The views expressed here do not represent those of the Asylum staff. They are the opinion of associate editor Brian Childs -- a man of many enthusiasms, one of which is the state of New Jersey.
Dec. 18 is New Jersey Day, the day New Jersey officially approved the United States Constitution, and I, for one, am ready to proclaim I love the Garden State and all its citizenry.
After two years of living in the filthy, overpriced, nose-in-the-air concrete mold growth that is New York City, I went to the Jersey Shore for the Fourth of July and had one of the best weekends of my life. I fell asleep listening to Bon Jovi and woke up listening to Bruce Springsteen (not an exaggeration, that actually happened). Everyone was so friendly and intent on showing me a good time I could have gone the entire weekend without paying for anything. Plenty of young women (and even a 60-year-old guy) insisted on buying me drinks.
To honor New Jersey Day, I'd like to take a few minutes to clear up the most outrageous and offensive stereotypes about my adopted home state.
"New Jersey is the armpit of America" If that's true, then New Jersey is like the greatest freaking armpit in the world. It's like Angelina Jolie's armpit. It's the armpit that armpit fetishists are looking for when they surf the Internet. And the rest of America is like some out-of-work, meth-addicted slob that will never appreciate how good an armpit it's got. Think about it.
"New Jersey has nothing" New Jersey has everything. You want gambling? You got Atlantic City. You like sports? How about not one, but two professional football teams who left New York for real football country. You got the Jersey Shore, Newark Airport and a ridiculous amount of history. Where was Washington going when he crossed the Delaware? Jersey. Much like me, Bell Labs started in New York then moved to New Jersey. Plus, you're a few hours away from Philadelphia, New York City and D.C. if you should happen to make the mistake of leaving the Garden State.
"It's full of guidos" OK, you're right about this one. It's full of Italians and they're great, so you can shut your cannoli-hole. Italian food is delicious. Also, if you have a good enough friend from Jersey, there's like a 100 percent chance that they "know a guy" who can "get you anything." How cool is that? (Note: This fact mostly comes from my roommate repeatedly insisting, "If you want, I know a guy who can get you steroids by this weekend. Seriously.")
"New Jersey is an urban wasteland" This is a wretched lie perpetuated by people who have flown into Newark and then gone straight to New York City. Don't believe me? New Jersey is such a rugged state that they have a bear problem. Take that, Alaska.
"People from Jersey are ignorant and uneducated" New Jersey often has the highest high-school graduation rate in the country, sometimes reaching 87 percent. Meanwhile, Jersey's lauded next-door neighbor, New York, competes with states like Mississippi for the spot of lowest high-school graduation rate. New York smarter than Jersey? Fuggheddaboudit.
"Everyone prefers to live in New York" Oh yeah? Then why does pretty much every so-called "New York" celebrity live in New Jersey? Because people who are rich and famous realize that it's better, so you should, too. The next time you hear someone make a crack on New Jersey, stop them and point out that Jersey is the state for real Americans with 73 percent voter turnout; a sweet, world-famous turnpike; and Bruce Motherf**king Springsteen.