Anyone who has talked to me for longer than five minutes knows that I’m from Nebraska. And if you’ve been paying any attention to the news recently, you’ll know that it was an exciting time for those of us who call the Cornhusker State home.
No, my home state isn’t offering pop culture shockers for tabloid covers (RIP Pete and Ariana </3) or earth-shaking political news (are y’all voting?? Also ROYAL BABY), but for a state that’s mostly corn stalks and feedlots, getting press is a reason for celebration.
The bad news, though, is that the past week’s coverage wasn’t all that great.
First off, we heard that a high school cook got fired because he put kangaroo meat in the chili soup. I think the kids are lucky, at least it was meat that he added. He could have added some kind of vegetable or hot sauce but we all know that Nebrakans aren’t about to consume anything green or spicy.
Believe it or not, this got overshadowed.
The Nebraska Tourism Commission released a new slogan: “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” This, and the corresponding campaign, caught the eye of CNN, The Today Show, Stephen Colbert and every single one of my Facebook friends. Probably to no one’s surprise, an overwhelming number of these responses were negative.
“Nebraska, are you OK?” Colbert asked in his opening monologue. “Seriously, it seems like you could use a vacation to Not Nebraska.”
My older sister responded in a Facebook post, “Honestly, I’m not impressed,” which, for a person who works in Nebraska’s tourism industry, is probably warranted.
Some shared that they thought this new slogan showed progress; collectively, we are still trying to hide the shame from the time the slogan got changed from “The Good Life” to “Nebraska. Nice.” Believe it or not, but we got made fun of for that one too.
In my opinion, I think the new slogan is great; I don’t think anyone can deny that it’s true.
If you’re looking for hot, sunny white-sand beaches on the ocean or snow-capped mountains, I’m afraid Nebraska might not be your best option. And I really hope that isn’t new information for you.
But hey, if you like beautiful prairies, top-notch zoos like the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, water towers that look like hot air balloons, six-man high school football teams, driving dangerously fast through gravel road intersections without any stop signs or a unicameral state legislature, I have an excellent suggestion for your next vacation.
I get why some people aren’t so pleased; I know, countless times, I’ve been asked, “why do you love Nebraska so much?”
The way I see it, somebody has to do it. And I know we don’t make it easy.
If there’s anything Nebraskans are good at, it’s making fun of ourselves. Oh, and needing seven tries to win a football game.