments are addressed.

So, clearly I'm a bigot. No one from outside Texas can possibly dislike anything about the state for legitimate reasons.
posted by Area Man at 5:27 PM on August 20


Again, that isn't anywhere close to what I am saying. I've acknowledged in this very thread that the state has its problems. I've also repeatedly stressed what I am objecting to, and I turn around my point to you: do you think it is appropriate to "hate" a state and her people or criticize them broadly based on uninformed opinions that are often wrong? If you think to do so is inappropriate, then you are in agreement with me. And that's all my point has been.
posted by dios at 3:42 PM on August 20, 2013


I'm quite, quite comfortable with criticizing Texas for their shitty public defender system and utterly horrendous and bloodthirsty execution system. A lot of states have the first, but Texas is very very special in having the worst of the latter.
posted by tavella at 3:46 PM on August 20, 2013


What do people think Michigan looks like?

Kind of like a mitten, but not as much like a mitten as Wisconsin.




As a Wisconsin native, who lives with a Michigan native and fully grasps the implications...



OH. SNAP.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:47 PM on August 20, 2013


Well that turned ugly and way too serious way too quickly. Never been happier to be from the Land of Lincoln, where state self-deprecation is the default mode.
posted by graphnerd at 4:02 PM on August 20, 2013


No, it's mostly fracking jobs and the cheap cost of living, Dios. Fun while the reserves hold out. Even so, most of the jobs are minimum wage gigs without benefits due to poor labor regulations and neutered unions. If you want to live like a serf, Texas is your destination.

So, people come for the oil boom, wind up at McDonalds, and can't leave. On the other hand, if you're lucky enough to be a member of the dwindling middle class, domestic help is dirt cheap.

Don't mess with Texas? Texas don't start none, there won't be none.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:05 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did you even read the article you linked to Slap*Happy? I mean, repeating an ignorant, wrong and unsupported claim after you've been called on it is one thing. But then linking to a newspaper article for the principle that "most of the jobs are minimum wage jobs" and you'll "live like a serf" is like compoundingly ignorant when the article itself states
“Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, noted that Texas also has been growing its middle-income tier of workers faster than the nation.Texas is the biggest job creator in the country in all four job quartiles,” Fisher said Tuesday while at The Dallas Morning News for an editorial meeting. He was referring to the government’s four wage groups — lowest, lower-middle, upper-middle and highest wages.
posted by dios at 4:16 PM on August 20, 2013


Look at Oregon. Texas has chosen not to do that. That does reflect poorly on your state. Why aren't more Texans demanding that the system be reformed?

Haha, I can't resist commenting on this. Okay, so I moved from Texas to Oregon. I am a young woman, living alone. Right after I moved here, they let a multiple murderer out of jail (under supervision) in the town where I live. This guy was convicted of two murders and a suspect in like ten more. All young women, stabbed, strangled, horrible, horrible stuff.

One of my friends (also a young woman) accidentally bumped into him at the corner downtown, and then realized who it was. Holy shit, let me tell you, did I ever wish I was back in barbaric, hillbilly, horrible old Texas and not enlightened Oregon when I heard that story.

Anyway, carry on.
posted by quincunx at 4:23 PM on August 20, 2013


I guess Rhode Island didn't get any votes for weirdest accent because it doesn't have enough people or TV shows about it or something?
posted by rtha at 4:24 PM on August 20, 2013


The South gets high marks here, potentially because the rest of the country doesn't understand that "Bless your heart" is facetious.

No actually. We really mean it. Sincerely. Rednecks like to say that it's facetious because it makes them feel clever.
posted by rahnefan at 4:43 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't hate Texans, but as a whole I do sort of hate Texans. I live in New Mexico, though. If people hated Texas because they were racist, wouldn't people hate us more? Enough to maybe actually know we're a part of the United States?

There's a certain attitude that Texas exports, and maybe they don't embody it everywhere-- I generally avoid Texas when possible though have had to drive through it a fair amount-- that involves gigantic crosses, the Bush family, gigantic steaks, cowboys and a general fundamentalist Christian conservatism. Similar to what the deep South exports, except the deep South also exports really good food, lots of hard liquor and sweet tea and the only Texan food we really get outside of the borders of Texas is BBQ and Tex-Mex. (Not that both of those can't be done well, but there's a lot of competition for "best regional variation on BBQ" and "best regional variation on Mexican".)

