Stop The Fly-over Hate September 5, 2009 5:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm calling out deanc and kldickson and anyone else who is trying to justify discounting everyone in a so-called "conservative area" simply because the place in which people live is not part of one of the major coastal urban zones which liberals are convinced are their sole bastion within the United States.

I have made conscious choices about NOT living in one of the supposed Urban Elite Metropolitan Areas in the US, and am growing ever more resentful of the continual implications I read on MetaFilter that anyone with any sense will leave where they live and move to one of the theoretical approved areas in which all thinking persons should live, leaving behind the ill-mannered, uneducated, inbred right wingers to stew in their pots of hate. It is a bigotry which is unbecoming of even the most basic of civilized persons, and has grown in the past few days from being a mere passing thought into a full-on "them's not fit to be amongst us" mindset expressed in the Blue.

Examples can be found in this thread and this thread, amongst many others.
posted by hippybear to Etiquette/Policy at 5:01 PM (353 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

What is an "Urban Elite Metropolitan Area"? Honestly, I don't know what this means.
posted by bigmusic at 5:10 PM on September 5, 2009


examples or it didn't happen
posted by found missing at 5:11 PM on September 5, 2009


Also, will you link to some comments? Those two threads total almost 500 comments and I don't want to read them all to find what you're talking about. Living in Kansas and all I'm pretty pressed for time, I have crops that need watering*.

*"crops"= beer and "watering"= me drinking it.
posted by Science! at 5:15 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


You should move house ASAP. Leave that hateful stew pot behind.
posted by fire&wings at 5:16 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]



What is an "Urban Elite Metropolitan Area"? Honestly, I don't know what this means.


New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, or anywhere that can pretend to be one of these places. Anywhere that isn't a flyover state.

Yeah, hippybear, at the very least, this attitude is intellectually lazy. When someone talks about say, Houston, where I'm from, and mentions culture shock in the same sentence, I know that they're ignorant. (I haven't read every bit of the two threads that you mention, but I'm familiar with the phenomenon.)
posted by zinfandel at 5:16 PM on September 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


You lost me at "liberals".
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:19 PM on September 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I have read deanc's comments in the thread you linked, hippybear, and I don't really see where you're coming from. Can you elaborate?
posted by lalex at 5:19 PM on September 5, 2009


I think the Urban Elite Metropolitan Area sounds like some statistical tool the Census would use.

Anyway, I can see kldickson being kind of bigoted in the Arkansas-good-ole-boys thread. I didn't wade through the other thread far enough to see what hippybear was talking about. Hippybear, I think your most useful responses are probably (a) respond in-thread and (b) flag and move on, no?
posted by hattifattener at 5:19 PM on September 5, 2009


I assume hippybear is talking about this from the first thread he linked to:

kldickson: I will celebrate when America's 'heartland' dies.

kldickson: It's not so much the fact that they don't live in an urban center as the fact that for some reason, idiots just tend to not congregate in cities.

From the second thread:

deanc: a well-thought-out move to the right American metro area will ensure that you won't have to put up with the loons

deanc: On one hand, I've heard it's not that difficult to get permanent residence in the UK after you've been there long enough for school and then with a job. On the other hand, the truth is that there's plenty of racism in Europe, as well. The teabag crazies don't represent our America. They might represent some creepy e-mail forwarding relatives of yours, but a well-thought-out move to the right American metro area will ensure that you won't have to put up with the loons. The teabag crazies only seem to have any currency and credibility within their isolated flyover small towns and exurbs, newspaper columnists convinced that this represents the "real America" they themselves are too insecure to believe they are part of, and creepy Republican politicians in Washington, DC.

deanc: hippybear, you know, I'm sure there are plenty of nice, even liberal, people who live in small towns and conservative areas. The truth is, however, that if you don't want to put up with them, if you don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of coworkers who are forwarding anti-Obama scare-e-mails and if you want to avoid ending up in a school district where people are going to take this kind of bullshit seriously, you're better off moving to a place where you don't need to put up with it. And, honestly, you've got a better shot of finding such a place if you move to the right place of the USA rather than fantasizing that it's going to be better off in a European country, which is not the utopia you might erroneously think it is.
Somehow the massive metropolitan elite crowd has convinced themselves that it is okay to discount everyone who does not live in the same sort of situation as they do
It is, in fact, perfectly ok for me to discount the crazy right-wingers who are unhinged by the existence of Obama as president. They are in a fucked up environment and part of a fucked up political culture, and people are under no obligation to surround themselves by it and both can and should go in search of of cultural opportunities, of which the USA offers many.


My opinion, such as it is. Discounting an entire group of people based on geographical location is stupid. In the same situation as hippybear, if someone was talking shit about Rhode Island, Iceland, Hampshire College or France (the places I have lived and have emotional attachments to) who didn't live there or weren't from there, I'd get pretty mad. So I understand where hippybear is coming from. That said, I'd have kept this in-thread or resorted to MeMail.
posted by Kattullus at 5:22 PM on September 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Example one: The teabag crazies don't represent our America. They might represent some creepy e-mail forwarding relatives of yours, but a well-thought-out move to the right American metro area will ensure that you won't have to put up with the loons. The teabag crazies only seem to have any currency and credibility within their isolated flyover small towns and exurbs, newspaper columnists convinced that this represents the "real America" they themselves are too insecure to believe they are part of, and creepy Republican politicians in Washington, DC. - deanc

Example two: Someone above talked about America's heartland dying, but this story puts into stark relief for me what is happening specifically to small towns. For over a hundred years, anyone with any drive or ambition or smarts has left the small town and headed for the greater opportunity and freedom offered by the city. Each generation the population of a small town gets poorer, older and dumber. The very dregs of society are what are left in small towns. Yet we talk about "small town values" and "America's heartland" and act like these people are what is great about America. In fact we have an entire political party who, despite not doing anything to benefit them, pins its electoral success on pandering to the prejudices and ignorance of small town and rural voters. These rubes are not the back bone of our country, they are uneducated, racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, theocratic, inbred halfwits who should be disenfranchised and cared for as one would care for a child. They should not be allowed to run their own police forces or their local governments. Those should be handled by people who have some sense. Let the peasants have their Jesus and their meth, but for god's sake stop acting like they have any place in a functioning democracy. - ND¢

And many others...
posted by hippybear at 5:23 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hippybear, take a breather. Keep repeating "imaginary internet people" to yourself. It'll be okay.
posted by The Whelk at 5:23 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: you may be correct. However, pretending that bigotry is not being expressed does not mean it isn't still there for others to read.

*puts on some ABBA and tries to find his zen*
posted by hippybear at 5:30 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a non-USA American (ie: I'm Canadian), I sincerely hope that America does NOT divide as some seem to think/hope that it shall. The world has enough borders already, thank you very much.
posted by philip-random at 5:31 PM on September 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Mysterious "Midwest" Discovered Between East, West Coasts

"We must remember that these people are not at all like us," Conde Nast publisher and Manhattan socialite Lucille Randolph Snowdon said. "They are crude and provincial, bewildered by our tall buildings and our art galleries, our books and our coffee shops. For an L.A. resident to attempt to interact with one of them as he or she would with, say, a Bostonian is ludicrous. It appears unlikely that we will ever be able to conduct a genuine exchange of ideas with them about anything, save perhaps television or 'the big game.'"
posted by Rhaomi at 5:33 PM on September 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


As a resident of a UEMA (SF), I'd like to concur with hippybear's irritation with the "Oh the heartland sucks amirite?" attitude that gets tossed around so casually by some. It shows up in every thread that even tangentially touches on Texas, or anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. It's an asinine, bullshit, intellectually lazy attitude. It isn't anymore clever or insightful than people who call San Francisco Sodom and Gomorrah.

I wish it would stop. If someone has a real criticism of a particular county or city, based on its policies, then go wild. But to paint entire regions as backward or filled with morons or deserving of whatever calamity befalls them is tired and offensive.
posted by rtha at 5:33 PM on September 5, 2009 [57 favorites]


Wow, ND¢'s comment is full of all kinds of ass. I don't know if that's out of the norm for his style or if he strung some sentences together that were meant to be in separate paragraphs, but fuck that comment. Fuck it right to hell.
posted by Science! at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Discounting an entire group of people based on geographical location is stupid.

Discounting entire groups of people in general is stupid, and as a rule the people who do it should be ignored and/or straightforwardly called-out on it.
posted by carsonb at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


... and ummm, cool, big, cosmopolitan centers (cities) are over-rated. All the rage right now ... but the coming decades will likely not be so nice to such concentrations of humanity (100 mile diet and all that).
posted by philip-random at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2009


posted by bigmusic What is an "Urban Elite Metropolitan Area"?

Black Rock City.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like living in redneck country. The pot is cheaper here.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:35 PM on September 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


The funny thing is that liberal cultural elitists on Metafilter also like to think of themselves as total egalitarians.

One or the other, guys, one or the other.
posted by The Straightener at 5:35 PM on September 5, 2009 [16 favorites]


Ah, good ol' kldickson: Walking talking proof that ignorance cannot always be cured by education.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:37 PM on September 5, 2009 [19 favorites]




posted by hippybear stew in their pots of hate

Where can I get a pot of some good hate stew? Around here, all I can find is mildly disgruntled soup and the occasional extreme-umbrage bisque.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:43 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm just glad all it takes to be an elitist is five bucks.

But honestly this "elitist" moniker is a loaded term right now in political language land. I sure the folks poking at people who live in rural towns know that not all of them are uneducated rubes, but listening to media, this is perception that is often painted in broad strokes. You don't hear about the cool small towns in Texas (Hello Marfa!) or Georgia (Hello Athens!) because it's not news unless it's over the top.

There are kind, nice, thinking people everywhere - the only real example of outright bigotry in these comments was ND¢'s comment. And I'm sure he was just angry in the moment, ask him if he meant it. He probably didn't.
posted by bigmusic at 5:46 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


mattdidthat: well, in order to find quality hate stew, you'll have to leave your beloved Bagdad-by-the-bay and venture into the loathed heartland, which I am struggling to defend from the forces of bigotry. Although I doubt it's actually as spicy a stew as those living in areas such as yours imagine it to be.
posted by hippybear at 5:47 PM on September 5, 2009


Where can I get a pot of some good hate stew? I can't tell you directly, but it rhymes with mexas.
posted by found missing at 5:48 PM on September 5, 2009


Yeah, this is pretty annoying. Also "suburbs" meaning anywhere outside of downtown NY that doesn't have actual furrows plowed in it.
posted by DU at 5:51 PM on September 5, 2009


Today's numbers:
idiots: 6
morons: 2

The shtick's getting old.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:51 PM on September 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Where can I get a pot of some good hate stew?

All I've got here is a couple of dented cans of meanistrone.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:54 PM on September 5, 2009 [23 favorites]


Yeah, as an Ohioan I agree that sort of attitude can grate. But I'm mostly just happy the people who express those opinions are staying away from my part of the world, keeping the rent cheap and...

Wait, shit, forgot I just said anything. Gee, I wish one day we could afford things like those art galleries and museums and fancy foreign restaurants I always hear so much about.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:56 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I don't have any problem with us being elitists, but can we get at least a little bit of noblesse oblige with it? "Leave the bigoted Christianist rubes to their fate" is semantically equivalent to the attitude we spend the daily health-care threads decrying: "Fuck you, got mine." We should be trying to raise the level of humanity in our culture, not race our political opponents to the bottom.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 5:56 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


All I've got here is a couple of dented cans of meanistrone.

I guess you're fresh out of Clam Chewyououtatah?
posted by jonmc at 5:59 PM on September 5, 2009


Sadly, yes. I did find mom's recipe for Bouillabaise-Toi, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:01 PM on September 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


But honestly this "elitist" moniker is a loaded term right now in political language land.

Unfortunately, it's not a right now issue with this community. We've been over attitudes towards the poor and working class, attitudes towards blacks in urban communities, attitudes towards the American south, attitudes towards the religious, and so on where perspectives range from distanced and totally out of touch to downright hostile and dismissive over and over.

...the only real example of outright bigotry in these comments was ND¢'s comment. And I'm sure he was just angry in the moment, ask him if he meant it. He probably didn't.

And I'm sure he'll be along to assure everyone after the fact that he's really totally down with the average working Joe. These attitudes are mutually exclusive. Pick one or the other and own it. If you really only like people just like yourself, who only have the same level of education you have, who only believe the things you believe, just say so and own that shit already.
posted by The Straightener at 6:03 PM on September 5, 2009 [19 favorites]


idiots just tend to not congregate in cities

If anyone here ever calls me an idiot, I'm pulling this out as proof that I cannot possibly be one, since I tend to congregate in cities.

And it's true. I live in Los Angeles, and as far as I can tell, there are no idiots that congregate in LA. Just watch the news sometime: You will never see an example of someone in Los Angeles doing something stupid - ever. That's why they call Los Angeles the "City of Intellectuals." What most people think is smog is actually just that the air is so thick with brain waves that you can barely see through it. The traffic is bad because everyone is busy doing theoretical mathematics while they drive.

And don't even get me started about LA MeFi meetups. If the smartest person in Indiana were to show up at a MeFi meetup in LA, their brain would explode (particularly if it was a meetup on the West Side).
posted by The World Famous at 6:05 PM on September 5, 2009 [38 favorites]


(In fact, I'm a bit worried about Cortex' upcoming visit to Los Angeles. I mean, he's smart, but he's not Los Angeles smart, if you know what I mean.)
posted by The World Famous at 6:08 PM on September 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Hey, I hope kldickson sticks around, she is the perfect wingman for getting masses of favorites.

Here's what you do: find a thread where she recently made an ignorant comment demeaning the intelligence of a wide swath of people, to which you happen to be a member, and calling out her ignorance, and demonstrating that you are above her petty shit. You'll get all kinds of favorites, because people love to see that shit happen.

Not really. Actually she just talked a bunch of shit that happened to hurt my feelings, insult me, and get me red faced with anger, and I was lucky enough to respond with something other than the simple "fuck you" I initially had in mind. Though it feels nice to see my favorite count rise, I would rather not get taunted like that in the first place.

But if what I wanted more than anything else in the world was to get all kinds of favorites, I would be stalking here all over metafilter.
posted by idiopath at 6:11 PM on September 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


I don't dislike people, but I do have a concrete issue with suburb-dwellers, in that I think their lifestyles and scorching the Earth with their sprawl is a Bad Thing. Does that count for hate stew?
posted by floam at 6:13 PM on September 5, 2009


Yeah, saying that there are areas of the country with a much higher concentration of people who believe stupid, hateful shit is crazy. It's like saying there are areas of the country where it's usually warmer, or where citizens don't pay as much in taxes as they get back from the federal gov't. Batshit, I'm sure.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:13 PM on September 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


s/stalking here/stalking her/
posted by idiopath at 6:14 PM on September 5, 2009


See, you wouldn't have made that typo if you lived in the city.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:16 PM on September 5, 2009


And I'm sure he'll be along to assure everyone after the fact that he's really totally down with the average working Joe. These attitudes are mutually exclusive. Pick one or the other and own it. If you really only like people just like yourself, who only have the same level of education you have, who only believe the things you believe, just say so and own that shit already.

You are right, those beliefs are mutually exclusive. However, people say things they don't mean all the time, and they regret saying them - especially in a heated moment. I despise the comment that ND¢ made. It is detestable. I wish people behaved logically when emotions are involved, but it is hard to do. So in that, I give people latitude.
posted by bigmusic at 6:17 PM on September 5, 2009


If you really only like people just like yourself, who only have the same level of education you have, who only believe the things you believe, just say so and own that shit already.

I like the other lot theoretically. I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:18 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Someone should take the raw metafilter user data, and plot people on a map, and then normalize it for population, and then see where the most favorited people live.

Further, we could compare it to one of those maps that plot IQ test results and see if it appears people favorite stupid shit or insightful shit or not. And don't tell me statistics don't work like that!
posted by floam at 6:18 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't dislike people, but I do have a concrete issue with suburb-dwellers,

...as long as you realize that "suburb" is a specific term that doesn't necessarily imply everything outside the urban zones of San Francisco and New York City, I think you're fine.

I live in a town of 9000 people. I haven't started my car in months, because I can walk to the grocery store, post office, city hall, all major "downtown" business, and generally live a very low-impact life with my backyard garden. It's not suburban, not the way you think of it, I'm sure.
posted by hippybear at 6:19 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I give ND¢ the benefit of the doubt, because he's not usually like that. You have to remember that far from living in one of those urban elite metropoli, he lives in Columbia, which is one of the places those of us who live in such glamor filled high intellectual capital UEMs as Asheville, North Carolina or Charleston, South Carolina, like to point at and laugh. We can do that because it's only two hours away, so we know. Particularly since the governor pulled his sensational international peace keeping mission. I kid because I love. Well, the Riverbanks Zoo, anyway, and that record store that used to be over by USC.

