I was really hoping that it would be a more gangsta adaptation on how the Civil War went down, but it turns out to be a mix CD featuring various rappers and hip hop artists from, you guessed it, the north and south United States. I'm sure some of you guys are way more "street" savvy than me about stuff like this. Especially considering I only recently discovered what "creepin" means and am still just waiting on the next Kelly Clarkson album to drop. (October 25th) Why? Because she's the last hardcore rockstar, that's why!
The eyeliner proves it!
|Although, seriously, if you broke up with anyone between 2004 and now, |
you know you've cranked up some "Since You Been Gone".
|Pictured: Twista doling out some apocalyptic enunciation.|
So, despite being extremely white and lacking in street cred, I decided to devise a comparison list of pros and cons that has absolutely nothing to do with rap, to determine whether the "D" or the "Dirty South" will have my fealty.
I work for the state, and contrary to popular belief, get paid just a little more than jack shit. In compensation for this, we get an insane amount of holidays off. Columbus Day? You better believe I'm throwing back some enslaving-indigenous-people margaritas!
|Also, the Cortez gold really brings out the flavor of tequila...|
For example, if you live in northern Michigan, November 15th has a special significance.
Traditionally the opening day of deer season, it's the day when men fill their coolers full of beer and their hearts with false hope for shooting that trophy buck. Their women hit the malls for "Deer Widow" shopping extravaganzas, and Bambi loses his parents.
Meanwhile, the South delivers a one-two knockout when it comes to ridiculous holidays.
Confederate Memorial Day, (celebrated in April), and Robert E. Lee's Birthday (celebrated the Friday after Thanksgiving instead of his actual birthday on January 19th), are both state sanctioned days off in Georgia.
That's right, a rogue government that lasted all of four years gets treated as though it had a long and illustrious existence.
Then again, this is the same state that flew a variation of the Confederate flag until 2001...
Coming from Michigan, there's a lot of things I took for granted, particularly concerning customer service. When I lived up North I didn't think anything of going to the corner store or dropping off a package at the post office during lunch. But after moving down to northwest Georgia in the winter of 2010, I experienced a hell of a culture shock.
|This is the least of my issues.|
On a weekday, at two in the afternoon, I went to the post office to mail something. Too bad I didn't realize they were on lunch break. From 11:45 until 1:45.
Yup, a two hour lunch and those bastards were still late. Deciding to kill some time and buy a pop at a small corner store, I had to wait for the counter clerk to unlock the door because she had also just come back from lunch.
|Because fuck you, that's why.|
Tip the guy showing you your fluid levels an extra dollar or two in appreciation. Because if you move to the South, they cease to exist. Anywhere.
For some asinine reason that I will never understand, a simple oil change gets turned into a production down here in Georgia. It's not just an oil change, it's a car maintenance experience.
|That's very nice, but I've got somewhere to be...|
Seriously though, if anyone is in automotive and has the ambition to start up their own business. Come down to Georgia, preferably Savannah, and introduce the concept of the 10-minute oil change. Please?
Without a doubt, North slam dunk wins for efficiency.
You knew I'd have to touch on this. But not just in the longer summers vs. change in seasons kind of way, because that's boring. Nope, we're comparing Blizzards vs. Hurricanes.
|Ha. I wish.|
There's this feeling that occurs at least twice during any winter in Michigan. It's the, "I'll-never-be-warm-again", feeling that usually takes place mid-January or February. And then a relentless blizzard will hit, with vicious winds whipping off the lakes, while your car disappears underneath an extra three feet of snow.
|Meanwhile all you can do is curse because you still can't find your left glove.|
However, in the American South, from August through October, we're treated to a rad weather phenomenon known as "hurricane season".
|How do you feel about that beach front property now?|
Talk about a no-holds barred, straight up assault by mother nature. And she will have you screaming her name. Isabel, Katrina, Anita. All of them.
|Shit just got real.|
South gets this one. Hurricanes are just more badass.
Some folks may strongly disagree, but the North is where it's at when it comes to sustenance.
I am beyond sick of hearing about the superiority of "down home southern cooking". Not saying it's not good, it is. But get over yourselves. A frito pie is only so special.
|Mmm... smells like trailer. |
Who am I kidding? That looks fantastic.
Any idiot can fry a bird or zucchini, and I would much rather have some fresh water perch than a bottom feeding catfish. Also, I don't care how well it's cooked or seasoned, I refuse to eat anything feces has passed through, unless it's a hotdog. So you can forget about chitlins.
|Someone's life would have to depend on it. Someone I like. A lot.|
BBQ though, that's a different story. The slow cooked pulled pork that's down here is just fantastic. And there's little BBQ stands on every third street corner. It's awesome. But have you been to Slow's in Detroit?
When it comes to food, the north can do anything the south can do, and they're not limited to deep-frying or slathering butter all over everything. Polish? Italian? Seafood? They do that. Although with the advent of technology and superior transportation, regional cuisine is becoming a thing of the past. But for some reason, the south is still clinging to the idea that their stuff is special. Sorry, but Subway has a BBQ sandwich now and Pillsbury makes better butter biscuits than any of the heavy homemade stuff I've had down here.
Michigan unemployment rate: 10.9%
Georgia unemployment rate: 10.2%
And that's the bottom line.
It may not seem like much, but it's amazing the different .7% can make. In Michigan, Troy was working at a pawn shop, and I was hustling to serve drink orders. Although that was probably the most fun either of us have ever had at our jobs, you can't live on fun.
|And sometimes people die trying...|
I love Georgia, but Michigan will always be home.
I do miss apple orchards and hay rides in the fall, the change in seasons makes you appreciate summer that much more. And there's something to be said about swimming in the lake verses the ocean, where the only thing I have to worry about is running into a bed of seaweed. But Georgia has afforded opportunities that just aren't available back home, and sometimes you've got to grab on and run with that.
We certainly aren't the only ones either, a totally unofficial facebook survey shows that very few people I graduated school with are still living back home. I'm happy for those that are, that they were able to make it work. For the rest of us, guess we'll still use our hands as maps, and stock up on Vernor's when we're back in town...