Hey hey hey, fan(s?) of U.S. state quarters! Corbett here, ready to guest-judge the next bunch of jingly little contenders. NOTE: My decisions are final, and any questions or appeals will be met with immediate death by disembowelment for I AM CALIGULA OF THE BLOGS!
…Wow, I really do have trouble handling power. Give me a second, gotta breathe into this brown paper bag.
“Dude, Rifftrax totally named a quarter after me!…or something.”
And away we go…
This one’s a cinch, because it falls under my first rule of state quarter judging: I will always vote for the state quarter with the large attacking animal on it. Alaska’s bear is already snacking on a 10-lb. salmon, but he wants to eat us, too. The only drawback is that he’s not trying to chomp on Sir Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, which would make for a more realistic nature scene.
As for Maryland… it’s nice that you have a building. Somewhere. And “the Old Line State?” Could you at least be a three-dimensional geometric figure? It’s hard to be less committal than a “line,” except as it pertains to a unit of cocaine blowage, perhaps. But I don’t think that’s what your line refers to. I think it’s actually just a quick streak of # 2 pencil on looseleaf, isn’t it? That’s what you named your state after. Didn’t you?!
(Aw cripes, Maryland’s crying. Sorry.)
WINNER: Alaska. Seward’s revenge!!
There’s an upsetting lack of large attacking mammals in both of these state quarters, so I’m tempted to penalize them both and just call this one a lose-lose. On closer inspection, though…
Arkansas is freaking me out, man. Is the giant floating diamond really there? IS it a giant diamond, or is it the crystalline mothership of a Razorbacks-loving alien race, hiding and hovering over Lake Sequoyah until today’s game against the Crimson Tide starts? Is it wrong that I keep singing to myself “Goosey in the Sky with Diamonds…”? Yes, of course it is, it’s a godawful *$%&#ing pun…But it feels so right…! Wheeeeeeee!
Erm…right. Hi, Mississippi. You have a lovely flower, there. And a lovely slogan, named after the (yawn) same lovely flower. But your whole brand isn’t challenging my sense of reality nearly enough, Mississippi. I don’t drink or do drugs anymore, so I need little mind-kicking pleasures like those offered by the Arkansas state quarter. Yes, Arkansas is freaking me out, man….but in a good way.
WINNER: Arkansas. For letting its freak flag fly.
Pretty straightforward. We have “George Washington crossing the Delaware” for New Jersey vs. Iowa’s pathetic plea to be given some wood. Dear God, have they no decency? No trees, for that matter? Sack up, Iowa, get your own damned lumber, and design a quarter that’s does more than beg for building materials. I know you’re trying to tug at our heartstrings by showing the tiny building where most of you live, but –
O.K. My wife tells me that Iowa’s picture is actually a tribute to one of its native sons, artist Grant Wood, who painted “American Gothic” and other classics. I guess I owe Iowa an apology.
…But not a victory! N.J. edges ahead at the finish line because it depicts a truly historical event: the only time anyone risked their lives to get into New Jersey.
WINNER: New Jersey. For not depicting the birthplace of Bon Jovi.
Both of these quarters could benefit from some of Alaska’s moxie, and include a charging beast of some sort… But I’ll try to let that go. (Sigh.)
These two coins force a humble, well-meaning judge to choose between different topographies more than anything else. And since I loved visiting the Grand Canyon — it was one of those rare things that surpass its hype — and I always pine for the ocean, across which my people in the Undying Lands (a.k.a. Brooklyn) wait for me… hell, I don’t know where to go with this. If only some smart denizen of Flagstaff, or some slick operator from Woonsocket, had found it in their hearts to bribe me yesterday…
WINNER: Um, Arizona. For reminding us that we revolve around the sun. Rhode Island’s wholesale denial that the sun exists is legendary, and shouldn’t be rewarded.
Ah, that’s more like it! The gargantuan Peregrine Falcon is about to swallow Idaho, potatoes and all. It’s beautiful, it’s gritty, it’s honest and real, man… and it’s everything a state quarter should be. Even if the Peregrine Falcon had Sir Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin hanging out of its huge beak, half-eaten already, I don’t know if I could love it more. (Though that would be awesome.)
I have nothing but contempt for Michigan’s LIE of a quarter, acting as if the state could never be hunted down by a moon-sized raptor, seized up in its brobdingnagian talons, and rended to pieces within a matter of seconds. This state quarter says: “Giant falcons cannot harm us here in Michigan! I guarantee it.” That’s a damned careless attitude in this day and age, Wolverine State. It’s not bad enough that you’ve always pretended that the U.P. is safe and habitable for humans, now you want to go even further spreading your cloud-cuckoo LIES and assert invulnerability to colossal birds of prey. Shame on you, Michigan.
WINNER: Idaho. For telling the unflinching truth about impossibly big raptors.
CONGRATULATIONS to Alaska, Arkansas, New Jersey, Arizona, and Idaho. You have bested your opponents, and now move on to fight mightier two-bit gladiators.
[NOTE: Conor will update later with cool-looking updated Keanu bracket. I'm emotionally exhausted from this competition, and need to soak my head in brine.]