Still, though, in all seriousness, the disdain for the rest of the country grows tiresome. And yes, those of us who are not so blessed as to be living in lofts in Williamsburg or whatever they live in in Portland - yurts? - still often manage to get out there and be liberal and occasionally thoughtful and relatively smart. Cultural even, sometimes, between tractor pulls. Also, we like it here.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:20 PM on September 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


hippybear, I'm sorry, but the truth is that we are currently in a country where certain types of idiocy are unevenly distributed, geographically. Heck, even if they're not idiots, many parts of our country are culturally different than many other parts. The rational decision if you don't want to have to put up with teabag loons, racist-e-mail-forwarding coworkers, and close-minded neighbors is to move to a place where you're less likely to find them. Now, "Mr. Bad Example" thinks that he might be more comfortable permanently settling in a foreign country. I pointed out that the teabag loons to not have universal credibility in the US and are, in fact, much more highly concentrated by area. There are plenty of places in the US were liberals are going to feel culturally more comfortable and are going to be insulated from having to grapple with hissy fit eruptions from right wingers.

People move for all sorts of reasons-- more tolerance and common ground of their personal beliefs, culture, attitudes, and lifestyles is a big reason, and I don't think it's unfair to encourage others to find those places that serve those needs. And I said nothing about coasts or cities. I said to pick a good metro area that serves you. Why? Even if it's not on the coasts, and even if it's not in the city, there will be lots of people around, and if you pick wisely, they will be the kind of people you want to hang out with and vote alongside.
posted by deanc at 6:20 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you really only like people just like yourself, ... who only believe the things you believe, just say so.

When it comes to beliefs like whether torture is a useful policy tool, or whether indefinite imprisonment without trial is a good thing, or how poor people should or shouldn't be allowed to die from a lack of cash for medical expenses, then - yes, I do only like those people who believe the things that I believe. Because to favor torture, for example, is evil - and I just don't like evil people. Some things are not just matters of opinion.

I can't afford to be so open-minded that my brains fall out.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:24 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's nice to see I don't even have to hand someone a shovel, but rather they will find their own and start digging without prompting.
posted by hippybear at 6:25 PM on September 5, 2009 [4 favorites]

It's nice to see I don't even have to hand someone a shovel, but rather they will find their own and start digging without prompting.
I'm pretty sure you're seeing people writing certain things that you are absolutely, absolutely just outraged by, but most everyone else isn't thinking the same thing as you. Don't make the mistake in thinking that your personal sense of indignation is shared by all.
posted by deanc at 6:27 PM on September 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


...as long as you realize that "suburb" is a specific term that doesn't necessarily imply everything outside the urban zones of San Francisco and New York City, I think you're fine.

Basically: Areas where you people predominantly live in single-family dwellings with icky setbacks on medium-sized lots, miles away from the places they need to get to, in car-dependant jungles of other houses in the same situation. Zero civic culture. Agrestic.

You can have a well-thought out great little town with a small population. Your place sounds great.
posted by floam at 6:29 PM on September 5, 2009


Ouch! I was going to say "areas where you live in single-family", then changed it to "people", but forgot to backspace, and now it looks like I was accusing you!
posted by floam at 6:30 PM on September 5, 2009


Yeah, people in Iowa suck. I won't speak for any other state, since I've never really left Iowa. But this whole state blows. And though I have lived my whole life in a small town, the big city calls to me. I would have gone already if they didn't all call equally, thus paralyzing me with indecision. Ok, so New York and San Francisco call a bit louder than the others do, but these are so far away I have a hard time hearing them.

And I think this whole diversity thing is overrated anyway. Everyone always says it's a good thing, but then I see the videos of where the people saying these things live...in their fortified walled off communities with their hired security. Me, I'll take the small town I live in where the only security system I need is my noisome and nosey neighbor. Hell, in small town Iowa you don't even need to worry about locking your door. Sure, I don't get to see any black people, and the only hispanics I see all work in restaurants, and tech support is the closest I ever get to someone from another country, well, unless you count the Asians (but most of them are just college students that will move away as soon as the US dollar picks back up). Why is it you never hear minorities telling people diversity is good?

There's nothing cool in Iowa. We don't get the hurricanes or wild fires, we don't have people begging on every street corner, in 40 years I've never had someone ask for a handout of food (I never get to meet any interesting characters), we're consistently in the top 10% of colleges ranked for education (but honestly things like college don't interest most people here so much, so only the smart people go). We get cold as hell winters, but not as bad as Minnesota's. There's tractors on the road, and combines, and lot of things I have no idea what they do, and we have cows, and pigs, and sheep, and chickens, wherever you drive (not on the road very often thankfully).

Sure, we don't have any culture, and it was sometime in the late 90's before we got this fancy internet thing (I blame the internet for gay marriage, since if it wasn't for the internet no one here would have ever found out it was legal in Vermont). The best thing we have in this state is the farmer's markets, but those are only for a few months a year, then we're back to eating the same old store bought stuff like the rest of the country (where's that food come from?)!

Sure, we may have a drug problem in this state, but we have Jesus to get us by. What do they have in the Godless big cities? I wouldn't know.

And the worst thing about Iowa is that we have delmoi. Yep, this state blows.

p.s. I wanted to read ND¢'s comment as satire, but think he actually means it.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:30 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


True. Although Agrestic burned to the ground at the end of the third season of Weeds. ;)
posted by hippybear at 6:30 PM on September 5, 2009


Personally I could care less how people express themselves, but the obvious thing is that you are not going to engender yourself to others if you tend to say things that are grating.
Nine out of ten times I'm on the fence about that type of stuff until you directly start interacting with other people in that same manner. So when I see a certain persons name come up multiple times about this type of behavior I'm more or less meh, and I'm a bit surprised to see a sort of peanut gallery spring up around this person à la sixcolors, but I do think it's unfair in the sense that they're not overtly wrong (by voicing their opinion) and becoming targets of pile-ons.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:31 PM on September 5, 2009


I'd love to see less lazy group-targeted dismissals in general, yeah, including ideological and geographical stuff along the lines of what hippybear is talking about here. It's too easy to do, it's generally presumptuous, and pretty consistently fails to capture any of the practical nuance of intergroup conflict and unnecessarily exacerbates the already sizeable problem of unfriendly interactions between otherwise decent and generally well-meaning folks who disagree about one issue or another. This sometimes-tendency toward binarism and ideological gerrymandering doesn't make metafilter a better place.

As for kldickson specifically, I don't know what her deal is. We've been talking to her about trying to make shit work here, and it doesn't really feel like that's going very well so far. Certainly her acknowledgment of the problems with her behavior in the last thread about her haven't really gone into practice so far, and that sucks. I'm not really jazzed about a sequel to that thread, as far as potential topical focuses for this thread go, but I agree that in her case specifically this kind of behavior is badly in evidence and I don't like that at all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 PM on September 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Seattle is also an approved area. Just sayin'.
posted by jeffamaphone at 6:32 PM on September 5, 2009


Would you prefer that this chart be labeled "South, except for that one cool guy in Atlanta, and the sweet liberal couple living in Macon"?
posted by bashos_frog at 6:34 PM on September 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry, but the truth is that we are currently in a country where certain types of idiocy are unevenly distributed, geographically. Heck, even if they're not idiots, many parts of our country are culturally different than many other parts.

Idiocy - it might just be your culture.
posted by Atreides at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I agree with you, hippybear.

I live in FL. I'm a liberal democrat. You would not believe how much crap Floridians get--we are all painted as racist redneck fundie asshats down here. I've had to bite my tongue, or go out for some fresh air, after reading even some of my favorite people on Mefi once the South in general and FL in particular become topics of conversation.

And you know what? There are racist fundie asshats down here. I'd be the first to admit it.

But I've traveled nationally and internationally, and as far as I can see?

Stupid is universal. Idiocy is everywhere.
posted by misha at 6:38 PM on September 5, 2009 [20 favorites]


I really dislike the term "flyover country." As an insult, it's simultaniously smug and ignorant, and whenever I hear it I'm reminded of California neighbors of mine who thought Illi-NOISE was on the East Coast.
posted by applemeat at 6:40 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I hear someone engaging in knee-jerk flyover hate, they usually start to occupy the same mental place for me as people who say things like "America is the greatest country in the world" even though they've never traveled outside of our borders.

There are certainly some really shitty places and people in the midwest and other 'heartland' parts of the country, but to collectively dismiss whole areas based on a visible few incidents would be as wrong as me hating all of Los Angeles because they have some street gangs or New York because there exists a few bad drivers.

The exception to this is, of course, Wisconsin. We're all fucking crazy here.
posted by quin at 6:45 PM on September 5, 2009


If I could write my comment over again, I probably would not have used the term "flyover," which I can see is a pretty loaded term for many people.
posted by deanc at 6:46 PM on September 5, 2009


Hey Philadelphia is one of your typical liberal, reliably democratic (even more than NYC) eastern towns, but we've got our fair share of xenophobic tea-baggers, old-time racists, and other willfully ignorant clowns. We've got dead-end morans here who will kill you at the ball game over a spilled beer or because you wore the wrong team's sweatshirt. There's no short supply of stupid here. Same thing goes for NY, Boston, Baltimore, DC, you name it. If you look at election results, these places look relatively progressive, but it's far from homogeneous. Sure, maybe the teabagger POV is more the norm in other parts of the country, but there are whole neighborhoods in Philly that are in lockstep with this movement, and have held these insular and xenophobic views for decades. It's part of America, let's eradicate it!

Eradicate it with reason, kindness, and ABBA.
posted by Mister_A at 6:48 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


and venture into the loathed heartland, which I am struggling to defend from the forces of bigotry.

Hippybear, I admire your intentions, but you're wasting your time. This type bigotry is alive and well on metafilter. There will be no 1000 post thread resulting in a new flag; this is not a topic I've ever seen the mods really ever care about, and it's been here since the beginning (and it's not going away).

What you have to realize is that many members of Metafilter have only experienced the south/heartland through Dukes and Hazzard reruns. Ironic that in this instance they fully subscribe to Bush's 'us against them' philosophy. We're all the same!

Yes, these areas have problems that often drive me crazy. But leaving, or telling others to leave, is cowardly and solves nothing.

But the good news is that these type opinions on metafilter are in the minority, and they're constantly debunked by not only those that live in these areas, but users that live in these supposedly perfect utopias. Metafilter has made much progress over the years. What you have to accept is that users like Deanc are simply LOUD. Most bigots are. But that makes them easy to ignore.
posted by justgary at 6:49 PM on September 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


deanc:If I could write my comment over again, I probably would not have used the term "flyover," which I can see is a pretty loaded term for many people.

At least you didn't say "gypsy".
posted by dr_dank at 6:51 PM on September 5, 2009


Was it only five years ago...?
posted by josher71 at 6:54 PM on September 5, 2009


I've lived North-South-East-West-Rural-Suburban-Urban and I can tell you that people are pretty much intolerant of difference almost everywhere. What changes is what counts as different.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:57 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I live in NJ. I work in NYC. Even in this small area, the stupidity is not evenly distributed. Parts of South Jersey might as well be West Virginia for the amount of racism you will encounter there.

So I don't see why it is a big deal to point out that the country as a whole has a similar concentration of racist fundie asshats in some areas, even if there are a handful of people from those areas that don't fit the general culture of their surroundings.

(And I've encountered more than a few racists, fundies, and asshats in NYC, although people who combine all three traits are less easily come by, and are often tourists.)

Also, we elitist metro types do often get out and see the other parts of the country. One of my friends had an interesting experience, on a plane with a lady from Huntsville, AL.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:58 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hippybear, I admire your intentions, but you're wasting your time. This type bigotry is alive and well on metafilter. There will be no 1000 post thread resulting in a new flag; this is not a topic I've ever seen the mods really ever care about, and it's been here since the beginning (and it's not going away).

First of all, we do care—scroll up a little bit and you can see me discussing it, for example—but this is something that's a little harder to clearly delineate and enforce than a (only relatively) clearcut issue like casual sexism. And more to the point, it hasn't for whatever reason gotten as much of a focused community discussion about it, possibly in part because of general demographic realities about the userbase (or some of the more vocal portions of it).

But beyond that, dismissing outright the possibility of even having a productive discussion about it, of even making any headway at all, is kind of a crappy approach to the problem, especially if you believe that it is a serious problem. The sexism threads didn't happen because a bunch of people said "hey, screw it, the mods don't care and no one else does either, it's just a bunch of sexists here and it'll never change". Addressing the topic straight on with a mind to actually make some progress on it is going to be a hell of a lot more useful than pissing on the idea that that progress could ever occur.

(In fact, I'm a bit worried about Cortex' upcoming visit to Los Angeles. I mean, he's smart, but he's not Los Angeles smart, if you know what I mean.)

Hell, I'm Montana-born and play the banjo. There's gonna be a damn mushroom cloud.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:58 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


this is not a topic I've ever seen the mods really ever care about

Other than excersing their modly perogatives to clean that sort of shit up, doing their part to debunk egregious generalization, and expressing their dislike for that sort of behavior (As cortex has done in this very thread, for example), what more could they do to prove to you that they care?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:03 PM on September 5, 2009


posted by cjorgensen the worst thing about Iowa is that we have delmoi.

Given his prolific posting, we could call Iowa, "The (Meta)Talkeye State."

Speaking of which, at the time of this writing, delmoi has 19912 comments. That has to be a record. Has anyone else broken the 20K comment barrier?
posted by mattdidthat at 7:11 PM on September 5, 2009


Hell, I'm Montana-born and play the banjo. There's gonna be a damn mushroom cloud.

Dude, just wait till you get to San Francisco! LA ain't got nothin' on us when it comes to entitlement, superiority we do deserve that rep, being so superior and all, and elitism!

Totally freakin' LA-ist, you betcha.

Although that weekend we were there a little while back was pretty frakking great.

posted by rtha at 7:12 PM on September 5, 2009


Yeah the invective around here has been over the top lately. It just goes to show you that urbanites can be just as provincial, ignorant and hate-filled as anyone else.
posted by Marnie at 7:12 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Greta, now delmoi'll be up until 1 AM cranking out those last 87 comments.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:14 PM on September 5, 2009


posted by Marnie It just goes to show you that urbanites can be just as provincial, ignorant and hate-filled as anyone else.

Albeit with fewer banjos. Which isn't good. I like the banjo.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:15 PM on September 5, 2009


All this time here I was thinkin' that the smog over Los Angeles was all the chancres breathin'. ZING! I kid you, LA!

(I live outside of DC. I assure you that the mist you see some mornings doesn't have a damn thing to do with brain wave emissions. It might be expelled sewer gas, though.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:15 PM on September 5, 2009


Hippybear, I'm with you. The Texas-hate and Houston-hate is strong here, and I always get a little put out by it.

Here's what I know: It's not going to change.

You know how you can travel overseas somewhere, and you'll run into someone who is also travelling, and they bitch about how that country isn't like their (superior) country? It's the same thing here. When I talk about someone like this, I say, "They don't travel well" and this attitude is exactly what I mean.

My solution has been to read the posts and links on the blue and only very rarely read the comments, and even more rarely add a comment of my own. The attitude has just driven me away from reading comments. It's an imperfect solution, because I bet I'm missing some insightful comments, but it is one solution. Maybe it'll work for you, too.
posted by Houstonian at 7:17 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


For a long time in the United States, people who live in big cities have had to take a lot of shit, politically, culturally, and economically, from those who don't, and that the latter are so quick with their sense of grievance whenever anyone makes a slightly tetchy comment in a political context about the rural, suburban, or small-town parts of the country suggests to me a somewhat stunning lack of awareness. Decades of this "real America" shtick and the fuck-you urban policy that goes with it, what did you think was going to happen?
posted by enn at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Houstonian: actually, it was when I slowly graduated from reading only the posts to reading the full comment streams that I realized that I needed to join MetaFilter and participate. Because it is often the comment streams which contain the kind of deep wisdom and insight and fleshing-out of topics which make MeFi such a much better place than nearly every other website I've encountered.

I would be loathe to backtrack on that discovery simply because a few bigots might hurt my fragile snowflake feelings by slandering where I live. And mostly I've been able to ignore that, up until today when it turned into a perfect storm of many threads containing the same kind of hate all at once.

I'm not really that lightly bruised. This callout is because it was just piling up, rather than being the sort of general low-level "you don't live in a city therefore you have made bad choices in your life or are too stupid to know better" vibe that typically exists here.
posted by hippybear at 7:23 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you can't look around at your town and say, "fuck you and your small minded bullshit, I'm leaving!" in America, then where can you?

Obama's 2004 convention speech aside, we're not all one big happy kum-bay-yah-singing family that makes up "one America." We're a people from different places in different environments with different cultures and priorities. On one hand, we have to live in the same country with people whom we have wrong-headed, even vicious disagreements with, but the country is big enough to contain our multitudes. If Kansas wants to take evolution out of the curriculum, instead of saying, "I hate my country and wish it weren't like this or wish I could live abroad," we can say, "I can live someplace where I don't have to put up with you guys." And I really don't see why that's wrong for me to say that or point out to someone considering leaving America that there are plenty of places in America where you don't have to be subjected to right-wing crap infesting your local culture and political system. What, hippybear, did you think would be a good response to Mr. Bad Example?
posted by deanc at 7:24 PM on September 5, 2009


Hell, I'm Montana-born and play the banjo. There's gonna be a damn mushroom cloud.