Part of it is the stereotype of Texas, but there's money made off that stereotype in the form of tourism dollars, and it seems like a lot of Texans do actively attempt to promote that image. And the gerrymandering, anti-choice, generally fucked up politicians aren't exactly helping.

Also, how isn't Florida craziest?
posted by NoraReed at 4:56 PM on August 20, 2013


Cali should be Marin & North, Fresno, LA and San Diego.

First, if you are not LL Cool J or the Notorious BIG, it is not Cali.
posted by birdherder at 5:08 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


And which State doesn't?

Texas has lots of problems, though. The idea that all states have problems and so are equal is like saying that everyone gets an illness sometimes so someone with ebola isn't sicker than someone with a cold. And Texas is indeed pretty sick. While there states that are sicker -- AL, MS, maybe TN -- at least those states could argue that they don't have the resources to deal with their problems. That's a lot less true of Texas. Comparing Texas to other large states with high GDPs... Texas, as a coherent whole, performs quite badly.

Or maybe it offers things that a lot of people find preferable to where they leave; things which can be discussed and evaluated.

This is really not a great argument. Here is the biggest reason people move to Texas, or anywhere else:

They got a job there.

But they didn't get a job in Texas because Texas is awesome or great or offers things that actual human beings find preferable to where they were. They got a job in Texas because corporations moved jobs to Texas because Texas will let them abuse their workers more harshly than many other states and because Texas will tax them less, thereby providing fewer services to its citizens.

The other primary reasons migration to Texas is high are (a) it's warm in winter and (b) there are a lot of extractive jobs there now.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:30 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mississippi's bad rep in the education department is not undeserved, going by the numbers, and its politics have gone downhill from a promising place of a couple of decades ago. But BI readers are damming all the food in Miss.? That means I get the barbecue pork, biscuits and Delta hot tamales all to myself, or more to myself. Fine. (Also Gulf Coast seafood, but, the hot tamales... )
posted by raysmj at 5:38 PM on August 20, 2013


I would like to nominate Nevada for Ugliest State. I hear a lot of people ripping on New Jersey (which I've never been to), but they call it the Garden State, so it's got to have some nice areas, amirite?

Nevada, on the other hand: within a mile of driving into Nevada from (the lovely) California, the landscape turns into nothing but sagebrush and dirt. Sagebrush and dirt as far as the eye can see. I don't get cell reception in most areas of Nevada. Most towns in Nevada are sad, small, and scrubby, and literally all there is to do is hit a slot machine. It's deserted and fugly. One of the towns of Nevada (Jackpot) literally runs on a different time zone from the rest of the state. Nevada is home to Battle Mountain, deemed the "Armpit of America." I have been there and they ain't wrong. The state is rampant with gambling because otherwise there is literally no reason to ever go there. Casino crap is everywhere.

The only areas of Nevada worth saving are Vegas, Reno (otherwise known as "the only other location in Nevada where there is anything at all to do"), and the Black Rock Desert. Other than that, I think we could just turn the whole state into a giant penal colony or District 9 or something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:08 PM on August 20, 2013


Yet they still call New Jersey "the Garden State".

I grew up in New Jersey, and for me the name always fit. My tiny little hometown has approximately five parks within half an hour's walking distance, and one of those parks alone has a scenic mountain view of the rest of the town, a lovely lake, a series of waterfalls, and a series of meadows which are more like mazes, with paths that cross and diverge and that you can seriously get lost in. Oh, and lots and lots and lots of woods.

One particularly memorable game of Capture the Flag from my childhood took place in this park. The opposing team had discovered a wonderfully sequestered little meadow, very close to the lake yet shrouded in drooping leaves. We had no idea where this place was, but they'd made it into their jail for our captured teammates; they yelled at us across the lake, but we couldn't figure out where exactly the yells were coming from, and any time one of us crossed the lake, they'd jump out of their secret hiding place and jail us too. (The lake was neutral territory; they hid everybody just out of sight from the rest of us.)

