Kick-Ass Kentucky

I'm sure y'all have seen the Kentucky for Kentucky project by now.

If you haven't, it's a couple of guys with deep Kentucky roots (and even deeper Central Kentucky accents) who've set out to make a Super Bowl commercial about our beautiful Commonwealth.  They only need to raise $3.5 million dollars by November 7th.   Their mission is to spread the word of what they call our Kick-Ass Kentucky: the home of beautiful people like Diane Sawyer and George Clooney as well as icons like Dr. Thompson and the Colonel, and the birthplace of bluegrass music and bourbon.  Now, I think this is brilliant.  It's the perfect blend: it's funny, a bit ironic, and infused with a deep love of our homeland.  It makes me want to support the project, and to dine at Griffin Van Meter's fabulous Stella's Kentucky Deli even more than I already do. (Seriously, y'all.  Go there. Now. You'll thank me.)

Since I first saw this video a few weeks ago, I've thought a lot about a "Kick-Ass Kentucky." Now, I think it's both hilarious and commendable that these guys are spreading the word about our awesome state in a country boy-meets-hipster fashion. Sometimes, I'm forced to acknowledge that the whole world doesn't always think Kentucky is quite as Kick-Ass as I (and the dudes behind the commercial efforts) do.

Over the years, I've worked for a international, Midwestern-based corporation and lived in a large Southern city.  I've encountered a lot of stereotypes, half-baked ideas, and general misconceptions about the Commonwealth.   I've explained, time and again, that my family is neither toothless and illiterate nor the owners of champion racehorses.  It's the oddest thing to me, it seems that  I always encounter Kentucky stereotypes that place us in the extreme ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. Somewhere between explaining that I'd never once dated a cousin and that I'd never sat beside Jessica Simpson on Millionaire's Row, I realized that, like most stereotypes, these arise more from ignorance than malice. The truth is, most of the Kentuckians I know are educated and hard-working.  My friends drive Volvos, carry Kate Spade bags,  nurse a Starbucks addiction and watch Jon Stewart.  The Kentucky of my adult life isn't all that different from anyplace else I could live.

Well, except for the fact that Kentucky is a little more Kick-Ass.