See, ha ha! He's slow; we've already got one.
posted by carsonb at 7:25 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Suggesting to the Koreans who run the local asian restaurant that maybe they should move to Seattle because they have the nearest Chinatown is pretty thoughtless. What you suggest is the exact equivalent of that, and equally ugly in my mind.
posted by hippybear at 7:30 PM on September 5, 2009


enn really nails it. Decades of rural midwesterners and their Villager mouthpieces telling me I'm not a "real" American, and I'm supposed to take it, but if I point out that their parts of the country have heavy concentrations of eliminationist, fundamentalist, creationist, authoritarian, idiots, well then - how rude of me.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:31 PM on September 5, 2009


The rational decision if you don't want to have to put up with teabag loons, racist-e-mail-forwarding coworkers, and close-minded neighbors is to move to a place where you're less likely to find them.

i hear antarctica is nice this time of year ... if you're a penguin

seriously, all people are doing by saying geographically bigoted stuff is showing off how little they really know their country

i remember going to california almost 30 years ago and being informed that people from the midwest were a bunch of nazis and fascists - that, among many other things, made me feel like not living in ca

i'm damned if i know why i should let a bunch of assholes run me out of MY home state - especially when they're in the minority

i guess if y'all are too sensitive to stand being around people who disagree with you that you can find a condo with rubber walls somewhere ...

and this was a legitimate callout

maybe the midwesterns and southerners ought to sit out a day or so here and you guys can see how different things are without us
posted by pyramid termite at 7:32 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hippybear: I know, that's why I joined too. And, that's why my solution is not a great one. I don't think I'm a fragile snowflake, but the daily/weekly bashing just turned me off. Like I said, it's too bad because it means that because of a small minority I won't read many thoughtful comments. But, there is no way to convince people who don't want to be convinced.

It's so very easy for someone to toss off a "flyover state" or "hurf-durf small town" or "everyone in NotMyCity is X". It requires no thought. It usually shows that they've never really explored the area they are condemning, or if they have then they just aren't very comfortable being anywhere that doesn't match up with their home town. It's small, and it's intolerant. But I can see the posts and just know which ones will have one of those comments. I read the article about the shooting in the courtroom this morning, and was actually relieved that it didn't happen in Texas because then it would be a whole thread bashing Texans (and so, by extention, me). So I read the article, then read the next post without reading the comments. The bashing went on, but not for my location this time. But, the bashing was there, and it will always be like this.

I blame the favorites.
posted by Houstonian at 7:34 PM on September 5, 2009


But there's a difference between saying "If you're not happy where you live because of the politics or culture or lack of people of similar mindset, you might be happier in Foo," and "If you're not happy living among braindead rethuglicans WTF are you still doing in Arkansas/Texas/Mississippi/South Dakota/fill-in-the-blank then you should move to SF/NYC/LA where everyone shits rainbows."

For instance, I'm really glad I don't live in DC anymore. It was a bad fit in a lot of ways, although there are things I miss about it. But I also don't go around talking bullshit about how everyone in DC is an inside-the-beltway provincial asshole. Because they're not.
posted by rtha at 7:34 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Every once in a while when I see the phrase "calling out", I want to see a damned gunfight in the middle of meta street...I want blood, I want gore, I want something Zack Snyder could make a movie out of....
posted by HuronBob at 7:34 PM on September 5, 2009


Seems like the internal corollary of anti-Americanism; all the bien-pensants and pseudo-leftists whose sole contribution to an analysis of the world's ills is to blame your country and everyone in it. Fool's game and I could well see why the domestic version would piss you right off. Particularly choice when it's tinged with some sort of imagined intellectual superiority, as it's the epitome of lazy thinking.
posted by Abiezer at 7:35 PM on September 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


I live in NJ. I work in NYC. Even in this small area, the stupidity is not evenly distributed. Parts of South Jersey might as well be West Virginia for the amount of racism you will encounter there.

Really?! I went to college in Wayne. It was easily the most racially tense place I ever lived, and I currently live in North Central Florida. I can't tell you how many horrendously racist jokes I heard made by Wayne kids. Really, South Jersey doesn't have a monopoly on that shit.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:37 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've never flagged anything on the blue before but one of the comments Katullus quoted (the one about celebrating when the heartland dies) had my finger on the trigger until I figured out I wasn't sure what to flag it for, exactly.

Bluestatezone discourages me from commenting on things more than boyzone.
posted by immlass at 7:38 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the ironworkers and carpenters I drink and shoot pool with after work would get a kick out of being labeled elitist because they happened to live in a major metro area. But I suppose turnabout is fair play, even if hypocritical.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:42 PM on September 5, 2009

Suggesting to the Koreans who run the local asian restaurant that maybe they should move to Seattle because they have the nearest Chinatown is pretty thoughtless
If they were from Lincoln County, Washington and were telling me that they had a problem with the people and culture there and felt that they couldn't stand it so much that they wanted to live in Korea, I would, in fact, suggest that living in Seattle might be preferable to picking up and leaving America because of the dominance of the crazies in Lincoln. Simply because you might be a nice person who lives in Lincoln County doesn't mean you should get indignant when someone points out a relevant point about one's cultural/political happiness when it comes to their community.
posted by deanc at 7:42 PM on September 5, 2009


PhoBWanKenobi, it may be that my racially diverse, fairly liberal-centrist, northeastern nj enclave is smaller than I thought, and might just be spillover from the urban elitist metropolis to the east.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:49 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, for starters, I don't live in Lincoln County, but nice try. Second, I don't think anyone in the thread in which you were making your hateful statements was saying anything about being unhappy with where they live and wishing they could live someplace where they felt more at home. No, instead you dove right in dictating that anyone with any grain of sense would have left those areas for places which have people just like them.

If I, or anyone, had expressed a wish that they didn't live in the area in which they lived, I would have joined you in saying that in the US, people have the right of mobility to find other places in which to live where they feel more comfortable. Nothing like that was going on, and instead you were simply denigrating parts of the country about which you know nothing in order to make your own point about how backwaters and redneck everywhere that isn't like where YOU live happens to be.
posted by hippybear at 7:51 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Would you prefer that this chart be labeled "South, except for that one cool guy in Atlanta, and the sweet liberal couple living in Macon"?

I would prefer that that chart be laughed out of any serious discussion, on the grounds that "Northeast," "South," "Midwest" and "West" are all meaningless abstractions in this sort of context.

For instance, in the 5-county Atlanta metro area, 62% of the vote went to Obama. In Bibb County (where Macon is), 59%. In the state of Georgia as a whole, 47%. In Texas, 44%. What a monolithic horde of tea-bagging rubes!
posted by DaDaDaDave at 7:54 PM on September 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Decades of rural midwesterners and their Villager mouthpieces telling me I'm not a "real" American, and I'm supposed to take it, but if I point out that their parts of the country have heavy concentrations of eliminationist, fundamentalist, creationist, authoritarian, idiots, well then - how rude of me.

Holy fucking shit, how long has Mefi been around for, anyway?

No one is saying you can't get your back up over internecine parochial squabbles, they're saying spewing cartoonishly* generalized put-downs of huge swaths of people makes for a suckier MetaFilter.

'Well, they started it!' is a bull-shit cop-out justification for childish tantrums and soapboxy rants when 'They' are very few and far between in these parts.

*And by that I mean Marmaduke cartoonish, which is unfunny, predictable, and annoying, unlike Pooch Cafe cartoonish, which delights, enlights, and entertains - that Poncho just cracks me up!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:55 PM on September 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


What the fuck. As someone who recently moved from the head of a goddamn holler deep in eastern Kentucky to the DC area, I have a really hard time replying to this sort of bullshit without just telling people to go fuck themselves using shockingly colorful Appalachian colloquialisms. I had my reasons for leaving, and there are things I dislike about the place. But there are good people both here and there, and there are assholes both here and there. And there are LOTS of ways to be ignorant.
posted by little e at 8:08 PM on September 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


Mefi's been around for 10 years, but I am old enough to remember how the "small-town America is the only real America" B.S. idea started gaining huge momentum under Reagan.
And it just grates a little that I'm supposed to be strongly discouraged from pointing out the fact that "real America" is much more full of ignorant religious wackos than "fake America" (who just happens to pay the bills when "real America" comes up short).

But the distinction between "Area X is rife with bozos" (which I am saying) and "Everyone from Area X is a bozo" (which I'm not) seems to be lost on the denizens of Area X regardless of their bozo status, so I'm just gonna call it a night.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:13 PM on September 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have made conscious choices about NOT living in one of the supposed Urban Elite Metropolitan Areas in the US...

Then live with your conscious choices and stop getting bent all out of shape 'cause someone doesn't like your 'hood. I understand that you're upset and you certainly have a right to your feelings, but to throw a temper tantrum like this makes me personally roll my eye and say "Whatever".

If you live in the small town conservative area, you should know there's some truth behind the stereotypes. You should also know that's not the full story. Make peace with those two facts and quit worrying about what idiots say.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:21 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Normally us mid-westerners don't bring this up because we're just so much nicer than those coastal types.
posted by Mick at 8:25 PM on September 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Waylon Jennings had a good song: "Too Dumb For New York, Too Ugly For LA."
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:26 PM on September 5, 2009


And the fact that I know every Waylon Jennings song proves I'm no elitist.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:27 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, whenever I find myself getting pissed off at strangers on the Internet, these two little phrases help me recover my sense of calm.

"Oh, look. So-and-so has an opinion. Isn't that nice?"

"Wow. Look at that guy. He has five dollars. And -- get this -- he has access to a computer as well! Color me impressed."
posted by jason's_planet at 8:32 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


This man does represent us.

Sincerely,
All Reasonable Big City Liberals Here and Everywhere
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:34 PM on September 5, 2009


Fuck. Does NOT represent us.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:36 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh thank goodness I previewed before attacking drjimmy11's comment! We both dodged a bullet there, my friend.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:40 PM on September 5, 2009


Having re-read that comment, I'm kind of blown over at how angry, malicious, and over the top it is. Not to mention, using "peasant" as an insult? WTH?
posted by Atreides at 8:44 PM on September 5, 2009


The funny thing is that liberal cultural elitists on Metafilter also like to think of themselves as total egalitarians.

Being an egalitarian doesn't mean one believes the cultural landscape is currently uniform or should be.

To address the point of this asinine meta, there are indeed pockets of idiocy in this country. The fundies -- as most recently demonstrated by ex-Gov Palin -- have sucked themselves into one, and if one were making a list one could add the PC police, PETA, and whatever urban organizations that don't promote advancement toward integration with white-bread norms of literacy and our traditional das kultur that obtains among us elites.

I pull this quote a lot on this site but it really makes sense to me:

"Point of view is worth 80 IQ points" -- Alan Kay

Not all points of view are equivalent.
posted by Palamedes at 8:45 PM on September 5, 2009


That's one confusing point of view you have there, Palamedes.
posted by breezeway at 8:53 PM on September 5, 2009


Geographic hate is pretty insane, but it definitely goes both ways -- especially when you consider that once you get outside the central core of these "elite urban metropolises," what you often find are relatively conservative suburbs.

But really, I don't see this as being a huge recurrent issue on MeFi, and I'm from the Midwest so I think I would have noticed. I have, however, seen a lot of generalizing about the South, which I think is pretty annoying even though I'm not from there and haven't spent much time there.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:58 PM on September 5, 2009


Speaking of which, at the time of this writing, delmoi has 19912 comments. That has to be a record. Has anyone else broken the 20K comment barrier?

amberglow came close, when he was still around.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:04 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What you have to accept is that users like Deanc are simply LOUD. Most bigots are. But that makes them easy to ignore.

There is nothing bigoted about saying that there are more liberals in some areas than in others.
posted by kathrineg at 9:16 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


There was a comment in the Obama-school-speech thread demanding that all conservatives kill themselves. I know this isn't about party politics, but it'd sure be nice if people would stop hating each other so much.

Things have been a little less stable, a little less organized, and little less compassionate around here lately than I'm used to seeing them. All the fervor of the election season didn't stop when the election was finished. We rolled right into midterms without stopping to take a breath!

Here's the thing: with unemployment up to 9.7% there are gonna be a lot of people feeling increasingly desperate. They're powerless and they don't know what to do to fix that. They're going to be looking for someone to blame, and they're going to lash out. I don't think we ought to fuel that blame-seeking and lashing out. It doesn't matter whether the target is Roma, rednecks, or Republicans.

Metafilter has been a place where people come for community and comfort in difficult times. Let's try to keep it that way. Instead of hammering each other so hard on matters that are largely out of our control, we should argue about small things like Windows 7 and Snow Leopard. District 9 v. Avatar. Punch 'em in the Dick: the song v. Punch 'em in the Dick: the video.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:20 PM on September 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


Must be funny in a rich man's world.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 PM on September 5, 2009


That's one confusing point of view you have there, Palamedes.

you're talking to an INTP left-libertarian, of course I'm confused.

The libertarian side of me likes diversity but there's friction between that and the Establishment wherein one finds employment if not success. The common culture is a big mass of goo that has its own momentum and consistency. Over time its limits are pushed in different directions, and over time we find where we are now a lot different from where we were 100 years ago, even though the changes day-by-day and year-by-year were small.

Egalitarianism to me means everyone has the chance to contribute to this society-slash-economy based on their innate abilities and not on the circumstances of their immediate environment. It does not require that all such contributions are necessarily equally worthwhile. I find no need to be the judge of that but there are measures, the primary one being the ability to demonstrate intelligence -- the ability to evaluate alternatives and choose the best course among them.

Most of this country have not equipped themselves to handle this task, either passively through sloth or by actively choosing the wrong ideologies to become enmeshed in.

It is a frustrating challenge.
posted by Palamedes at 9:45 PM on September 5, 2009


kldickson has a special new place on my utterly ignore list. One-trick pony, & a lame trick, at that.

I've burned a few impassioned paragraphs in the valiant struggle against LOLTEXAS (I'm looking at you, Plexi & Bardic) but have decided to carry my battle to the flag queue.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:51 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


amberglow came close, when he was still around.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:04 PM on September 5 [+] [!]


Holy crap, I remember that guy. The personal website and flickr account linked on his profile page also haven't been updated since '08 either, did he die or something?
posted by Ndwright at 10:06 PM on September 5, 2009


As someone who has spent her entire life living below the Mason-Dixon line (and most of it in a state that has only recently--and barely--turned blue), I have spent many years refusing to be defined by some half-cocked notion of geographical determinism and correcting a lot of people's misconceptions about the places where I live without sounding like a an asshole. But technically spearking, I live in a town of >20K residents and I've never been inside a mega-church and no one in my family (save the one outlier grandmother) has voted Republican since before FDR. And the idea of abandoning an entire region of the country because all its residents don't exactly conform to my values and ideals feels like a cop-out at best. I was raised to believe that it's more rewarding to affect change on a small scale than it as part of a chorus of similar sounding voices. It's one thing to try and fail and have to write an individual off. It's something else entirely when you give up on an entire--and likely heterogenous community--because of one or two provincial, ignorant blowhards.
posted by thivaia at 10:10 PM on September 5, 2009 [16 favorites]


you're talking to an INTP left-libertarian, of course I'm confused.

I only meant that I couldn't parse the second sentence of your second paragraph, but now I'm really glad I asked, Palamedes; thanks for clarifying and expanding your thoughts.
posted by breezeway at 10:11 PM on September 5, 2009


And by the way, small-minded blowhards exist in every city no matter its place on the map.
posted by thivaia at 10:17 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Urban Elite Metropolitan Areas

Just say, "one of Richard Florida's Creative Class cities"
posted by jayder at 10:17 PM on September 5, 2009


This kind of shit us totally fractal. People in Columbus and Cleveland wanted to know how many of my cousins I'd kissed growing up in Steubenville. People in Chicago have asked about my corn growing, you know, since I'm from Ohio and all. I fully expect some know-nothing jackass from New York or L.A. to someday inquire how many cows I punch on my way home from the saloon after an average day in Chicago ranch country. People just love to take whatever perceived advantage they have over others, no matter how ill-supported, and run it into the goddamned ground.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:30 PM on September 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


Well, for starters, I don't live in Lincoln County, but nice try. Second, I don't think anyone in the thread in which you were making your hateful statements was saying anything about being unhappy with where they live and wishing they could live someplace where they felt more at home. No, instead you dove right in dictating that anyone with any grain of sense would have left those areas for places which have people just like them.

I don't know, hippybear. I think there's a sharp distinction to be made between kldickson and and deanc on this one. deanc's advice to those who are sick of the kooky Arkansas antics that launched that thread may have been condescending and presumptuous (funnily enough, characteristics often launched at the cities he defends). At the same time, if one of my friends from my hometown asked me if moving to a big city would lower her exposure to cowboy cops or conservative talking points (and I'm not really sure why these two things got conflated in that thread, but both kind of apply here), I would have to answer "probably." If one of my neighbors here asked where there's good BBQ, I might suggest trying one of the towns where I grew up. I mean, I guess both involve generalizations, but I think the leap to bigotry (especially equivalent to some of the analogies you've drawn) is pretty out there. And that's basically what's at the root of what deanc's saying, even if it's said in a most impolitic way.

That piece from The Onion is my favorite. It managed to highlight some reasons I fled where I did and landed where I am now, but thematically it lampoons my favorite thing to mock in new home (how out of touch with the rest of the country so many people here are, in addition to that condescension thing mentioned above). Of course there are decent people living everywhere. Do we really have to insert that disclaimer into every post before discussing geographical trends? Would a more significant attitude of levity (a la The Onion) have helped us avoid taking such things personally?
posted by aswego at 10:33 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ugh...sorry...deanc's writings were in the school speech thread, not the Arkansas courthouse shooting thread.
posted by aswego at 10:35 PM on September 5, 2009


Time to make the donuts.
posted by ericb at 10:43 PM on September 5, 2009


bashos_frog I think the ironworkers and carpenters I drink and shoot pool with after work would get a kick out of being labeled elitist because they happened to live in a major metro area. But I suppose turnabout is fair play, even if hypocritical.

