Cheetos-infused pickles and other reasons the South is that friend we’re kind of embarrassed by but love anyway

Better Off Without Em Chuck Thompson

In the latest example of America never failing to be hilariously American, residents of basically every state have signed online petitions to secede from the union, something you can apparently do on the White House’s “We the People” website. Of course, signing such a petition — even for those states who managed more than 100,000 signatures (naming no names; Texas) — is very close to meaningless, but whatever, people like to do meaningless things that seem controversial and statement-y, and the media loves to report on those things so ultimately everyone’s happy. In reality, signing a petition to secede from the union is like running away from home and going to the mall. Or worse, since each of the potentially defecting states obviously receives money from the federal government, like running away to the mall and asking your mom to drive you there.

Sidebar though: Am I wrong to think that the We the People site is completely underrated? Obama administration, get on this: A bit of a redesign and this could be the Reddit of legislation. Sure, it might reduce the caliber of political discourse to just a few notches above cat memes, or, based on the current petitions, result in a lot of obscure statues, but it’d be worth it. I mean really, isn’t voting just crowdsourced government?

Anyway, since people in every state have signed one of these petitions, I’m not entirely sure what this post-secession country(ies) would look like (interactive feature idea for We the People 2.0: “make your own USA” map game), but the typical assumption on the subject is to think of the South wanting to secede from the North because of, well, a little thing called precedent. And it’s that particular assumption that makes it so fun to read Better Off Without ‘Em, Chuck Thompson’s impassioned (and at least partially facetious) manifesto for southern secession from the perspective of a northerner.

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