Skip

Breaking: Portland’s not that cool, L.A. not that superficial.
April 8, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Stereotypes? Fuhgeddaboutit!
"No one likes a stereotype, unless it’s about someone else — then it’s hilarious. Los Angeles? Celebrity-obsessed lipo-junkies. Portland? Hipster snobs. Boston? Sports fanatics who think that a win for the Sox somehow makes them winners, too. There’s nothing really wrong with these stereotypes — in fact, they give each city a unique cultural identity. How true they are is another matter."
"So in wildly unscientific form, [writer Will Doig] decided to look at the data. This is just for fun, so try not to take it too seriously and freak out. We’re looking at you, New York."
posted by ericb (85 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
No Philadelphia? No New Orleans? No place in Texas? Nothing outside the U.S., like London or Paris? Way to miss the low-hanging fruit, Salon.
posted by Gator at 5:54 PM on April 8, 2012


Florida: Old people and sex offenders

Which is just silly — how can you leave the rednecks?
posted by indubitable at 5:56 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's true. I was down in Mass last week and was blown away by the inordinate amount of attention paid to sports teams, both in people's clothes, in advertising, et cetera. It felt like everyone was dead inside.

I didn't find any pods, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:57 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It felt like everyone was dead inside.

Yes, enjoying spectator sports is a soul-killing endeavor. That's why Massachusetts has no culture, no universities, no research hospitals, no art museums, no symphony orchestras, chamber music, or choruses, no theater scenes, no visual arts scenes, and certainly no literary scene of any sort. Because nobody could possibly enjoy intellectual endeavor, science and technology, or the arts if they also enjoy professional spectator sports.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:03 PM on April 8, 2012 [50 favorites]


Exactly!
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:07 PM on April 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have always thought of Los Angeles as the world's largest Hooters restaurant. Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.
posted by bpm140 at 6:13 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I actually didn't know this Boston stereotype, despite being from the Greater Boston area. Most of my experience with this sort of thing has been with people who were Yankees fans from the New York / New Jersey area ostentatiously saying so in my presence and waiting expectantly for me to react, so I'd always assumed that it was people from those places that were obsessive sports fans.

It doesn't help that until I ran into this behavior I probably would have had trouble telling you what sport the Red Sox played and didn't know that they were a Boston team, much less that the Red Sox and Yankees were particular rivals. (In fact, I probably would have assumed that a team called the "Yankees" was from somewhere in New England.)
posted by XMLicious at 6:13 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I live in Mass and I am sorry to report that many people don't care at all about sports teams at all. I'll bet well more than half, perhaps three-quarters never watch a game on TV, much less ever go to one. I can't remember the last time somebody commented on a game other than that they expected the Patriots to lose the Super Bowl and they can't believe they got as far as they did. Yes, there are some rabid fans, but don't believe everything you see on TV.
posted by notmtwain at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2012


My mom didn't know what sport was played at Fenway Park. I love my mom.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, fingers crossed that the NYT Lifestyle section will take this article as its cue that it's time to move on to something besides adorable little old Portland to subject to its periodic condescension.

But also, "hipster snobs?"

I moved to Portland in 2000 from Charlottesville, Virginia and was overwhelmed by the genuine friendliness. People say "hi" back when you pass them on the sidewalk, thank the bus driver as they got off the bus and are generally pleasant. Of the four neighborhoods I've lived in since (Sunnyside, Woodstock, Alberta and Lents), Alberta has been by far the least friendly, and it wasn't "hipster snobs" being unfriendly: It was upper middle class double-stroller sweatzedo types who wouldn't even make eye contact on a sidewalk in the middle of the day.
posted by mph at 6:18 PM on April 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I will say this about the article: American Nations it is not.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:19 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm from Boston. My personal experience is (1) there are plenty of people who are sports fanatics here, (2) there are also plenty of people who are not sports fanatics, and (3) that the sports fanaticism stereotype isn't taken offensively here — in fact, just the opposite. People who are fanatics about sports aren't ashamed to be described that way. They're proud. They enjoy the sport, they promote their teams, they feel genuinely sad when their teams lose and genuinely happy when their teams win. And they're not going to apologize for it.

