Born and raised in New Jersey, I often take a lot of grief on behalf of my home state. Sure, I could go on and on about all the wonderful inventions and people who hail from the Garden State and defend it, but in the end I'm unapologetic.
The great thing is, there are moments where I can just sit back and let others do the talking for me. Here's Jon Stewart explaining it so perfectly, so succinctly, during his tribute to Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors.*
"I am not a music critic. Nor historian, nor archivist. I cannot tell you where Bruce Springsteen falls in the pantheon of the American songbook. I cannot illuminate the context of his work, or its roots in the folk and oral history traditions of our great nation.
But I am from New Jersey.
And so I can tell you what I believe. And what I believe is this: I believe that Bob Dylan and James Brown had a baby. Yes! And they abandoned this child. As you can imagine at the time, interracial, same sex relationships being what they were. They abandoned this child on the side of the road between the exit interchanges of 8A and 9 on the New Jersey Turnpike. That child is Bruce Springsteen..."
*One of my favorite Kennedy Center Honors tributes, ever. And no, I'm not biased. I'm just proud to be from Jersey, and that these two guys, Stewart and Springsteen, are from there, too.