Being labeled "elitist", yes, but those Ironworkers and Carpenters will have had experiences with plenty of people with elitist attitudes in NYC Metro, attitudes similar to what hippybear is complaining about.
posted by mlis at 10:48 PM on September 5, 2009


Meh. Elitist liberals criticize southerners/rural Americans for being dumb. Meanwhile, demagogues from these places get tons of mileage out of questioning the patriotism of non "Pro-Americans."

No sympathy for the fly-over states here.
posted by bardic at 10:52 PM on September 5, 2009


Where I live does not determine my politics. I'm certain I'm not the only one. But yeah, I'm pretty tired of being painted with the broad brush of ignorance just because I happen to live in the "south". Damn you Yankees.
posted by wv kay in ga at 10:57 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


demagogues from these places

Do you not see what's wrong with that characterization? There are demagogues from every place. There are idiots everywhere. There are intelligent, non-demagogues everywhere. Pull your head out.
posted by The World Famous at 11:00 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seriously the part of that where it's about Sarah Palin pretty much discredits the rest of the article before I even read it.

But I suppose Alaska is lumped in with the "if you knew better you'd move out of there" states by the people who make the kind of statements I am calling out, anyway.

(Not that I support Palin, gods no.)
posted by hippybear at 11:10 PM on September 5, 2009


So when you read a piece that showcases the political bassackwardness (by your lights, at least) of somewhere you don't live, you believe that. But Other Media Outlets are writing about how Your Town is full of [sneering, derogatory terms for You People], you get all pissed off because A) it's sneering and derogatory and B) not true, since you know that asshats live in your town, too.

The media's been playing the urban/nonurban, heartland/not heartland, foo/bar split for eons. It makes for good copy, and it sells papers (or page views or ad clicks, as the case may be). Believing what you read in HuffPo (for instance) about the Midwest/small towns/the South - believing that what they write about some people is representative of an entire region - is just you getting conned so you'll keep reading, keep sending links around or posting them on facebook so other people will click them.

I'm not saying don't click or post links. But think about the wider context of such stories, remember that the "other side" is writing outrageous bullshit about your hometown too, and try to keep in mind that "your side" isn't necessarily any more interested in being accurate (as opposed to telling a good story) than theirs is.
posted by rtha at 11:13 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]

Where I live does not determine my politics.
This is true, but if you're going to decide to let your politics determine where you live (as "Mr. Bad Example" mentioned when considering just staying in the UK), there are plenty of places in the US where you might feel comfortable. I really think it's a bit bizarre to equate a comment of i made of "some creepy political viewpoints have more currency in certain parts of the US. Pick the parts of the US where this isn't the case if it's a problem for you" with someone else's statement of "i hope small town america dies." This kerfluffle sounds like hippybear feeling offended that his choices are not being validated. And I didn't see hippybear offering any useful advice to "Mr. Bad Example."
posted by deanc at 11:16 PM on September 5, 2009


Speaking as a resident of North Carolina, and a liberal, you're welcome for the electoral votes we sent Obama's way. If you could find a way to include us as people in your dichotomous national view of Awesome versus Ignorant, that'd be great. We vote here too.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:19 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I'm pretty tired of being painted with the broad brush of ignorance"

I got pretty tired of being asked "Why do you hate America?" for oh, eight years give or take.
posted by bardic at 11:26 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seems like the internal corollary of anti-Americanism; all the bien-pensants and pseudo-leftists whose sole contribution to an analysis of the world's ills is to blame your country and everyone in it. Fool's game and I could well see why the domestic version would piss you right off. Particularly choice when it's tinged with some sort of imagined intellectual superiority, as it's the epitome of lazy thinking.

bug report: due to technical limitations I'm unable to favourite this comment more than once.
posted by atrazine at 11:30 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think you misunderstood me, bardic. I would never ask you that. I got tired of that question as well.
posted by wv kay in ga at 11:33 PM on September 5, 2009


"all the bien-pensants and pseudo-leftists whose sole contribution to an analysis of the world's ills is to blame your country and everyone in it"

NYC and LA contribute a hell of a lot more in objective terms of capital and employment than Bumfuck, MS or Realamericanburg, ND, even with the current economic slump.
posted by bardic at 11:35 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty tired of being painted with the broad brush of ignorance. Get it?
posted by wv kay in ga at 11:35 PM on September 5, 2009


Agreed. But it's a two-way street.
posted by bardic at 11:40 PM on September 5, 2009


I got pretty tired of being asked "Why do you hate America?" for oh, eight years give or take.

"Mom! He started it!"
posted by rtha at 11:40 PM on September 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I was trying to say that just because I live in the south doesn't mean I adhere to what everyone else seems to think people in the south believe.
posted by wv kay in ga at 11:45 PM on September 5, 2009


Holy shit, did ND¢ really just call rural Americans "peasants?"
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:54 PM on September 5, 2009


If by "just' you mean seventeen hours ago....
posted by aswego at 12:01 AM on September 6, 2009


Or forty-one hours ago, even....
posted by aswego at 12:02 AM on September 6, 2009


So is Denver cool?

I'll start packing my stuff just in case...
posted by Gravitus at 12:02 AM on September 6, 2009


Heh, yeah. Relative term in that I "just" got home and saw this thread for the first time. Let me try that again:

"Holy shit, did ND¢ really call rural Americans peasants while I was out of the house?"
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:06 AM on September 6, 2009


I'm from the Ozarks and live in Los Angeles. I like them both, but I must say: people shit on the sidewalk less in the Ozarks.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:06 AM on September 6, 2009 [10 favorites]


That's only because you peasant hicks can't afford sidewalks to shit on :D
posted by Abiezer at 12:13 AM on September 6, 2009


Yeah, this is pretty annoying. Also "suburbs" meaning anywhere outside of downtown NY that doesn't have actual furrows plowed in it.

Ooooh, can I play? "US liberal understandings of race, religion, and language are the only ones that count, and you all need to go along with them."
posted by rodgerd at 12:13 AM on September 6, 2009


So can we add this to the kldickson call-out:

Limbaugh and Beck are college dropouts? No wonder they're morons. They're uneducated rubes.

Calling everyone without a college degree stupid...is stupid. Plus her little inference here sounds suspiciously like, "no wonder they're idiots, they're morons!" which...is stupid.
posted by creasy boy at 12:16 AM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


She seems to have at least dropped the -tard suffix from her obnoxiousness. That's sorta like progress, isn't it?
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:20 AM on September 6, 2009


Not so long ago, a Mefite told me that since I live in Alabama, I'm a racist.
posted by Clay201 at 12:25 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Calling everyone without a college degree stupid...is stupid.

Of course kldickson would say something that stupid; she doesn't have a college degree.
posted by grouse at 1:05 AM on September 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Calling everyone without a college degree stupid...is stupid. Plus her little inference here sounds suspiciously like, "no wonder they're idiots, they're morons!" which...is stupid.

What's especially rich about this is that kldickson doesn't even have a college degree yet herself.
posted by granted at 1:06 AM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


One of the best parts about growing up in Colorado and Wyoming was that when I left for points eastward for college and beyond, the very concept of being from either "square state" (much less both of 'em!) was so far-out to everyone I met that they had no coherent stereotypes for me. They'd be all, "so, you wore... skis... while riding your horse... to school, right?" And I'd be all, "yeah, totally, plus I had a rifle strapped to my back in case I came upon a band of hostile Indians, and let me tell you, it's hard to shoot a rifle while you're in skis on a horse in the middle of a blizzard all the time. Did I mention it snows 13 months a year?" "Dude, no way." "Seriously, way."

This could go on for, oh, years until someone would finally say to me, "you know, I went to Colorado on vacation, and you guys do so have electricity out there." "Yeah, that's pretty new. The turbines are cow-powered." "Dude, no way." Seriously, way."
posted by scody at 1:15 AM on September 6, 2009 [34 favorites]


That comment about college dropouts pissed me off more than this. It's the kind of thing I can't think of any response to other than "fuck you" so I just let it go.

The fly-over thing. I just see it as a response to all the toxic discourse about "Real Americans" and "Main Street Values." which has been around for decades and recently got dredged up with Palin's rallys. Yeah, when you spew a bunch of hateful shit, some people will get fed up and throw it back at you. That doesn't make it right, of course, but I understand where the anger fueling these types of sentiments comes from. I think it's a good thing to call them to task for it, but accusing them of bigotry seems off the mark.

I grew up in a fairly small town and fled to SF at first opportunity (most people don't realize the vast majority of California is rural and agricultural). I left a place with a much higher concentration of racial bigotry, homophobia, police violence, and just general intolerance. The claim that there are more people of this mindset concentrated in rural areas does not seem bigoted to me, nor even controversial. But it's not useful to constantly harp on this point (especially with over-the-top-rants like ND¢'s... peasants, are you for real?) as it's just going to offend people and ultimately isn't even important. Even if every single person in rural areas was an asshole, well, so what, exactly? What the hell are you advocating? And this isn't even close to the truth.

I did move partly because I want to be around more people that share my values, mostly to get a job in the tech field. I do not feel bad about doing this. I get the sense I'm supposed to?
posted by cj_ at 1:45 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, in real life, if you were hanging around in any social setting and you made a disparaging remark about people without any college education, and someone piped up and said "well, I don't have any college education", you would be ashamed of yourself and you would apologize. Only on the internet would you respond with "Try getting some. It's good for your brain."

Because, in real life, that would be grounds for a smack in the face. That is something that only a genuine sociopath would say.
posted by creasy boy at 1:59 AM on September 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


Although now that I think about it, I could easily imagine Christopher Hitchens saying just that.
posted by creasy boy at 2:03 AM on September 6, 2009


I have the same confusion as a lot of other North Carolina MeFites. I mean, on the one hand, our state provided its substantial electoral votes to get the President elected, I live in a majority minority city that reliably votes Democratic on everything, and we border the Atlantic Ocean. On the other hand, we have funny accents, really good barbecue, agriculture, and "the East Coast" only runs as far south as Maryland before it just becomes a fuzzy line that picks up again somewhere around Miami. I don't know if I'm supposed to hate where I live or not. Please advise.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:42 AM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


That comment about college dropouts pissed me off more than this. It's the kind of thing I can't think of any response to other than "fuck you" so I just let it go.

The proper response is, "Yeah, I'm a gormless ill-educated fuckwad like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Abraham Lincoln."
posted by rodgerd at 2:49 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with creasy boy regarding, in particular, that Try getting some comment. I guess kldickson really hasn't learned anything. On the other hand, I'd like to applaud idiopath's restrained and intelligent responses. I know I couldn't have been as adult about it.
posted by thread_makimaki at 3:32 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hadn't realized kldickson actually made that "uneducated rubes" comment in two separate threads. The only difference is that three minutes later, not only was she still psyched about that line, but she also got the bright idea that we liberals should just point and laugh at everyone without a college degree in order to make liberalism more popular. Yeah, sure, if only liberals became openly elitist and help up their noses at 73% of the population, they might win some elections.
posted by creasy boy at 4:00 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


enn really nails it. Decades of rural midwesterners and their Villager mouthpieces telling me I'm not a "real" American, and I'm supposed to take it, but if I point out that their parts of the country have heavy concentrations of eliminationist, fundamentalist, creationist, authoritarian, idiots, well then - how rude of me.

This is just hilariously off-base. We're talking about MeFi here, and what makes good discussion. You have most assuredly *not* been told you're not a "real" American by rural midwesterners and their Villager mouthpieces" for decades here.

So why bring your retaliatory shit here?
posted by mediareport at 5:09 AM on September 6, 2009


PhoBWanKenobi, it may be that my racially diverse, fairly liberal-centrist, northeastern nj enclave is smaller than I thought, and might just be spillover from the urban elitist metropolis to the east.

I think the reality is that making sweeping generalities about the people of geographic areas is a pretty silly thing to do, because political climates can vary from town to town or even from social group to social group; several of my closest college friends were from South Jersey, and never engaged in the ignorant, hateful behavior that I knew several kids from Wayne or the surrounding towns to engage in. But honestly, I can't even say that "all people from Wayne are racist"--that would be ridiculous and almost undoubtedly inaccurate.

(All of this stuff was new to me when I went to college--I went to an ethnically diverse high school in Central New Jersey. But there were probably bigots there, too. There are bigots everywhere.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:29 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Me: born in Cleveland, Ohio, but family moved to L.A. when I was 5. Most of what I remember was from visits to my Grandma who was still there. Major impressions: more smog than L.A. (in the 60s & 70s), loved the subway they had years before L.A., and the suburbs looked 'richer' than my neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. Also had two sets of Uncle/Aunt/Cousins from my mother's side. One uncle worked for Pontiac in Detroit, lived an absurd 30 miles away and took advantage of GM's generous early retirement when they still had it and told me to never buy a GM car. His kids, my cousins, one grew up to be a very successful architectural designer in NYC, the other has had a career as a classical musician with a highly regarded midwest symphony orchestra (they DO exist). I saw them grow up to become creative professionals (and am today rather jealous of both). My other uncle married into some 'old money' and left the city he grew up in to buy a farm near Wooster, Ohio, which went through various incarnations, but was most successful as an egg ranch (the thousands of hens in tiny cages haunt me still.. mostly the smell). His kids, one grew up to be a long-haul trucker and the other became a Sheriff's Deputy in North Carolina. I saw them grow up to become... hicks. You couldn't design a better social experiment and the results were clear: growing up in the country was sadly de-civilizing.

That said, I lived in one part of L.A. or another for 44 years (except for one year after college running a small radio station outside Fresno... it was then I fell in love with San Luis Obispo where I weekended whenever I could and failing to break into its radio market, I gave up on radio and moved back to L.A.), almost 30 years in the San Fernando Valley, which I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy. Only after becoming fully disabled did I get to move to wonderful San Luis Obispo and feel free to tell very nasty jokes about 'everybody' in L.A.. We have plenty of 'hicks' here (my out-of-the-way triplex unit is next door to a 12-unit trailer park, with only half of the residents fitting the stereotype but enough to discourage me from putting an Obama sticker on my bumper) but the area also has College Town ambiance from Cal Poly University (hidden gem of the State University system), lots of tourists (and offbeat tourist destinations like Hearst Castle and the Madonna Inn), sections of coast dedicated to fishermen or surfers, lots of upper-middle class retirees from L.A. and S.F. (mostly those not quite rich enough for Santa Barbara), our #1 agricultural crop is wine grapes (followed by free-range beef cattle, strawberries and broccoli... and probably marijuana), we have a lot of 'aging hippies' who are as obnoxious as the 'hicks' (but a little less likely to be armed), also a nuclear power plant (5 miles west of my home) that has run 25 years without incident (partly due to a lot of local watchdogs who never wanted it in the first place), the hometown of teen idol Zac Efron (as well as some less embarrassing local celebs) and enough of a sense of humor to call the city buses "SLOTransit". Very non-typical for a county of a quarter-million population spread among a dozen 'cities' of 5-45,000 residents and 3300 square miles. It's damn good to live in an area that is so UNtypical of the United States... and UNtypical of California. But even here, a solid majority of the people I CAN DO WITHOUT. My point I'm finally getting to: no place is perfect, no two places are alike, but if you can avoid a homogenous population, it helps. Lots.
posted by wendell at 6:16 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty tired of being painted with the broad brush of ignorance. Get it?
posted by wv kay in ga

Agreed. But it's a two-way street.
posted by bardic


Why perpetuate the bullshit if you know that's what it is?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:25 AM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I had a pretty excellent chat with a bulldyke who runs a sex store in Providence the other day about how hateful people are in Oklahoma and how she's glad to be back in Providence.

The upshot is that she went on to say that people in general are way less hateful than they used to be, and she remarked that it's because my generation (born in early 80s) is awesome and y'know, working to not suck.

So, yeah, there is no point to this anecdote other than generalizations are made from experience, and then conclusions are drawn from those generalizations. Except that everyone born in the early 80s really is awesome. That's a fact.

Also: I'm from Vermont, which to the uninitiated seems like a liberal utopia. All of the crazy "tea baggers" whom I know personally? Live in Vermont. Just goes to show. Or something. If you live in Vermont and want to get away from the tea baggers you should just move! To... I have no idea. Canada?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


enn: For a long time in the United States, people who live in big cities have had to take a lot of shit, politically, culturally, and economically, from those who don't, and that the latter are so quick with their sense of grievance whenever anyone makes a slightly tetchy comment in a political context about the rural, suburban, or small-town parts of the country suggests to me a somewhat stunning lack of awareness. Decades of this "real America" shtick and the fuck-you urban policy that goes with it, what did you think was going to happen?

bashos_frog: enn really nails it. Decades of rural midwesterners and their Villager mouthpieces telling me I'm not a "real" American, and I'm supposed to take it, but if I point out that their parts of the country have heavy concentrations of eliminationist, fundamentalist, creationist, authoritarian, idiots, well then - how rude of me.

