17 April 2006
Home of the sorta brave
Oklahoma has plenty of problems, and there is nothing wrong with cracking some jokes about them. But it's different to poke fun at your homeland or current state than it is to appear removed from and superior to it.
I periodically hear a lone Oklahoman in the company of outsiders dogging the Sooner State. The sellout Oklahoman will get exasperated and say, "You all are so fortunate to live in civilization. I live in Oklahoma." (At which point they roll their eyes.) "I would kill to live in a place with culture and literati."
What's really being said is this: "I am an insecure person. In order to appear sophisticated and astute, I will draw a distinction between myself and all the people I assume you look down upon. By removing and elevating myself, you can realize that I, too, am intelligent, and accept me. Please, please accept me."
For my part, I'm quite unapologetic about who I am and where I'm from, and I'm sorry if you can't deal with it. While it is indeed true that there is no single place in the Sooner State from which you can swing a dead cat and hit restaurants of twenty-seven different ethnicities, and that there is no surplus of waifish Goth girls with art-history degrees, not everyone not even everyone of college age aspires to live inside a Bertolucci film.
Some people indubitably would be happier somewhere else, and I urge them to follow their dreams. And a year from now, when they're on craigslist musing about how much they miss the Steak Sandwich Supreme from Del Rancho, I promise not to mock them.
Much.Posted at 2:52 PM to Soonerland