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Old 04-17-2010, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
4,028 posts, read 4,229,806 times
Reputation: 1247

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Bradley View Post
'The Midwest' isn't a real place. 'The Midwest' is a state of 'badness,' and so therefore its component states can shift depending on what sort of 'badness' the speaker wants to emphasize. If it's 'flatness,' the Great Plains states are emphasized, and, weirdly, Oklahoma (and even Texas!) are often included. (The highest peak east of the Rockies is in a Great Plains state, actually. ) This is also true when people want to emphasize a lack of "culture." They forget about Chicago, suddenly - an amazingly HUGE city and the second largest financial center in the nation, with more culture, innovative cuisine, fashion, etc. than any one person could feasibly experience in her/his own lifetime (with an unbelievably gorgeous setting on Lake Michigan, to boot). Most Canadians are proud of Toronto and don't consider its setting on one of the Great Lakes to be a tremendous problem. But once we're talking within a United States paradigm, suddenly a city situated on one of the Great Lakes is in a horrible dry desert, since it's not on a "coast," 'dude.'

If the speaker wants to emphasizse "Rust Belt" characteristics (and this has oddly become more and more common of late), (s)he focuses on states like Michigan and Ohio. While there is no official definition of 'Rust Belt,' if we use the term as it's been used semi-informally by most economists/sociologists for years, a higher percentage of the Rust Belt is on the "East Coast" than in the "Midwest." (In fact, there are plenty of "Rust Belt" cities in "Ivy League" [I'm borrowing another poster's term, here ] Connecticut, but you'd never see a low-brow comedy about Blue Collar people set there - unless it was an indie film made by a native of a CT industrial town, perhaps.)

Sometimes 'Midwest' refers to almost any state that doesn't touch a coastline. Religiosity is often emphasized by speakers critical of the mythical 'Midwest,' even though the 'Bible Belt' (and fundie-ism in general) is very much a Southern entity. But then I would argue that parts of what's popularly considered the 'Midwest' ARE Southern - Missouri, for instance, and the southern halves of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Sometimes 'Midwestern' simply means "rural," even though the region (I'll pretend there is one for the purposes of this post) is thick with lots of very cool mid-sized cities. The inland/non-coastal West, on the other hand, is BY FAR the most rural part of the United States, but it doesn't have a handy 'label' ("Inland West" is one I just invented for this post), so it gets ignored.

I think 'Midwest' needs to be abolished as a term. I would strongly prefer, for instance, "Great Lakes (States)" and "Great Plains (States)." With the latter, you'd have Nebraska, the Dakotas, etc. suddenly being properly grouped with states like Wyoming - ones with which they have more in common than they do, for instance, a state like Ohio. Also, the Great Lakes states would suddenly seem less dry and dusty to average Joes living in Mid-Atlantic states. Really, what you need to remember is that state boundaries don't often represent actual cultural/economic/topographic boundaries. But no one's going to bother doing this, because humans like to keep things cognitively simple, and they LOVE stereotypes - the mass media and entertainment industries know this well. They also know that the bulk of the U.S. population lives along the Northeastern seaboard. Oh, and that they don't like being laughed at or laughing at themselves.

Anyway, though, it's interesting to me that the media is focusing a bit more on the so-called 'Midwest' in their bad comedies and such than they have in quite some time (they mostly limited the mockery to the South for quite awhile there - mostly I think because 1.) everyone hated fundies when Bush II was president and 2.) movie people had finally grown out of the parochial belief that anyone living in any rural area in any part of the U.S. had a Southern accent). I think the newfound focus on the Midwest has a lot to do with an insanely, insanely symplistic new "coasts" vs. "Flyova Country" model (which sort of protects the South, since quite a bit of it is coastal ). Also, in movieland, the 'Midwest' is less and less being portrayed as nothing but farmland (even primarily agricultural states Minnesota - I think this is largely because Minnesota is more apt to be conflated in a person's mind with Michigan than a state like, say, Iowa would be - there are details too complicated to go into in this post, though). It is now a bad bombed out 'Rust Belt.' Forget upstate NY. Forget the many, many East Coast cities that resemble Bridgeport, CT. Forget the mill towns of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Forget PA, even. For the nonce, Midwest=Rust Belt, so we'd better get used to it.
All this is true and the fact that you put all of this in one post while most others never mention one part of this makes it all the better.

 
Old 11-12-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: In Denial
651 posts, read 621,562 times
Reputation: 505
Thread Starter: mackinac : Straight white male patriotic Christian liberal- OUCH!!!!!
the midwest is behind when it becomes to progressive thinking; as compared to???
There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread, it's almost laughable
New York collects state income taxes using a progressive, five-bracket system.

