Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
I wonder if there is any place in the union that possesses more unified pride than our fair state. Is there a state that you can drive, border-to-border, and find more residents with the name emblazoned across their chests? Do people in Minnesota or Wyoming get the outlines of their state tattooed on their person?
Last week came the news that the University of Arkansas was trademarking the phrase "We didn't come to paint" after Coach Bobby Petrino off-handedly used it in a post-LSU-game press conference when asked about a bold fourth-down call. Between this and the hubbub earlier in the year (now dead) of changing the state nickname from "The Natural State" back to its pre-1953 slogan, "The Land of Opportunity," it got me thinking about the power of words and capitalizing on those things that unite us.
We've branded the state well, but what about our towns and cities themselves? What follows is a list (in alphabetical order) of proposed slogans to bring more commerce to, and engender more goodwill among, the residents of the areas we love. (Hat tips to Beau Wilcox and Will Churchill for helping revise/improve these.)
Arkadelphia — "Two schools. One ravine. No prisoners."
Ash Flat — "Kick-ass name for a town or a baby."
Bald Knob — "Innocence or prurience? Come find out for yourself, you handsome rascal."
Batesville — "Yes, we've heard the Master Batesville joke. Thanks."
Bentonville — "Save money. Live better. They're going to fire you in two years anyway."
Brinkley — "You have to pee somewhere on the way to Memphis."
Bryant — "Because Benton was getting all uppity."
Cabot — "You got robbed in Little Rock too?"
Camden — "No, you're thinking of Warren."
Clinton — "Try not to spend it all at that flea market in Choctaw."
Conway — "Oh, so NOW you wanna live here? ... Damn drunks."
El Dorado — "Just 20 minutes away from drive-thru margaritas."
Eureka Springs — "If you're into UFOs, dulcimers and Jesus, look no further."
Fayetteville — "Your daughter had a lot of sex here."
Fairfield Bay/Heber Springs — "Sure, you can drive your golf cart on a state highway."
Fort Smith — "Old brothels, abandoned buildings, and the gateway to an even more boring-ass state."
Harrison — "We only have two black people. (What? We're just sayin'.)"
Hope — "God only knows who'll claim us next."
Hot Springs — "Little City. Big Socioeconomic problems."
Jonesboro — "You're not still driving all the way to Missouri for your meth, are you?"
Lepanto — "Whuppin' up on Tyronza since 1923."
Monticello — "We're just glad we made a list."
Mountain Home — "It doesn't matter how pretty we are, no one is going to drive four hours to see us."
Pine Bluff — "Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce Contest. First prize: One night in Pine Bluff. Second prize: Two nights in Pine Bluff."
Rogers — "We're the one with the 200-foot crosses."
Russellville — "Nuclear One = Nuclear Fun."
Searcy — "What? We have dancing now. ... Where'd you hear that?"
Springdale — "No, we're the one with the 200-foot crosses."
Star City — "White Hall needs a place to make fun of too."
Stuttgart — "You spent a month here one weekend."
Texarkana — "Two cities. One fantastic Bennigan's."
Warren — "No, you're thinking of Camden."
West Helena — "Where the Blues died. No, sorry — still alive apparently."
West Memphis — "If you'll eat crab legs from a dog track, you won't mind all the other terrible shit that goes on here."
Greater Little Rock Edition:
Argenta — "Gay men built Athens too, and they had a pretty good run."
Cammack Village -— "Little Rock's Lichtenstein."
The Heights — "Tearing down houses and building big dreams ... on really, really small lots."
Hillcrest/Stifft Station — "When architecture matters more than your car windows."
Maumelle — "French for 'small breasts,' Arkansan for 'MILF MOUNTAIN'!!"
North Little Rock — "We see your palatial Presidential Library and raise you a concrete RV park."
River Market — "Piano bars, crotch-rockets and skate home in vom every weekend."
Sherwood — "If you didn't live in fucking Sherwood, you'd be at home right now."
West Little Rock — "Pay for 'em when you can. Burn 'em down when you can't."
If you'd like to send a note, pass along your own slogan ideas, or want me to be the Grand Marshal of your parade, send messages to: email@example.com.
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