I think I know how Winston Smith feels at the end of 1984. The bastards have broken me, destroyed my will to resist, and I now believe wholeheartedly something that I know to be false. I confess, here and now, that I have become a Californian.
Being a Californian has much more to do with one's state of mind than one's state of residence. Indeed, I've lived here for almost three years now, and I wouldn't have called myself a Californian until very recently. You see, to be a True Californian (which is nothing at all like a True Scotsman), a person must be suffering from what I call "Chronic California Superiority Syndrome" (CCSS). CCSS is characterized by a persistent belief--despite all evidence to the contrary--that California is better than every other state in the country (and, in some especially severe cases, every other place in the world). While CCSS is not listed in the DSM-IV, it has afflicted many millions of people, and it's symptoms--which are, curiously, usually only apparent to those not affected by the disorder--are hideously ugly. Sadly, apart from a full-frontal lobotomy, there is no known cure for CCSS (some studies have reported that a good old-fashioned Alabama ass whuppin' may do the trick, but these results are disputed). Once CCSS takes hold, the patient is stricken with it for the rest of her life, no matter where she may later reside.
I'm not proud to admit it, but I feel the need to come clean about the fact that I have CCSS. It feelst--to quote Darwin's anguished words about becoming an evolutionist--"like confessing a murder." I first realized I had a problem just a few days ago, when I caught myself idly fantasizing about how great it would be if California seceded from the Union. I'm sick, I know. Frankly, I don't know what to do. I realize that California is not actually better than all the other states, and yet, I believe that it is! I am broken, a man without will enough to believe the truth. And yet, I want to be cured! Perhaps if I could just piss off some Alabamans. . .