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Welcome to Gobblechusetts

Anyone who knows me can vouch for this statement: I love Massachusetts. Where outsiders say we’re rude, I say we’re fast-paced. Where some say Michael Jordan, I say Larry Bird. I challenge anyone to show me more diversity in landscape and natural setting within a small space. Great heritage, massive opportunities, rich traditions, silly accents, we’ve got it all. Welcome to the Bay State, world!
Ah. Time now to introduce the antagonist to our story: the sign that greets those who enter the Commonwealth:
[Sound of crickets.]
What the hell is this? What kind of cheesy, underwhelming welcome is this? Yes, good readers of the lesser 49 states (or, dare I say it, any non-U.S. countries!), your welcome to the birthplace of the Revolution, Harvard, basketball, and Fig Newtons is this. Let’s do some quick analysis, beginning with that stupid turkey. Why in the wide world of sports is there a turkey welcoming people to Massachusetts? And an ugly, mean-looking, cartoon turkey at that? Sure, I get the connection between Massachusetts and Thanksgiving, but let us at least be accurate: the first feast may have had some turkey as a part of it, but it was hardly the defining part of the meal. The table overflowed with fish, shellfish, grains, fruits, vegetables, and all manner of wild fowl, including game hen, geese, and swan (!) beyond the turkey. If a link to Thanksgiving is so key, how about a table filled with original food? How about a joining of pilgrims and natives? How about the Mayflower? Hell, I’d even take Foghorn Leghorn over that dopey bird.
The rest of the sign is hideous as well, from the corny font, to the boring color scheme, to the crappy metal display. This is not to say that the signs from the rest of the states are out of this world, but I see nothing as stupid as the MA sign (and that includes the previous MA sign–see the image at the end). All told this sign is a poor representation of the real Massachusetts, and if the national economy wasn’t in tatters, I would demand action. Actually, we can take action that costs no money: let’s tear the signs down. I would rather a driver have some confusion over whether she is still in New Hampshire or Rhode Island than affront our visitors and residents each time they drive in. It may look like a meaningful symbol, but in the end it tastes like a bad sign.


11 responses to “Welcome to Gobblechusetts”

  1. Avatar ebbillings says:

    Mass. is a great state, but the birthplace of Basketball; what about James Naismith? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Naismith

  2. Avatar Rob says:

    It's this kind of research and hard hitting reporting that make this site great. But what I fear may be lost on some Mr. Leary's unrecognized collage skills. Nice piece, but even more inspired art Jason.

    • Jason Jason says:

      I am to please this site's most discerning critics. I thank you for your comments, Rob, the contents of which I almost wrote myself, save for my extreme humbleness.

  3. David P. David P. says:

    The odd part is that the turkey is not the state bird, although they are over-running the North Shore these days. The state bird is the black-capped chickadee but in my opinion it should be the Heron Gull as those bastards own the place, in fact they own all the way to Ohio now I think.

  4. david P. david P. says:

    bebillings- Naismith created basketball while the director at the Springfield, MA YMCA by putting peach baskets up in the gym to give the boys something to do on rainy days, he later went on to found the University of Kansas program.

  5. Avatar Scott Hamilton says:

    Having glanced at the other 49, I think you do New Jersey a disservice when you consider it better than MA. Welcome to New Jersey, turn on your lights and your wipers? Really?

  6. Avatar The Tailor says:

    At least put the Celtics' leprechaun on the sign…..

  7. Avatar Beth says:

    Activism at its best. As some encouragement, the public outrage over Kentucky's new welcome signs several years ago (the forward thinking "Kentucky: Where Education Pays") led to a rebranding effort. Our new signs, while vague and sentimental, are an improvement–"Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit."

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