Maybe it's just because I grew up here, but the sports fanaticism in Boston doesn't bother me in the slightest. And I say that even though I am the farthest thing from a sports fanatic. (No joke, I can name maybe five Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins players combined.) Professional sports don't interest me, but I recognize that they are a big part of my city's culture and I'm not going to begrudge anybody for making professional sports a big part of their lives.
posted by hypotheticole at 6:21 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Austin: where people from Portland lived before they moved to Portland.
posted by blixco at 6:23 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am a huge Red Sox fan. Dead inside, of course. And apparently have been since I was a little girl. Born to dead-inside parents, too.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:28 PM on April 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Guys! We're ignoring the really important question here! What the fuck is a sweatzedo?
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:33 PM on April 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


It felt like everyone was dead inside.

Insightful! Thought-provoking!
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:33 PM on April 8, 2012


Austin: where people from Portland lived before they moved to Portland.

See, that's totally unfair. Austin is also where people from California live after they move away from California.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:34 PM on April 8, 2012


We need a new national pastime. Being dead inside is so boring!
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:35 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know this is 'just for fun', but what I see here is fundamentally about consumption.

Frankly, I could give two hoots about the surprising plastic surgeon hub of the mid-west. Culture and identity is much more telling when it's about how people spend their time when they're not trying to distract themselves.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 6:41 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obviously this guy doesn't know where the cool places to hang out in Portland are.
posted by whir at 6:44 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fun article and all but I feel like I've only read one-fifth of a total piece, like a lot of regional stereotypes that would be interesting to unpack were ignored, as were a lot of regions. There's nothing here about the midwest, aside from the little blip about Salt Lake City. And it's a shame too cuz I'd have like to have seen Packer fanaticism contrasted with Red Sox fanaticism. Also, nothing here about the south at all and good lord there's a lot of southern stereotypes that would be worth examining and exploring. But no, Slate published a flyover article. #LIBRULMEDIA
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:53 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, yeah. I you really want to get into regional differences, American Nations is really the book to read- because differences really do exist, and to a large degree they're because of who settled the area first. This article really comes across as poorly-written: they're not even scratching the surface. Low-hanging fruit is right.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:02 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


So Food Court Druids inhabit entire states? What shattering insights......
posted by Ideefixe at 7:06 PM on April 8, 2012


I've lived in Boston and I currently live in LA. I don't find that LA has a much higher proportion of superficial people than Boston does. However, the climate in LA allows the superficial people to flaunt what they've got without the risk of frostbite.
posted by rednikki at 7:06 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, you guys are still into thinking that people from Portland are hipsters? That's cool - I mean, I don't want to judge you if that's still your thing. I was really into that stereotype back in like '99, when I was living in Austin, but I'm kind of over it now. I'll tell you guys some of the stereotypes I've been really into lately, buy you've probably never heard of them.

People from Cedar Rapids all keep tiny, yappy dogs that they dote on like children.

People from Santa Barbara all have schizoid personality disorder caused by their domineering and emotionally distant parents.

People from Fayetteville all worship a terrible lizard-god who demands a constant stream of human sacrifices.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:07 PM on April 8, 2012 [27 favorites]


Mentions the Red Sox' game sellout streak. Doesn't mention that Fenway Park is one of the smallest MLB stadia in the nation.
posted by explosion at 7:09 PM on April 8, 2012


But no, Slate published a flyover article.

It was Salon that published this one (if it was Slate, the map would be interactive and the article would be spread over two pages)

Also, FTA: "Salomon, for his part, thinks the worst drivers are in L.A. “I felt intimidated on their damned expressways,” he says. Damn well should have felt intimidated--they're freeways, dude! And yes, people in LA take their freeways seriously (it's a contact sport).
posted by librarylis at 7:09 PM on April 8, 2012


The Boston-as-Sports-Fanatics thing was manufactured by the lazy author who needed something about a bunch of large media markets and had that particular stat in front of him. Stop talking about it like it's a thing, because he invented it.

1. About half of the cities with the four major American sports thinks their fans are the most devoted. People in New York/Philadelphia/Chicago/etc. don't say "well, those people in Boston are nuts about sports." They say "We have the most devoted, fanatical fans in this city! No one tops us."

