Writing Prompt: What city is North Carolina's Temecula?
Plus, your reactions and thoughts about last week's newsletter about the subtlety of policing and the media.
Hey everyone! A quick programming note here. As you may have noticed, I’ve gone from putting out two newsletters a week down to just one. This is, partially, because I am only one man, who has two kids and a wife and a full-time job. My goal is to put something extremely dumb or extremely thoughtful out each Thursday. But I also realize that I do have some smaller thoughts, and in an effort not to tweet as much (ha!), I really wanted to add something a lot less formal on Mondays. After all, this is an award-winning newsletter. Hastily-assembled last-minute content is what the masses have come to expect.
Anyhow, I’m going to try out something new today and see how it goes. If you’re looking for really deep, rational arguments, this is not going to be your day! It’s going to be the day when I go “oh, damn, I almost forgot to do a newsletter,” and you’re gonna get some random, half stories with more typos than usual. What I’ll try to do is to use this space to throw out a writing prompt where you all can reply, email, tweet, or whatever. The next week, I’ll share the results of that prompt, along with any feedback I receive. Plus, it’ll be a good spot to just share some stuff that I, or you, find particularly interesting.
So, here goes.
What city is North Carolina’s Temecula?
Last week, I stumbled across this tweet:
There was an old segment on “Reply All” called Yes/Yes/No, where two podcast hosts would try to interpret bits of Internet for their boss. So, understanding this tweet requires a little bit of Extremely Online knowledge. The short version: Two guys got into a twitter fight over how good Kobe Bryant was, and one of them challenged the other to meet up in a central location to fight. The challenger then showed exactly how serious he was by driving that city, on spec, ON CHRISTMAS DAY, and then taking a picture in front of a welcome sign with his middle finger unfurled.
That city, dear reader, was Temecula, California.
Since then, “Temecula”, or “Meet me in Temecula” has become shorthand for an out of the way place that is somehow central to you, a refined Internet debutante, and the idiot who wants to take debate me, coward to a real-world level in a parking lot just outside of suburbia. For what it’s worth, Kobe himself got to see the original Temecula tweets (“Mamba army don’t f— around,” he said). A few months later, another NBA star deployed a Temecula reference to fight a troll:
So, what city is Charlotte’s Temecula? Gastonia is the easy answer here because … it’s always the easy answer. Go ahead, make fun of it. But know this: It is the ancestral home of Ernest Angley, James Worthy, and Fred Durst. Folks, it’s a complicated place. And yet, it feels like a city that you, a Charlottean, might visit for the purposes of impromptu fisticuffs.
But, hear me out:
Shelby! City of Bridges Barbecue (both of them!) and Earl Scruggs! It has some problematic history but is also small enough and just enough on the fringe that you feel like it could be primed for a resurgence. But right now, it’s a good Temecula for people in Asheville and Charlotte who disagree. Honorable mentions: Forest City and Rutherfordton.
On the flip side, everyone thinks Greensboro is the midpoint between Charlotte and Raleigh, two cities that have a lot of beef. But in reality, that particular Temecula is not the Gate City, but rather Albemarle, the home of Kellie Pickler that’s upwind of an abandoned aluminum smelter. I dunno, call it a feeling.
I could go on about this (and I did, in a thread that developed from that original question), but I’m curious to hear about what other Temeculas you see out there in this here state, and why.
Bonus writing prompt, for Charlotte and/or any other city:
Your reaction to “The subtlety of it all”
Here are a few things you said about last week’s newsletter:
Also, extra points to Will Doran, who dropped an effective “Well, actually…” on me:
That’s it! See you all Thursday for a little story ‘bout EXERCISE GHERKINS.