Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why I Love Mississippi

If you live in Mississippi you see news articles all the time about how horrible it is to be here. Here's an example:

NEW YORK (Routers) - A new study shows that a higher percentage of people in Mississippi watch "Jersey Shore" than in any other state. "This proves that Mississippi sucks at everything," said one distinguished scientist. "If you're from Mississippi, kill yourself. You're trapped. Nobody will take you seriously - I know I won't. We had this one scientist here from Mississippi, and we all made fun of him so much that he quit and got a job at McDonald's. Serves him right."

Of course that scientist has never been to Mississippi, but he's an "expert" anyway. We got our share of problems, but I like it here. Would I live somewhere else? Probably, but Mississippi will always be part of me.

I love how we're proud of how uncomfortable summer (May 15-October 15) is. We may panic at an inch of snow, but we're PROUD of our 100-degree summers with high humidity! We can handle it, and YOU can't! Because we have air conditioning everywhere.

I love how green everything is in summer. I'm colorblind and most greens look dull, but not Mississippi summer green. It's so bright it looks like computer animation.

I love our normal winters. Kind of cold but not *too* cold. We think 10 degrees is the coldest temperature known to mankind.

I love how most of the state, with a few exceptions, is down on itself. This ain't Texas. We don't have big egos.

I love how we never do anything halfway. If we're good at something we're THE BEST. If we're bad at something we're THE WORST. No mediocrity in Mississippi.

I love our stupid college rivalry between two schools who usually suck at football. If one's good at football the other one never is. Speaking of which...

I love the fact we got the best college in the world, Ole Miss. Too bad we also got Mississippi State.

I love how even the girliest girls here love football as much as the guys.

I love getting on the freeway and going 5 under the speed limit in the right lane and people are fine with that.

I love the fact people don't get mad if you don't drink.

I love how when every other state picks on us, we pick on... Arkansas. Don't ask me why.

I love that we rejected the Arizona immigration law other states passed. There may be anti-Hispanic prejudice here, but it's less than other parts of the country such as Alabama.

I love that we have more African-American elected officials per capita than any other state - makes sense because we got more African-Americans per capita than any other state.

I love how we remember our history - we've moved past the 1960s because we remember them. A long time ago I read about an Orson Scott Card story where one group had murdered a bunch of people or something else horrible. Their punishment was they had to tell everyone what they did, and their descendents had to say what their ancestors did. This is what goes on here. Some people say it's in the past and we need to forget and move on. We'll never move on if we don't remember our past mistakes and avoid them.

We can stand to change on a lot of things. Our legacy of racism will haunt us forever. We've done a lot to overcome it, but there's still more work to do. We got in the news for blatant homophobia last year. We got a high poverty rate. Our economy is horrible now. But I love Mississippi anyway. If you don't live here you won't understand.

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