For the past few weeks, Gawker has counted down the 50 worst state’s in America. The Sooner state ranked 8th…right between Nevada and West Virgina. That’s kind of surprising, because it means the editors of Gawker were somehow able to find seven other states even worse than us. Here’s what they said about Oklahoma:
When your state motto is just that you’re OK, you’re already setting the bar pretty low.
The Good: Tulsa is a pretty cultured city, one with a good music scene that birthed, among other notable bands, Hanson. And that’s not even being sarcastic! They actually still make music and it’s kinda fun. Um, so other than Hanson, Oklahoma has… a musical about it that’s good? And a kind of picturesque flatness? Well, except for in the southeastern part of the state, which has some pretty mountains. Oklahoma also has a large and varied Native American population, making it a surprisingly diverse state, in parts.
The Bad: Yipes. Well, you’ll probably get struck by lightning or disappear into the swirling maw of a tornado if you live in Oklahoma. If you don’t die from boredom first. There’s a scene in Tracy Letts’ terrific Oklahoma-set play August: Osage County in which a character bemoans her bad mood and says that she doesn’t have the blues, she has “The Plains.” It’s a state of mind, Letts is saying, and not a good one. To complement the shitty landscape, Oklahoma is rife with the zealousest of the zealots, including my favorite lady in the entire world, splendiferous twat Sally Kern, who often says great things about gays and women and black people. She’s a great old lady. And one who has won at least one election since revealing herself to be a crazy lunatic, so well done there, Oklahoma voters. That’s the kind of thing you get in Oklahoma! People just love putting God into politics in that wacky hell-place.
I’ve been reading Gawker for years. It’s daily mix of snark, news and infotainment was a big influence on me when I started “blogging,” and one of the things that inspired me to create The Lost Ogle. Therefore, it’s only natural that I’m disappointed in all of this. I expected a much higher ranking and a much better write-up!
Seriously, that was just weak. I think we all sometimes wonder how the average and lame phrase “Oklahoma is OK” made it on our old license plates. Maybe at one time “Okay” was a better word than it is today. Maybe it meant something like “terrific” or “super-duper” or “radical.”
But none of that really matters. You see, our state motto is not “Oklahoma is OK.” It’s actually the Latin phrase “Labor Omnia Vincit.” When translated, it means “Labor Conquers All Things.” That’s actually a very progressive and liberal motto. Hell, it sounds like something you would hear people chant in an old Soviet propaganda film. Knowing that, you would think the editors at Gawker would like it.
The “good” write-up was simply terrible. If the best thing about our state is the Tulsa music scene, then I need to move. I’ve never understood why people think Tulsa is this great music mecca of the midwest. The town has a couple of “historic” music venues that some decent musicians have visited. It’s crowning moment was when Sid Vicious punched a hole in a wall. Other than that, Tulsa is like a suburb without city.
The “bad” write-up was a bit more accurate but even less funny. The writer starts off with a stereotypical weather reference about tornadoes and lighting. Yeah, our weather sucks, but it’s not because of the higher than average rate of tornadoes and thunderstorms. I’ve lived here 33 years and have never seen an actual tornado on the ground. And as Alabama, Missouri and even New York have recently shown, tornadoes can and do occur almost anywhere.
If you ask me, what makes our climate so terrible is that we only have two or three months a year of decent, tolerable weather. Our summers are usually blistering hot, and our winters are just cold enough to be cold. When spring or fall hits, it rains and rains and rains. And if it is sunny and 75 outside, there’s usually a strong 20 mph wind ready to blast dust in your face or blow a semi-truck into your lane on the highway.
The rest of the “bad” stuff mentioned Crazy Sally and our right-wing wacko populous. It was accurate, but just not that funny. The writer also spent too much time trying to show how smart and cultured he is by referencing some obscure play about Oklahoma. Look at you! You watch stage drama! Lets drinks some tea in Washington Square! Yawn.
Anyway, even though the write-up sucked, it’s kind of neat to see Oklahoma mentioned in a snooty, pretentious, East Coast website like Gawker. Maybe we should send the editors some pictures of our cars, house payments and jobs to show them how bad we really got it. Maybe then they’ll move us into the top five.
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