We eventually hatched a plan to discover and rescue our friends that involved a mass sacrifice on the bridge over the first waterfall; as the chasing and scuffling took place, my friend Evan crawled across the waterfall, hidden by the bridge, sound muffled by the rushing water. As our team was led away, Ev stayed put until he knew exactly where we were being sent, then looped around the meadow to free us all. Mass jailbreak! I don't think we ever found each other's flags, which makes sense because I know ours had been hidden in a vast stretch of woods behind the hilltop pavilion.

Did I mention this park also had a secret outdoor chapel nestled in the woods, so far off any path that you wouldn't find it unless you knew to look for it? Because it did. The perfect place to walk to, just after midnight, and throw yourself a romp. And trust me, readers, many such romps were had.

This is just one of the parks within walking distance. My town is a direct part of the Patriot's Path on the Appalachian Trail, and you can follow the path to touch upon practically every square mile of the town. It's astonishing how, following it, you'll find yourself in parts of the town almost at random, through the unexpected twists and turns of the woods. And some of the parks and trails along the Patriot's Path, in the towns nearby, are much larger than the one I played that game in.

Vast swathes of New Jersey are rural or undeveloped; my entire life I've watched piece after piece of my nearby towns transform into suburban districts, and it's a shame every time. My impression of the state was and still is one of vast green expanses, mountains and hills and meadows pretty much everywhere. It's not too difficult to take public transit towards some great hiking places, but some of the best parts of New Jersey are very localized; every friend I've got from Jersey has a story of their own special little hidden spaces. It's a dense state and very lovely.

We also have some fan-fucking-tastic beaches. I've seen a bunch of beaches in my time, and I would never claim the Jersey Shore as an all-time best, but it's pretty darn good, I'll tell you that.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:12 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did you even read the article you linked to Slap*Happy?

Did you? Every state except the wealthiest are improving as the recession slooooowly recovers - Texas less so. You're 8% of the minimum wage earners in the US, with 6% of the population. If you want to work for WalMart money, while your boss pockets your fair share, Texas is your home.

I guess Rhode Island didn't get any votes for weirdest accent because it doesn't have enough people or TV shows about it or something?

Tons of TV shows about us. People think we're either in Massachusetts or New York, so we put a thumb on the scale for them. (Not even mad... most RI towns aren't =a= town, but a bunch of yet smaller towns. Here in Tiverton, we have Tiverton, North Tiverton and Adamsville, each with its own post office, FD and zip code, while each is slightly less in area than the Big and Tall Men's section of the nearby K-Mart. Each sub-town has its own foodways and accent. Of course out-of-staters think we're from New Yorkachusetts, idiot aoutsidahs don' knows thems no details! )
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:22 PM on August 20, 2013


Part of it is the stereotype of Texas

No, all of that is just the stereotype of Texas that doesn't even remotely touch on the reality. I think that a lot of the anti-Texasism here and across the US is in some part racist/classist in nature because what people always imagine Texas to be--a bunch of white middle class Republicans riding horses through suburbs--is not what most of the state is. I can sort of see how people could get that impression, but it's perpetuated more by people who have never been to/will never come to Texas than anyone with any actual familiarity with the state. It feels like a stinging dismissal of the majority of the state's inhabitants; as if only the isolated enclaves of white middle class Republicans riding horses through suburbs matter.

You also need to realize that poverty is a big issue here. You can't attack the people living here in your criticisms of horrible policies and laws because, believe it or not, there are many people who have to live in Texas. Not want to. Have to.

Anyway, honestly, I wish those of you who always trash the state on this site would come here and try the food. Seriously--the food is amazing and amazingly diverse. I can blow your mind with Mexican cuisine flow charts and like five hundred different kinds of chile-lime candy.
posted by byanyothername at 9:34 PM on August 20, 2013


Actually, a lot of is that is those enclaved white suburban horsemen are making life incredibly hard for the rest of the nation. Local politics in RI are a mess, but we do try to send people to congress and the White House who are not both evil and stupid. One or the other, please.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:40 PM on August 20, 2013


You're right. We hate Texas b/c it has too many brown people, not because of the Dallas Cowboys (or Cowgirls ... hmm, how many of them are brown ...?), or how the state still treats women like property, or how it pollutes, or that it's #1 in executions, or how it has one of the highest number of hate groups (the most?) or how it's trying to build a fucking wall between itself and Mexico. Yeah, you're probably right.