2. The Fenway sellout stat is a total fabrication. When the Sox fade, huge swathes of seats go unsold, and are dumped last-minute to the Red Sox designated scalper, Ace Ticket. So technically all the seats are sold. But they are sold for pennies on the official asking price as part of a reciprocal agreement to disgusting ferrets-in-human-clothing who are destroying the spirit of sports attendance. Watch a late-season Red Sox game when they've been in the shitter and Fenway is as densely populated as Nunavut. If someone actually paid 480 bucks for four respectable seats, asses would be in said seats in the fourth inning when the cameras are rapidly panning over a ghost town.

Hack journalism, blind acceptance. Don't do it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:20 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's true that San Francisco is full of sodomites and freaks and hippies. We were all in Dolores Park earlier today.
posted by rtha at 7:20 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The hipster snobs of Portland were onto this idea years ago and have already moved onto something cooler.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:24 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


EatTheWeak: There's nothing here about the midwest, aside from the little blip about Salt Lake City.

The fact that you think Utah is in the Midwest leads me to believe that you yourself are on one of the two coasts.

[NOT COAST-IST]
posted by tzikeh at 7:27 PM on April 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


Florida: Old people and sex offenders

Which is just silly — how can you leave the rednecks?


Those are in North Florida, which people from Real Florida call South Georgia. Real Florida is not culturally part of the South.
posted by Foosnark at 7:30 PM on April 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I though Austin was where white people from New Orleans moved back to after the hurricane.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:31 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


'American Nations' is really the book to read- because differences really do exist, and to a large degree they're because of who settled the area first.

As evinced by visitors and transplants from the South to my Northern Minnesota/Wisconsin stomping grounds who have been taken aback by the amount of social drinking that transpires, including at family functions.* This is said to be (and is historically documented as) the result of German settlement.



*And if you don't believe that a lot of drinking is going on, check out the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome rates. Yow!
posted by mr. digits at 7:41 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Austin is where Chinese visiting scholars did their PhDs in the 80s.

(The plural of anecdote is stereotype, right?)
posted by kmz at 8:08 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Austin is also where people from California live after they move away from California.

Unless they came from Madison. Looking for a warmer... Madison.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:11 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


AUSTIN IS WHERE EVERYONE FROM EVERYWHERE DID SOMETHING BEFORE OR AFTER DOING SOMETHING ELSE ELSEWHERE!

I sure am glad we've got some decent spatiotemporal structure here. It must suck to live in one of those other cities — you know, Dallas or Houston or god forbid Amarillo or something — where nobody comes from anywhere and everything happens simultaneously.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:21 PM on April 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


What the fuck is a sweatzedo?

Color coordinated fitness outfits. Sort of crushed velour looking? White sneakers? The middle class version of the polar fleece jammy bottom/hoodie/flipflop combo meant to signify that the wearer is "dressed" but with the added virtue of having something to do with fitness.
posted by mph at 8:21 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are in North Florida, which people from Real Florida call South Georgia. Real Florida is not culturally part of the South. (Foosnark)

Funny, growing up in Alabama, it was always what you call "Real Florida" that we thought of as fake. It may have something to do with the fact that there is an entire fabricated World in that part of Florida (and now fabricated communities, too!). But we didn't call North Florida "Real Florida." We called it coastline that really ought to be ours. (Seriously, Florida gets all of that coastline along the Gulf, and we just get two little tails around Mobile Bay?)
posted by ocherdraco at 9:02 PM on April 8, 2012


The Los Angeles metropolitan area is so freaking large, it has at least umpteen local "stereotypes". Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, NORTH Hollywood, The San Fernando Valley of Zappa's "Valley Girl", Beautiful Downtown Burbank, The "People's Republic" of Santa Monica, the Pasadena of Jan & Dean's "Little Old Lady" (which busted one stereotype and created another), East L.A of Cheech's "Born In", West L.A. (downscale Beverly Hills), South Central (the expanded version of Watts), ORANGE COUNTY (sorry, it can't escape the LA region, and there actually ARE large pockets of non-Republicans there).