For single taxpayers:
-- 4 percent on the first $8,000 of taxable income.
-- 4.5 percent on taxable income between $8,001 and $11,000.
-- 5.25 percent on taxable income between $11,001 and $13,000.
-- 5.9 percent on taxable income between $13,001 and $20,000.
-- 6.85 percent on taxable income of $20,001 and above.
If you live in Wyoming, the least-taxed state, you pay about $7 out of every $100 to the governor. In New Jersey, on the other end of the scale, you fork out $12
The best and worst state for gas, cigarettes, beer and sales taxes - MSN Money
http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/26639.html
Lincoln, NE , ranks 7th in unemployment (#1 is the best) at 4.5%
Ames, Iowa ranks #2 at 3.7%, Iowa City, Iowa is #3 at 3.8%
Infant mortality rates: State Rankings--Statistical Abstract of the United States--Infant Mortality Rate
Political corruption: TMF: Most Politically Corrupt States Ranked / Political Quagmire
Same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa following the unanimous ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court in Varnum v. Brien on April 3, 2009.
December 2, 2009: Same-sex marriage is defeated 38–24 in the New York State Senate
Iowa has a history of being at the forefront on social issues. It was among the first states to legalize interracial marriage and to allow married women to own property. It was also the first state to admit a woman to the bar to practice law and was a leader in school desegregation.
Poverty rate by state: Poverty Rate By State, 2009 : NPR
the midwest is behind when it becomes to progressive thinking the midwest is behind when it becomes to progressive thinking the midwest is behind when it becomes to progressive thinking
The more people actually believe the BS about how nasty and boring the Midwest is, the more they will stay the hell away and keep the high cost of living and stupidity confined to the East and West Coasts and not drag that crap here. True. True.
“white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?" Choes, Watervilet, Hudson, Lenox, and Ticonderoga – oh Schenectady Climax and Coxsackie have them types too- seen em with my own eyeballs
,no good driving roads to test out ones 100,000 dollar plus sports cars on the way to the air conditioned garages beneath ones office...ya know..ER, last time I checked the speed limit across 80 in ia & ne is 75 mph. here in ny you get a ticket if you drive over 65mpd (unless you are Elliot Spitzer or Andrew Whats His Name,,,starts with a “C”…) I sold my sports car cuz it was getting beat up by the PoLice and the POTHOLES, hey! Albany has MORE and BETTER potholes than anywhere Ive ever been, other than jeep trails in Utah…
There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread
Im from Omaha, NE and never once did I experience "boring, lack of jobs, no scenery, no diversity.... blah blah blah" OK, I lived in Omaha/Iowa for 20 years. I was occasionally bored (but not as bored as I am in Albany!!), jobs were not an issue, I actually love the tall grass prarie, big skt, and rolling hills but also loved to vacation at the beach/mtns, whatever. But yes, IA, NE, KS, MO are WHITE WHiTE WHITE. Not much ethnic diversity.
I think one of the reasons the Midwest gets a bum rap for sure is for its winters. AyahaWHAT? Uhhh…ever spent winter in MA? NY? Vt? NH? MN? MT? ND? MA? ID?
There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread, it's almost laughable
I never cared for the lower Midwest much at all. I always felt an urge to get away to some other part of the country quite often. It was never a good fit for me at all and I lived there over 20 years.

The weather is the harshest here except maybe Alaska, hence the worst road conditions, full of potholes even on highways Albany has MORE and BETTER potholes than anywhere Ive ever been and not well lit WHAT? Street lights everywhere in Omaha and Lincoln, Very few in Albany & surrounds, I mean not even at major intersections!!!. Most housing and buildings in cities look as grey and crappy as the old Northeast cities, but with less density and don't provide as many amenities. Lots of Industrial wastelands in cities are identified as having historic value and have to be preserved but in fact look ugly as hell. Sorry, don’t see it. The Northeast post industrial areas are nasty,ugly and hazardous-
There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread, it's almost laughable

