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Old 01-21-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,512,584 times
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More likely a little bit of both scenarios.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
5,181 posts, read 6,005,280 times
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I won't argue there aren't cliques in small towns, there are in big towns too, and high schools colleges, workplaces, and anywhere there are groups of people, nothing new here.

In both small and large towns there are usually a group of families that control either the money or the politics, (like the Daleys in Chicago for example), in just more noticable in small towns as there are fewer people to hide behind.

One small town I spend a lot of time in has a 4-H fair every year. The kids raise livestock or make projects and sell them at auction.
One year I was there the prices were good for the kids, except for one young girl, and nobody would bid on her photograph.

I ended up buying it, even though I sure didn't need it, but I couldn't figure out why she was singled out so I asked around. Turns out her father was a lawyer that had pulled some real mean tricks on several families just outside town and forced them off their land for a development.

I could see where there was some animosity for him, but the girl had nothing to do with it. I am part of one of the oldest families in the area, and the state. Not one of the most powerful, but well entrenched into the local society.
When I don't agree with something I do something about it, and nobody thought any less of me for buying her picture, and I didn't have any repercussions as the regular folks knew why I did it, and in fact were happy I did so they didn't have to step forward.

Pettyness isn't a common characteristic of small towns, but it is common to human nature. If someone doesn't step up to say what is acceptable, then people will go with the lowest common denominator so I feel that it is incumbant on the individual folks to lead and show the right way to do things.
That said, coming in as an outsider from somewhere else and trying to change the culture will only get you ostracized and ignored because you need to have established yourself as part of the community before you try to destroy what has been there for centuries.
If you prove yourself as someone the people will accept and embrace, then your ideas will be heard and if they show a benefit to the community, then change can happen.
Coming in and starting in your first week to start preaching about how backward the locals are just won't cut it.

Small towns have a larger percentage of good people I believe, more willing to jump in and help their neighbors, but there is always a fear of being cut out of the herd, so unless someone is willing to step up and say "this is wrong", nobody will.

That is the same thing that will happen in any group of people.

Just as we are seeing the degridation of our Culture on a national scale, it can happen small scale in a small town as well, but unless someone stands up and says "NO", the lowest denominator will continue to hold power and set what is acceptable.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:53 PM
 
5,072 posts, read 4,298,939 times
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I just heard the old song "Skip a Rope" yesterday. This whole thread reminds me of that song. More people need live by the Golden Rule.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:12 PM
 
Location: UpstateNY
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Great post MTSilvertip!!!!!!!
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Pettiness isn't a common characteristic of small towns, but it is common to human nature.

Absolutely.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,589,709 times
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Pop-up says I have to spread around the points before giving you some more MTSilvertip. Excellent post, and right on the money in everything.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,839 posts, read 8,712,961 times
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:17 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,512,584 times
Reputation: 7542
great one Ford!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 01-28-2014, 10:17 PM
 
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Just went through the entire topic. Wish I have read it 9 years ago before signing up for a move from a 10-million city where one can't visit all cultural events simply because there are so many of them that there is no time to go everywhere, to a village of 30000+ in the middle of AK. All that was said about small places mentality is entirely true. And there is no freedom there, in single-story places. You can't be yourself, you have always be a mirror of what your neighbors or co-workers or a cashier in a grocery store wants you to be. You have to comply with every rule the place have, and yes, no way to offer an improvement.
Many people do like it here, but many are just stuck because if you end up here, it's really difficult to get back into the world. Still, they have to find something to be proud of, so they pride themselves in ability to survive in a tightly-sealed airless houses for about 6 months a year. It's not what I want to learn. It's not what I would consider as a ground for respect.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
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A village of thirty thousand people? That is a city. I'm sure you could dissappear easily.

Now, in our town of 650, yes 650, not so easy.
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