*second biggest eyeroll ever*


Man, fuck. Open Letter: Please can no one on this site ever be this condescending or smug? I know a lot of people throw ideas out there that may seem weird or wrong to you and it's fine to respond with points on why, but there is this really bad habit in MeFi culture where people deliberately misread posts in order to trash the person they're responding to and it is really hurtful and frustrating. Dialogue can't happen when you consider someone you disagree with to be less than human or whatever. I truthfully haven't had time to fully articulate my thoughts on this, and I know that the example I pulled above is not the best (there are others that came to mind, but I didn't have the time/inclination to search for them), but responses like this really don't make me want to participate further at all. Which is probably the point, but whatever.
posted by byanyothername at 9:44 PM on August 20, 2013


....aaaaand thank you for being condescending and smug, Slap*Happy! Do I REALLY have to state that I don't support Texas' horrible anti-women, anti-human rights policies or its very toxic machismo/marianismo culture? Do I really? After posting ALL THE TIME about being a transgender woman here, about the damage anti-abortion measures will do to the state, about poverty and homelessness in Texas, etc. etc. etc.

Jesus, you people.
posted by byanyothername at 9:46 PM on August 20, 2013


Do I REALLY have to state that I don't support Texas' horrible anti-women, anti-human rights policies or its very toxic machismo/marianismo culture?

No, but you do have to understand that's where most of the frustration comes from, and it's not personal. We're not messing with Texas for its food, music, poetry or science (Come in, Houston...)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


41.4% of Texans voted for Obama. That's 3.3 million people. Those people are doing the best they can to change their state, and they deserve to claim the title of 'Texan' just as much as the hateful people.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:08 PM on August 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


showbiz_liz beat me to it. What you have to understand is that there are very many people here who do not support the things I listed, who do not leave or for whom leaving is not an option. To write those people off and constantly fall back on stupid stereotypes as a justification for doing so is insulting. Texas does have lots of problems--I fucking hate this place--but it also has a pretty deep culture, lots of ecologic diversity, lots of creativity and art and innovation, (lots of wind power!), lots of great food and lots of people who are struggling to affect positive change here for everyone. Those people don't need the contempt of the ignorant and privileged who don't have to deal with the on the ground realities of the state. A lot of us are just barely scraping by as it is.

Texas is mine to hate. It will probably kill me. Not you. So less getting spat upon by people who won the socioeconomic birthday lottery would be a nice thing.
posted by byanyothername at 10:16 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


(incoherent mumbling about how at least they know Texas isn't part of Mexico)
posted by NoraReed at 10:30 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing about Texas is that Texans, or at least native Texans, can be big on their state in a way that's unusual in the US. Not that other Americans don't have some sort of pride of place or put some of their selfness into a place, but outside of Texas it seems much more likely to be invested either in a city or in a trans-state southernness, or just in being American.

And the flip side of that is that Texans can be remarkably prickly about real or perceived slights to the state, in a way that would be unusual elsewhere. Nobody gives a shit if you say something insulting about the state of New York, such as noting the obvious corruption (insult the city the wrong way, on the other hand...). Insult Massachussetts and a Masshole will probably agree, and offer a few more. Slag off on New Jersey and a Jersey native will probably say "Fuck you," but then that's also how they respond to "Have a nice day."*

The sorts of responses here -- about how insulting Texas is racist, or how you shouldn't insult umpty million people, or about how you're writing off umpty million people -- you don't seem to get that response from natives of other states, about their states. And not because people don't insult other states. There's a way in which Texans -- even ones who will agree that they hate the place -- have internalized Texas that just doesn't seem to happen very much in other places, and that leads them to perceive insults as personal whether they are or not. In the way byanyothername put it, people aren't spitting on you. Just on Texas. It's not them spitting on you, it's you deciding that insults to Texas are also insults to you.

*Actually happened this one time from a toll collector on the Turnpike.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:43 PM on August 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


41.4% of Texans voted for Obama. That's 3.3 million people. Those people are doing the best they can to change their state, and they deserve to claim the title of 'Texan' just as much as the hateful people.

