Garden State Stupidity

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Yes, I know from growing up there that New Jersey produces the best corn, TV mobsters, and toxic landfills in the country. (And yes, the three products are probably all related to one another.)

And some of the dumbest, most annoying lawmakers in both the free and unfree world. A couple of decades ago, it was trying to make Bruce Springsteen's get-outta-here-anyway-we-can-baby anthem "Born to Run" the "unofficial" state song; just a few days ago it was declaring the tomato the state vegetable.

Now comes word via Rogier van Bakel at Nobody's Business that a lawmaker wants televised poker shows to cough up money to treat gambling addicts.

Why stop at poker shows? ESPN could be made to pay into a healthcare fund for people with sports injuries. Maybe the Playboy Channel should start paying the therapy bills for sex addicts. And since mob shows could push the gullible into a life of crime, why don't we order HBO to send a check to the Crime Victims Fund for every new episode of The Sopranos?

Whole thing here.

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  1. The first and most obvious target, of course, should be The West Wing.

  2. The best corn is grown in the Connecticut River Valley.

  3. Lots of toxins here too.

  4. New Jersey.

    The state with the country’s 10th-highest population and highest population density, but without a large city of any real consequence.

    The only state not to have a state song.

    The only state whose primary state university isn’t named after itself, but after some Revolutionary War figure who otherwise would be long forgotten.

    A state that’s the fifth-smallest in the nation in terms of size, yet in which the residents of half of its land mass don’t root for the state’s pro basketball and hockey teams, but rather for ones in Pennsylvania.

    A state that possesses two pro football teams and one of America’s most famous landmarks, but is content to have them all belong to New York.

    A state that decided to create a gambling resort in a place that contained a boardwalk and a beach, and was within close proximity of two of the five largest cities in the country, but which nonetheless couldn’t succeed in making the place worthy of shining Vegas’ shoes.

    A state that doesn’t trust you to pump your own gas, puts up toll booths at 15-mile intervals and traffic cops at 10-mile intervals on its most prominent highway, and has managed to send half the nation’s car insurance companies fleeing to greener pastures.

    A state that gets busted on by everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Howard Stern to the cast of Futurama to my flaky English lit professor.

    A state whose only saving grace, other than the corn (and maybe the blueberries), is that it’s not Alabama.

  5. it’s also a state that can kick your ass.

    ROCK!

  6. Eric II:

    While your point may be true, I have to disagree about it’s only saving grace.

    The Jersey shore is awesome!

  7. A state whose only saving grace, other than the corn (and maybe the blueberries), is that it’s not Alabama.

    Never been to Mississippi, have you?

  8. “it was trying to make Bruce Springsteen’s get-outta-here-anyway-we-can-baby anthem “Born to Run” the “unofficial” state song”

    I rant about this all the time, but is there some sort of mass retardation that blocks people from understanding the lyrics of a song beyond the chorus?? In a related instance, Sting was shocked that folks were dedicating “Every Breath You Take” to their loved ones on the radio. He responded by writing “Set Them Free”.

  9. Mr. NG-

    Thus compounding his crimes against humanity! Won’t someone stop him before he writes another? Do it for the children, won’t someone please think about the children!?!

  10. MNG,

    I heard a guy dedicated REM’s “The One I Love” to his girlfriend the other day.

    “…a simple prop/to occupy my time/this one goes out to the one I love.”

    And then there’s the Reagan campaign playing “Born in the USA.”

  11. Let me attempt to get this thread back on topic. Interestingly enough, many of the ads on New Joisey radio are to promote gambling. The state lottery runs an outlandish number of ads, perhaps second only to the car dealers screaming at me that I need a new car. And since there are about seven car dealers in the state and one lottery, perhaps the prominence is even greater.

    If the state is interested in curbing the abuses of gambling, perhaps it should stop using my tax dollars to promote gambling?

  12. Nos:

    Aw, man! The Police were arguably the best power trio ever. Legendary.

    joe:

    Yeah, I often hear “Born in the USA” during July 4th firework shows. I’m hoping that whoever put the music together is making some sort of ironic statement.. but it’s a faint hope.

  13. Ayatollah,
    At least New Jersey allows private casinos. I’m in Massachusetts and they won’t allow private/Indian or any other gambling here, just the Mass. state lottery. Then they have the balls to advertise the fact that money from it gets returned to the General Fund for police, firemen and teachers. Once again it’s “for the children”

    State run gambling good, private companies bad.

  14. Maybe the Playboy Channel should start paying the therapy bills for sex addicts.

    Or start picking up the tab for my carpal tunnel syndrome!

  15. The worst thing about lotteries, besides taking money from dumb poor people, is the radio advertising. Obviously the scheme is to make the stations so dependent on their ads that they don’t dare mention the ugliness of the whole thing.

  16. And Alabama has a nice beach too! Roll Tide!

  17. Again with the anti-jerseyitism. I think it’s due to insecurity. Eric seems especially irked by the success of the Garden State. Maybe it’s so densely populated because people like living there?

    And we did produce Brendan Byrne.

    Is there a way to tag text so that it looks like it was written huffily?

    QFMC cos. V

  18. “Never been to Mississippi, have you?”

    Nice beaches, god forbid you should go in the water.

  19. dhex,

    it’s also a state that can kick your ass.

    Then why’s it so happy being New York’s bitch?

    shoebee,

    The Jersey shore is awesome!

    Yeah, the shore has its good points. Though as I mentioned, the place that should be its crown jewel is nothing more than a cheap parody.

    Also, it would help if getting there didn’t mean having to put up with all your peers who drive 60 mph in the left lane for the full length of the Parkway while refusing to move right. Granted, they mostly have NY license plates.

    Fabius,

    Eric seems especially irked by the success of the Garden State.

    I lived there for the first 17 years of my life. Jersey’s only “success” appears to be in producing sprawl, tackiness, and lowlifes on such a large scale that it turns into an artform.

  20. One of our local newspaper columnists pretty well summed up the lottery when he said, “Your chances of winning are about the same, whether you enter or not.”

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