New York Post columnist reminds us to laugh at ourselves – Bangor Daily News

Bangor Daily News
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Cindy Adams is a dink.
How’s that for Maine vocabulary?
There have been plenty of takes on Adams’ column in the New York Post recapping her time in the “wilderness” of Maine. The Bangor Daily News’ editorial board, the Bangor Police Department Facebook page and others all have pretty similar viewpoints. Adams’ opinion piece was somewhat insulting and, in other places, just plain wrong. It isn’t really worth reading.
That said, Adams is just the latest in a long line of folks from away taking shots at our beloved state.
Go back a ways to the Massachusetts radio station WROR and their “Men from Maine” skit. The punchline was that all of us are backwoods yokels.
You could pivot to Conan O’Brien’s late night tenure, where he debuted “New State Quarters.” The motto for the Pine Tree State? “The deep south of the far north.”  
Or you might recall the bizarre “Saturday Night Live” skit entitled “Maine Justice.” It was a strange mash-up of Maine and Cajun Louisiana. Biting social critique of the Acadian diaspora? Or just silly nonsense from Adams’ fellow New Yorkers?  
But we’re hardy folk. We can take the slings and arrows of those from away. However, the insults Adams hurls are good to keep in mind as we head into election season.
One of the common refrains from partisans is that our elected officials — whoever they might be — make Maine a laughingstock on the national stage. The reality is probably more mundane; most of the nation does not waste a lot of thought on who we might send to Congress or elect to other offices, regardless of their profile.
That doesn’t hold true for every observer, of course. Susan Collins is often a target of ire for those on the far left, particularly those from away. That is how Sara Gideon raised nearly $60 million from out-of-staters in her quixotic effort to defeat Aroostook County’s Collins.  
Here’s the kicker: more than 10 percent of Gideon’s haul came from New Yorkers. Those more “civilized” people, at least in the estimation of Adams.
If someone is on the campaign trail arguing that the “other” candidate will somehow degrade Maine’s standing, a healthy eye roll is in order. Adams’ review of behemoth backsides had nothing to do with our officials, nor do many of the other pokes at our populace.
We can all probably come up with caricatures for the different states and their inhabitants. The very idea of “Florida Man” is a meme. New Jersey is mafia-esque, with a healthy dose of “Joisey Shore” meatheads. Utah is full of overeager Mormons, while Mississippi is … Mississippi.
None of this shtick is dependent on the political leaders of the respective state. In fact, most of us — on our best day — could probably only name a small number of the elected officials from each.  
People simply sometimes make fun of other people. The ability to laugh at our own expense is important, and too often missing in politics today. Can jokes sometimes be off-color or in bad taste? Of course. But having thick enough skin to weather humor which misses the mark is critical to outlasting much more pointed criticism.
So, while Adams may be a dink, we can all laugh at her self-aggrandizing nonsense. Even better that she left some of those “civilized” New York dollars here in the Maine economy.
And if Adams ever dares cross the Hudson once more and come up to our hinterlands, hopefully she can find her way to Moody’s Diner on a Saturday night.    
That story would be something worth reading.  
Michael Cianchette is a Navy reservist who served in Afghanistan. He is in-house counsel to a number of businesses in southern Maine and was a chief counsel to former Gov. Paul LePage. More by Michael Cianchette, Opinion columnist


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