Pennsylvania is better than your state.

This may seem to be a ridiculously broad generalization, but I am more than prepared to rebut any attempt to disprove my claim. Let me begin, however, by telling you that there is no need to try to prove me wrong. I am right.

The most liberating thing in the United States is the automobile. Nothing else guarantees the freedom to move when one is moved to. Some states, however, guarantee you more liberty than others.

When I look at my car in the parking lot, I see more than the ticket in the window – thanks, Parking Services! I see one license plate in a sea of pairs. That’s right, New York – I’m free to put whatever I want on the front of my car. Including my “UR Parking Sucks” sticker.

Pennsylvania is better than your state.

Philadelphia, our largest city, is home to numerous professional sports teams, all of which are famous and distinctive. Take the Phillies, for example – of all professional sports teams in the US in the 20th century, no team lost more games. Or the Eagles – during World War II, they merged with the Steelers to create the ultimate Pennsylvania football dream team. By their powers combined, they finished third in a league of four.

Pennsylvania is better than your state.

Hell, we’re not even a state – we’re a commonwealth. This is a distinction shared by a select few – the Commonwealths of Massachusetts, Virginia and Kentucky, though we try not to mention them. The actual definition of “Commonwealth” is not known by many , but the Oxford English Dictionary defines it thus: “Better than your state.”

Pennsylvania is better than your state.

We’re all over the political spectrum. James Carville once said of Pennsylvanian politics, “It’s Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other and Alabama in the middle.” Want to visit a red-state wonderland? Just drive an hour west of Philly. It’s a lot like Western New York – but better.

Pennsylvania is better than your state.

We’re a land of firsts – PA is home to the first U.S. capital, the first U.S. public school, the first public library, the first medical school, the first suspension bridge, the first taxi service, the first air conditioned building and, of course, Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security.

Pennsylvania is better than your state.

Ben Franklin hails from PA. So does Trent Reznor. So does New Jersey, in a bastard half-brother sort of way. It’s a shame, really. Half of NJ wants to be us and half wants to be New York. I can assure you, on the other hand, that Pennsylvanians only like ourselves – and we do an oh-so-fine job of it.

Actually, we like cheesesteaks too. There’s only one city in the world that makes good cheesesteaks, and I can assure you that ARAMARK has nothing to do with it.

Majarian can be reached at mmajarian@campustimes.org.



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