I spent last week in the 12th state of the Confederacy, New Jersey. It was as enlightening as it was during the 18 years I spent growing up there. I learned many things. I discovered that the summer jam of '08 is none other than Chris Brown's "Forever," a track I praised previously but didn't realize that I adored until I experienced it in the open air with the homey smell of sunblock in my nostrils. This song sounds like neon looks, which aligns it perfectly with the Jersey shore's taste level. Combine that with Brown's idealism and you have a summer classic on your hands. Even though I know it won't, I hope this summer lasts forever, ever, ever.
I took a trip down to Wildwood, perversely hoping that there'd be racist Obama paraphernalia to report after all that rebel-flag shit I documented a few years back. I'm happy to report that I found none -- just a few "Obama is My Homeboy" shirts (there was far more anti-Bush sentiment to be bought, actually). Even more happily, the rebel-flag stuff was a lot harder to find. It's still there, it's just not blazing atop the boardwalk-facing display of every other T-shirt shack. Now you have to go inside to see the thinly veiled hatred. Hey, progress is progress!
And although, I did see this...
...the fact stands that Wildwood, NJ, can still turn out a hell of a T-shirt. Witness the best T-shirt in the history of them:
OMG, you are so jealous of me and my homoerotic baptism of Christ decal. I wanted this on black, and the girl was going to do it, but her Middle Eastern boss was like, "Will not show. For male, white or gray." I compromised with pink. No one seemed amused. Whatever. It's the best T-shirt in history. I dare you to present a better one. You have already failed. The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it!
Oh, and not for nothing, the fact that I was raised around stores like this...
...must have everything to do with my affinity for trash. No?
After the jump, some shots of my trip to an amusement park that was mildly amusing at best.
My sister and I visited Storybook Land, which is like 20 acres of 50-years-old renderings of fairy tale scenes and nursery rhyme locations (the Seven Dwarves' house, the old woman who lived in a shoe's shoe, Alice's Wonderland), some baby rides and deer in cages. This type of dinky amusement park has been parodied on The Simpsons (and also, the principal characters of Lorrie Moore's Who Will Run the Frog Hospital work at a SBL-type park). It was a perennial field-trip destination throughout much of our childhood, so our main objective was to drum up nostalgia. What we received instead was nightmare fodder. Because for real...
...it is abounding with ugliness. The only thing more common than ugliness?
Blowjob Faces. My kinda place, indeed!
True to South Jersey form, there is some mild-to-wild racism to be found. In the park's train station, you get a taste of the Orient thanks to some stereotypical renderings:
I believe these two are from the nation of Asia.
...uh, I don't know. I see this and I see minstrel, which makes me wonder if the story of The Gingerbread Man (or at least its contemporary rendering) itself is racist. Turned my world upside down, this did. But maybe I'm just sensitive.
Anyway, I could go on but it's probably already boring. I took many more pictures, which I've dumped into this photo album. Try not not to get too excited.
Oh, but at least Storybook Land gave me the greatest lesson I learned during my stay in South Jersey:
I always forget to. Thanks Storybook Land!