After making a sweeping generalization about the leisure class, allow me another poke in the eye to those who refer to Middle America as “flyover country,” and talk about Midwesterners as if they were barn animals. People are not that different from each other. As a brat, I’d hear “flyover country” and laugh knowing I was born and raised in the center of the universe: New York in the 1990s. I was an elitist who acted like I didn’t want to relate or fit in, but I really couldn’t and I didn’t know what to do. I was very alienated from everyone I went to school with, and isolated, so I figured it was them and not my rotten attitude and lack of perspective. Chewing crow for years and years. If I hadn’t left New York, I never would’ve lost that horrible attitude that too many people have—that Midwesterners are “simple,” that everywhere else is lesser and decades behind the times. Visiting friends at Oberlin College in rural Ohio a few years ago, I skipped enlightening class audits for aimless hours long walks around the actual town of Oberlin. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen: endless sky, hypnotic quiet, a pace of life and a space that made me meditative. Grass is green.
Every other time I’ve been in the Midwest was to play music—Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky. That would be a fatal travel itinerary for most New Yorkers. Oh, there’s nothing to do! They’re hayseeds! It’s boring! No culture! Hayrides and cowhide—get me out of here! The same people who’ll tell you off for mis-gendering someone, not donating to their charity of choice, or being “problematic.” The same people who major in radical feminism and use the term “townie” without any self-awareness. I was blown away that everyone at Oberlin called the people that actually lived in the town of Oberlin as “townies,” and talked about them like they were circus freaks. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life, because the laughter comes in waves. Even the colleges where “problematic” emerged from has its own dirt class, locals regarded as ignorant podunks with no sense of style, culture, or worth. Meanwhile, they’re carrying on about intersectionality, which is fantastic, but it gets bleak when admitting you fucked a townie is like saying you fucked a goat.