Here’s the deal.
Remember when the Millennium Falcon is trying to escape from Imperial forces and Han Solo recklessly heads into the asteroid field? And then he navigates his ship into that giant cavern on one of the larger asteroids? And then they all get out and walk around and shoot at some flying thing and, when they shoot, the whole cave shakes? And then they shoot again and the cave shakes again and Han tells everyone to get back into the ship? And then they fly out and someone says that the opening to the cave is collapsing? And Han says that it’s no cave and he flies out just in time? And we see that the cave was actually this gigantic worm-like creature? And the wormy thing tries to bite the Millennium Falcon as they fly away?
Well, have you ever looked at a map of Michigan by itself (removed from the other states)? Here it is –
It looks just like that scene from the movie. And that makes it an awesomely shaped state.
We have a lot of states with cool shapes. There’s Oklahoma, the “We’re #1” foam finger of territories. There’s Alaska, which is just one giant, frozen Rorschach Test. There’s California, which looks like an alligator’s mouth as it opens extra wide in an ill-advised attempt to consume Nevada. And there’s the state of Washington – which would have a boring shape were in not for the fact that, apparently, its northwest corner is being invaded by Dig Dug.
And then there’s the state with the best shape. When you were a kid, did you have that wooden puzzle of the Unites States, where each of the fifty puzzle pieces was a state? Remember how much fun it was putting Texas in? Admit it, you always put in Texas first. It was easiest because it has the most unique shape of all.
Interesting fact – it is impossible to draw the outline of the state of Texas.
Go ahead try.
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Seriously, get out a piece of paper and a pen and try to draw Texas…it looks terrible, right?
Even if you are looking at a map of Texas as you’re drawing it – you’re hand drawn version will always look like a sub-par kindergarten art project.
But this isn’t about the states with great shapes. This is about the states with boring shapes. Our nation is overrun with rectangular blobs with no personality. Can anyone really tell North and South Dakota apart? I don’t want to sound statist, but all Dakotas look alike to me.
Which state, for example, do you think this is?
If you guessed Georgia, you’re right. If you guessed Alabama, you’re also right. If you guessed Missouri, then you’re actually right…but come on, this could be any number of states that essentially all look the same. Who knows? And who cares? If you can’t be bothered to make you’re state aesthetically pleasing, then why should we be bothered to remember what it looks like?
So, how am I going to do it? How will I convince these dull clumps of geography to alter their borders? Simple. It’s time for the states that look boring to shape up or ship out. Forget gerrymandering, I think we should redraw the US map to make it more attractive. In a time when Americans need something positive to unite us, this national mural project could be just the thing. Let the artist within you out and submit your unique shape suggestions for your state to your local representative. A continental collage is just what we need to get back on track. America may no longer be the smartest country. We may no longer be the richest country. But, gosh darned it, we can still be the prettiest.