Why is New Jersey such a joke?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Being a relative USofA-ignorant-Brit, the subtlety of this very cinema-friendly gag has always been lost on me. Is New Jersey the butt of persistent jokes because Newark has the highest murder rate of the entire United States? Is it because it's such a boring place? Is it because it's proximity to the Big Apple only serves to highlight how lacking it is in excitement and bustle? I don't know if I'm way off here, but never having been to NJ, I haven't the faintest clue?
    I'm anyone reading doesn't know what I'm talkin about (which I doubt), the only specific case I can think of off the top of my head is the line in Die Hard:
    "Are you an American?"
    "Only if New Jersey counts."
    Anyone care to enlighten me? [​IMG]
     
  2. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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    As a native New Yorker, I'll venture to guess. New Jersey is actually a big state, and is mostly very nice. The part of New Jersey that is easily accessible from New York (right across the river) is heavily industrial, has killer smog, and as you stated, is where Newark is.

    You can also find humor in the fact that the New York Giants football team play in New Jersey but continue to call themselves a New York team.

    New Jersey is like the little kid brother of New York, which is the most famous and glorified city on Earth. It doesn't get any attention, and it's bitter. I remember a few years back when I still lived back east, NJ was actually making a stink of how the Statue of Liberty was on its side of the river and how they should reap the benefits of having it in their state. Most people visit that part of the country to visit NY and not NJ.

    All in all, NJ is not nearly as much of a joke as its made out to be.
     
  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    [rant]What do you know about surfing, Major, you're from God-damned New Jersey![/rant]

    Yeah but the Statue of Liberty is actually in the state of New Jersey.....

    I suppose that New Jersey supplied groceries to New York, so perhaps it's the "country bumpkin" viewpoint.
     
  4. Ron C

    Ron C Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, New Jersey has two of the worst cities of the US - Newark (suburb of NYC, NNJ) and Camden (suburb of Philly, SNJ). There is actually a culture around this; north NJ identifies differently than south NJ. You could almost consider NNJ and SNJ different states (and many people do), because they are so different. The dividing line is I-195.
    I wouldn't consider NJ a joke. It's a pretty unique place to live - in both good and bad ways. Northeast NJ is pretty much one big city; you won't see a forest in sight. Very good if you love urban areas. Go to Northwest NJ into the mountains - one of the richest areas in the US. Very good if you like the country and are rich. Go into south NJ - one big dump (you can tell I'm a North New Jersian =Þ) although they do have Atlantic City and Seaside Heights.
    It's hard to categorize NJ because it's so diverse. Don't forget that Elise Island is right by, where many immigrants came right into NJ. You can find many cities/towns in NJ based on one ethnicity (ie all Polish or Dominican).
    Also, downtown Newark is beautiful, although uptown is ghetto - just like downtown NYC is nice while uptown is Harlem. One of the big downfalls of NJ is the traffic - it's just horrible. Mainly a victim of government scandals (ie EZPass, etc), but the dense population doesn't help. Just make sure your work hours aren't 8-4 [​IMG] Also, car insurance rates and taxes are one the highest in the nation. Not exactly a cheap place to live in.
     
  5. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    Did NJ jokes precede Saturday Night Live?? I thought SNL beat up on NJ pretty badly.

    I also think that what most people see of NJ is driving through the state on the NJ Turnpike. It's not a very pretty road and it's contrasted by the fact that you're surrounded by license plates proclaiming NJ as the Garden State.

    My actual visits to NJ have been very nice.
     
  6. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    This reminds me of a joke that was on the radio here in NY yesterday:
    "Why are New Yorkers always so depressed?
    Because the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey!"
    [​IMG]
    For those of you not from around here there are 2 major tunnels connecting NY and NJ (the Lincoln and Holland).
     
  7. CarlS

    CarlS Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    I grew up in NJ, and have lived all over the country in all sorts of different populations.

    Its nothing to be ashamed of, to be from NJ.

    It is very close to NYC, which is a very media-sensitive town. So, if you have heard of funny jokes about NJ, they are nothing compared to if, Indiana, or Wyoming, or Pennsylvania was next to NYC...then you would hear some of the funniest jokes ever.

    You get my point? bigest market in the country, with alot of people cracking jokes.

    I did some of my best mountain biking in my town in NW NJ. I could ride offroad all-day, and never be disappointed.

    I drive into the LA area often thee days, and I can tell you that the smog is unbelievably terrible once you get within 60 miles of the city.

    In Denver the smog is bad as well, and the traffic is bad sometimes. Most people with a fireplace, aren't allowed to actually use them.

    In the rockies, at 8000 feet I would almost freeze to death 9 months out of the year, and only saw several different people during the winter.

    In the desert, where I am now, it is remarkably warm in the summer, and the job opportunities aren't as fruitful as they are in NJ. But the weather is the best I haveever seen, as an average.

    but I love wherever I live, I doubt I would be able to stand seeing the smog in the LA area, if it was outside my window though.

    at least its not joked about like Arkansas, I feel for those people because you know it is all BS.

    now Utah, there is a funny state.
     
  9. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    I often wondered about the New Jersey's thing too. Cleveland seems to get it even worse for some reason.
     
  10. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Yeah..but Cleveland deserves it!
     
  11. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    HaHa, because it is fun! I'm was born and raised in the northern part of NJ, but while I'm only like 40 minutes from NYC, it is not anywhere near big city like much of Bergen County is closer to the city. Of course, the richest town in NJ is Alpine, which is like right across the hudson by the Palisades, Bergen County. My part of NJ is fairly rural yet there is everything that I need within 15 miles of me. So not only do I get a chance to hike and bike in lots of small parks, I am also close enough to work and stuff that I bike everywhere. And without having to venture onto the highways. The downside is that without the industrial base or stores, our taxes in my town are very very high, but I guess you pay for that ruralness. I'm only about 20 minutes from the NY state border which means I'm also nearby alot of the bigger parks which NJ lacks. Harriman, the Catskills (day trip), the Adirondacks (Weekend trip), the Delaware Water Gap, Eastern PA, etc...

    But its fun to make fun of NJ because its easy to, we have grown used to it and couldn't care that much. As long as I'm happy, the less people to move here the better.

    Jay
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  13. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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  14. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Every state gets insulted by the people of the neighboring states: "why does North Dakota exist? to protect Canada from South Dakota" sort of thing.
     
  15. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'm sure that someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Newark is the only city in the US that has had two standing mayors get arrested for murder. Could be three.

    Glenn
     
  16. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    Someone that lives out there might know more about this... is Middletown / Floream Park considered "Newark"? And what's that area like? I was there for a weekeed last year and liked how there were trains that would take you into Manhattan. I ask this because AT&T Labs is based there, and its one place I might end up living someday.

    Brian
     
  17. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    I beleive that NJ got a bad rap due to the fact that there was alot of toxic waste dumping done there. Hence the tagline from The Toxic Avenger, "The first Super-Hero... from New Jersey!" [​IMG]
     
  18. CarlS

    CarlS Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    Hey, whats wrong with Utah? Have you ever been here? [​IMG]
     
  20. CarlS

    CarlS Stunt Coordinator

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