Thursday, April 26, 2012
Camelot vs. Camenot
Some states are kind of like Camelot. Others might make Borat feel right at home.
As far as I can tell, that's what the Camelot Index boils down to. It's the mother of all rankings, measuring the state of states' economies, public health, education, crime rates, "government prudence," and societal health -- encompassing things like home ownership, incarceration, out-of-wedlock births and the like. Then the staff at Federal Funds Information for States averages all the rankings to create the composite ranking.
This year, you'll need a warm winter coast if it's Camelot you're seeking. Apparently, King Arthur has moved Queen Guinevere, the knights and the round table to . . . North Dakota. New Hampshire's second, South Dakota third, Nebraska fourth, while Wyoming rounds out the top five.
Borat, meantime, hearts Louisiana. Word is he's been spotted in a Bourbon Street gutter. And it's likely he'll come down with a social disease while a New Orleans cop picks his pocket.
WHEN YOU live in a top-five kind of place -- Nebraska, for example -- the response to lists like the Camelot Index is pretty uncomplicated. Basically, it's "YAY!"
On the other hand, people in, say, Louisiana have lots of options. One is shame, but nobody likes feeling ashamed all the time, so one might look for other emotional and intellectual options. For instance, you could get good and mad.
Denial is another option, unless you might prefer its cousin, dismissiveness. Then again, you might prefer paranoia . . . because all them eggheads and snobs are out to get you, you know. That's definitely disturbing, until at long last you wearily give in to resignation.
Finally, we have my favorite two reactions -- and, trust me, they're about to be yours, too -- a whacked-out, bad-is-good kind of defiance, which invites the very best kind of black humor. That's what we saw just today in back-to-back comments on the New Orleans Times-Picayune's story about how the Gret Stet, in virtually every meaningful statistical way, still sucks:
LOL doesn't even begin to cover it. Well played, "whodat-70816."