I've lived in NYC, I've lived in Boston, I've lived in Colorado and New Mexico. I've more outright racial hatred, rank homophobia, and thoroughgoing hatred in New York City than I ever saw out west. Most people, conservative and liberal alike, label the east coast a 'bastion of the liberal elite' because that area has a larger concentration of people in general, and so every group is much more able to afford crafting its own version of reality; add to this the fact that NYC is the most insular and isolationist area in the world (whilst pretending to be the opposite) and you get a place that's absolutely primed to create little media-driven pockets of reality. In other words: NYC seems like a 'bastion of the liberal elite' both to the liberals who live there and to the backwards conservatives elsewhere who hate them because New Yorkers have a unique talent for making it seem as though everything is about them personally. There are plenty of backward, hate-filled racists in New York City; plenty of conservatives, too, and lifelong Republicans and 'teabaggers' and Fox News-watchers and what have you. (Isn't it funny how New Yorkers conveniently ignore the fact that Long Island is one of the five boroughs? Heh.) It's just that in New York City (and on much of the east coast) it's a time-honored tradition to pretend that nobody really matters except people who are exactly like you.
posted by koeselitz at 6:38 AM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Long Island is one of the five boroughs?
posted by creasy boy at 6:51 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]



Long Island is one of the five boroughs?


No.
posted by newpotato at 7:00 AM on September 6, 2009 [9 favorites]


Lifelong Arkansan here. There are many things I love about living here. Gorgeous scenery, lakes, mountains etc. I have a house many times the size of what people in LA/SF/NY are in and I don't have to have roommates to make the exorbitant monthly payment. I don't have to leave an hour early to fight traffic to get across town.

However, let me tell a little story. My wife is an intern here at a local school. While involved in some teacher in-service meetings, she inadvertently used the wrong pronoun in front of another teacher. A couple days later she was visited by the school district's Director of Career Development who told her in no certain terms that this was unacceptable. She told my wife "I'm not telling you to lie, but if someone asks if you're married, you either say no or make up something." I have a very unique last name and if people here know a relative of mine they know we automatically must be related somehow (which is very true). This lady wanted my wife to make up a name of a husband if some child/parent asked who she was married to. In the end, she told her she was only looking out for her best interests and didn't want bad things to happen.

Arkansas has been nothing but good to me up until the point that I came out a few years ago. Since then I have been made painfully aware that if you are different, you may as well get the fuck out. I have a neighbor who in the past has thrown lesbian porn dvd's and magazines into my yard, I suppose as some sort of backward form of intimidation so that I will know he "knows."

I can't just move to a bigger city here either. The biggest city is Little Rock and they are hardly known for their liberalism either. So truly, all that's left to me is to leave the state. I don't want to hide anymore and I'm not going to move to some secret gay enclave in the woods. So if you don't think I know we have a shit ton of conservative, closed-minded rednecks here, you're wrong. But that doesn't mean it doesn't grate to see my state dismissed by others too. It's my home and I reserve the right to dislike others who hate on it. But logically I grit my teeth and realize there's an awful big seed of truth there as well.
posted by CwgrlUp at 7:01 AM on September 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Hey koeselitz, if "people who are exactly like me" includes those who know from Staten, count me in.

Cuz that shit is funny.
posted by breezeway at 7:13 AM on September 6, 2009


It isn't about where you live, it is about where you've been -- whether in real life, through learning, or everyday experience. If you've never been outside a small place, and never been challenged by something different, and have no desire to do either, it may result in an inability to know that the world is bigger and way more complex than your neck of the woods both geographically and intellectually.
posted by ltracey at 7:15 AM on September 6, 2009


Paul Wellstone: Minnesota.
Chuck Schumer: New York.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:26 AM on September 6, 2009




After a bit of irritation, I realized something.

Every one of these people who thinks "flyover country" is a barren wasteland has simply taken a phrase to heart. "You're either with us or you're against us."

Can't quite remember who said that. Mustn't have been anyone particularly important.
posted by Saydur at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


kldickson is 20 years old, basically still a teenager, and still posts "waaa my mommy is mean" AskMes. She is one of those clueless kids who hasn't yet grasped how big the world is and how little they really know about it. Why anyone takes anything she writes seriously enough for a callout, I don't understand.

Obviously you're all a bunch of rubes, hicks, yokels, hayseeds and clodhoppers. Especially koeselitz.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:46 AM on September 6, 2009 [9 favorites]


Are all you people who are excusing your ridiculous prejudice and ignorance about any part of the country outside of the coasts arguing in earnest, or is this some ironic Hipster Runoff type shit? Because it comes off as super disengenuous, the whole "I got pretty tired of being asked "Why do you hate America?" for oh, eight years give or take." Did anyone in that awesome metropolis you live in really ask you why you hate America? You do realize that your premise is demonstrably false, right? That you are falling prey to partisan political spin, without actually thinking about it? That you're really mad at talking heads and dumbass pundits and the few screw-loose old windbags that show up at rallies holding half-cogent signs comparing Obama to Hitler? That despite what the television tells you, those people are not representative of the center of the country? You do realize that you are part of the problem? That you are taking discourse in the direction of the "uneducated rubes" by dismissing entire swaths of the country that you have absolutely no experience or understanding of out of hand?

More to the point, Hippybear and his acolytes (myself included) are tired of these broad generalizations being made by you guys. By MeFites. Your response is "well, the mainstream media does it." Yes, correct, the mainstream media does do it. But you would be hard pressed to find a MeFite who lives in "Flyover Country" who would promote this artificial divide between urban and rural as anything other than a divisive invention of the news cycle. Point being, I would like to think that we all comment on Metafilter because we expect more nuanced and intelligent debate here than we would in the comments section of Boston.com or wherever, even if the site is admittedly left-leaning. And generally, kldickson excepted (because really, at this point she's crossed over into self-parody without realizing it) that is precisely what we get.

It's bizarre to me that a site that would so uniformly take down a half-baked racist generalization about gypsys would then turn around and find a bunch of defenders of an equally ridiculous stereotype. All one really needs to do is look at a 2008 election map to take the wind out of that one.

As for ND¢, his ignorant, preening liberal self-righteousness lately has been surprising and disheartening. I thought I would have more to say about that, but really, that's it.
posted by orville sash at 7:59 AM on September 6, 2009 [22 favorites]


Yeah, people in Iowa suck. I won't speak for any other state, since I've never really left Iowa. But this whole state blows.

Wait, could it be? MeFi's own cjorgensen is in Slipknot?

I've casually held the same opinion about Iowa (and have never lived there), but three different people have told me Iowa City is pretty cool.
posted by ignignokt at 8:11 AM on September 6, 2009


When I read about urban dwellers who shit on the countryside, I recall Innis' words:
It is perhaps a unique characteristic of civilization that each civilization believes in its uniqueness and its superiority to other civilizations. Indeed this may be the meaning of culture--i.e., something which we have that others have not. (Industrialism and Cultural Values)
posted by ddaavviidd at 8:19 AM on September 6, 2009


A woman I respected once saw Corey Taylor up close. I didn't know who he was. She says, "I'd so totally go out with that guy!" I looked, saw a pretty unattractive fellow, had no idea why she'd say this, so I said as much. She says, "That's Corey Taylor. He's in Slipknot. He could buy me a house!"

It was nice to see that her price was reasonably high, but I did point out what this made her.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:59 AM on September 6, 2009


I guess the game is on again...
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 AM on September 6, 2009


kldickson is 20 years old, basically still a teenager, and still posts "waaa my mommy is mean" AskMes. She is one of those clueless kids who hasn't yet grasped how big the world is and how little they really know about it. Why anyone takes anything she writes seriously enough for a callout, I don't understand.

She may be be immature, but being twenty isn't an excuse for that. Two decades is more than enough time to realize how big and incomprehensible the world is; if by that time you still don't get it, you're probably going to stay that way. Witness the large numbers of people twice kldickson's (and my) age who are still that way.
posted by Commander Rachek at 9:19 AM on September 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


kldickson is 20 years old, basically still a teenager, and still posts "waaa my mommy is mean" AskMes. She is one of those clueless kids who hasn't yet grasped how big the world is and how little they really know about it.

Well, she's an adult, though, posting here amongst people who may be her age or may be older or may be WAY older or may be alien intelligences posing as humans; but the thing is, we're all ostensibly equals. Yes, if we were all sitting in a room together, you would probably be able to look at her and make an allowance for something dubious she's said on account of her apparent age, but we don't have that here. And while I mostly like the ways in which the internet has become less and less anonymous over time, I do also appreciate that sometimes not seeing a person face-to-face means that they're taken more seriously than they might be otherwise. Now unfortunately kldickson may well benefit from being taken less seriously, but knowing what we know about her, here's something to keep in mind: This is a young person who mostly seems to comment on meaningful subjects, and who does not make a point of telling everyone how old she is all the time (at least not in those threads). She doesn't qualify her statements that way. I think her intent here is serious. It's condescending to dismiss her because of her age -- she's either part of the community or she's not -- but at the same time I'm inclined to cut her some slack because of her age, and not be all, "Hey, this person is trolling," as I probably would if it were someone I knew was, like, 45. So the middle ground, I think, is calling her on her bullshit. With any luck, she'll figure it out.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Substitute Mac-users for Urban Elite Metropolitans and I'm in. Jeez these guys' prejudices against everything PC drives me crazy.
posted by jasper411 at 9:48 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


As for ND¢, his ignorant, preening liberal self-righteousness lately has been surprising and disheartening.

That contentious statement of ND¢'s really does demand analysis (from me, at least), mainly because, bluntly, I find myself so easily nodding along at some of it, maybe even most of it. Thus is clearly stated my own special version of xenophobia, I guess:

"anyone with any drive or ambition or smarts has left the small town and headed for the greater opportunity and freedom offered by the city. Each generation the population of a small town gets poorer, older and dumber."

"These rubes are not the back bone of our country, they are uneducated, racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, theocratic, inbred halfwits who should be disenfranchised and cared for as one would care for a child.

And I know better. I spend a good half of most years in a rather remote farming community where, yes, there does seem to be a higher than average tendency toward racism, homophobia, sexism etc. But it's certainly NOT even remotely uniform.

Guilty, I plead, to the foul crime of demonization. No, I didn't favorite ND¢'s comment but, on another day, I might've, and I certainly didn't flag it either.
posted by philip-random at 9:54 AM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know, in real life, if you were hanging around in any social setting and you made a disparaging remark about people without any college education, and someone piped up and said "well, I don't have any college education", you would be ashamed of yourself and you would apologize. Only on the internet would you respond with "Try getting some. It's good for your brain."

Around here, we like to call this sort of thing "Keyboard Cojones."
posted by jason's_planet at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2009


At least kldickson is making a genuine effort to be less contentious in her comments
posted by The Gooch at 10:04 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I live in an Urban Elite Metropolitan Center but it is in Texas so I'm not sure what side I'm supposed to be on. On the election maps it is always the dark blue county in the middle of the state. Where Austin goes, so goes Texas in the opposite direction.

I've never been one to cast sweeping generalizations on groups of people. I don't get offended by the LOLTEXAN/LOLSOUTH type comments and stereotyping. Texas deserves ridicule for some of the stupid shit a few of its residents do. I'll mock and ridicule these people too. Unfortunately the dipshit minority is what makes the news and what people outside the state think of when they think of Texas. I come from California and when I tell Texans this they say I don't sound like I'm from California because I don't sound like Jeff Spicoli. And not all New Yorkers are rude assholes. And apparently not everyone in the midwest and the south are not inbred hayseeds. The truth is sweeping generalizations don't help.

kldickson is 20 years old, basically still a teenager, and still posts "waaa my mommy is mean" AskMes. She is one of those clueless kids who hasn't yet grasped how big the world is and how little they really know about it. Why anyone takes anything she writes seriously enough for a callout, I don't understand.

Although I don't necessarily agree with kldickson's opinions, disparaging her on her age isn't helpful. It is really the same sort of noise people are complaining about in this city/country callout:

kldickson is just a Texas loudmouth, basically a slack jawed yokel, and still posts "waa why are people in New York so mean" AskMes. She is one of those hicks who hasn't yet grasped how big the world is and how little they really know about it. Why anyone takes anything she writes seriously enough for a callout, I don't understand.

or

kldickson is another Williamsburg hipster douchebag, basically an elitist bitch, and still posts "waaa why are people in flyover states so mean" AskMes. She is one of those clueless urbanites who hasn't yet grasped how big the world outside of the metro NYC area is and how little they really know about it. Why anyone takes anything she writes seriously enough for a callout, I don't understand.

There are plenty of mefites that are much older than kldickson that are just as bad, if not worse. It isn't an age or maturity thing.
posted by birdherder at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's bizarre to me that a site that would so uniformly take down a half-baked racist generalization about gypsys would then turn around and find a bunch of defenders of an equally ridiculous stereotype. All one really needs to do is look at a 2008 election map to take the wind out of that one.

Well, no. It's just as fallacious to point to the 2008 map as defeating a point as it is to point to the 2004 map in supporting it. Election maps aren't the point. Generalizations aren't unhelpful because they're completely untrue for an entire demographic. Generalizations are unhelpful because the nuance within a demographic is so important.

But I think Orville Sash is basically right. Much of this comes from how defensive the Urban Elite Metropolitans are. Metafilter is the safe place where those attacks on elitists don't really happen, so it was wrong to bring the fight (in the artificial, media&politics-created war) here.

At the same time...Metafilter is often more understanding of people who are being defensive. Far more understanding than I've seen in these threads. After all, nobody in this thread has used the term "flyover country" to denigrate anyone else. It seems like deanc expressed regret here for using it in that other thread, and then everyone else coming after that has continued to use it as a straw man to attack him and all the people who are on his "side." Except I don't see many actual Mefites pissing on the rest of the country here. Nobody's defending kldickson (it seems everyone accepted her as sui generis). Nobody's defending that particular comment of ND¢, though some are saying it might have been heated and ND¢ might regret it/retract it. deanc has walked back a bit. bardic got into drawing an equivalence when we all know that doesn't help things. But, really...who are the "people who are excusing [their] ridiculous prejudice and ignorance about any part of the country outside of the coasts?" I'm not sure they're much more prevalent on MeFi than the anti-intellectuals calling out the elites.

A while back there was an AskMe where everyone in NYC spent the entire time making generalizations about everyone else in NYC by neighborhood. Actually, this happens in every thread about New York. They never really turn into these horrible fights, even though many of the same factors are in play (e.g. attitudes of superiority, inferiority complexes, rash generalizations, citation of exceptions, smugness, condescension, defensiveness, and local pride). Whatever it is there that keeps everyone good-natured and not mean-spirited or outrage-prone, I wish we could export it elsewhere.
posted by aswego at 10:18 AM on September 6, 2009


At least kldickson is making a genuine effort to be less contentious in her comments

I think it's too bad she felt the need to take a personal shot at somebody, but the essence of what she's saying makes a hell of a lot of sense, and being pissed off seems pretty justified.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:20 AM on September 6, 2009


Maybe if Rush and Glenn Beck's mothers paid for their tuitions, they wouldn't have had to drop out.

I feel sorry those rubes who aren't smart enough to have Mommy to pay for college.
posted by spaltavian at 10:22 AM on September 6, 2009


A while back there was an AskMe where everyone in NYC spent the entire time making generalizations about everyone else in NYC by neighborhood. Actually, this happens in every thread about New York. They never really turn into these horrible fights, even though many of the same factors are in play (e.g. attitudes of superiority, inferiority complexes, rash generalizations, citation of exceptions, smugness, condescension, defensiveness, and local pride). Whatever it is there that keeps everyone good-natured and not mean-spirited or outrage-prone, I wish we could export it elsewhere.

I should probably clarify that I meant whatever it is there, in those threads, that keeps everyone good-natured and not mean-spirited or outrage-prone, I wish we could export it elsewhere, to other threads.
posted by aswego at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2009


I'm transcribing an interview now, an interview with this amazingly vapid 22-year-old who grew up in the Midwest and moved to New York. While her adolescence was spent going to black tie events in Minneapolis, she went to college in Madison. Choice quotes include, "I should be going to parties where I'm served champagne, not the champagne of beers," and, on a barbecue in Montauk, "…and just the most amazing crowd getting together and discussing things that you could really get interested in for the first time, because people don't do this in Wisconsin."

The whole time, I've been seething with a barely-constrained Marxist hate—I know people from Wisconsin. I can guarantee you that we're talking about more interesting artists, more interesting politics, and more interesting food than they are in Montauk, even if they're millionaires in Montauk.

The folks who sent me "Is Obama a secret Muslim?" and who didn't believe he was an American? None of my friends or family from the Midwest, but a fair number at the evil obelisk I worked at in LA. That was balanced out by the folks who thought that Obama's victory would lead to martial law and a permanent Republican dictatorship.