Generally speaking, most cities in the Northeast are old and grey looking but they are dense and walkable, have superb rail transit, a lot more to offer. They have really beautiful historic buildings, with longer history, but better maintained and better looking than some warehouse or industrial wasteland. They are also clustered together, forming a very urban region. Cities in the South and West are newer and more colorful and more pleasant looking. California is uniformly dense, is the largest job market and the largest retail market as well. The cities in Pacific Northwest have developd well (Both Seattle and Portland are considered examples of what a city should be). The South are also developing all the amenities fast according to their growth. The largest cities in the South already surpassed most Midwest cities in terms of retail, transportation and art options. On the contrary, most Midwest cities are anti-development and backwards. And everywhere else in the country have better weather (except the Dakotas and Montana, of course, but these states don't actually have any reputation because most people only visit there and know very little about them). I guess that's why Midwest (except Chicago) does not get a good reputation.
There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread, it's almost laughable
1. It's thought of as boring and bland (except for Chicago)
2. harsh winters and cold
3. threat of tornadoes
4. it's stereotyped (at least somewhat justifiably) as being backwards

There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread, it's almost laughable

The weather boils down to the winters which are brutal. I'm pretty sure the midwest has the worst winters in the USA outside Alaska. Just check some of the temps in Minnesota. Even though I lived in Detroit for all of my childhood now that I've lived all over the USA and parts of the world I no longer can stand the winters in the Midwest
. Hey- as it is neither MID nor WEST, Minnesota is NOT in the Midwest. There is an abundance of ignorance in this thread, it's almost laughable

What the midwest doesn't have going for it is the culture outside the major cities. The workaholic, closed-in, cold, passive-aggressive, religious, socially conservative, and super family friendly culture becomes absolutely stifling even when you do have a family!
Upstate NY is more closed-in, pass ag, & super fam friend than the MidW IMO- It's a culture that definitely seeps into the suburbs and even the major cities of the Midwest. I much prefer even (!) the culture of the South even if the only differences boil down enjoying life/living for being workaholic and being (more) direct instead of being passive aggressive.
Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc. are NOT flat as a pancake Finally some truth
Heck, I don't consider Cleveland to be part of the Midwest Neither do I
More Truth: The Midwest' isn't a real place. 'The Midwest' is a state of 'badness,' and so therefore its component states can shift depending on what sort of 'badness' the speaker wants to emphasize. If it's 'flatness,' the Great Plains states are emphasized, and, weirdly, Oklahoma (and even Texas!) are often included. (The highest peak east of the Rockies is in a Great Plains state, actually. file:///C:/Users/kcm508/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif (broken link)) This is also true when people want to emphasize a lack of "culture." They forget about Chicago, suddenly - an amazingly HUGE city and the second largest financial center in the nation, with more culture, innovative cuisine, fashion, etc. than any one person could feasibly experience in her/his own lifetime (with an unbelievably gorgeous setting on Lake Michigan, to boot). Most Canadians are proud of Toronto and don't consider its setting on one of the Great Lakes to be a tremendous problem. But once we're talking within a United States paradigm, suddenly a city situated on one of the Great Lakes is in a horrible dry desert, since it's not on a "coast," 'dude.'

If the speaker wants to emphasizse "Rust Belt" characteristics (and this has oddly become more and more common of late), (s)he focuses on states like Michigan and Ohio. While there is no official definition of 'Rust Belt,' if we use the term as it's been used semi-informally by most economists/sociologists for years, a higher percentage of the Rust Belt is on the "East Coast" than in the "Midwest." (In fact, there are plenty of "Rust Belt" cities in "Ivy League" [I'm borrowing another poster's term, here file:///C:/Users/kcm508/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif (broken link)] Connecticut, but you'd never see a low-brow comedy about Blue Collar people set there - unless it was an indie film made by a native of a CT industrial town, perhaps.)

Sometimes 'Midwest' refers to almost any state that doesn't touch a coastline. Religiosity is often emphasized by speakers critical of the mythical 'Midwest,' even though the 'Bible Belt' (and fundie-ism in general) is very much a Southern entity. But then I would argue that parts of what's popularly considered the 'Midwest' ARE Southern - Missouri, for instance, and the southern halves of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Sometimes 'Midwestern' simply means "rural," even though the region (I'll pretend there is one for the purposes of this post) is thick with lots of very cool mid-sized cities. The inland/non-coastal West, on the other hand, is BY FAR the most rural part of the United States, but it doesn't have a handy 'label' ("Inland West" is one I just invented for this post), so it gets ignored.

I think 'Midwest' needs to be abolished as a term. I would strongly prefer, for instance, "Great Lakes (States)" and "Great Plains (States)." With the latter, you'd have Nebraska, the Dakotas, etc. suddenly being properly grouped with states like Wyoming - ones with which they have more in common than they do, for instance, a state like Ohio. Also, the Great Lakes states would suddenly seem less dry and dusty to average Joes living in Mid-Atlantic states. file:///C:/Users/kcm508/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.gif (broken link)Really, what you need to remember is that state boundaries don't often represent actual cultural/economic/topographic boundaries. But no one's going to bother doing this, because humans like to keep things cognitively simple, and they LOVE stereotypes - the mass media and entertainment industries know this well. They also know that the bulk of the U.S. population lives along the Northeastern seaboard. file:///C:/Users/kcm508/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.gif (broken link)Oh, and that they don't like being laughed at or laughing at themselves.