But L.A. is the World Capital of Fair Weather Sports Fans. That's how it LOST two NFL franchises. Personally, I was a fan of the Angels during while Nolan Ryan pitched for them and DAMN it was lonely in 'Dodgertown'. I once got the autograph of the 4th starter for the Lakers during the West, Wilt & Elgin era and he seemed genuinely surprised somebody would ask. I think more L.A. residents followed the fictitious team on "Friday Night Lights" than frequent-national-contender USC.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:05 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Fenway sellout stat is a total fabrication. When the Sox fade, huge swathes of seats go unsold, and are dumped last-minute to the Red Sox designated scalper, Ace Ticket. So technically all the seats are sold. But they are sold for pennies on the official asking price as part of a reciprocal agreement ....

The fact that they care about it, and care enough about to go to all that trouble to prop it up? That's a sign of being fanatical about sports.

.... to disgusting ferrets-in-human-clothing who are destroying the spirit of sports attendance.

When I lived in California I would have had no idea at all what you meant by "the spirit of sports attendance". Having lived in Boston for many years now, not only do I know what you are talking about, but you are the second Boston-area guy I've heard talk about it and complain about its decline.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:34 PM on April 8, 2012


Boston is overthink-your-plate-of-Beans-town, apparently.
posted by blue t-shirt at 10:01 PM on April 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


ooh i'm proud of that one
posted by blue t-shirt at 10:02 PM on April 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Now I'm picturing a stadium full of clothes-wearing ferrets with poor hygiene jumping around going WARK WARK WARK ruining the whole game for the few actual humans in attendance.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:06 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


We are Portlanders. Not Portlandians.
posted by rainperimeter at 10:09 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fact that they care about it, and care enough about to go to all that trouble to prop it up? That's a sign of being fanatical about sports.

I think it's more that they care about the money they'd lose from advertisers. Caring about money and being fanatical about sports are not mutually exclusive, but they aren't required to go hand-in-hand, either.
posted by rtha at 10:11 PM on April 8, 2012


As someone who grew up in Boston and now lives in Seattle (and has lived in a bunch of other cities as well), I do think there's something different about sports fandom in the city. There's an intensity and also a camaraderie that I just haven't seen anywhere else. Sure, there are intense sports fans everywhere, but in Boston, I think it's about saturation. People that you would never expect to be into sports often are in Boston.

Of course, it could partly just be that Seattle is a really, really not-into-sports city. I knew I was in a strange place when I was at a Mariners' game last year. They were playing the Orioles and one of the Orioles outfielders made a good play. The audience cheered. For the other team. Mind = blown.

(I do think the Fenway sellout thing is a bit overblown, though. It has a lot to do with the fact that the Sox are just a good team now. I still remember scoring 3 tickets for $15 on Yawkey Way during the 2nd inning in 1998. OTOH, in every city I've lived in that plays the Sox, you can never get tickets because they always sell out.)
posted by lunasol at 10:28 PM on April 8, 2012


Would that Miami were a perpetual Spuds Mackenzie-era beer commercial.

Sentence fragments like this have no place in an even halfway decent publication. Absolutely atrocious.

</pedantry>
posted by MattMangels at 10:39 PM on April 8, 2012


dunkadunc: "I will say this about the article: American Nations it is not."

Heh, I'm in the middle of this book now, remarkable.
posted by stbalbach at 10:40 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not accurate to think of Porlanders as hipsters. Only people who live in Southeast Portland, between Hawthorne Boulevard and Powell, are truly hip.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:41 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


stbalbach: "Heh, I'm in the middle of this book now, remarkable."

I went to see Colin speak about the book in Bangor. The guy's pretty brilliant.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:58 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember St. Louis being a big sports town, but I always attributed that to Anheuser Busch pouring (hah!) tons of money into the local sports teams. And also, there isn't much to do in St. Louis except drink and watch sports. Unless you're into crack cocaine.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:58 PM on April 8, 2012


Oh, and here's a stereotype that was busted for me when I moved to the Bay Area : Berkeley is all about hippies. From what I can tell, Berkeley mostly populated by very serious Asian students. Also, there's not really anything going on there because UCB students come to SF to hang out.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:01 PM on April 8, 2012


Afroblanco, you just reminded me of another Bay Area (well, SF) stereotype that gets busted when people visit the Haight and find that instead of a bunch of free-lovin' peaceniks it's filled with teenage runaways and, for lack of a better term, gutter punks. Not that you won't necessarily find outgoing, friendly people there, but let's just say it's a much different place than it was in 1967.

