Everyday I try to sit at a large table. I try to do this because having a large table compensates for something, and I like being able to pretend I have friends who are just a little late instead of all made up. This particular day, the day I’m talking about, I didn’t sit at a large circular table. Instead I sat in the cultural corner. You know what I’m talking about. If you stand under Big Ben, then in front of you is the “State-of-the-Art” Gateway Cafe. Which, besides having the worst computers you don’t need punch cards for, has no sort of cafe dispensing capabilities whatsoever. Anyone else notice this?
To your right you have the foodery and the “Other Corner”. Like pork is the “other white meat”, this stupid, undecorated slum of a corner is the “other corner.” No culture there, folks, besides that kind that grows. Maybe that’s why football players sit there. Oh, bad! Who would say that? You big, strong, angry football players can blame Jeff Gabhart for that line. I had nothing to do with it and my backspace key is broken. I swear.
Back in the Cultural Corner, I sat staring at my food. I felt syphoned off. I felt partitioned. I felt disengaged. I thought long and hard, trying to realize what it was. Then it hit me. Satan. Satan is the devil. White devil. Snow is the white devil. Snow melts by the sun. Sunshine. Sunday. We have church on Sunday. You go to church and you pray. Pray sounds like prey. Like a bird of prey. A vulture. A vulture is a bird of prey. Vulture sounds like culture. Wait. I have no culture. That was it.
Don’t YOU feel set apart? Don’t you feel like a loner? No, you don’t. Just like the high school-aged son of the ultra-zealous religious family who, despite his being a Junior, still bathes with his younger sister and doesn’t find it strange, so the midwest is an awkward, acne-scarred teenager amidst the more advanced cultures of the United States. Metaphors. I think there are going to be a lot of them in this article. I can feel it in my cockles.
The midwest has always been the cesspool of thought and idea. We have been discovered well before the West Coast, but you certainly can’t tell by population numbers (or celebrities). Maybe that’s why Lewis and Clark didn’t STOP here. Even back then, they could tell that there was something not right with the “Inbetween Land.” They tread lightly, spoke quietly, got drunk, passed out, woke up, and moved on. Why, oh, why didn’t our ancestors have enough sense to avoid this land? Didn’t they feel it in the weather? Seriously. Calculus doesn’t see as much change as our weather does in a “season.” (I am so geeky I scare myself.)
I think Clueless and Dark had it right. Keep heading west. To the west we have LA and San Franscisco. We have Hollywood and Compton. This is the mecca of culture. Everyone there drives big, fast cars. Everyone has a perfect tan, perfect body, perfect spouse, and perfect job. If you get tired of any one of those things, you can pick/buy/trade-off a new one. I hear that there is a special on Russian wives. Might wanna take a look at that.
Or you could head east. To the east is Ivy League. We have New York and Maine and Washington DC. These are areas of refinement. For instance, in New York they have refined the culture of hating each other and not bathing. In Maine they have refined the culture of asking Stephen King for money and the culture of asking him to write “just one more book” and to dedicate it to them. Even in DC there is refinement. In our nation’s capital they have been busy refining the culture of being mentally retarded on a global scale. You go guys!
That’s where the culture is. Hell, even head south. Texas has some culture, I’m sure. All those cowboys and cowboy hats and Mexicans. That’s gotta count for something, right? There’s also Florida down there. This is an area of cultural nuance. Texas, for example, has taken a cultural idea like pants and done a little number on it. In Texas, pants are called “chaps” and they are uncomfortable and tight and not real useful except for horse riding, which I don’t do ever. Florida has done it’s own little nuance. We call it voting; they call it “guessing.” That’s one butterfly you won’t pin down too easily.
The thing is about culture, do NOT head north. There is nothing up there for you. There’s North Dakota (which is the Special Ed version of culture) and beyond that is Canada. Nothing ever comes back out of Canada once it’s gone up there. I heard that “The Macarena” went up there 2 years ago, and no one heard from it again. And, come on. Anyone who is decended from the French has a lot to overcome as it is.
The Midwest has always been the last to get the latest “fads”. Did you know that no one outside of the midwest ever even listened to the song “Sk8r Boi”? That’s how fast that fad was over. Here, though, Avril still sings her heart out over the radio, and thank God for that. Remember pogs? That fad won’t even BE here until this summer. Some people gotten a jump start (Pog Hogs) but the real fad-wave has yet to break upon our misguided, sheltered shores.
Misguided. Sheltered. Those words seem to imply that there is ignorance abound. And, truly, we can say that ignorance is bliss. Being at the drain of culture isn’t so bad. We have a lot to look forward to (thanks to Mtv) and there are somethings we can still enjoy as only MidWesterners can. That applies to pogs; I can’t say the same for Ms. Lavigne.