Aw, shucks.

The most heartwarming story I have about being Texan: When I was 12, my family and I went on my first trip to Europe. Most of Europe at the time was either indifferent to or hostile to American tourists. But, when I went to the Tower of London, a beefeater asked me where I was from, and when I said Texas, he said, without missing a beat, "Remember the Alamo!" I was delighted, because I had no idea that anyone outside of Texas, much less the U. S., even knew what the Alamo was. And hey, if that guy can show a little kindness to some Texan kid that she would remember years and years later, which predisposed me to like the entire UK just because this one guy was nice to me, well, the rest of you can probably manage it, too.
posted by quincunx at 10:48 PM on August 20, 2013


I was delighted, because I had no idea that anyone outside of Texas, much less the U. S., even knew what the Alamo was.

Everyone who has seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure remembers the Alamo.
posted by brundlefly at 10:52 PM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


How about the thing where every Texan has to mention within the first couple of conversations that Texas used it be its own country, you know!
posted by small_ruminant at 11:22 PM on August 20, 2013


Oh Texas, my Texas, I do despair of thee. The unholy trinity of Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, and David Dewhurst epitomise thee at thy worst.

(yeah I iive in Austin)
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:47 AM on August 21, 2013


The thing about Texas is that Texans, or at least native Texans, can be big on their state in a way that's unusual in the US. Not that other Americans don't have some sort of pride of place or put some of their selfness into a place, but outside of Texas it seems much more likely to be invested either in a city or in a trans-state southernness, or just in being American.

This means that the rest of us have to put up with tons of bragging from Texans. Why is a backlash so surprising to all of you?

Also, don't underestimate the way I feel about Minnesota.
posted by Area Man at 5:26 AM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


41.4% of Texans voted for Obama. That's 3.3 million people. Those people are doing the best they can to change their state, and they deserve to claim the title of 'Texan' just as much as the hateful people.

I know plenty of hateful Democrats.

And don't mess with Texas pollution.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:31 AM on August 21, 2013


I just meant I don’t like driving through Texas, and now I’m sorry I said that. This conversation got very weird.
posted by bongo_x at 8:46 AM on August 21, 2013


I would like to nominate Nevada for Ugliest State...The only areas of Nevada worth saving are Vegas, Reno (otherwise known as "the only other location in Nevada where there is anything at all to do"), and the Black Rock Desert.

I'm just going to assume that you're throwing in the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe with Reno, and Mt. Charleston and Red Rock Canyon with Vegas, since there is no other logical way to interpret this.
posted by naoko at 9:32 AM on August 21, 2013


Everyone who has seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure remembers the Alamo.

I've never seen that? Maybe I'm too young? Also, I was twelve at the time.

This means that the rest of us have to put up with tons of bragging from Texans. Why is a backlash so surprising to all of you?

Okay, seriously now, this kind of makes me laugh. Literally NO ONE In this thread said "I'm really proud to be Texan!" Or "Texas is lhiterally the best state in the Union!" People were, totally understandably, responding to the results of the survey by simply saying the state is bad, but not THAT bad. So, be fair. Totally predictable, and I'm not sure why people feel the need to like, psychoanalyze in depth about this. Lmao.
posted by quincunx at 9:47 AM on August 21, 2013


People in this thread may not brag about Texas, but don't act like bragging about Texas is not a thing in American culture.
posted by Area Man at 10:13 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just a couple of things in response, ROU_Xenophobe... You get really close to genuine insight, but I think your conclusion about pride and sensitivity is off track.

1) I should have held onto the racism/classism comment. It's not finished baking and I was (and still am, sadly) in a hurry, so I couldn't flesh that out with anything more than the one thing I knew would be easy to find. I should clarify that when I say there is an element of racism and classism to Texas hate, I don't mean that the intent is malicious. I doubt it is. It's mostly about ignorance: people commonly have unexamined privilege when talking about Texas. I pointed to the McAllen library thread because a few people in it are all like, "Yeah, libraries are cool, but this is soooo ugly! My library is totally cooler." It's sort of blase to jump into a thread about a big giant library in a developing part of the world and criticize its architecture for not being urbane enough for you. So, no. My seeing racism and classism in that has nothing to do with "pride" and more to do with applying upper-middle class affluent urban US standards to a place that is honestly not really any of those things. NoraReed's comment above makes me smile because, living on the border, I'm not sure Texas isn't some strange, liminal in-between Estados Unidos de Meximérica.