By the way, I've been wondering for a while now if "every homeless person in San Francisco has a dog" is a stereotype that's gonna catch on. Anyone who lives here will know what I mean.
posted by MattMangels at 12:01 AM on April 9, 2012


You mean to tell me the Haight wasn't filled with teenage runaways in 1967?
posted by Goofyy at 12:23 AM on April 9, 2012


for lack of a better term, gutter punks

We always called them crusties.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:38 AM on April 9, 2012


My impression of Portland (having never visited, but hearing plenty of stereotype-driven anecdotes) is that it's filled with friendly blue collar hipsters who put lots of effort into looking dirty.

The snobby hipsters are somewhere in Brooklyn maybe?
posted by p3t3 at 2:04 AM on April 9, 2012


Well yeah, Goofyy, but the ones there today are more of the long-term homeless variety, rather than recent arrivals in the 60s, most of whom didn't stay there that long.
posted by MattMangels at 2:05 AM on April 9, 2012


Different fashion, different style, sometimes even different problems. New generation, still teenage runaways. Only our perception is changed, cuz we aren't part of it now.
posted by Goofyy at 3:30 AM on April 9, 2012


But you know, back in the day, plenty of kids having a great good time, playing at being "poor", until they got tired of it. They provided good cover for those of us who weren't playing and had less access to solutions. Oh! I suppose that's probably the same as it ever was, as well.
posted by Goofyy at 3:37 AM on April 9, 2012


I grew up in Columbus, OH where everyone is rabid about the Ohio State Buckeyes (football in particular). It's one of the few places I've been where everyone is decked out in college logo gear even if they never went to that school -- Columbus until recently didn't *have* any major league sports and let's face it, the Bluejackets (NHL) aren't all that, so all we had were the Bucks. On gamedays *everyone* is in Scarlet and Grey and last time I was there on a fall Saturday, people were randomly doing the "O-H! I-O!" cheer across the restaurant. Winning (or losing) a major game against Michigan or Miami is typically celebrated by burning couches and cars, flipping any cars that weren't burned, and riot police pepper spraying the college kids into dorms. So that's one sports fanatic culture.

Then I moved to Boston. I get in to the Sox-Yankees rivalry because I did enjoy Ohio State-Michigan (though I never burned any cars) but there's really no harm in it -- yeah, we love our "Yankees suck!" cheers, regardless of whether or not it's the Yankees we're watching play the Sox, but no physical harm comes out of it. The "riots" we had (and the subsequent scandal) when we won the World Series in 2004 were really exacerbated by the cops, not because the fans are rabid or destructive on their own. People have entertaining fun with the Yankees rivalry -- c.f. the cover of the Herald or whatever that showed two men kissing, and all the letters to the editor decried how disgusting and inappropriate for children that was because one was in a Yankees jersey and the other was in a Red Sox jersey. And while Bostonians have a reputation for being assholes, I find them at their most friendly, relaxed, and congenial when we're all crammed like sardines in a Green Line train en route to Kenmore station for a game at Fenway.

I'm not what I'd call a sports fanatic, though I love going to a Red Sox game in the summer just as much as I loved going to Ohio State games growing up. And while the current Boston fandom is because we have so many successful teams, for a long time the fandom was about rooting for the underdogs because we had so many unsuccessful teams. In many ways I find the Boston sports culture much healthier even if we are a little more fanatical about it here.
posted by olinerd at 4:16 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not all Bostonians are obnoxious sports jerks, but the ones who are really are that obnoxious.

Freakin' Massholes.
posted by Eideteker at 4:23 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I get in to the Sox-Yankees rivalry because I did enjoy Ohio State-Michigan (though I never burned any cars) but there's really no harm in it -- yeah, we love our "Yankees suck!" cheers, regardless of whether or not it's the Yankees we're watching play the Sox, but no physical harm comes out of it. posted by olinerd at 4:16 AM on April 9 [+] [!]