On the other hand, I'm not going to pretend that I'm without preferences and prejudices. I like the cultural institutions that are supported only by having a lot of people living in one place, and I like being able to choose which Thai restaurant I want to go to. I'm also, as a Michigan native, prone to saying disparaging things about Ohio and Indiana (and Southern Illinois), which are populated with a fair number of sub-morons with bowl-cuts and vicious bigotry toward anyone not white and protestant. I know this because I'm related to them. But I know that Michigan has them too, as does even (gasp!) LA. It's just easier to generalize because there's fewer of everyone else, and because Ohio sucks and we got the UP when they got Toledo so t'hell with them.
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of mefites that are much older than kldickson that are just as bad, if not worse. It isn't an age or maturity thing.
posted by birdherder at 10:06 AM


That's because they're immature, like she is - though hopefully in her case, it has more to do with her chronological age. I'm fairly sick of her pontificating and aggressively rude comments, though, no matter if she "has a right to be pissed off" or not.
posted by HopperFan at 10:40 AM on September 6, 2009


birdherder, I hardly see the equivalency between saying that 20 year olds are often arrogantly sure they know everything and calling people from Texas or Billyburg douchebags and loudmouths.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:41 AM on September 6, 2009


GO BUCKS! (That was just for you, Klang, I don't actually watch college football.)
posted by HopperFan at 10:41 AM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


George Jones and Tammy Wynette, "We're Not the Jet Set" (YouTube)

Sample lyrics:
No we're not the jet set
We're the old Chevrolet [rhymes with "jet"] set
There's no Riviera
In Festus, Missouri
And you won't find Onassis
In Mullinville, Kansas
No, we're not the jet set
We're the old Chevrolet set
But ain't we got love?

posted by fourcheesemac at 10:46 AM on September 6, 2009


CunningLinguist:

I thought birdherder took the analogy too far, but please do realize that for those of us who are under thirty, it is irritating to be told that our age (something we have no control over whatsoever) is a source of ignorance and foolishness. More than the (admittedly small) personal slight, I would like to see myself and my peers held to account for our actions, right or wrong, including kldickson. She is multiple years into a college education. That is well old enough to know better than to spread insulting stereotypes, and if she doesn't it's not because she's young and foolish, it's just because she's foolish.

I agree with you that that particular kind of close-minded-ness comes from inexperience with the world at large, but once you're an adult, it becomes your own responsibility to seek out new experiences and educate yourself. If kldickson hasn't done that, it is no one's fault but her own.
posted by Commander Rachek at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2009


for those of us who are under thirty, it is irritating to be told that our age (something we have no control over whatsoever) is a source of ignorance and foolishness.

I'm more irritated by this trope because it lets people off the hook way too easily. There are many MetaFilter users younger than kldickson who don't spout the same sort of ignorant stuff. If you want to participate in adult swim, you have to stop pissing in the pool.
posted by grouse at 11:11 AM on September 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


birdherder, I hardly see the equivalency between saying that 20 year olds are often arrogantly sure they know everything and calling people from Texas or Billyburg douchebags and loudmouths.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:41 PM on September 6


Right. Because it is OK to make sweeping generalizations about one trait (one's age) but not another (one's location). Some of those very same NYC urbanite or Indiana heartlanders are just as often arrogantly sure they know everything. Does it have to do with their age or worldview? kldickson could be 80 and have the same worldview. Dismissing her opinions as being "she's just a kid" is to me is very equivalent to saying "she's just a hillbilly" or "she practices San Francisco values".

Just as hippybear is rubbed the wrong way by people dismissing the flyover states, I get rubbed the wrong way over dismissing people by age. I'm not some petulant child myself, I'm old enough to tell kids to get off my lawn.
posted by birdherder at 11:14 AM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of mefites that are much older than kldickson that are just as bad, if not worse. It isn't an age or maturity thing.

I agree with this. I'm only 16, but I'd like to think I have a fairly open view of the world.
posted by kylej at 11:20 AM on September 6, 2009


creasy boy: Long Island is one of the five boroughs?

newpotato: No.

You East Coast elitists with your... maps and things, and your... geography... grumble grumble

CunningLinguist: Obviously you're all a bunch of rubes, hicks, yokels, hayseeds and clodhoppers. Especially koeselitz.

The biggest art store paint department in the world could not hold the amount of umbrage I take at this statement. I haven't hopped a clod in at least a week or two.
posted by koeselitz at 11:28 AM on September 6, 2009


I went back and read some of kldickson's comments, and while everyone makes an ass of themselves at some point on here, she seems to do it consistently and unapologetically. Some questions on how to change doesn't help much if you put none of the suggestions into play.

I'm done with her.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:35 AM on September 6, 2009


I haven't hopped a clod in at least a week or two.

Aha! So you're lazy as well! Get to it, peasant!
posted by rtha at 11:41 AM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi: "I went to an ethnically diverse high school in Central New Jersey."

Hey, me too. And some people try to say there's no such thing as Central NJ. Pfft.

Also, as someone from NJ, I've gotta say that I can relate to people hating on where you're from and holding it against you without having any substantive reasons. People from all parts of the country have no problem dissing the Garden Diner state.

Back to the flyover-state-hate. Anyone who paints an entire group of people with one broad stroke is an ass. Such blanketed statements lack nuance or thoughtful consideration. Reverse-rube irony!
posted by defenestration at 11:49 AM on September 6, 2009


kldickson: It's not so much the fact that they don't live in an urban center as the fact that for some reason, idiots just tend to not congregate in cities.

It's funny seeing someone this cloistered speak authoritatively about the wider world around them.

When I read some comments about the south on mefi it's pretty clear they've only traveled south through some bigoted imagination they may have learned from some hamfisted movie. Most people who live in the south understand what is wrong with it, but have the advantage of understanding what is right with it also.
posted by nola at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2009 [11 favorites]


I don't really understand this call-out.
posted by agregoli at 12:03 PM on September 6, 2009


You must live on Yahoo Answers then.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:12 PM on September 6, 2009


I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. As CwgrlUp says, it's the biggest city in a backwater Southern state (well, she didn't say 'backwater'). My county went for Obama, but my state went for McCain big time. Some of the most iconic health-care-town-meeting footage was filmed just down the road. Also just down the road, there's a small grocery store that specializes in stuff from local organic farms and gardens. Dude I know sells 'em eggs out of his backyard.

I have a jacked-up pickup truck. I love free jazz and postmodern crime fiction. People are complicated, and people want to oversimplify. It's a tool for understanding, y'know? If it makes things easier for you, please feel free to think of me as either an espresso-sipping elitist or a beer-drunk hilljack. Depending on the time of day, you have about a 50/50 chance of being correct.
posted by box at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2009 [16 favorites]


I don't really understand this call-out.

Why, are you from Saskatchewan or something?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:20 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Big Lebowski. It's one big bowling tournament all the way down.

John Tuturro is a bolt of lightning on film. In ninety seconds, he channels a spirit that Sasha Baron Cohen can't match in his whole body of work. Go John.

Maybe for the next LA meetup we should go bowling.
posted by effluvia at 12:37 PM on September 6, 2009


"The biggest art store paint department in the world could not hold the amount of umbrage I take at this statement. I haven't hopped a clod in at least a week or two."

Burnt umbrage?
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on September 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't really understand this call-out.

Really? It's pretty straightforward. Our dear MeFi is an undeniably left-leaning community, so in spite of the "mission statement" to use the Blue to share the Best of the Web, there will at times be threads on conservative and authoritarian excess. And while much of the community may well share the frustrations that inspire such comments, there are a few members here who express their aggravation with those whom they see as Unhelpful Citizens in obnoxious, borderline bigoted ways (viz. denouncing the entire populations of certain states & regions, unironically calling small-town Americans "peasants," etc.)

Such behavior is tiresome, embarrassing, Not to Be Encouraged and certainly, certainly not the Best of the Web. Thus, a call-out. In the case of kldickson, this is call-out number two in regards to commenting from a position of assumed mental superiority and belligerent condescension.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:55 PM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I live in, or at least on the edge of, serious fly-over country. Like Box says, it's way more complicated out here than it might seem when viewed from a liberal urban enclave.

Sure, we got plenty of rabid anti-government types, ready to shoot down any black helicopters that might come flying over. But we got plenty of hippie intellectuals who dropped out way back in the day and decided to raise goats and smoke dope in the boonies, too. And in the last ten years or so, a fair number of wealthy gay couples moving in and remodeling old houses, too. Like much of rural America, immigration from south of the border is rapidly changing the demographics. The county will vote Republican forever, come hell or high water, but that appearance of mass conservatism masks an awful lot of diversity.

The real bigotry these days -- particularly the support for anti-gay and anti-immigrant ballot measures -- seems to be coming out the suburbs, and especially the exurbs. Small towns can be pretty tolerant places, and so can dense cities, but suburbs have been showing a propensity for supporting the worst nastiness our political system can supply. It's more fun to make Deliverance jokes about inbred hicks, but the real creeps are in the vast suburbs surrounding those glowing blue metropolises MeFites seem to love so much.
posted by Forktine at 1:02 PM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I’ve lived in the suburbs, the big city, and a small town and have traveled the world and seen a little bit of everything, and it pains me to say it, because I’ve always aspired to be the “bloom where you’re planted” sort, but there is very little in my small Midwestern town in the way of social, intellectual and cultural nourishment. Travel and the internet help alleviate some of those issues, but a person who thrives on diversity of opinion, open-minded intellectual debate, and a lively exchange of ideas will almost certainly struggle here.
posted by cowpattybingo at 1:10 PM on September 6, 2009


"Let the peasants have their Jesus..."

Wow.
posted by DWRoelands at 1:31 PM on September 6, 2009


So this kldickson. ...She's like sixcolors, without the fun?
posted by applemeat at 1:37 PM on September 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


As a son of Washington State, I have lived on both sides of the great cultural divide that is the North Cascades (metropolitan left to the west of the mountains, rural right to the east). I was born right in the middle of the state, in a valley far enough to the east to be baseline-conservative but visited by and peopled with enough Seattle-area expats to have a deep blue streak ribboning through all the red. This made for the occasional awkward cultural collision, to say the least. Such an upbringing, however, equipped me quite well to spot bullshit on either side of the mountains.

On both sides of the cascades, I have encountered unthinking bigotry and suspicion regarding the opposite side of the mountains. To the east, there are those who suspect that everyone to the west considers them "uneducated rubes," wants to regulate their property rights and farming practices down to the square-inch and longs to breach all the Columbia River dams to deprive the good, hard-working citizens of Eastern Washington of cheap hydroelectric power in the name of saving salmon which, of course, many of those same Westerners intend to eat. And, in the west, there are indeed many who do make snide comments about all the "uneducated rubes" to the east, suspect them of gallivanting through the woods and overhunting deer as if they're Oregon Trail characters controlled by Fourth-Graders, spraying Alar in secret and plotting against teh gays in the backrooms of Mormon Churches.

They've all got their heads up their asses, obviously. That small town I grew up in? Yeah, there's a fair number of rock-ribbed reflexive conservatives who are willing to compare the Obama Administration to the North Korean regime right out in public, where people can hear them. And yeah, there's perhaps less cultural opportunity than one might find in larger cities, but the inverse of that is the incredible hunger for culture one finds among large blocs of that area. Make no mistake, "Flyover" Washington is inhabited by people who would love more chances to go to the theater. hear new music, sample Strange and Wonderful foods, and who are shocked and disgusted by the casual bigotry expressed by some of the people around them. And as for the west? Well, there's no arguing that the metropolitan region of Washington has the "flyover" east beat cold when it comes to culture. However, this is also the region that contains Mount Vernon, the city responsible for Glenn Beck, the city where the mayor just named September 26 "Glenn Beck Day" and presented him with the key to the city.

The moral? Regional demographics are far too complex and unpredictable to reduce to a stereotype. Leave morals aside - stereotyping is just plain unforgivably lazy analysis. If you're typing a comment that reduces huge, huge chunks of a population to a caricature, be they Romani or Midwesterners or who the hell ever, you're probably better off not posting such a thing.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:37 PM on September 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Burnt umbrage?

Raw umbrage, surely.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:43 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Burnt umbrage?

Raw umbrage, surely.


i think they call this the fallacy of the excluded sepia
posted by pyramid termite at 2:07 PM on September 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


creasy boy: I hadn't realized kldickson actually made that "uneducated rubes" comment in two separate threads.

I had a WTF? moment when I saw that. Loudly sneering at people who don't have degrees wasn't obnoxious enough to do just once, it had to be trumpeted twice in quick succession. I'll make an effort to call shit like that out in future threads, if I haven't come in a couple hundred comments late.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:14 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]



I still don't have a problem with the impression that MeFi is 'left leaning', though I can't say if it's actually true - I think it might depend on which threads you read.

I do think it's a shame that regardless of how you lean, some folks think it's okay to base their arguments on poorly drawn caricatures and ...gotta say it again...fear and limited data sets.

Whenever I've tried this strategy, it never, ever resulted in a compelling and engaging conversation filled with different perspectives where I learned something. Not once.

And that's kind of why I come here. Compelling and engaging conversation filled with different perspectives. I can get my slices of preaching to the choir/snark fresh and local, like my oranges. I don't need to pay premium for wireless for that.
posted by anitanita at 2:25 PM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I still don't have a problem with the impression that MeFi is 'left leaning', though I can't say if it's actually true

I think it's left-leaning for America, kinda centrist for the rest of us.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:34 PM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I had a WTF? moment when I saw that. Loudly sneering at people who don't have degrees wasn't obnoxious enough to do just once, it had to be trumpeted twice in quick succession.

Exactly why I think this is more of a "PLEASE NOTICE ME" technique rather than a clueless lack of manners.
posted by The Gooch at 2:35 PM on September 6, 2009


What is an "Urban Elite Metropolitan Area"?

Anywhere fags congregate and live.
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on September 6, 2009


So this kldickson. ...She's like sixcolors, without the fun?

Called it. I would like to cash out now, please?
posted by P.o.B. at 2:54 PM on September 6, 2009


Wow, David Byrne wouldn't have stood a chance in this thread.
posted by blucevalo at 3:12 PM on September 6, 2009


As a son of Washington State, I have lived on both sides of the great cultural divide that is the North Cascades (metropolitan left to the west of the mountains, rural right to the east).

There's truth in that stereotype, but in both Washington and Oregon the real engines behind the right-wing ballot measures come from west of the Cascades. The east side is conservative, but more in a "get the government out of our lives (except for the cheap electricity, farming subsidies, and public land access, thanks)" kind of way. The west sides of both states vote majority Democrat, but contain a really large cohort of Jesse Helms-style conservatives.

This is the kind of diversity that gets lost in generalizations. The anti-tax and anti-gay push comes from the liberal side, as does the more intrusive of the environmental legislation; the east side will reliably vote for repellent politicians but is much less interested in what you are getting up to in your bedroom or your backyard. Add in massive immigration, and you have something far more complex than the stereotypes might suggest.
posted by Forktine at 3:16 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still don't have a problem with the impression that MeFi is 'left leaning', though I can't say if it's actually true -

Reality is Nth dimensional. Whereas the left-versus-right conversation only really makes sense in two dimensions. As such, it is best avoided as a clarification of ANYTHING except perhaps that way too many of us (yes, even people with University degrees) seek to see life-the-universe-everything as far, far, far less complicated, confusing, befuddling, beguiling, seductive, beautiful WEIRD than it really is.

And I like NASCAR.
posted by philip-random at 3:18 PM on September 6, 2009


A lonely voice squeaks out from SEATTLE! The city that would probably roll over and die if it somehow found itself unable to pay lip service to the idea of progressivism. The same city that not so long ago passed a law making it illegal to sit on the sidewalk.
posted by Skot at 4:15 PM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think it's deep enough in the thread for me to point out that most every American living outside New England is either borderline retarded or insufferably pretentious. There, I said it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:23 PM on September 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


I was about to say exactly the same thing, and I've never even been to New England. I'm assuming it's up around Scotland somewhere, right?
posted by philip-random at 4:44 PM on September 6, 2009


Anywhere fags congregate and live.

*turns to peanut gallery*

See now, that's ok, see, because ericb's a fag himself. And that makes the casual use of "fag" for no reason completely hunky dory. Because there's no way that can possibly be misconstrued by anyone, because ericb is himself a fag and has license to use the term however he wants. And it's totally ok to use it like that in casual conversation.

/other, more sarcastic fag
posted by mediareport at 4:45 PM on September 6, 2009


Yep ... like many of us have reclaimed the use of the term 'queer' to refer to ourselves.
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2009


Easy now fellas, let's not fight amongst our rainbow selves on a separate topic.
posted by CwgrlUp at 4:58 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


And like I've reclaimed the use of "arrogant, pretentious, blue state queer loving commie pinko socialist, whoremonger, asshole ahtheist, motherfucking mouthbreathing ignorant douchebag on a stick." Cause we love pretty much anything on a stick here in Western Washington.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:01 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I reclaimed your mom last night.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:10 PM on September 6, 2009 [13 favorites]


Funny story (or not): I recently found myself in San Fran for a software training class. I was teamed up with a fellow from Houston who worked for an oil company and a guy from Southern California. It warmed my heart when through much conversation they realized that they were kindred spirits in their hatred for all things liberal or to the left of Limbaugh.

The Texan was genuinely taken aback that there were actually Californians that thought the same way as him. I kept my mouth shut like any smart person does in cases such as this. I am from Arkansaw and they did not even bother to ask what my opinions were. Maybe they automatically assumed I was of the same opinions.

And to any liberals/progressives and elites looking down on us for not leaving the fly over states and joining you in your green zones. We are the ones fighting the good fight in the trenches. Taking the hits and hopefully someday winning the battle while your pussy asses are sittin back drinkin lattes and such. If you think the war is worth winning come on down and join us.
posted by Justin Case at 5:18 PM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I reclaimed your mom last night.

How could you? She's dead.

