With Apologies to Hawaii

Originally @ Stanford Daily

Brief disclaimer: With regards to last week’s column, I’d like to offer a sincere apology to anyone who was offended by the content of my writing. I wrote a satire column indicting the United States for its failure to respond to genocide and for its weak justifications for doing so. As one of my editors adeptly pointed out, in making such a critique, one adopts the language of the culture/mindset they are critiquing, bringing some readers to the erroneous conclusion that I endorsed the viewpoints I outlined in the column. I can understand how people may have found such satire offensive.
On that note, please do not take offense to this column, which compares the merits of the east and west coasts. This column does not represent the views of The Stanford Daily, its editorial staff, God or the school administration. This column is not meant to degrade, marginalize, offend or disrespect either coast, its inhabitants or anybody anywhere ever. We at The Stanford Daily maintain that all coasts and the states contained therein are inherently equal and deserving of equal treatment, respect and rights.
<em>Except for Delaware. Delaware is boring.</em>

At a school with such amazing geographic diversity (50 states and over 60 nations!), students are often encouraged to celebrate their origins and the differences they represent. One can admire the eclectic garments worn by students from foreign lands, a testament to the rich cultural tapestry that is Stanford. As a matter of fact, by simply walking around campus, one is liable to hear up to 17 different accents in an hour-long period! Diversity–it’s awesome.

But with the admiration for foreign cultures and little-known customs comes the question: which cultures and customs are the best? Surely there must be a winner. This column provides the kind of comprehensive analysis only available in an 800-word spurt, which answers that very question: which is better–the east coast or the west coast?

(Author’s note: it is widely acknowledged that North Dakota is the best state in the U.S./world. After all, it has brought us famous politicians (Molly Spaeth), prolific journalists (Molly Spaeth) and good-looking women (Molly Spaeth.) As such, this question is really asking “After North Dakota, which is best: the east or the west coast?”)

Let’s begin: which coast has more national capitals? It seems that, while the east coast is home to Washington, D.C., the west coast has no national capitals! Not even one? Come on, west coast enthusiasts, you can do better than that. Until California becomes its own nation (President Schwarzenegger), the score will remain: East Coast: 1, West Coast: 0.

Moving on, which coast is home to the team with the most World Series titles? Analyzing, analyzing. It appears that the East Coast, proud owner of the New York Yankees (with 27 championships) is once again the winner! In fact, if you add up total World Series titles, east coast teams have over 80, whereas west coast teams have 10 (four without the LA Dodgers.) East Coast: 2, West Coast: 0.

Next up: Frank Sinatra songs. Known by many as the greatest singer/songwriter in the history of music or sound, Sinatra coined many songs dedicated to different parts of the world. How do his coastal preferences line up? Let’s see! It seems he has four songs about New York alone, whereas San Francisco and Los Angeles each merit one song. (Hawaii gets one, but they don’t count as the west coast. They were lucky to even get statehood.) Another resounding win for the Atlantic conference. East Coast: 3, West Coast: 0.

What about food, ask our culinary aficionados? An excellent question, to be sure. The east coast is home to the Philly cheese steak, Brooklyn-style pizza, Maine lobsters, crab cakes (what Maryland does, baby) and cocaine (Miami.) By contrast, it seems the west coast has only avocadoes, burger sliders and the San Francisco pot brownie as its cultural gastronomic touchstones. East Coast: 4, West Coast: 0.

“Bah!” cry our geriatric westerners, “You overlook the fine weather of our fair coast, a key feature of the west’s attractiveness to the elderly and retired!” While it is true that California is known for its pansy winters and summer beaches, these objectors are forgetting that the west coast is also home to Oregon and Washington, where schools close due to chance of sun. Let us not forget Florida, on the other hand, with its state motto “Come for the Weather, Stay to Cost Gore the 2000 Election!” It is a well-known statistic that nine out of 10 retired persons prefer the weather of Florida, the shuffleboard and naptime capital of the world. East Coast: 5, West Coast: 0.

Hopefully this column has been a vital resource in solving, once and for all, any quandaries or queries regarding the merits of our nation’s coasts.

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