Friday, June 18, 2010

I Hate When I have to Show Hometown Pride

This one time a girl asked me where I was from, and I said, "New Hampshire." She got this look on her face like I said I was born in a dumpster, among the pizza boxes and banana peels. All defensive, I said, "Southern New Hampshire, less than an hour outside of Boston. And I've been living out on the seacoast. It's not the boonies you're thinking of."

I'm reading this book, The Wisest Man in America, where the sophistry of a Journalist of Doom™ juxtaposes a granddaughter of that Thoreau transcendentalism personified in a New Hampshire native from the North Country, a man who has successfully predicted every presidential primary since 1960.

I try not to over-identify with the state, cause all, whatever, you know, it's not me and I'm not it, and I might be sad the Old Man fell from the mountain those years back, but that's the extent of it, and I'm trying to be all non-conformist without participating in the herd of independent minds. I still feel the feathers on the Icarus wings start get ruffled every time this Wetherell dude (New Jersey-born) feels the need to make comments about podunk New Hampshire.

I make comments about podunk New Hampshire, but it's different. I speak from experience. This dude describes the North Country like he's only seen it in Transcendentalists' musings, like the closest he's come to standing above the mountaintops is from contemplating Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer. The Portsmouth of his visions sounds like no Portsmouth I've ever contemplated.

I met some other girl in Moscow, totally by chance, also from New Hampshire. She said, "I want to live in that house up the street from the Walker School in Concord."

I said, "Real funny you should mention that house, my sister, Galinda, used to date the kid who lived there."

"She went out with Murphy?" she exclaimed. "That's so cool!"

I'm fine with self-reflexive mockery or with external criticism. The latter masquerading as the former, though, has to be the perfect act of subterfuge - else it rings false, else it detracts from everything.

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