Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oh, Ohio

Ohio has been my home now for about 17 years, which is the vast majority of my life. There are certain aspects of the state I have come to expect: the ever-changing and chaotic weather, the hot and humid summers, the cold and snowy winters, the incredibly vast array of people you can find across the state, the beautiful small towns and countrysides. And the religious nuts.

Ohio was home to Touchdown Jesus along I-75, before the stature was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Every time I take I-71 South to visit my family, I pass by two large billboards declaring "HELL IS REAL" and declare the 10 commandments on their opposing faces. I also recall there being scandals in Cincinnati about the Hustler billboards along I-70 South, being deemed of the city's sin. Not far from where I live, on I-76, there was a billboard for the May 21st Rapture, funnily enough, on its opposite face was an ad for a local strip club.

I am not surprised by these things. This is in fact the Midwest, and much of Ohio is agrarian still. This is still a state based on the blue-collar worker, which is more likely to be religious. I accepted that long ago. There are certain bastions of reason, beacons in the darkness, lying in Columbus, Cleveland, and a small light from the Cincinnati Museum Center, attempting to enlighten that dark and backwards town. Those places, those communities, give me hope and help me to feel like I'm not quite a total outsider here in this beautiful state I love (no, really, I do).

But then, this shit pops up:

Sigh. In case you can't tell from that little PSA, two of the stickers have the slogan, "With God, all things are possible." Dammit. I've voted for the "I (Ohio) Voting" sticker, as I've always thought it was kinda cute that Ohio is shaped similar to a heart (our slogan used to be "Ohio, The Heart of It All!").

Anyway, go vote. You'll need an Ohio zip code. Like 44240. Or 
45482. Or 43291. Or even 45230, which funnily enough is a Cincinnati code, and Cincinnati is arguably the most conservative developed area of the state. And where I lived for 10 years before my family and I fled. So go. Vote. Keep me and other Ohioans from being handed an obnoxious god sticker on election day.


  1. The power of the internet has increased the percent of that option from 32% yesterday to 43% this morning.

  2. Unfortunately, "Ohio, the heart of it all" was never the actual slogan. It was only the State Tourism slogan, used on brochures and such. "With God, all things are possible" has been the slogan since 1959, before that, we had a slogan about being an "empire inside of an empire" for one year in the mid 1800s, but only for one year. Other than that, no other official slogans. Some 12 year old started a petition for the god one during the cold war era.

    *ding ding ding ding* *rainbow* The more you know.