The traditional task of the writer in California has been to write about what it means to be human in a place advertised as paradise. Not the Buckeye or the Empire, not the Can-do or the Show-me, California is the Postlapsarian State. Disappointment has always been the theme of California.

I don't quite understand what the "Buckeye" referring to. I mean, it is connected with California, but what exactly does it imply? I found that the Buckeye might refer to a native or resident of Ohio or a tree/seed. Maybe this word has another meaning.

1 Answer 1


The alternatives here are all adjectives for particular states

Ohio is the "Buckeye State".

New York is the "Empire State".

Missouri is the "Show-me State".

I don't think there is a "Can-do State".

The author is suggesting "Postlapsarian State" for California, instead of "Golden State".

  • Possibly Delaware?
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 17, 2022 at 14:15
  • @CGCampbell Delaware is The First State Feb 17, 2022 at 14:50
  • @EthanBolker I am aware of Delaware's motto... suggestion: do a search on Delaware Can and no, I don't mean the playgrounds.
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 17, 2022 at 15:29
  • From googling it seems that rather than being a particular state's appellation, #CanDoStates was a twitter hashtag that trended in 2013, " about states moving ahead on transportation in contrast to a federal government stuck in partisan doldrums." (nrdc.org/experts/deron-lovaas/…) Feb 17, 2022 at 17:25

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