You must not remember this from July 2008:

Man charged with beating New Yorker over Yankees

FALMOUTH, Mass. -- A man was ordered held without bail Monday for allegedly beating a New York man with a baseball bat because he thought the man was a Yankees fan.
As it turned out, the New Yorker allegedly beaten in the land of the Red Sox isn't even a big baseball fan.
posted by notmtwain at 5:20 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've lived in Boston and Providence and will tell you absolutely that the latter is more intense w/r/t Red Sox fandom. The Sox are playing? Outside of sports bars, the city is practically deserted. People talk about the Red Sox in terms of we: "We're having a good year" or "We've got two guys out on injury." It's bananas.

The former, however, has the more considerable drawback of the stadium being on the most traveled yet perversely smallest (in terms of train size) of the T lines, making one curse and moan anytime they need to get on the Green Line when the Sox are playing. That's not necessarily the fault of the sports fans, but more a general problem with the T, which can itself be described as a "general problem."
posted by sonika at 5:29 AM on April 9, 2012


Yeah, there's nothing going on in St. Louis, except beer, sports, and crack. (two out of three are intoxicants?) Except for a world-class symphony. Nice parks. A decent zoo. An art museum with quite a collection for a city this size. Some decent food. A nice science museum. Plenty of music venues from tiny to gargantuan. The annual Moonlight Ramble bike tour. A pleasant botanical garden. etc, etc, etc… It's not my favorite place in the world, but there are far, far worse places to be stuck.
posted by readyfreddy at 5:33 AM on April 9, 2012


Florida: Old people and sex offenders

Which is just silly — how can you leave the rednecks?


Not to mention Cubans, alligators, and the people you see on Cops (I lived in Dade County for 2 years)I'll also conced that there are as many sports fanatics in New York as in Boston. Also, the NYC steretype they gave is lame. Bad drivers? That's why we mostly take the subway, genius.
posted by jonmc at 5:57 AM on April 9, 2012


Look, guys, you're missing the point. The sports thing may not be the ultimate explanation, but the author is trying to make progress in answering the vital question, "Why is Boston so terrible? You know, despite its one good museum and block of theaters and excessive number of university campuses, why is it just bad?" This is scholarship we can all get behind.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:57 AM on April 9, 2012


Also, the NYC steretype they gave is lame. Bad drivers? That's why we mostly take the subway, genius.

Leela: Did you drive much in the 20th century, Fry?
Fry: Nope. No one in New York drove. There was too much traffic.
posted by griphus at 6:41 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heard that everybody plays bagpipes in Vancouver.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 7:05 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The New Season Has Its First Walkoff Homer, And It Capped Off A Classic Red Sox Meltdown

ON BASEBALL

It’s not too early to be concerned
By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / April 9, 2012

We’re three games in, so I don’t want to write a panicky analysis on how poor the Red Sox’ pitching is.

So I’ll keep it within the context of three games.

I’m not saying it will be like this forever, or even by tomorrow or next week.

But right now?

Be concerned.

Be very concerned.
posted by notmtwain at 7:06 AM on April 9, 2012


I just wish people could separate Political Washington DC from the actual, living, city.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:32 AM on April 9, 2012


The sports thing may not be the ultimate explanation, but the author is trying to make progress in answering the vital question, "Why is Boston so terrible? You know, despite its one good museum and block of theaters and excessive number of university campuses, why is it just bad?" This is scholarship we can all get behind.

That kind of trolling only works if you're from a place that makes us insecure. Please change your profile to say that you're from a place where culture isn't measured in miles-per-gallon, and I'll gladly get apoplectic.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:38 AM on April 9, 2012


Experiment: think of Indianapolis. Can you think of any stereotypes? If you live on a coast, is this the first time you've thought about Indianapolis, ever?

That's what I thought.

Utah is not part of the Midwest. The Midwest covers a big area and can roughly be broken into the Great Lakes States and the Great Plains states. Utah isn't in either group. From here in flyover country, I see Utah as in the West, grouped with mountain states like Colorado and Wyoming.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:47 AM on April 9, 2012


Since moving to Texas I've had great arguments with people about what counts as the Midwest. I've been unanimously informed that my home state of Michigan doesn't count, being "basically on the East Coast" or at least "Northeastern," and that the real Midwest is for places like Oklahoma (which most people back home would have considered unambiguously Western).