Anyway, though, it's interesting to me that the media is focusing a bit more on the so-called 'Midwest' in their bad comedies and such than they have in quite some time (they mostly limited the mockery to the South for quite awhile there - mostly I think because 1.) everyone hated fundies when Bush II was president and 2.) movie people had finally grown out of the parochial belief that anyone living in any rural area in any part of the U.S. had a Southern accent). I think the newfound focus on the Midwest has a lot to do with an insanely, insanely symplistic new "coasts" vs. "Flyova Country" model (which sort of protects the South, since quite a bit of it is coastal file:///C:/Users/kcm508/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.gif (broken link)). Also, in movieland, the 'Midwest' is less and less being portrayed as nothing but farmland (even primarily agricultural states Minnesota - I think this is largely because Minnesota is more apt to be conflated in a person's mind with Michigan than a state like, say, Iowa would be - there are details too complicated to go into in this post, though). It is now a bad bombed out 'Rust Belt.' Forget upstate NY. Forget the many, many East Coast cities that resemble Bridgeport, CT. Forget the mill towns of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Forget PA, even. For the nonce, Midwest=Rust Belt, so we'd better get used to it. file:///C:/Users/kcm508/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.gif (broken link)
Thank god for this post! Otherwise, I would believe that everything between the left and right coast is the “Midwest”
"Great Lakes (States)" and "Great Plains (States)." No Midwest.
 
Old 11-16-2010, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Shaw, St. Louis/West Ridge, Chicago/WuDaoKou, Beijing
292 posts, read 538,574 times
Reputation: 143
Born and raised in the Midwest and I never felt at home there. My vast generalization is this and this applies to my own family and my mother. The older generation my parents age and older grew up with the same kinds of people like those kinds of people, like things a little slower, like their foreign foods Americanized, don't like seafood for the most part, are genuinely interested in their own communities but not much outside of them. Very dominant white Christian hard working Americans that come from very similar backgrounds. On the very dominant scope the people do not vary much and are very much similar when it comes to values, diet, way of life. There are many little pockets where people vary a little bit but not much. I never feel welcome when I venture out of certain areas in the stl area, but in the midwests one large city Chicago I am still being myself walking into any neighborhood with confidence and respect and I feel welcome anywhere north to Howard and south to 95th and west to central. I make no artificial boundaries for myself and venture freely. The same goes for the east coast. I always feel a sense of excitement and feel energized by having people of so many varying backgrounds. I even lived in Beijing where 95% of the population is Han Chinese and it felt more ideaologically, culturally, and most importantly socially and food wise more varied than the Midwest. I am a son of the Midwest but I feel like it's bastard child who never belonged.
 
Old 11-16-2010, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Lansing Metro
2,775 posts, read 2,948,295 times
Reputation: 3531
I think this sums up the coastal attitudes towards the Midwest.

I find this to be hilarious, by the way...

'Midwest' Discovered Between East And West Coasts | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
 
Old 11-16-2010, 07:33 AM
 
1,684 posts, read 1,983,916 times
Reputation: 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I think this sums up the coastal attitudes towards the Midwest.

I find this to be hilarious, by the way...

'Midwest' Discovered Between East And West Coasts | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Funny. The Onion originated at the University of Wisconsin - in the Midwest (gasp).
 
Old 11-16-2010, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,443 posts, read 17,655,360 times
Reputation: 15560
Quote:
Originally Posted by desperad0stl View Post
Born and raised in the Midwest and I never felt at home there. My vast generalization is this and this applies to my own family and my mother. The older generation my parents age and older grew up with the same kinds of people like those kinds of people, like things a little slower, like their foreign foods Americanized, don't like seafood for the most part, are genuinely interested in their own communities but not much outside of them. Very dominant white Christian hard working Americans that come from very similar backgrounds. On the very dominant scope the people do not vary much and are very much similar when it comes to values, diet, way of life. There are many little pockets where people vary a little bit but not much. I never feel welcome when I venture out of certain areas in the stl area, but in the midwests one large city Chicago I am still being myself walking into any neighborhood with confidence and respect and I feel welcome anywhere north to Howard and south to 95th and west to central. I make no artificial boundaries for myself and venture freely. The same goes for the east coast. I always feel a sense of excitement and feel energized by having people of so many varying backgrounds. I even lived in Beijing where 95% of the population is Han Chinese and it felt more ideaologically, culturally, and most importantly socially and food wise more varied than the Midwest. I am a son of the Midwest but I feel like it's bastard child who never belonged.
Did you ever stop to think maybe its not the Midwest, maybe its you?
I have been back in the Midwest for 6 days, and have eaten different (wonderful) ethnic cuisine every evening.
BTW, I know food, there is a very nice food scene happening in STL.
 
