Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Oklahoma is only the 8th Worst State in America…

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:

8. 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.


  1. They also overlooked our adulterous, lackey governor who can claim turning down $54 mil for health insurance (to kiss tea party ass) even though we’re broke and have no alternate plan ourselves, Oilfield Prayer Day, and approving our State Gospel Song among her accomplishments so far…

  2. Patrick – to be fair, they mention Tulsa’s “culture”, not just “music scene.” And who says Tulsa is some kind of music mecca of the Midwest?! Tulsa has a nice musical history, but it’s clearly not Austin. But that said, the musical culture here runs a bit deeper than The Sex Pistols playing Cain’s. Ever hear of Leon Russel or J.J. Cale? And say what you will, but having venues like Cain’s and Brady, where all of the best current music acts play regularly, does add to the city’s “scene.”

    And what’s with the “suburb without a city” comment? If anything, OKC’s vibe is much more “suburban.” The main entertainment district there feels like something right out of south Tulsa/Jenks.

      • “Tulsa’s main entertainment district IS in South Tulsa/Jenks.”

        If you really think that, you either haven’t visited Tulsa in about a decade or you live in South Tulsa/Jenks and never leave that particular enclave of suburban hell. Either way, you don’t have the first f-ing clue what you’re talking about.

    • Having lived in OKC and Tulsa, I certainly agree. I ride my bike everywhere I need to go. I don’t think that’s possible in OKC.

      That being said, I obviously never go to south Tulsa/Jenks (north Dallas), which is a suburban hellscape.

  3. “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 we should just send them a picture of our houses not underwater or our cars not floating down the street. Just saying.

  4. Honestly, I don’t understand how Patrick can go to Gawker and think that they are going to view Oklahoma City or the state as a whole as anything other than the inbred sweat stain of the nation. It is pretty weird that there is always a stigma about how Oklahoma is boring, dull, and all-in-all pretty lifeless. Like a trailer park version of an old west ghost town. If you talk to transplants they will tell you that the p.o.v. most people have of the Sooner State is because they haven’t experienced it.

    I like to view our state like a metaphor of visiting your grandparents house. When you are young and full of energy, there aren’t too many toys. But if you wind up there, you [somehow] kill your time and get to go home. As you grow older, you realize that these are people full of interesting facts and history. Their ideologies may not be a part of your “new radical” thinking process, but they do make some sense. Then, as you finally reach true adulthood, you understand that when the time comes that they will pass on, you will miss being able to ask for advice or go see them and share a coke in one of the old time glass bottles as you look off the porch and watch the world happen while the day slowly moves on.

    I am proud of this state, minus our ability to elect the Tom Coburns and Mary Fallins to office, and I am proud to be here (by choice) and be from here.

    Perhaps, this is just a long winded, over romanticized idea, but I think it is one that fits.

    • Well said. It is obvious that the person who wrote that piece had never actually been anywhere in Oklahoma, except maybe Tulsa, once. But to be fair, I read a couple other states and they were all terribly written. It seems the Gawker’s snarkiness is surpassed only by their laziness.

  5. Seems like a more accurate title would have been 50 least “progressive” states.

    Unemployment in California: 12.5%
    Unemployment in Okahoma: 5.4%

    I think I’ll stay put, thanks!

  6. Our motto’s eerily similar to the words slapped across the entrances of the Nazi’s concentration camps: “Arbeit Macht Frei.” “Work Brings Freedom.”

  7. Pretty lame attempt by Gawker. They’d have to visit this place to have a better gauge on what their talking about. Oklahoma is growing and very, very diverse. Being born and raised in California, I prefer the Oklahoma way of life. Other than San Diego, this is a place I wouldn’t mind living the rest of my days. Even though you got huge ass churches and bleed the reddest of the red states.

  8. Clearly Gawker is trying to stir the pot in an attempt to gain back the over 1,000,000 daily viewers they lost after their epic fail from their design change this year. Gawker is dying as we speak and they are trying to become relavant again…even if it is with markets they typically dont bother with (like our lovely “fly-over state”)

  9. Parick, having just moved from Tulsa to OKC, everything you’ve said about Tulsa couldn’t be more wrong. Not that it’s some sort of music mecca, but the bands and shows are more plentiful in comparison and the city is much easier on the eyes than the trash filled, flat expanse of OKC.

  10. Touche’. I’m not an MSNBC fan at all, but it has to be fairly accurate considering it is a fact commented on my many agencies.

  11. Actually, the Tracy Letts/August: Osage County reference is not that obscure. I’m no Broadway afficionado by any means, and even I know about that one.

    • Yeah, me too. I just did not want to be the first one to say it for fear of sounding pretentious.. I am pretty sure it won the Pulitzer or something. I mean, it was pretty popular. Still is technically.

      • Tracy’s Mother, Billie, is one of my favorite authors. I love her Oklahoma-themed writing style. She’s a great Stateswoman.

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