My Old Kentucky Homesite

We’re Number One!

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 01/24/2010

Do you love – to the exclusion of all other interests – college basketball, horse-breeding, bourbon, and coal-mining (not necessarily in that order)? If you said yes, you should definitely consider a move to Lexington.

But if you said no, and if you already happen to live in Lexington, you should get the fuck out. That’s what three letter writers advise on the opinion page of today’s Herald-Leader.

If you don’t like the Wildcats or discussing their success, you should leave on the next bus out.

If he doesn’t love the Horse Capital of the World, please, he should feel free to leave.

I know a great moving company that could aid in putting you out of your misery. It may not be for everyone, but I and a whole lot of other people think “this town” is just fantastic.

A great way to keep a “town” (why the quotation marks?), or a state, or a country, or a religious community, or a political party ignorant and unproductive is to invite its critics to leave. In the old days, they were run out on a rail. That’s illegal now, so the next best thing is to insist that everyone indulge in unquestioning boosterism.

On yesterday’s late-night news, in the lead story, some old biddy sports fan exulted that the Wildcats were, for the time being, at the top of the standings. “We’re number one!” she cried. “We’re number one!” How she became part of “we” went unanswered.

It should be obvious to everyone but a Lexingtonian that the victory of a mere basketball team is no substitute for working towards a society that respects education and culture, where political corruption doesn’t hold sway over progress, where the majority religion doesn’t ram its agenda down the throats of the entire populace, and where the coal industry doesn’t hold the citizens in an ecological deathgrip.

But who am I to judge? That woman was number one! Even though Kentucky’s percentage of persons with a bachelor’s (or higher) degree is 46th in the nation. Even though we’re only 29th (30th if you count D.C.) in expenditures per public school pupil. Even though Kentucky’s Personal Income Per Capita is 46th. Even though we’re 7th in the United States (6th if you don’t count D.C.) in percentage of citizens living below the poverty line, and 14th in Unemployment.

She’s number one! This boast from a woman whose local newspaper, on a recent January 26th, ran the brilliant headline:

Free Advice: Bundle Up When Out In The Cold.

So: If the people here can’t take the winter without throwing on a bunch of sissy clothes, if they can’t abide being undereducated, underemployed, and poor, then they should leave on the next bus out.

Because we’re number one! A whole lot of people think that’s just fantastic.


8 Responses to “We’re Number One!”

  1. Hey you forgot about “our” high ranking for production of meth! Even though Sudafed was moved behind the counter, meth labs were at an all time high last year.

    “We” do pretty good in pot production too! (If this is good or bad is strictly personal.)

    Isn’t it sad? And “our” Senator is boss of the Senate. I guess it’s all related.

  2. Going:
    According to this report, Kentucky is 3rd in the U.S. in marijuana production (although a majority of that weed goes out of state). Pot is our largest cash crop by far, bringing in nearly four-and-a-half billion(!) dollars to our domestic economy each year.

    Yet, I can’t think of a single federal legislator from Kentucky who’s for legalization. Of course, I’m new here, so I could be wrong. Perhaps I haven’t heard about it if “our” senior Senator has barnstormed all over the state in support of making marijuana a true Kentucky asset, bringing in tax revenues that could go toward better education, more efficient energy, and improved infrastructure. Please correct me if that has actually happened.

    And I do wonder: How much of “our” output is consumed by people watching Wildcats basketball?

  3. srsny said

    I skimmed through that fascinating study, which by the way also tells us that marijuana production is the top money making crop nationwide, bringing in 12 billion more than the 23 billion-dollar top legal cash crop – corn. Of course, with legalization, the pot dollars would probably go down, I think.

    However, with legalization could come all those other uses of the crop that the hemp advocates are always talking about. Perhaps this is the key to reviving our depressed economy! I never smoked pot very much in the old days, and haven’t done so in decades. But now I’m beginning to thing, out of patriotism, if nothing else, I should possibly begin to indulge.

    My problem, as a former tobacco smoker, is that I would have to find alternate means of using pot – cook it into food? – because I will not risk inhaling anything that might make me go back to really dangerous cigarettes.

  4. Srsny:
    My pot history is similar to yours. I never cared for it because I was much more of a beer (later wine) and cigarettes kind of guy. Now that I, too, have given up smoking, I’d be afraid to try it for the same reason you would. Sometimes, just breathing air deeply makes me want to light up a Marlboro. But, of course, it should be everyone’s right to use marijuana if they choose. (Hell, I’m one of those old-fashioned libertarians who still think people should be allowed to smoke tobacco if they’re in the company of other like-minded individuals.)

    As a side-note, though: It struck me, given the hyper-religiosity of Kentucky, that our people here are not unlike the Taliban — making tons of money on illegal drugs while professing piety.

  5. srsny said

    Their reply to you might be: “Any versions of the ten commandments say anything about mood altering substances?”

  6. Srsny:
    I can’t find anything about marijuana in the Ten Commandments, but the second book of Kings, chapter 4, verse 40 says: There is death in the pot.

    On the other hand, Psalm 68, verse 18 begins: Thou hast ascended on [a] high …

    However, it appears that Yahweh prefers cocaine to marijuana. We can see this clearly in Psalm 16, verse 6: The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places …

  7. srsny said

    Don’t forget “bo’ray pri hagofen”

  8. Srsny:
    Yeah, Yahweh also digs wine. Those ancient Hebrews must have badly needed to have their moods altered.

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