2) I don't take insults to "Texas" as personal insults. The state has problems and I've spent my entire life wrestling with them. I don't have any inherent pride in the state; in many ways, I'm an outsider. I have pride in myself for surviving in Texas. I do take the insinuation that I am a bad person for living in Texas to be personal because, well, it is! Both comments that really riled me up are doing that, and it's a part of the problem I was trying to address.
posted by byanyothername at 10:21 AM on August 21, 2013


Yeah, I think Area Man's got it. The public image of Texas is this blustery jingoistic conservative white dude who won't shut up about his home state. (And that guy totally does exist!)

But then mostly when Texas comes up here, it's in politics threads. And there's usually someone on one of the coasts who's feeling irritable about the whole thing who starts in going "Fuck Texas, we'd be better off without them, just let them secede," and so on — imagining, I think, that it's that blustery jingoistic asshole who he's telling off. And so then the mild-mannered or culturally-sensitive or liberal or non-white or female people here (Who also totally do exist!) go, like, "Wait, fuck me?! Dude, how am I your enemy on this? Why are you wishing for bad things to happen to me just because the governor over in Austin is a talking scrotum with a hairpiece?" And we're off to the races.

(I don't know why it gets worse with Texas than with, say, Mississippi or Alabama — since those states also get a lot of undeserved "fuck them/let them suffer/shoulda let them secede" guff from the coasts.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 10:24 AM on August 21, 2013


It's frustrating, too, because "Yes this state sucks"/"No this state doesn't suck" is way less interesting in my book than "Hey here's a thing you didn't know about this state"/"Oh cool and here's another thing you didn't know about this state."
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 10:26 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would like to nominate Nevada for Ugliest State.

I'm sorry, jenfullmoon, I must respectfully disagree with you here. If you've never driven U.S. Route 50 from Utah, all the way through Nevada and into Northern California, you are missing out on one of the truly sublime road-trip routes in the country. Endless miles of valleys, rising up to mountains, then dropping back to huge, beautiful valleys - on repeat. It is a mesmerizing and awe-inspiring landscape. I did the trip last summer with my brother and it is one of my favorite road-trips routes ever.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 1:43 PM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now there are two. There are two _______.: "It's frustrating, too, because "Yes this state sucks"/"No this state doesn't suck" is way less interesting in my book than "Hey here's a thing you didn't know about this state"/"Oh cool and here's another thing you didn't know about this state.""

The first time I visited Texas, I was in San Antonio with my sister, who lived in Brownsville at the time. I didn't know that visiting the Alamo was on the itinerary. When we got to it, I thought it was a scale replica of the real Alamo. The Alamo is tiny.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:33 PM on August 21, 2013


One of the most popular destinations in Texas is the Brownsville dump.

Popular with birders, I mean.

(Texas is on my personal shit list for a lot of reasons, but also on my must-visit list because birds, boots, and barbecue.)
posted by rtha at 3:38 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Alamo is tiny.

It only seems tiny because it's in Texas where everything is so big. Put the Alamo in Rhode Island and it would shove Providence into the sea.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:40 PM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Insult Massachussetts and a Masshole will probably agree, and offer a few more.

Yes, but try insulting the Red Sox and you will get a much more interesting reaction. It may be a punch in the nose, it may be abject weeping, but whatever it is, it will be interesting.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:21 PM on August 22, 2013


Yeah, if you ever want to see what a bar-fight looks like, bring up Spygate in any sports bar from New London to Bangor.

This does not change the fact Belichick should have not been doing that shit.

(Only Nixon can go to China and all that.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:12 PM on August 22, 2013


Seeing discussion about Texas and discussion about ugly states reminds me of an exchange from one of my favorite movies ever, between a couple of guys that are part of a college road trip --
Philip: Texas is really ugly, you know. I mean, what could anyone possibly like about this state?

Dorman: I like the way it's shaped.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 PM on August 22, 2013


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