I keed, I keed. Mom I love you. And I'm sure cortex does, as well.
posted by ericb at 5:19 PM on September 6, 2009


mom has been recycled so many times, even Al Gore thinks it's about time to trade her in
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:27 PM on September 6, 2009


I can tell who's from where just by their comments and posts, and this post is exactly what somebody from Cheney, WA, would post.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:33 PM on September 6, 2009


We are the ones fighting the good fight in the trenches. Taking the hits and hopefully someday winning the battle while your pussy asses are sittin back drinkin lattes and such. If you think the war is worth winning come on down and join us.

Oh, please.
posted by kathrineg at 5:39 PM on September 6, 2009


I love you all, I judge you on your merits and your words, not your locations, even Mayor Curley who has apparently never even been to New England despite having lived there all of his life.


Curley, I was just up in New Hampshire and sunk down a few strong honks of coffee brandy, wow man, no wonder y'all don't have any helmet laws.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:42 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I reclaimed your mom last night.

pawnshops hate motherhockers like you
posted by pyramid termite at 5:43 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Curley, I was just up in New Hampshire and sunk down a few strong honks of coffee brandy, wow man, no wonder y'all don't have any helmet laws.

Mill town cops in Maine HATE coffee brandy with a passion. Because it makes drunks wired and belligerent rather than sleepy.

Careful with that stuff, brothuh.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


We are the ones fighting the good fight in the trenches. Taking the hits and hopefully someday winning the battle while your pussy asses are sittin back drinkin lattes and such. If you think the war is worth winning come on down and join us.

Oh, please.


yay I got a hit...meant to be read with a hint of sarcasm....
posted by Justin Case at 6:07 PM on September 6, 2009


Wow. That site is really sad.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:12 PM on September 6, 2009


For all her arrogance, probably not a cool cross post though.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:13 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it can be seductive to believe excising some states from the United States of America will make things better, sort of like removing a tumor from a person's body. But the United States of America ISN'T a body and conservative states aren't tumors, they are filled with a wide variety of people of many beliefs. So let's all just try to hate on people on an individual basis as civilized people should.
posted by Green With You at 6:15 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


kldickson - a self-portrait.

Not cool, man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:16 PM on September 6, 2009


I grew up in a tiny little town in Northern BC that was charged with racial tensions. I couldn't wait to get out, decades ago, beautiful as it was and is, and the reason I've spent my entire adult life abroad is probably remnants of inertia from that initial urge to flee. There are still many people I love there, though, including my mom, the mayor. It's in some ways a kind of mixture of live-free-or-die (Canadian version) good ol' boys with the gun racks in the backs of their pickups and a laissez-faire frontier attitude that doesn't blink at the pillar-of-the-community lesbian couple that has been part of the fabric of the place for decades, not unlike how wendell describes San Luis Obispo, above. The dominant idea tends to be 'if you're good folks, you're good folks, and I don't give a damn about your politics, your religion, or what you like to do in bed'. Still, there's an constant undercurrent of racism, and gossip, and it's always been a violent place.

A couple of months back, when I went to visit my mom for a week, there was a wake going on. It's a long story, so I'll leave it out, but basically where my mom lives on the lake, a wake for the husband of a friend who was an old-school biker -- not a gang member, but friends with many of them -- and hell-raiser who had been around 60 years old. A great guy with a bad temper, to all accounts.

Anyway, I'd just showed up after about 48 hours travelling halfway around the world, and was having a few drinks with my mom, as we are wont to do.

This drunk woman who was part of the wake, someone from the prairies (the 'flyover states' of Canada) who I'd never met but was a friend of the deceased and an acquaintance of my mom, who was in maybe her mid 30s, wandered in and inserted herself into the conversation, apparently unaware that this was the first time my mom and I'd seen each other in about 3 years. I was the picture of equanimity, as I usually am when imbibing, until she started spouting, out of nowhere, the most astonishingly racist shit.

The woman lived in Vancouver apparently, and had a thing against Asian immigrants. Well, all non-Caucasian immigrants, basically. She wound herself up talking about how Canada 'belonged to us' (indicating her blonde-haired self, me and my mom), how these immigrants were coming over and taking our jobs, how they should just go back where they came from. The usual, in other words.

Well, I was flabbergasted, but I argued, as reasonably as I could, that her 'people' and mine (after I asked about her heritage) came over as immigrants no more than a century earlier, and were ghettoized and discriminated against then, and that it was just the same old shit in a new wrapper. She didn't think so, but was a little too far in her cups to express why. I persisted, enjoying myself a bit, because there's nothing I like better than to run debating rings around people when they say evil shit.

Eventually I got around to telling her that I'd lived in Asia for the past decade and that my wife was Korean, as a kind of finishing move.

That confused her, but didn't really put her off. It was my 'decision to race-mix', I think, was what she said, and that 'was just fine'. Thankfully, she ran out of steam (or rum) after that, looking only mildly chastened, and went away.

In all my years in that town, I'd never heard that kind of stone-cold racist talk. It shouldn't have, I admit, but it kind of put me off the idea of ever going back to Canada, to be honest, in concert with news stories I saw later in the week about racially-motivated beatings in the lower mainland of BC and gun violence in Abbotsford of all places. Things are changing in Canada, and not for the better, and I don't know if it's the weaselshit media in American and Canada stirring the pot, or something else.


Anyway, I'm not sure why I told this story now, other than that I've been wanting to write it out since.

I guess my point is that, yeah, there are people who are bigoted or uneducated or just plain dumb, who are 'conservative' in the sense that some use the word conservative as a pejorative, in the small towns and suburbs. Just as there are in the cities. They may even be a semi-silent majority. But it took me four decades of living in and going back to visit my little frontier enclave in the frozen north for me to meet one that was, for lack of a better word, hardcore.

Things may be, probably are, different in America. But I think it is true that the most outrageous things said are the things we remember, and that most people, most of the time, even if we disagree with them, can be reasonable. If not, we're left with the choices of walking away or the frustration and hard work of trying to find some kind of common ground. If it's to be the latter, we do them a disservice by using the most egregious of people we disagree with as strawman stand-ins for all the rest.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:18 PM on September 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


kldickson - a self-portrait.

Hows about we not do this?
posted by sculpin at 6:24 PM on September 6, 2009


I'm not clear on whether that was a literal or just a gestural reference to kldickson, but I nixed it on the off chance that it was actually something of hers that someone tracked down, because, yeah, not okay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2009


Careful with that stuff, brothuh.

Oh yeah, no worries, I subscribe to Shane MacGowan's theory that brandy is a more dangerous drug than crack cocaine, I was just just dabbling to be social with some wicked funny dudes who were fixing a phone pole at the place I was staying .
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:43 PM on September 6, 2009


... the 'flyover states' of Canada ...

Until this thread, I never thought of the term 'flyover states' as political. I had always assumed it just meant the relatively sparsely populated states that most people don't have a reason to visit, and therefore are just states they find themselves flying over on the way to somewhere else.

Not because there is anything wrong with those states, just that most people live in the more populated ones and are more likely to be visiting people or doing business in other high population states. A statistical rather than a political description, sort of.

And as such, I never thought of Canada as having 'flyover provinces' because I've been to pretty much all of them, and they all seem to be likely destinations for a significant percentage of our traveling population.
posted by FishBike at 7:31 PM on September 6, 2009


Is this something you'd have to be an american to understand? Hahahhaha you guys are all look crazy to the rest of us. And we love you. We really do.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:33 PM on September 6, 2009


The west sides of both states vote majority Democrat, but contain a really large cohort of Jesse Helms-style conservatives.

I summered in Chehalis in the early 80s and whenever we passed the GET U.S. OUT OF THE UN! billboard next to I-5 I just kinda blinked at it a bit.

From the article: "If he graduated, he would have been drafted," Zurek said. "He quit early so he could get a deferment, and he farmed instead of going into the service."; ah a true patriot!
posted by Palamedes at 7:37 PM on September 6, 2009


the relatively sparsely populated states that most people don't have a reason to visit

Get about 300 miles north of the USA border and Canada's pretty much 100% flyover by this definition, which translates to about 95% of the entire country. Which is one of the main reasons I love it so. Just knowing there's all that elbow room out there should I need it makes me feel ... Canadian somehow.
posted by philip-random at 7:39 PM on September 6, 2009


"most every American living outinside New England is either borderline retarded or insufferably pretentious. There, I said it."

FTFY.

I am often both borderline retarded AND insufferably pretentious.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:27 PM on September 6, 2009


So this kldickson. ...She's like sixcolors, without the fun?

I was thinking more like Keyser Soze, without the underage drinking.
posted by armage at 9:43 PM on September 6, 2009


Although I don't necessarily agree with kldickson's opinions, disparaging her on her age isn't helpful.

I don't believe CunningLinguist is disparaging kldickson for her age. Her maturity is the issue at hand. IMO, people whining to the interwebs that 'Mummy won't fly me to Paris and also pay my rent' are immature, no matter how OLD they are.

As I read it, CunningLinguist is trying to give her a pass for her age (and may be being too generous).

(To the original call-out though: "Really? Something kldickson said disturbed you? Perhaps you're taking it a bit seriously?")
posted by pompomtom at 10:33 PM on September 6, 2009


Hildegarde : Is this something you'd have to be an american to understand? Hahahhaha you guys are all look crazy to the rest of us. And we love you. We really do.

*finishes bottle, throws through window, fires flare gun at police cruiser, again*

Wait... what?

Yeah, I totally love you too. For real.

So... can I sleep on your floor or what?
posted by quin at 10:55 PM on September 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Really? Something kldickson said disturbed you? Perhaps you're taking it a bit seriously?

It was a full-on pile-on on the blue expressing outright bigotry toward an entire segment of society, and those that I called out were individuals within those pile-ons who, when confronted by their own bigotry, chose instead to continue spouting it and trying to justify it rather than recognize their prejudices as unreasonable.

What is the alternative? Allow bigoted statements to stand? In threads on the Blue? Is that good for MetaFilter? The self-correcting nature of this community is one of its strengths. But once someone has posted their own ignorance and then tried to back it up with even more ignorant statements when challenged, and there is a general melange of others expressing the same shitty bullshit, it seems as though a callout is fair.

I don't have a thin skin. But I also don't have infinite patience.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks pompomtom. I didn't think it was worth arguing the point.

Good lord, hippybear, I was a little sympathetic but now you are crossing over into self-parody. Urban dwellers have made fun of rustics since the invention of the city. (And rustics poke fun of city slickers, in turn.) Northerners have always made fun of southerners, and do so all over the world. (Here's an amusing story about French regional stereotypes. Here are some 4th century jokes about those rednecks from Asia Minor.)
To start howling about all this terrible "bigotry against a whole segment of society" seems a bit much. And trivializes more serious bigotry, if you ask me.

Also, FYI, just because you disagree with a person's opinion or object to their generalizations doesn't automatically make them an ignorant bigot. I still don't see how deanc offended you so strongly by saying those who feel surrounded by mouth-breathers can move.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:24 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


People practice stereotyping and generalizing of all kinds, all over the world, and have for centuries. That doesn't mean it's benign, does it?

I do feel, though, that this is an argument I can get behind (let's stop lazily attributing attitudes and intelligence by geographic region), but it's expressed a little hyperbolically here.
posted by palliser at 10:09 AM on September 7, 2009


I am borderline retarded until the morning's second cup of coffee. And then I'm cranking out high-octane pretentiousness until my head hits the pillow at night.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:37 AM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow go to the beach for the long weekend and come back and you're a hate criminal. Jeez. I suppose it helps to have said something hateful right before you left too, but still. As for what I said, you know sometimes you think something and it is really you thinking it and you really think that, but then you say to yourself "No that is just your prejudices talking and you are making an inaccurate generalization and being ugly and are going to hurt people's feelings"? And you know how sometimes you skip that second step?

So yeah anyway, what I said was born of spending the first eighteen years of my life in a small, shitty South Carolina mill town, but my parents live there, and my old friends, and my history teacher and a thousand other good, kind, smart, decent people, so obviously what I said was not true for everyone who lives in a small town. It was a hateful generalization, and it was no more appropriate than making a generalization based on race or national origin or gender.

I like being on Metafilter because I can speak from the id to a certain degree and not have the filter I use in real life, but the filter is good sometimes too. If I hurt anyone's feelings I apologize. What I said is what I thought and what I think in a lot of ways, or I should say about a lot of people, but it is not true of everyone in small towns, or the majority of them. It was just me being an asshole.
posted by ND¢ at 1:12 PM on September 7, 2009 [28 favorites]


I wasn't exactly saying 'oh, let's just discount EVERYONE who lives in the south because that's where the idiots hang out'.

I was making a comment merely about the fact that, well, that seems to be where the idiots hang out. Nothing about discounting the rest of the people there.
posted by kldickson at 1:13 PM on September 7, 2009


Deleting my account. Bye.
posted by kldickson at 1:15 PM on September 7, 2009


Well, kldickson, I'm sorry to see you go. Maybe come back with another name? I know it's painful to have people talking about you negatively--and I do think that you're trying your best.

Hope things work out for the best for you in the future. Stay in school and invent some good brain drugs, okay? :)
posted by kathrineg at 1:19 PM on September 7, 2009


ND¢, that was one of the better apologies I've ever read. Thanks for the good example, I will hang on to it for the future when I say stupid stuff.
posted by kathrineg at 1:20 PM on September 7, 2009


Metafilter: where the idiots hang out.
posted by box at 1:41 PM on September 7, 2009


I wasn't exactly saying 'oh, let's just discount EVERYONE who lives in the south because that's where the idiots hang out'.

I was making a comment merely about the fact that, well, that seems to be where the idiots hang out. Nothing about discounting the rest of the people there.


*facepalm*
posted by nola at 1:42 PM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


nola you're not smart enough to understand.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2009


and that's because you live where the idiots hang out
posted by pyramid termite at 1:50 PM on September 7, 2009


*facepalm*

Hey now, it's painful to be talked about negatively.
posted by justgary at 1:51 PM on September 7, 2009


I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that someone can live in New York City and not notice the idiots.
posted by The World Famous at 1:53 PM on September 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


They're all hidden in the boro of Long Island.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:54 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


They're all hidden in the boro of Long Island.

I guess Long Island is, technically, flyover country.
posted by The World Famous at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2009


A lot of it is drive-through country...but I'm just mad because I got mugged there
posted by kathrineg at 2:02 PM on September 7, 2009


nola you're not smart enough to understand.


*stands in cow shit* Wha?
posted by nola at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's kinda sad to see somebody leave, especially somebody who loves metafilter as much as kldickson obviously does.
posted by Think_Long at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2009


She'll be back. Sometimes you just have to retire a handle you've driven into the mud too many times.
posted by mediareport at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2009


seems

That was the key word.

that's where the idiots hang out'.

vs.

that seems to be where the idiots hang out.

... and see you later kldickson. You might even be right about pretty much everything, except it's not right to be nasty, insulting and dismissive.
posted by philip-random at 2:49 PM on September 7, 2009


I do think it's sad to see someone leave (or get banned) who is really into this place. And it hurts to be rejected by people you admire.

Not everyone who is "smart" has had practice at communicating without sounding conceited. I sympathize with that, I've said and done some shameful things because I was seen as above average for my high school (with all of 36 people in my class, not really a big deal) and I thought I was hot shit and so did a lot of the people around me so they put up with it. Until I started hanging around places where I wasn't nearly the smartest person in the room and my attitude was really poorly received, did I start to learn that my attitude was really, really not cool.

That, and it can frustrating to grow up around people who don't think like you, and then go to college or the big city and people STILL don't think like you because you grew up small-town and maybe a little poor and your parents didn't listen to NPR.

Well, off to pontificate elsewhere...I'm reading way too much into this
posted by kathrineg at 2:51 PM on September 7, 2009


Hmm, if Banned members dissolve into sand while screaming, what do big-red-button-pushing members do?
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on September 7, 2009


what do big-red-button-pushing members do?

Have you ever seen the old Disney movie The Black Hole? Remember the end when they go through the black hole? I bet it's like that, but both funnier and scarier at the same time.
posted by The World Famous at 2:57 PM on September 7, 2009


It's kinda sad to see somebody leave, especially somebody who loves metafilter as much as kldickson obviously does.

It depresses me that in this day and age people still mistake abuse for love.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:06 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


She Banned Me (But it felt like a kiss).
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obviously I can't MeMail her, so kldickson, if you're reading this:

I'm sorry to see you go, and I hope you come back. I think you can make worthwhile contributions to MetaFilter. I admire your intelligence and your dedication to science (particularly your chosen field).

I'm not thrilled with the way you express your contempt for people who have faith in God. On the other hand, there are lots of assholes on MetaFilter. One flaming gaper in particular should have been perma-banned long ago. If MetaFilter can tolerate his presence, it can certainly tolerate yours.

I hope you overcome your present difficulties, graduate, get accepted to the graduate school of your choice, and do outstanding research in your field. Be strong, and don't give up. Best wishes.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:09 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, there are lots of assholes on MetaFilter. One flaming gaper in particular should have been perma-banned long ago. If MetaFilter can tolerate his presence, it can certainly tolerate yours.

Aw, you're not that bad, CA.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:12 PM on September 7, 2009


I know.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:15 PM on September 7, 2009


It's kinda sad to see somebody leave, especially somebody who loves metafilter as much as kldickson obviously does.

I think this is one instance where Metafilter gave as much, or more, than it received. Hopefully the lessons learned here will grow into mighty oaks....yeah, probably not.
posted by mrmojoflying at 3:36 PM on September 7, 2009


It's kinda sad to see somebody leave, especially somebody who loves metafilter as much as kldickson obviously does.

