The Real N.J. State Song
July 7, 2008
Every now and then, the New Jersey legislature goes through a spasm of debate about the best candidate for the official state song of the Garden State. (There’s an unofficial state song, and anyone who likes it is welcome to it.) Inevitably, someone suggests “Born to Run,” and just as inevitably somebody points out that the song is about getting out as fast as possible, and the some conservative blowhard inevitably crows that that makes the song perfect because high taxes and liberal policies are chasing people out of the state, and then inevitably the howler monkeys at WingOWingPointJive start flinging scats and inevitably the whole thing gets very, very tedious.
Having just returned from a beautiful weekend on New Jersey’s beautiful shoreline, I have realized that the state song of New Jersey need be only one line long: “Have you got your beach tag?”
You don’t need a Bruce Springsteen to sing it, either. Just summon up your best impression of Grandpa Simpson, or Charles Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons, and croak it with self-righteous satisfaction. It’s most effective peformed a capella, but for those who insist on musical accompaniment, I suggest something along the lines of Devo’s version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” or the clattering Flying Lizards cover of “Money.” I picture a video with platoons of wizened Beach Nazis scrambling across dunes and trampling sandcastles in their determination to make certain that every sunburned back is counterpointed by a wristband or a tag attached to the swimming trunks. If anyone tries to launch an invasion of the United States from the sea, he’d better not try it along the Jersey Shore, or the invading armada will be stopped at the surf line by some turkey in wrap-around GeezerGuard sunglasses, demanding to see beach tags.
This recent story makes it clear how much hocus pocus and fiscal legerdemain lies behind the claims of shore communities that they have to charge for beach use in order to maintain the beaches. Under these circumstances, the idea of a statewide or regional beach pass sounds fine to me. And if the sandwingers of Monmouth, Ocean and Cape May counties whine because it takes away some of th gravy they wring from New Jerseyans who have already paid for beach replenishment and other servies through their taxes, so much the better.
So if there muts be beach passes, the idea of instituting a statewide beach pass program