The #1 post Super Bowl story is “Gieselle said ____”. The #1 NBA story is “a Chinese point guard from Harvard” (yawn….. how many times have we heard THAT?). And Hollywood police suspect there MIGHT be something suspicious about Whitney Houston’s death. Duh….. timed right before The Grammys so they could do the whole tearful Tribute To Whitney thing.
So what better time for a BLSays column about Chapel Hill……
Chapel Hill…. AKA:
“The neatest college town IN THE WORLD”
With “The coolest main drag IN THE WORLD”
And “The hottiest coeds IN THE WORLD”
And “The neatest Old Water Fountain IN THE WORLD”
And “The prettiest Football Stadium IN THE WORLD”
Where last week they played “The #1 sports rivalry IN THE WORLD”
In a building with “The most impressive rafters IN THE WORLD”
Named after “The greatest coach IN THE WORLD”
Have I left out anything?
Howsabout “The most humble community IN THE WORLD”? Ehhhhh, maybe not.
Chapel Hill and its inhabitants get accused of a lot. 99% of which is probably understated. It is the only community in America with it’s own civic psychological disorder – Terminal Narcissism.
The City of Chapel Hill has a terrific slogan – “Enough about ME. Lets talk about ME some more.”
I know what many of you are saying. Don’t these knuckleheads realize how absurd all their effusive self-love sounds? The answer to that is “even if they did know they wouldn’t much care.” What outsiders think about anything is irrelevant….. silly!
Have you ever been to Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) in Central Massachusetts or Plimouth Plantation south of Boston? Or Williamsburg or an Amish community? These “not of this time & place” historical communities operate on various levels of “reality”.
At Plimouth Plantation all the villagers stay “in character” all the time. The illusion is created that you, the visitor, have passed thru a veil into their “time”. They discuss their lives in the present tense as if “now” is the 1620s. The costumed villagers speak in the tongue of “that time” and look at you funny if you ask about the Red Sox or mention Google or having a Big Mac…..
At OSV the costumed “interpreters” are in costume but as 21st century living museum staff. Williamsburg is also that way.
At Disney parks, of course, all the costumed characters are either mute if they are wearing those big heads or always in character if not wearing big heads.
An authentic washed-in-the-blueblood Chapel Hillian can’t make comparisons to “the outside world” because he/she has absolutely no interest in “out there”. To them anything beyond Chapel Hill is a desolate wasteland where no conscious thought is worthy of merit.
In Chapel Hill, it is best to assume Everyone has “a big head” although I know a number of the locals who manage to never sever contact with “reality”. I know most of the 100 or so registered Republicans in Chapel Hill. I have that information on a micro-dot buried under a cinder block in the backyard. Gene Nichol sends black ops squads over during the vernal Equinox to search for it.
All that blah blah about “BEST IN THE WORLD” really gets the goat of many (most) non-Chapel Hillians. That is a nice side effect for Chapel Hillians who actually do think and believe all that self-loving crap. A true Chapel Hillian has equal or greater contempt for the outside world than the outside world has for Chapel Hill. If that is possible.
I even know a few hard-core goggle-eyed screaming liberal loons who can’t abide Chapel Hill. THAT is akin to a islamo-fascist dissing Mecca, but it happens. I know a hard-core liberal atheist Wolfpacker who despises every square inch of Chapel Hill. In a partisan game of rock-paper-scissors; sports rivalries can top socio-political affiliations.
Speaking of religion….. there are a number of “churches” in Chapel Hill. That shocks many people. At least six of those churches even have heterosexual male ministers that use The King Jimmy like real ministers do. THAT really shocks many people. Sure there are the local druids, warlocks, klingons, Jeremiah Wright-types and a lot of “make it up as we go along” store-front tabernacles. “Normal religions” are allowed to “do whatever it is they do” so long as they don’t do it so passer bys can see it or hear it.
Protestants, Republicans and Polish-guys whose names begin with “K” have to have special visitor visas to enter the city limits but it is for their own protection.
I lived in Chapel Hill for four years. It was “just a neat college town” back then. It didn’t seem so interested in self-proclaiming its WORLD ranking back then. Leaving back then was not thought of as escaping from Colditz or Alcatraz or Oz or a LOST episode. It started “weirding out” around the late 70s then went completely gonzo; seceding from reality when Reagan clobbered Carter in November 1980.
I visit Chapel Hill every Thursday. The border guards on 15-501 know me on-site and wave me thru. I have a number of very special friends who live “over there”. Their names ARE on that micro-dot that Gene Nichol wants so desperately.
I really enjoy browsing Southern Season too. It is THE BEST SOUTHERN SEASON IN THE WORLD. OK, it is the ONLY Southern Season in the world but in Chapel Hill, it is all about those perceived GLOBAL rankings.