So what the hell. Why not Utah too? We're neighborly people here in the Midwest. Everyone's invited!

Actually it would kind of make sense in cultural terms. Mormon culture is basically what you get if you take Central Illinois and leave it out in the sun to dry.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:20 AM on April 9, 2012


I thought that Michigan and the Great Lakes states were the "Old Northwest".
posted by XMLicious at 8:43 AM on April 9, 2012


Not to be all "this is one of those things that I'd have to have cable to understand" (Portlandia?) but I had a really weird experience on Pinterest with Portland hipsterism recently. I use my Pinterest as basically a shopping list of things I might want to buy, and one of the things I posted around SXSW time was a T-shirt that said something like "Welcome to Austin, please don't move here, I hear Dallas is nice".

I got more comments on it than I've ever had on anything I've ever posted, and from strangers (I only interact with people I already know) and a lot of it was "LOL Austin wants to be Portland" kind of things. It was really weird to me because actually, no, that's always been the Austin stereotype, and as someone who used to be married to an Oregonian, I knew there were hipsters in Portland, but I had no idea they were so ... possessive of their stereotypes. I didn't know telling people to get off their lawn was a hipster thing, but I guess they've stolen it from the old people.
posted by immlass at 8:44 AM on April 9, 2012


Having spent my life in the Boston area, I think the dominant force on this side of the river appears to be drinking as much as it is sports. Whenever I hear about something interesting to do, it always seems to be over in Cambridge. In my neighborhood, there are only two options for a Friday/Saturday night -- either go to a bar (a sports bar if it's in season), or go to a hardcore punk show.

That's just been my observation over the past 10 years or so. If anyone knows of other options which are neither drinking nor hardcore punk, I'd love to know about them...
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:06 AM on April 9, 2012


Experiment: think of Indianapolis. Can you think of any stereotypes?

Race cars. Hoosiers. John Cougar. Colt stealers.
posted by jonmc at 9:21 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there's nothing going on in St. Louis, except beer, sports, and crack. [...] It's not my favorite place in the world, but there are far, far worse places to be stuck.

Oh, relax. I'm from STL, which is why I give it so much trouble. And even though I was bored out of my mind there and left as soon as I could, I'll admit there are worse places to live ... like, I dunno, anywhere else in MO?

(with the possible exception of Columbia, which I recall as being a fine place to live)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:30 AM on April 9, 2012


> They were playing the Orioles and one of the Orioles outfielders made a good play. The audience cheered. For the other team. Mind = blown

I've seen this -- hell, I've done this -- at baseball games. You can appreciate a good play no matter who does it.

I've lived in Boston and the Boston area a few times. Once after I'd just moved back I walked into my local ice cream parlor and found a pirate radio station transmitting from one of the tables. They were doing a sports show.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:12 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's only one Portland now? When did that happen?
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 5:49 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's part of the conspiracy to turn the country into a moebius strip. Next we're gonna sew Florida to Alaska.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:25 AM on April 10, 2012


Portland, ME has hipsters, and a lot of artists, and a contingent of crust punks. As cities in the Northeast go it's pretty nice. There's also this strange element of young low-class people with lots of money who puke so much on Fore Street every weekend they have to bring in a firehose. I am not making this up.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:09 AM on April 10, 2012


nebulawindphone: I've been unanimously informed that my home state of Michigan doesn't count, being "basically on the East Coast" or at least "Northeastern,"

XMLicious: I thought that Michigan and the Great Lakes states were the "Old Northwest".

The Midwestern states, complete with an explanation of why they're called "Midwestern" (plus a helpful map!).

Regions of the United States as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau (plus a helpful map!).
posted by tzikeh at 11:10 AM on April 10, 2012


Ah, so they're actually Midwestern states because they're part of the Old Northwest, according to the Wikipedia article.
posted by XMLicious at 7:41 PM on April 10, 2012


« Older Alex B.   |   DOUBLE PACK OF CHEEZ DOODLES!!... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post