In Response to GQ’s ‘Maine: Do We Really Need It?’

by Crystal Ponti in the huffington post

I nearly coughed up my lobster roll after reading a piece on GQ this weekend entitled “Maine: Do We Really Need It?” First off, what legitimate non-reporter shits out a headline like this and gets away with it? Do we need a state? Probably more than we need an artificially and temporarily implanted mommy’s boy chewing away at our resources while spending a total of four years at Bates College and thinking he has an opinion.

Welcome to Maine. The way life should be.
Welcome to Maine. The way life should be.

Breathe.

Forgive me, I’m a little defensive. I love Maine. I’ve lived here my entire life, exactly forty-two years as of this month. While I’ve seen my fair share of backward policies and racism, I’ve also seen what it really means to live in this state. Spending four years as a tourist doesn’t give you the right to comment. You know exactly shit about being a Mainer.

So let me fill you in:

If I had to guess, approximately 0.056 percent of the population talk with that wicked accent you improperly referenced. What’s that, five total? I mean we are, after all, a wasteland, a wilderness of hill people, as you so eloquently put it.

In all honesty, this accent is practically dead. And where it is present, it’s mostly isolated to the eastern seaboard of Maine. If I had to guess, you rarely conversed with anyone who said ayuh or Bangah. Did you even leave the comfort of your dorm? I’ve rarely conversed with anyone who talks this way, and I’ve lived here for four decades.

While I’m at it, let me correct you. It’s not HERE-AH. Here ah? Did you sound this out before you typed it? Did you ask Siri for assistance? I don’t think so. It’s heyah. We don’t fuck around with r’s. Next time you disparage our native tongue, get it right.

Portland, dear Portland. I want to shove a pine cone in your ear for your narcissistic remark about this most treasured place. Portland, which is Boston for people too broke to live in Boston, you said. Sure, you put in on the pro list, but you crapped on it in the same breath.

Your facts, once again, are twisted. The median household income for Boston is $53,601 (US Census), while Portland isn’t far behind at $48,453 (US Census). Many people who live in Portland actually travel to Boston for work. I’m not a mathematician, obviously neither are you, but I don’t think people too poor to live in Boston settle for Portland. I think many people choose Portland because it fucking rocks. So does Boston, by the way. And their accent, music to my ears. I think Ben Affleck and Matt Damon would agree.

Geography… not your thing either, huh? If you keep going north (not with a capital) forever, you end up in Canada. Not a black hole, unless you’re referring to Justin Bieber’s front yard. And you can’t take 95. It ends in Houlton. Towns are not 600 miles apart either. The entire state is only 350 miles apart. Houlton itself is just 117 miles from Bangah, 253 miles from the poor man’s Boston (Portland), and 350 miles from the actual Boston. I’ll send you gazetteer and some road maps. What’s your address?

You called us weird and disturbing. You know what I find disturbing? Your unnatural intolerance to the cold. You complained about it in your GQ piece, and you often make reference to it on Twitter. What’s ironic is that you refer to states with ACTUAL winter weather. Sure, global warming is taking the edge off, but Maine, Minnesota, and six other states that make you cringe have traditional winter weather patterns. Know what that means? COLD TEMPS! Visit Greenland and let me know if you still think our state shrinks your balls.

Now, I’d like to get serious for a minute. You struck a nerve referencing poorly named and imaginary drug dealers. While their names might suck, I take offense to the notion that you think we have an imaginary problem in this state. Tell that to the parents and family of Bonnie Royer or Eric Williams, whose lives were taken by one of these imaginary thugs right before Christmas. We have a huge problem in Maine. We are being overrun by out-of-state drug dealers. Are they all black? Of course not. Our governor opens mouth and inserts foot far too often. I’m not a fan. I’ll give you this one. But to downplay such a serious and growing issue, I need to call your mother.

Last time I checked, we are subject to the same laws and regulations as most states. I’ve never heard of anyone shooting their dog out their back door and getting away with it. We also don’t eat our children or take over wildlife refuge centers because we think we can and feel like it. We’re not above the law. But we do try to maintain it.

You got really nasty with the whole little to offer us in the way of economic or intellectual resources. According to a recent, very precise survey, Maine is one of the top five smartest states. And get this… Minnesota and Massachusetts follow! Cold must breed intelligence (which would explain your abhorrence). Maine also happens to be quite an economic powerhouse, ranking the 11th most entrepreneurial state in the nation. Get your calculator out. We’re pretty smaht after all.

I’m sure this piece was meant in good fun, a stab at satire to make the masses laugh. I laughed. A few times. I even agree with some of what you said.

But in the end, I think we should sell you to Denmark for a tidy profit. Although, you’ll want to bring a coat. I hear the winters are frigid.

Ayuh.

Follow Crystal Ponti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MommiFried

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