Everything To Love and Hate About This ‘Unboxing Maine’ Video I Found on YouTube
I stumbled across a video on YouTube called "Unboxing Maine," part of a series by YouTuber Nick Johnson, who creates videos about what it's like to live in America. His "unboxing" series tries to educate the viewer about each state with some facts, some humor, and some well-produced video.
Having lived in Maine all my life, I can safely say that there are many things in this video that are inaccurate and not completely researched well. But there are other things that I really love about this video. I do find it weird that he uses the 1982 theme music from The $25,000 Pyramid game show, but that's a completely separate issue. Let's focus on the Maine-specific things I love and hate about this video, shall we?
Take a look at the video and then scroll down for my thoughts.
Two completely botched pronunciations
To be fair, if you aren't from Maine, you probably aren't able to correctly pronounce many of the names of counties, cities and towns here. Practically no one who isn't from Maine can pronounce Bangor correctly. But two big ones that stuck out to me were Piscataquis County, which he pronounced "Piss KWAT a QWIS" county. That's a tough one to be sure, but it's pronounced "piss KAT a quis."
The second mispronunciation is the town or Orono which he botched as Or OH no, with all the emphasis on the OH. We Mainers know it's pronounced with the emphasis on the OR.
That's Not Where Lewiston Is
Lewiston is placed in the wrong area in this video, mistakenly lumped into the same area as Rangely is in Franklin County, while Lewiston is 85 miles away in Androscoggin county.
He also refers to Lewiston as "Maine's designated punching bag." That won't resonate well with the people of Lewiston.
Oxford Casino is also placed in the wrong area too and he mistakenly calls it "Oxford Hills Casino." Oxford is part of the Oxford Hills area, but Oxford is a town in and of itself, so not everything is called "Oxford Hills." Just ask Oxford Plains Speedway and the Oxford Plaza.
Another jab is taken at Oxford Casino saying it is "Out in the middle of nowhere so it doesn't bring in any out of staters, it just sucks money away from the locals." To say it doesn't bring in any out of staters is false and to say it sucks money away from the locals? Well, I walked away $250 richer when I visited on my birthday, so that doesn't hold entirely true for the locals. Sure it's not big jackpot, but they didn't suck any of my money away.
More Slams On Maine
When highlighting the Maine School of Math and Sciences it's referred to as "A bunch of nerds with seasonal affective disorder." I know he's trying to be funny, but that seems a little harsh, however, it is not quite as harsh as referring to Central Maine as the home of "redneck trailer trash" and claiming many people refer to it as the "deep south of the North." I've never heard anyone call Central Maine this and I'm guessing he got that reference from a 2012 opinion piece in the Bangor Daily News in reaction to the Maine Justice skit from Saturday Night Live.
Bangor is called a "boring quiet place with a lot of poverty," Brunswick a town of "snobs hippies, and hobos" because it's the home of Bowdoin College, and Biddeford is called "druggie central." Again, he's trying to be funny, but I think it misses that mark.
What I Loved About Unboxing Maine
There's a lot to love about this as well. Anyone that takes the time to watch this video will learn a lot about Maine that they never even knew or thought about. There are some great photos and videos showing off our state.
Toward the end, he mentions that more and more people are moving to Maine and that we like to keep things pretty much the way they are here and warns would-be transplants that if they are thinking of moving here, "Don't f--- the place up." I couldn't agree more as some have already done just that.
And lastly, I really love his song at the end of the video because it's just so bad. Kind of like movies that are so bad they're good like Snakes on a Plane? The hook "We're a real state, we're not Canada," is pretty catchy.