I grew up in Manhattan and learned very early on that making fun of New Jersey is an old treasured pastime for New Yorkers. Despite the fact that many Manhattanites (including myself) have never even visited New Jersey aside from driving through it occasionally to get somewhere else, making fun of the stereotypical New Jerseyan and, to quote Woody Allen, the "vast primitive wasteland" that is New Jersey, is as much a part of growing up in New York City as eating bagels or never learning how to drive. New Yorkers love making fun of New Jersey. But I'd like to think that we make fun of it out of love, and that Jersey is kind of New York City's kid brother on the other side of the Hudson. It's one thing for us to tease our little brother, but when someone outside the family starts beating up on him, it's a very different story.
The recent finale of MTV's hit show, The Jersey Shore, will, I hope, mark an end to the rampant Jersey-hating that has swept across America for the past several months. It's getting really old. I can't go online for one minute without seeing some teenager from Tennessee Tweeting making fun of "Jersey hair" and "Jersey tans," or some guy from Kansas dissing Jersey dance-moves. First of all, what does anyone from Kansas know about New Jersey, and secondly, haven't any of these people ever watched MTV before? Those Jersey Shore kids are downright adorable compared to most seasons of The Real Word and pretty much every season of anything ever aired on VH1.
As a New Yorker, I believe I have a responsibility to stick up for Jersey, to defend our little brother to the West. So, just like JWoWW defended Snookie at the club when some bitch called her fat, I'd like to take this opportunity to defend New Jersey on behalf of New York City. To some of those states who think they're better than New Jersey, I'd like to say a big, fat, Jersey Shore-style f*ck you:
F*ck you, Texas, go pick on someone your own size, you f*ckin' hippo!...And watch out, California. Jersey's the sweetest bitch you'll ever meet but do not f*ck with it...At this point you're lucky Jersey doesn't crack you in your face right now, Ohio, you don't even look Italian!...To you states that border Jersey: How does Jersey's d*ck taste, Pennsylvania? Congratulations on Jersey's sloppy seconds, Delaware!...Yo, you talk a lotta game, Washington state, but Jersey gave us Thomas Edison, Walt Whitman, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Jack Nicholson, Whitney Houston, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, to name a few. You gave us Ted Bundy and Glenn Beck, so get the f*ck outta Jersey's face...You see that, Arkansas? You see how Jersey's on the dance floor creepin' on yo' girl and you're just sitting there drinking hater-juice?...And you can hate on Jersey all you want, Maine, but guess what Jersey invented? The phonograph, the motion picture projector, color television, the videotape recorder, the electric guitar, and the light bulb. And what did you invent? Lobster bibs and playa-hatin'. Ahh yeah, bro, that's one shot! That's one shot, kid! That's what you get for talking sh*t!
All of us, even my fellow New Yorkers, have got to stop picking on Jersey so much. It's getting old. Besides, most of the typically New York-y things New Yorkers love--The New Yorker magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Derek Jeter, Jon Stewart (and pretty much every stand-up comic in NYC), the Statue of Liberty, Allen Ginsberg, Giants Stadium, electricity -- are all either from Jersey, in Jersey, or run by someone from Jersey. And also keep in mind that anyone who lives in New York City and isn't a millionaire will probably have to move to Jersey within the next three years anyway, so you better start liking it.
And, finally, for you New Jerseyites who currently live in New York City: Why not let last week's Jersey Shore finale also be the finale of your shame? Next time somebody asks you where you're from, don't dodge the question. Don't say something like, "Errrr...twenty-five minutes from the city," which, though technically accurate, is still just New Jersey.
So why not come out and say it loud and proud: "I am from New Jersey!" You have nothing to be ashamed of, and those who tell you any different are probably from some absolutely terrible place like Massachusetts so, as Mike "The Situation" says, f*ck them.