Sunday, October 12, 2003

(With all apologies to the Onion.)

Election of Schwarzenegger Causes Californians to Lose Smug Superiority

Tuesday’s stunning victory by Arnold Schwarzenegger in California’s gubernatorial election has already had an instant effect on the psyche of Californians. Overnight, California residents, particularly in liberal enclaves such as San Francisco and Santa Cruz, have been forced to abandon their traditional sense of smug superiority and self-satisfaction over the rest of the country.

“I used to make fun of my cousin in Nevada for living in such a backward state full of rubes. But now, what can I say? The people in this state just elected a incomprehensible movie actor with no experience and no clearly defined plan besides ‘I vant to clean up Sacramento,’” said Elaine Strauss, a social worker from Alameda. “I guess I was wrong - people in this state is just as dumb as they are everywhere else.”

“Ever since California became one of the largest, most important states in the country in the early 1900’s, the sense that California is a special place filled with people who are more unique and intelligent than the rest of the country has become a huge part of this state’s definition of itself,” said Robert Milton, professor of sociology at UCLA. “It’s a tremendous blow for people to realize that California isn’t really the center of culture and progressive leadership that we had thought.”

“Governor Schwarzenegger,” he added, muttering under his breath. “What the fuck? I mean, what the fucking fuck?”

Even defenses such as irony or self-mocking humor have proven unsuccessful at warding off the shame and humiliation felt by non-Schwarzenegger voting California residents.

“I tried to make a joke about it the other day at work: ‘Governor Schwarzenegger? What’s next-’ and then I stopped, because I literally couldn’t think of anything more ridiculous,” said Alan Walker, a San Jose computer programmer. “I’m already looking for real estate in Seattle or Vancouver. I don’t think I can take another year of lame fucking Schwarzenegger impressions.”

Nevertheless, Californians continue to soldier forward and hope for the best.

“We survived Nixon and Reagan, so we can survive this,” said Strauss. “But it’s going to be irritating to be the butt of every cheap joke in America for the next year or so. I never thought I’d say this, but I really miss Pete Wilson now.”

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