We've arrived at the penultimate installment of our effort to piss off absolutely everyone in the nation, which means we're entering the Top Ten Worst States in this gruesome nation. Will your state be found within? Let's find out.
To recap: Curious just what places in this miserable country were the miserablest, we asked Gawker staff members to rate the 50 states, based on whatever criteria they wanted, on a scale from 1-10. We then took those scores, averaged 'em, and our rankings were born. Clearly it's all very mathematical and scientific, so you're right to get angry. Let's continue to get you mad!
10. South Carolina
The Palmetto State is a scary place. It lures you in with its beachy beauty and Southern charm, and then it says horrible things to you and you want to leave forever.
The Good: Beachy beauty! There's, like, lots of coastline and stuff in S.C. that is lurvely. And of course there's Charleston, a lovely old place full of lovely old buildings. It also has a genteel, old-timey culture about it that's on the border between quaint and kitschy but manages to never cross that line into camp. If you like golf, you probably want to go to Hilton Head, because that is a nice place to play golf. Hm. Is that about it?
The Bad: You guys are really racist! You're just really, really racist. I mean, please stop it with this. And this. And basically just all the horrible stuff you do. You know, stuff like this. Just please stop being so incredibly racist. And also being so crazy. I don't know how else to say it. Just rethink the whole strategy. Even your fellow residents don't like you.
Final Score: 3.95
The Hooker State is full of sad hookers and even sadder johns. It's also full of cigarette smoke and barren desert. Vacationland awaits!
The Good: Prostitution is, very sanely, legal in parts of the state. Strange that a mostly conservative state also realizes that sex work is a valid, if somewhat outre, profession, but that's how it goes. How very un-Puritan of you, Nevada! Also un-Puritan are Las Vegas' resort casinos, Kafkaesque nightmarescapes of smoke and clanging bells and desperation. And that's so fun for a night or two! Las Vegas is absolutely a fun place to be for exactly 48 hours, no more. After that it turns hellish, but for that brief weekend it's a ridiculous place where you might find yourself drinking alcoholic sugar-acid from a plastic Eiffel Tower and actually enjoying it. Outside of Vegas, Nevada boasts lovely landscape up near the Reno/Tahoe area, where you can ski and do other outdoor activities.
The Bad: Nevada is a complete horrorshow! What are you, crazy? Las Vegas shouldn't exist, there should not be that much out in the middle of the desert. Reno and Carson City are total dumps. And then there's nothing else! It's just brown scrubby desert for miles and miles and miles and that's it. Well, occasionally you'll be stopped on the road by Sharron Angle, who will threaten you with her second amendment remedies and then call you Asian. Oh and then she'll tell you to make rape lemonade. She's a peach! (To Nevada's credit, she lost the Senate election to tattered old muppet Harry Reid, so.) But yeah, there are crazy people in Nevada. People like Air Force Amy. Look her up. Or don't. It's probably NSFW.
Final Score: 3.89
When your state motto is just that you're OK, you're already setting the bar pretty low.
The Good: Tulsa is a pretty cultured city, one with a good music scene that birthed, among other notable bands, Hanson. And that's not even being sarcastic! They actually still make music and it's kinda fun. Um, so other than Hanson, Oklahoma has... a musical about it that's good? And a kind of picturesque flatness? Well, except for in the southeastern part of the state, which has some pretty mountains. Oklahoma also has a large and varied Native American population, making it a surprisingly diverse state, in parts.
The Bad: Yipes. Well, you'll probably get struck by lightning or disappear into the swirling maw of a tornado if you live in Oklahoma. If you don't die from boredom first. There's a scene in Tracy Letts' terrific Oklahoma-set play August: Osage County in which a character bemoans her bad mood and says that she doesn't have the blues, she has "The Plains." It's a state of mind, Letts is saying, and not a good one. To complement the shitty landscape, Oklahoma is rife with the zealousest of the zealots, including my favorite lady in the entire world, splendiferous twat Sally Kern, who often says great things about gays and women and black people. She's a great old lady. And one who has won at least one election since revealing herself to be a crazy lunatic, so well done there, Oklahoma voters. That's the kind of thing you get in Oklahoma! People just love putting God into politics in that wacky hell-place.
Final Score: 3.87
7. West Virginia
America's power source, West Virginia is one big holler — a guarded mountainous place where people can just let themselves go without the outside world interfering.
The Good: The Appalachian mountains are pretty, that's for sure, as are parts of Charleston. West Virginia has cool, weird places like the Greenbrier. Mountain Stage is a good radio show. Everyone has a crush on Carte Goodwin. At the very least, West Virginia isn't too too far from other things, so you don't feel entirely trapped.
The Bad: Everyone's fat! Everyone's so fat that some British guy had to come to Huntington to slap the deep fried cheeseburgers out of everyone's mouths. Coal mining techniques like mountaintop removal have ecologically decimated parts of the state, poisoning water supplies and giving everyone cancer. (Jonathan Franzen is outraged!) Other than coal, West Virginia's chief export is angry old white people. There are so many angry old white people there. And some would say that those angry old white people are pretty racist.
Final Score: 3.67
Often confused for Della Reese's line of disposable food storage containers, Delaware is proof that you don't always get it right the first time.
The Good: The First State was first, so I guess that's bragging rights. If you are a business (and you could be a business! Mittens Romney says that businesses are people, and people read blogs, so you could be a business reading a blog!) you should probably incorporate in Delaware because of their corporation law that makes the state a big tax haven. Delaware is well situated geographically, with lots of coastline that gives us fun/weird towns like Rehoboth Beach, a gayer and more genteel Seaside Heights. You're also near at least two major cities in Delaware, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., so that's handy.
The Bad: What even is Delaware?? It's barely a state at all! If it wasn't for the crazy business laws (which, full disclosure, Gawker Media takes advantage of), no one would even know it was there. Are there cities? Well, there's Wilmington, but good grief is that place a heap. And the capital city Dover feels empty and ghost-ridden. Or witch-ridden! Delaware produced America's first Wiccan-American senatorial candidate, which is pretty embarrassing for them. Frankly it's surprising that Delaware, a state that doesn't even have any of its own network TV affiliates, even gets senators. Delaware ranks so low because it's an afterthought of a state; it's our first timid, rough attempt at statehood that we'd rather no one see.
Final Score: 3.31
The countdown concludes tomorrow with the five worst states!