Monday, August 21, 2006

Hometown Pride

The smaller-scale version of “Ethnic Pride” so prominently displayed on bumper stickers, flags, t-shirts and little weird rearview mirror dangly things is “Hometown Pride.” Hometown Pride isn’t quite as conspicuous as Ethnic Pride, usually surreptitiously woven into hip-hop lyrics and adorning baseball caps and sports jerseys. However, a “Hometown Shout” will harvest the same cheers as an “Ethnic Shout” while a playful jab at a street, town, neighborhood, county will garner a similarly incredulous and defensive response from those inhabitants devoid of a sense of humor. Scream “Williamsburg sucks!” whilst aboard the L Train and you’ll find yourself being stabbed and beaten with charcoal pencils, giant black portfolios and guitar cases by young urbanites with torn jeans, obscure band t-shirts and greasy hair.

Case in point. The post that received the most responses on this site (still, a depressingly low number) was one where I discussed outer New York City boroughs and the pretentious asswipes who hate them. On a larger scale, Muk, a resident of Park Slope, was inundated with responses to this. Now, I don’t know much about Park Slope. From what I’ve heard, it’s a nice neighborhood, somewhat wealthy, somewhat trendy—the new Upper East Side if you will. I knew enough about the neighborhood to find his t-shirts tamely amusing. So I was shocked to see that he received some incredibly callous feedback.

I fail to see what aspect of these t-shirts are offensive to Park Slope natives. I don’t know when it came to pass that poking fun at the frequency of parents pushing expensive strollers in the area came to mean “people with children should die” and “Park Slope is evil” but a decent number of people took it to mean this. But I guess if you’re spending $800 on a Bugawoobieboogle stroller because Vogue told you to, you would be a douchebag with no sense of humor. It just goes to show, people are deeply affected by any statement (negative or positive) in relation to their locale and feel the need to “represent.”



Anonymous Billy T said...

I represent geniuses of the highest order.

It's a pretty exclusive group.

12:59 PM  

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