Friday, January 12, 2018

Point of Other

Have you ever told an Iowa joke? I can think of a few:

Q. What's the best thing to come out of Iowa?
A. I-35.

Q. What keeps Minnesota from drifting off into Canada?
A. Iowa sucks.

I have friends on social media (and maybe I need better friends, but bear with me on this one) who disapprove of the electoral choices people in Wisconsin have been making recently. I regularly see the epithet "Wisissippi" used to describe our neighbors to the east, because apparently supporting certain types of politicians means you are allowed to denigrate everyone who lives there.

And why is the term "Wisissippi" a term of disparagement? Well, of course, because it reminds people of Mississippi, a southern state that all bien pensants know is backward and benighted, a place filled with undesirable people, a place that everyone knows is a... wait for it...


We're told that's the epithet Le Grand Orange used to describe certain countries, especially Haiti. I'm being instructed by the bien pensants that I must denounce such language at once, or else I'm just as bad as he is. And he's a racist, or something. You may have even noticed something about Trump -- he talks like someone from the Outer Boroughs.

We're all about slagging the Other. We do it all the time. People in the southern suburbs slag the northern suburbs all the time. I live in a community next door to Fridley. I've heard dozens of Fridley jokes, usually about trailer parks and whatnot. People in the suburbs slag people in the city all the time.

People write songs, too. Steely Dan has a good one:

Don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard 
I just read the Daily News and swear by every word 
And don't think that I'm out of line 
For speaking out for what is mine 
I'd like to see you do just fine
But look at what you wear 
And the way you cut your hair
I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown

Speaking of the Daily News, they have a nice cover this morning:

The latest poop
It's vicious if Trump says something Anglo-Saxon about Haitians. But it's good sport to make fun of people from Queens, or Jersey, or Fridley, or Barrytown, or any other Podunk town. Unless you're in the Podunk town, where it's de rigueur to rip on the city slickers in New York City.

Speaking of music, Tom Lehrer had another take on such things:

Oh, the poor folks, hate the rich folks
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks.
It's American as apple pie

Or, for that matter, try this one:

We sing of freedom and ooh equality.
But we really don't care we just want money money money.
We want to drive in a big black limousine.
Get so high off ganja we can't even see.
And then we kill the white people. Ooh we gunna make them hurt.
Kill the white people. Yea. Ooh but buy my record first ooh.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the real reason people hate Donald Trump is because he's comfortable in his biases. We sing of freedom and equality, but we really don't care we just want money money money. And if you doubt that, you're probably not getting fundraising emails from the DNC.


jerrye92002 said...

When I moved here from Mississippi, I had to point out that MS:
1. Had a top tax rate of 3%, not 9% like MN.
2. Consistently balanced the budget.
3. State parks are free.
4. And our kids were a year AHEAD of the schools here. Without public kindergarten.
5. And had one of the lowest achievement gaps in education.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Trump's purpose seems to be shock the system out of its comforting euphemisms and shibboleths. It started with what is "presidential" and has since been marching steadily through all the accepted lies that have allowed business to be conducted as usual in Washington, even as this business drifted further and further from reality.

Lots of people in power think "shithole" about countries and states, and act accordingly; you're just not supposed to say it outloud.

Bike Bubba said...

Q. Why doesn't Iowa have a pro football team?

A. Because if they got one, Minnesota would want one, too.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Why does the Iowa University football field have artificial turf?

To keep the cheerleaders from grazing.

Bike Bubba said...

RA reminds me of a couple of jokes from my undergrad days:

Why does Michigan State have artificial turf? To keep the cheerleaders from grazing.

Why does the University of Michigan have artificial turf? To keep the cheerleaders from smoking.

For reference, Michigan State now has natural grass, but the stinky weasels living in their (H/T LBJ) "bunghole" still have turf.

Mr. D said...

Q. What do you call a dead pig draped over a tractor?
A. The University of Iowa homecoming parade

Q. How do you get an Iowa grad off your porch?
A. Pay for the pizza

The best part — every one of these jokes works equally well with every other school in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Pac-12, etc. And Crankbait’s joke is equally interchangeable, except for the few schools in these leagues that still play on grass fields.

Mr. D said...

This sort of joke even extends down to the liberal arts realm. Benster has mentioned this variant

Q. What happens if you make a salad at the Knox cafeteria salad bar?
A. Monmouth awards you a bachelor’s degree in nutrition

Gino said...

In densely populated so cal, we disparage according to area codes, which have a lot of in such a tight geographic area.949 is South Orange county, the snobby beautiful people. 714 is working class, central Orange county. 909 is San Bernardino, dpressed, meth heads, Nascar types, hillbillies, and Mexicans.i am 951, retired people, long distance commuters, horse owners... And more meth heads.

Gino said...

Add modular/mobile homes and mullet head to the 951.

R.A. Crankbait said...

In response, the Big 10 mascots have decided to just "shake it off".