My appalling birthplace (fifth in an infinite series)

Did you see the Biden impersonator’s rant against Scranton (Biden’s birthplace as well as mine) on the opening skit of Saturday Night Live this week?  Scrantonians did.   Read the comments–half are very very angry locals, and half are ex-Scrantonians who completely agreed with the sentiments expressed and thought it was hilarious.  (The title “my appalling birthplace” probably tells you where I land.)   Here’s the transcript:

“I come from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and that’s as hard-scrabble a place as you’re going to find. I’ll show you around sometime and you’ll see — it’s a hell hole. An absolute jerkwater of a town. You couldn’t stand to spend a weekend there. It’s just an awful, awful sad place, filled with sad, desperate people with no ambition. Nobody, I mean nobody, but me, has ever come out of that place. It’s a genetic cesspool. So don’t be telling me that I’m part of the Washington elite, because I come from the absolute worst place on earth — Scranton, Pennsylvania. And Wilmington, Delaware, is not much better.”

Of course it’s not quite true that nobody but Biden has ever escaped the place.  Hilary Clinton’s father Hugh Rodham and several former Pennsylvania governors (including Tom Ridge) are also from Scranton.   And the urbanist Jane Jacobs.   And at least one astronaut came from my high school–Paul Richards (no relation) walked in space–see how far someone will go to get away from the Northeastern PA?


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