Old 11-16-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Shaw, St. Louis/West Ridge, Chicago/WuDaoKou, Beijing
292 posts, read 538,574 times
Reputation: 143
The ones I like most have no representation: Indian, Mexican, Thai. I've probably eaten at every offering this town offers and have yet to find the stuff that is authentic, tasty, and priced well all in one package. I venture to Chicago and other large cities and find it right away. As I have said before it's only because these places have very large populations of these people. I'm huge on my ethnic food and very passionate about it. Don't get me started lol. My best bud in Chicago brings me ghareeb nawaz every other week or so from Chicago which keeps Indian/Pakistani cravings down for te most part . My grandma cooks Mexican on major holidays can't wait for Christmas! I was in Thailand for over a month it's my favorite food next to Indian. Nothin will ever b like Thailand but I've had some awesome Thai in NYC and chicago. It's all very bland down here. All my stl folks have to base their opinions for these 3 cuisines on is the best bland offering in town. And lemme remind u these are not pretentious yuppie places they're unbastardized insanely cheap holes in the wall with good homestyle cooking. It's not about the atmosphere or paying high prices because it's exotic it's all about the food. I find very little of this down here. And trust me I always try the new Thai Mexican or Indian place in town. I'm pleased with Italian and other European countries Chinese is ok with a few good authentic offerings but still lacking, all s American cuisines especially Brazilian are perversely overpriced etc. I wish I had my own food show lol I love my foreign food!
 
Old 11-16-2010, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,443 posts, read 17,655,360 times
Reputation: 15560
Quote:
Originally Posted by desperad0stl View Post
The ones I like most have no representation: Indian, Mexican, Thai. I've probably eaten at every offering this town offers and have yet to find the stuff that is authentic, tasty, and priced well all in one package. I venture to Chicago and other large cities and find it right away. As I have said before it's only because these places have very large populations of these people. I'm huge on my ethnic food and very passionate about it. Don't get me started lol. My best bud in Chicago brings me ghareeb nawaz every other week or so from Chicago which keeps Indian/Pakistani cravings down for te most part . My grandma cooks Mexican on major holidays can't wait for Christmas! I was in Thailand for over a month it's my favorite food next to Indian. Nothin will ever b like Thailand but I've had some awesome Thai in NYC and chicago. It's all very bland down here. All my stl folks have to base their opinions for these 3 cuisines on is the best bland offering in town. And lemme remind u these are not pretentious yuppie places they're unbastardized insanely cheap holes in the wall with good homestyle cooking. It's not about the atmosphere or paying high prices because it's exotic it's all about the food. I find very little of this down here. And trust me I always try the new Thai Mexican or Indian place in town. I'm pleased with Italian and other European countries Chinese is ok with a few good authentic offerings but still lacking, all s American cuisines especially Brazilian are perversely overpriced etc. I wish I had my own food show lol I love my foreign food!
I guess the Zagats reviewers dont know what they are speaking of, right?
 
Old 11-16-2010, 08:27 PM
Status: "That 80s Sound, ZTT Records!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,320 posts, read 21,167,619 times
Reputation: 7724
Certain parts of the Midwest I like just fine. Other areas I just can't stand. It often depends on the prevailing attitudes of the people in certain areas more than anything else.
 
Old 11-16-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Shaw, St. Louis/West Ridge, Chicago/WuDaoKou, Beijing
292 posts, read 538,574 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
I guess the Zagats reviewers dont know what they are speaking of, right?
I tend to not listen to those reviewers don't get me started on the best of in the RFT and shows like Samantha brown n Rachel ray. I'm a huge bourdain fan and yes I have been a line cook and a sous chef as well. According to reviewers in the RFT restaurants like Applebees and TGI Fridays n some Mexican food abominations like el maguey win best of categories. I will listen to Zagat for the high end and western fare but never foreign food outside of stuff like Japanese French etc. The rich cuisines of poor countries that are done right in cheap family owned holes in the wall tend to not make these lists but seeing as all the patrons that are usually dining at these places are of that certain culture and the occasional outsider says a lot. Damn I'm off topic now
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