South Park is a cartoon created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It’s exceedingly irreverent and, if you’re into that kind of humor, belly-laughing funny. This week they had an episode about the new sub-genre of reality programming in the US: New Jersey.
I must say, I found it hilarious. People from New Jersey are depicted as loud, abrasive, insanely rude, extremely profane, with rage issues.
Yes. Compared to other states I’ve lived in, this characterization of Jersey is pretty *accurate.
Probably the best part of it was the fact that every time someone behaved inappropriately, they excused themselves by saying, “it’s a Jersey thing.”
I’ve lived outside of Jersey long enough to know that no one likes that explanation, so I rarely use it. OUT LOUD. But I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched because I still say it in my head all the time!
The best part is, I know everyone else who has transplanted here does, too! We all use “where I’m from” to excuse a whole host of behaviors to ourselves or others. I’m pretty sure most of us never thought we’d be “the shy one” or “the rude one” or whatever other “one” might be considered negative. But the fact is that we are shaped by the place we grow up, and it takes a lot longer than a handful of years to shake decades of cultural expectations off!
So, I will probably continue with my practice of confining cursing or ranting to mental exercises only. However, thanks to South Park, I won’t feel as guilty about it anymore. I will revel in it. After all, it’s a Jersey thing.
*(Of course, that’s not all there is to Jersey, but the good stuff doesn’t make for hilarious cartoonery…)