Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Best State . . . . . The Worst State

An activity very much like a dog chasing his tail is the forever occurring "Best of ......., Worst of........" when it comes to states, cities, or countries. Compilers of these almost always have an axe to grind, and use it to ridicule some other places that they dislike or feel fortunate that they don't have to live there. The most common recipients of that type of attention are the states of the Deep South and California.

Now what prompts this is hard to say. Perhaps its lingering animosities from the Civil War (strangely more cherished north of the Mason-Dixon line), perhaps it's resentment of those places and the people there by envious souls (We can't all be California girls; my teeny bikini languishes in a closet since my trip to Galveston two years ago and the emergence of something of a muffin top), maybe it's just xenophobia. After all, lutefisk, bean salad, and hot dish do give culture shock, as does our nondescript state capitol.

States can be compared on objective criteria. It's reasonable to talk about the coldest state, or the least populated one, or the one with the most walking trails. And we do have objective data from police reports on murders, rapes, burblaries, muggings, auto theft, and other ills that the underclass lays on us. Oh yes, data like alcohol consumption, percent of obses people in the population, average age, and other countable data.

But when it comes to subjective data, we're pretty much inclined to let the buyer beware. How do they determine that the state is the rudest state, the most interesting state, the state with the cutest guys or gals, or for that matter, the states with the best and worst images?

I recently read that the states that make the best impression are Hawaii, Colorado, and Tennessee। The states that yield the worst impression are Illinois, Utah, Mississippi, and California। But there may be many states that make no impression at all. I'm afraid the Dakotas fall into that category.
At least we don't have the image of being filled with dangerous survivalists (bicoastal bogeymen, if you ask me) or being truculently rude, or being dangerous religious fanatics.


  1. ND could probably win the 'most active bloggers in the winter time per capita' award.

  2. Those best" and "worst" lists are simply occasions for snarky comments.

  3. Sadly, my home state of Pennsylvania will probably be forever known as the hatchplace of Rick Santorum. Otherwise, it's a great state. Or commonwealth. Whatever.

  4. They should not post rudest state" categories. It leads to too much competition.