That's a kind interpretation of her time here, and one that I might have agreed with at one point. But given the multiple callouts regarding her bad behavior, the fact that the mods were clearly trying to work with her behind the scenes to help her understand what is and is not cool in this community, and the fact that a number of people still went out of their way to be generous to her in terms of sharing some wisdom and giving her the benefit of the doubt...

Well, all that put together tells me that she didn't love metafilter so as much as she loved being able to use it as a forum to hear herself talk. It was never about the community; it was about her.
posted by scody at 4:30 PM on September 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well put scody; appreciated the good-heartedness of that take (and subsequent similar comments) but ultimately think you're nearer the truth of the matter.
posted by Abiezer at 4:47 PM on September 7, 2009


And it hurts to be rejected by people you admire.

She had a very strange way of showing admiration.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:57 PM on September 7, 2009


I guess Long Island is, technically, flyover country.

Or if we want to be even more technical, we could say flyover country is every place that isn't a runway at a major airport. In which case, we all live in flyover country. There can be no "us vs. them" when everyone is "us".

Can we go with this definition?
posted by FishBike at 5:15 PM on September 7, 2009


"Is this something you'd have to be an american to understand? Hahahhaha you guys are all look crazy to the rest of us. And we love you. We really do."

Never heard a Newfie joke, then?
posted by klangklangston at 5:42 PM on September 7, 2009


My problem with that definition, FishBike, is that I'm not satisfied that the flyover routes in domestic flights are actually sufficiently dense and evenly distributed to write off the majority of the US landmass as "flown over". I think we're going to need to examine some aggregate FAA data on flightpaths to really get down to it, here.

We could establish a few classes of regions, perhaps—if nothing more granular, at least umbral vs. penumbral vs. plane-free flyover zones, based on direct flight path concentration and plausible off-path traffic (emergency traffic, weather, crashes).
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:48 PM on September 7, 2009


Trainwrecks.
posted by box at 5:50 PM on September 7, 2009


Well then, I win, because I do live on a runway at a major airport. I have to move my tent around often, but it's worth it to be this much more sophisticated than the rest of you rednecks.
posted by little e at 5:53 PM on September 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm at least a little sorry to see her go. I thought kldickson had a lot of potential, despite some impressively rough edges and colossal shoulder-chips. She's bright and passionate, and my sense was that her rudeness was actually rooted in a sort of inside-out twisted-up idealism. (A serious misanthrope, imho, learns to manipulate. Whatever kldickson might have been, a practiced manipulator she was not.) I hope she gains some polish, explores some facets of her life that aren't all about intellect, and learns to mellow out.
posted by sculpin at 6:03 PM on September 7, 2009


My bedroom window's about thirty feet from an elevated train route. Does that count as flyover?
posted by philip-random at 6:35 PM on September 7, 2009


"The funny thing is that liberal cultural elitists on Metafilter also like to think of themselves as total egalitarians."

Nice generalization, pot!
posted by markkraft at 6:54 PM on September 7, 2009

Here are some 4th century jokes about those rednecks from Asia Minor.
This is gettnig a bit off-topic, but it's worth noting that Greeks still make jokes about the "bumpkins" whose origin is from Asia Minor. There are more layers to it than that in the modern Greek cultural hierarchy, but I thought the fact that Asia Minor has been regarded as a country bumpkim whipping boy since antiquity was pretty funny.

Also, looking through kldickson's posting history, I get the impression she's a person who has been personally fucked over by (some experiences growing up in) small town America. Not that her comments are fair, accurate, or called for but it sounds like she's had some bitter experiences that she associates with small town provincialism that she's been trying to get away from. Still inexcusable, of course.
posted by deanc at 6:55 PM on September 7, 2009


Also, looking through kldickson's posting history, I get the impression she's a person who has been personally fucked over by (some experiences growing up in) small town America.

You know, when I look at kldickson's posting history, I get the impression she's a person who has been personally fucked over by a whole variety of people and situations, but was treated with extensive generosity and kindness by the community here, and who repeatedly failed to reciprocate that generosity and kindness. I hope that she finds her way in life, and that time softens her edges, and that she begins to allow herself to treat well the people that treat her well, as this community did (especially, for example, in its response to her statements in the last post here that called her out). Until that time, however, I have to say that I'm really not going to miss her. Feel for her? Absolutely. Want to engage with her? Not in the slightest.
posted by amelioration at 7:12 PM on September 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


This was fun. We should do this again sometime.
posted by Eideteker at 7:16 PM on September 7, 2009


And it hurts to be rejected by people you admire.

Speaking as a C- high-school graduate from the south, I never felt admired much at all. I have a right to reject people who outright despise me, I think.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:25 PM on September 7, 2009


Well then, I win, because I do live on a runway at a major airport.

i live on a flying saucer - anything closer than the moon is flyover country to me
posted by pyramid termite at 7:37 PM on September 7, 2009


There are people on Metafilter who think of themselves as total Abyssinian Alabaster Authoritarians.
posted by box at 7:48 PM on September 7, 2009


was treated with extensive generosity and kindness by the community here, and who repeatedly failed to reciprocate that generosity and kindness.

I think there is a big difference to "fuck that!", which she did often, and "fuck you!" which to my knowledge she never did to anyone here...specifically, on purpose. So again I don't think she was nearly as bad as some people can be on this site. That of course doesn't make a lot of the things she said any less irriatating.
It's obvious people like to find a target that they can shoot at, especially from the safety of some kind of superiority whether it be morality or intelligence, as she often took as her perch, or even from numbers as people tend to do here sometimes.
It was also obvious unless she had made some drastic changes in how she expressed herself she was going to garner more and more 'fans' that probably would have followed her around.
It sucks if you can't fit into a group, but I think it's a shame anyone feels the need to close shop and leave.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:57 PM on September 7, 2009


"Speaking as a C- high-school graduate from the south, I never felt admired much at all."

You look like you've got nice glasses, at least.
posted by klangklangston at 9:45 PM on September 7, 2009




It sucks if you can't fit into a group, but I think it's a shame anyone feels the need to close shop and leave.

Isn't that what this whole thread is about, on some level?

posted by hippybear at 11:44 PM on September 7, 2009


Touché
posted by P.o.B. at 12:14 AM on September 8, 2009


This has me thinking about how even within my small bit of Kentucky people like to hate on each other. The city school kids think the county school kids are hicks, and, well, I may be from the county but at least I'm not from Mud Creek, and...I don't even remember who Mud Creek residents consider more redneck. Magoffin Countians maybe? (And then when we're drinking my friends who hail from an area roughly equal to my own on the hick hierarchy like to accuse me of being from Mud Creek, and then I'm all Fuck you, I ain't from fuckin Mud Creek!! not because I actually mind but because it's a fun think to shout when drinking. Try it some time, really.) Anyway, WTF, human beings? We all talk funny and hang out at Applebee's a lot and vacation at Myrtle Beach and own camo pants. How about not being jerks?
posted by little e at 2:09 AM on September 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


You look like you've got nice glasses, at least.

Yes, but do you truly admire them??
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:00 AM on September 8, 2009


My opinion of kldickson changed completely upon meeting her at the 10 anniversary meetup. She is an interesting person, and actually quite nice. She's just a little (ok, a lot) awkward and, perhaps, hasn't thought about some things as openly as she thinks she has.

If you're reading this, kldickson, I do hope you make another try sometime. MetaFilter has a lot to offer, even if you have to just lurk awhile. Maybe get another account and compose, but don't post, your comments. Leave them up on the screen for an hour and come back and reflect on how they might be interpreted (and again don't hit post). Somebody will probably say something similar to what you said, so you can favorite that if you want to support that point-of-view in a thread. Eventually I think I think you'll learn better ways to express yourself and metafilter can again benefit from your contributions.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:11 AM on September 8, 2009


Pro-tip: if you have to go around qualifying yourself as a smart person, then you may in fact not be one.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 AM on September 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


This has me thinking about how even within my small bit of Kentucky people like to hate on each other. The city school kids think the county school kids are hicks, and, well, I may be from the county but at least I'm not from Mud Creek, and...

Reminds me of playing rep-hockey throughout the suburban Vancouver of my youth. We'd play games up the Fraser Valley and man, would the HATE come out for "The Farmers" of Abbotsford etc, and they for us "Rich Kids". I'm thinking age 12 or 13 here. Xenophobia's as natural (and inevitable) as bullying. Ugly but true.
posted by philip-random at 8:46 AM on September 8, 2009


What is an "Urban Elite Metropolitan Area"? Honestly, I don't know what this means.

New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco,


Would that be the San Francisco of Michael Savage fame? (He has quite a local following, by the way.)
posted by small_ruminant at 12:05 PM on September 8, 2009


I think there is a big difference to "fuck that!", which she did often, and "fuck you!" which to my knowledge she never did to anyone here...specifically, on purpose.

First, I think she made a lot of work for the moderators, so I'm not sure her opus as it stands now on the site truly represents the range of "fuck ___"ing she engaged in.

Second, I think when you make a nasty crack about such large groups of people, you must know that some people here fit some of those definitions. And then when she was actually told that someone she was talking to met her criteria for an "uneducated rube," in that he didn't have a college education, she responded with "Try getting some. It's good for your brain."* In that context, yes, that's "fuck you."

*Did anyone else read "try getting some" differently, the first time they read that exchange? I thought maybe it was a little-known effect she'd learned about in her noorobiawlergy classes.
posted by palliser at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I read that as tone-deaf advice, actually
posted by kathrineg at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2009


palliser:First, I think she made a lot of work for the moderators, so I'm not sure her opus as it stands now on the site truly represents the range of "fuck ___"ing she engaged in.

I would have to give a big maybe to that one. If one of the mods wanted to weigh in on that then okay, but I was well aware of responses long ago and hadn't seen any such thing from her. I'm pretty sure that as she became more relaxed with the community the attention she garnered didn't come to critical mass until recently.

I agree with kathrineg as to your second comment, although you are correct it was specific and on purpose of which was generally out of tune with her general banter. Being that I've actually seen F*ck you!'s and the like thrown about that was, with all due respect to who she said it to, fairly mild.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:29 PM on September 8, 2009


To be more specific about my last sentence. kldickson was fairly non-combative in the matter of in your face tactics, but if you think a flippant comment about going back to school was really that harsh then perhaps a lot more of us should take a good long look at what we reply with.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:48 PM on September 8, 2009


Second, I think when you make a nasty crack about such large groups of people, you must know that some people here fit some of those definitions.

kldickson: I will celebrate when America's 'heartland' dies.

Exactly. And that line's just one of many. I'm amazed at the lengths people are going to excuse her blatant hate. I take that back. I'm not surprised (given the subject), just disappointed.

The excuses are just that, nor does it matter how she comes across in person. 99.9 percent of metafilter will only know her by her words here. I hope she comes back also. Perhaps like another member when it comes to religion she could simply stay out of these type topics.
posted by justgary at 1:04 PM on September 8, 2009


The excuses are just that, nor does it matter how she comes across in person.

I agree that it doesn't matter how she in person and did not mean my comment above to be an excuse for some of the stuff she said. I didn't say anything during that last thread about her or this one for exactly that reason. But now that she has disabled her account, I wanted to share my experience with her in real life because I think some of the stuff written about her may have hurt her feelings and I don't see any point in it anymore.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, exactly, because I gave her a full pardon and a jailhouse shiv. So when you lay down at night her words will not only ring in your ears you'll also get a liver full of cold plastic.

I really should set my sarcasm aside, there's a dead carcass to be kicking!
posted by P.o.B. at 1:33 PM on September 8, 2009


I really should set my sarcasm aside, there's a dead carcass to be kicking!

Don't you mean, "there's a dead carcass to be kdicking!"
posted by mrmojoflying at 1:42 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not really fair to post three near-consecutive comments on one side of a subject and then accuse the other side of kicking a dead carcass.
posted by palliser at 1:49 PM on September 8, 2009


I wanted to share my experience with her in real life because I think some of the stuff written about her may have hurt her feelings and I don't see any point in it anymore.
posted by and hosted from Uranus


Agreed hfu. I wasn't demeaning your point, and I think an opinion from someone that's met her has merit. And I think you're right. There's no point in it anymore.
posted by justgary at 1:59 PM on September 8, 2009


It's kinda sad to see somebody leave, especially somebody who loves metafilter as much as kldickson obviously does.


Well, all that put together tells me that she didn't love metafilter so as much as she loved being able to use it as a forum to hear herself talk. It was never about the community; it was about her.


Well yeah, I'm not necessarily defending her composure on this site. Some of the things she said are embarrassing coming from our generation. Regardless, a loss is a loss, and I'm allowed to feel it a little bit.
posted by Think_Long at 2:02 PM on September 8, 2009


If I could go back in time and give my 18-year-old self any gift, it would be a Metafilter membership. MeFi has done at least as much to make me a better writer as graduate school did, maybe more. If you look early in my posting history, you'll see a lot of snarky, dismissive comments, often about things I was just plain wrong about.

Every once in awhile, you'll see a new Mefite start to engage in an argument and then, when the argument starts to get intense, disappear. Not just from the thread, but from the whole site. Sometimes with a bratty kissoff; sometimes just with silence. I think that in some cases, these are people who have simply never met anyone as smart as them. When they realize that they can't shut people up with the usual tricks, it genuinely scares them.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not really fair to post three near-consecutive comments on one side of a subject and then accuse the other side of kicking a dead carcass.

Fairness seems to be a pretty subjective measuring tool, especially when I actually made two comments and then came the carcass statement. And that's if your counting my second comment not as an addition to what I previously said, even though I obviously made that point
BUT I don't have a dog in this fight. I've said what I thought. One of the people apologized and the other dropped their account.
One more thing, I'm not sure what you mean by sides on this. I didn't know this was an either or thing.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:12 PM on September 8, 2009


Hey, what happened to Dobbs? I liked that guy. (Here's to hoping that there's not a flameout thread that not only did I read, but commented in, thus exposing my facile mode of interacting with Metafilter.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:48 PM on September 8, 2009


Hey, what happened to Dobbs?

Dude went and wrote himself another movie.
posted by Skot at 3:19 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, P.O.B. I didn't mean to suggest anyone was posting too much, just that posting at all seems to me to indicate a continued interest in the subject. I think my mention of "sides" came from a misunderstanding of what you meant by "kicking a dead carcass." I thought you meant kldickson's account was the dead carcass, and those of us who were saying negative things were kicking it; but now I realize (I think) you meant the whole topic was the dead carcass, which we're all here kicking.

And now I'm going to find another way to get my exercise!
posted by palliser at 3:36 PM on September 8, 2009


Well, shit. There's snobbery and then there's reverse snobbery. Each functions at times as a mirror image of the other, while at other times cancelling one another out, depending only on the biochemical state of the observer, or some such thing as that there, ya'll. As far as I can tell it's all little more than tribalistic hostility against some boogermanized other, the picture of the villain we hold in our mind being generally much more hirsute and hostile than the reality of him is likely to be.

The problem is that sometimes our fear of the snakes leads us to overlook the pestilential burden of the rodents among us, and we sometimes sicken and succumb to the things we were completely unaware of.

What was the question again?
posted by metagnathous at 6:24 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm fairly certain it was...

Ghostbuster II.
posted by koeselitz at 6:49 PM on September 8, 2009


Thank you, metagnathous, for the image of a "more hirsute" villian. If only my photoshop skills were up to the task. Hirsute = bad?
posted by small_ruminant at 10:30 AM on September 9, 2009


I hate the term "flyover" too and wish people wouldn't use it. Just saying. (I live in San Francisco.)

Dude went and wrote himself another movie.

You're telling me that Dobbs wrote The Limey?! Fucking great movie.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:40 PM on September 9, 2009


Dude went and wrote himself another movie.

Yeah, I just found that link too, and now I'm in complete awe that the same dobbs who wrote that victory shag newsletter back in the day worked on the screenplay to Dark City! Who knew?!
posted by KatlaDragon at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2009


I hate the term "flyover" too and wish people wouldn't use it. Just saying. (I live in San Francisco.)

Now, see, San Francisco is what I would think of as a flyover city. Not because I don't want to go there (it's actually my favorite place to visit), but because it's beautiful from the air, so it's the kind of place you want to fly over to see it that way.

I don't think people will stop using the term, but maybe we can steal it and use it for something better?
posted by FishBike at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


But it's ok to hate on Romani people still right?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:22 AM on September 10, 2009


Who could hate them? Everybody likes columns, right? And coliseums? I say we owe 'em a thing or two.
posted by koeselitz at 6:58 AM on September 10, 2009


No, no, koeselitz. He means people from Romania, not from Rome.
posted by olaguera at 2:08 AM on September 12, 2009


i just learned that san antonio may not be a city
posted by pyramid termite at 9:25 AM on September 12, 2009


i just learned that san antonio may not be a city

I say we drop the commenter into the wilderness just inside loop 410 on the south side with enough food & water to hike to civilization, & then let them report back their findings.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:18 AM on September 12, 2009


skot: Hey, what happened to Dobbs?

Dude went and wrote himself another movie.


MeFite dobbs and Lem Dobbs are not the same person.
posted by Kattullus at 5:25 PM on September 13, 2009


He said so here, in one of those classic AskMes
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:25 PM on September 13, 2009


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