Friday, December 22, 2006

Your daily Kate.

Nicely done, Darren.

CULTURAL AFTERTHOUGHT: It's interesting to see those down-home country folk like Kate McMillan get their thongs all bunched up over what they interpret as a nasty bit of anti-rural discrimination since, truth be told, those same folks are just as capable of some amusing bigotry going the other way.

American economist Paul Krugman put it best here:

I've been a stern critic of the Bush administration, but this is one case where Democrats in the Senate were the lead villains. To its credit, the administration initially opposed an increase in farm subsidies, though as in the case of steel protection, it didn't take long before political calculation trumped the administration's alleged principles. But politics aside, maybe the farm bill debacle will help us, finally, to free ourselves from a damaging national myth: that the "heartland," consisting of the central, relatively rural states, is morally superior to the rest of the country.

You've heard the story many times: the denizens of the heartland, we're told, are rugged, self-reliant, committed to family; the inhabitants of the coast are whining yuppies. Indeed, George W. Bush has declared that he visits his stage set — er, ranch — in Crawford to "stay in touch with real Americans." (And what are those of us who live in New Jersey — chopped liver?)

And isn't that fascinating? It's outrageous to suggest that Western Canadians might be a bunch of straw-chewing, Hee Haw-watching, Scripture-spouting, knuckle-dragging rubes. On the other hand, those same yokels never seem to have a problem thinking of the rest of us as a pack of whiny, latte-sipping, Seinfeld-watching pansies.

It's funny how that works, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure, but I think it all has something to do with sex, and the limited opportunities for engaging in it in less populated, smaller, more religiously cohesive (ie moralising) communities. Because of this freedom from temptation, people tend to view their situation as "morally superior" to those libertine urbanites, when the fact is, it's just a natural consequence of where they live. Freedom from temptation is no virtue, but some people, desparately seeking elevated self-esteem, tend to engage in that kind of delusion.

And I say this as a born-'n-bred hick.

Alison said...

Don't you be Western Canada-ing BC, buddy. Us whiny latte-sipping Seinfeld-watching whining yuppies on the coast totally hate that. I mean what are we - chopped liver?

Anonymous said...

funny for you to quote Krugman... you have taken lots of care to slam him so why the sudden conversion?

CC said...

Um ... I've always liked Paul Krugman. I might occasionally disagree with him, but not often. Where did you get that idea?

Anonymous said...

Well it's not like anybody suggested that somebody should round up all the rednck hick knuckledraggers' kids and send them off to residential schools to turn them into urban metrosexual latte swilling yuppies men and chic po-mo paris hilton wannabee chicks. Boy, that would have really crossed a line and I'm sure Kate and company would be screaming bloody murder if it had. But hey Indian kids - well THAT'S DIFFERENT.... somehow... because, well.. just because.

Anonymous said...

Ti-Guy, are you sure that smaller places are more moralistic than cities? Doesn't match my experience. I spent some time in the early '70s in small-town Saskatchewan, up in the North Battleford-Prince Albert area, and besides the three kinds of drinking (in the field, at home, and at the hotel), the main recreation seemed to be everybody chasing everybody else's wife, girlfriend, daughter, mother, sister and whatnot.

Different times, maybe, but still, it all seemed pretty loose compared to then-staid Vancouver.