Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 1947532 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3140 on: January 18, 2023, 02:26:20 pm »
Let's remember that homogeneous means "similar in nature", not demographics. So I interpret that to mean similar in behavior or actions. City dwellers have many opportunities to influence each other, supposedly, so over time it's logical to assume they would become more homogeneous. Rural people have less opportunity to do that, plus they are more likely to be individualistic to the point of stubbornness. Thirdly, I think rural people more often fall prey to the tactics used to divide people. I'm tempted to mention education as well, but I'll leave that out. I've had the embarrassment of assuming rural people were poorly educated several times only to find out that they had an MBA from Stanford, for example!

I know it means similar in nature, with demographics being one possible type of nature, but of course behavior or actions or opinions are other types, so sure we can focus on them if you like but I'd still feel the same way. I actually wasn't thinking about demographics in particular, although they are certainly a powerful influence on behavior, actions and opinions.

I think city dwellers have fewer opportunities to influence each other, not more. For one thing, city residents only ever know -- or even see -- a small percentage of other residents, whereas rural dwellers, particularly if they've lived their whole lives in a place, as many have, are likely to know a much higher proportion of people, so have more opportunity to influence each other. And sure, some rural people have Stanford MBAs and some are high-school dropouts and everything in between, but the same can be said of city dwellers, and in their case there'd be less surprise involved because it's clear city residents represent a wide range of education levels, including many dropouts and many PhDs. They also represent a wide range of professions -- rural residents represent a smaller range of educational and vocational backgrounds because rural places, just by nature of sparse populations, offer a narrower range of jobs. Just to take one example, academics can't live in most rural areas unless they happen to be college towns.

None of my comments are intended as put-downs of rural residents, and homogeneity isn't necessarily a fault. This is just how I assess their natures.



Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3141 on: January 18, 2023, 05:38:05 pm »
... homogeneity isn't necessarily a fault. This is just how I assess their natures.

That was my point. In being a homogeneous society, urban dwellers are more likely to be able to unite to work towards the type of life style and quality that they all want. There is also a critical mass scale that allows more activities such as plays, concerts, study groups, museums, etc. to spring up.

In rural places, you still have the sports teams, the Fourth of July parades, and the county fairs, but these are attended more and more by older people and families. Church attendance has gone way down as well as other civic events and the traditional picnics and barn raisings, etc. Rural Minnesota may be different than here in Colorado. The vast expanses tend to isolate people and we have a lot of different ethnicities that don't mingle, unlike the Minnesotans. To my point, here's an article that appeared today about the county seat of Weld County, Greeley:
https://www.cpr.org/2018/12/17/weve-all-heard-smells-like-greeley-its-gonna-snow-but-do-you-know-why-that-is/?fbclid=IwAR2Ne0_wUz9FoTLeZserR2E2JwmQ2lD2rYaL-MSIyYYBlpxYbhMQFP52zoA
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3142 on: January 18, 2023, 08:17:35 pm »
That was my point. In being a homogeneous society, urban dwellers are more likely to be able to unite to work towards the type of life style and quality that they all want.

Except that we don't unite to work toward a common lifestyle. Poor Black teenagers in North Minneapolis don't have a huge amount in common with wealthy white middle-aged mansion-dwellers in Southwest Minneapolis, to take two groups (there are, of course, plenty of others). I mean, I don't have to list all the differences -- you can imagine what they might be in terms of income, education, jobs, taste in music and food, living conditions, life experiences, etc., etc. I'm not making the distinction entirely based on race. Yes, the whole city tends to vote for progressives and Democrats and apparently we're all willing to put up with miserable winters. Other than that, I don't see many similarities.

Quote
There is also a critical mass scale that allows more activities such as plays, concerts, study groups, museums, etc. to spring up. In rural places, you still have the sports teams, the Fourth of July parades, and the county fairs, but these are attended more and more by older people and families. Church attendance has gone way down as well as other civic events and the traditional picnics and barn raisings, etc.

Plays, concerts, study groups and museums are primarily attended by middle- or upper-middle-class, well-educated people. They don't really unite the populace -- on the contrary, they're accused of being elitist and exclusive (an image their leaders don't necessarily deserve and I realize have fought hard to overturn). I nominally belong to the target audience but rarely do those things unless by concerts you mean rock concerts and clubs (which I don't go to often these days, either).

High-school sports, Fourth of July parades and county fairs are attended, as far as I can tell when I've attended them, by people of all ages. Maybe not as many teenagers go to county fairs, but more do than go to plays and museums in the city.

Quote
Rural Minnesota may be different than here in Colorado. The vast expanses tend to isolate people and we have a lot of different ethnicities that don't mingle, unlike the Minnesotans.

We have lots of ethnicities and most of them live near each other, unless they live on one of the reservations. So yeah, there are differences that way but didn't we establish that ethnicity was not the factor of homogeneity we were going to focus on? Our distances probably aren't as vast except in farming or forested areas.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3143 on: January 19, 2023, 12:00:10 pm »
I guess the culture and nature of the city dwellers in Minneapolis are different than in Denver and other cities I've studied. There I go making sweeping generalizations again.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3144 on: January 19, 2023, 12:24:20 pm »
I guess the culture and nature of the city dwellers in Minneapolis are different than in Denver and other cities I've studied. There I go making sweeping generalizations again.

Maybe, although I've always thought Minneapolis and Denver were pretty similar, culturally. But what I said about Minneapolis contrasts would be true of other cities I'm familiar with: New York (Upper West Side vs. the Bronx), Chicago (South Side vs. the Gold Coast), L.A. (Compton vs. Santa Monica), New Orleans (St. Charles Avenue vs. Desire Housing Project). The differences are racial and socioeconomic of course but they're also different in terms of culture, values, lifestyle, tastes, hopes and dreams, etc.

Sorry, I don't mean to be so argumentative  :), I'm just struck by the dissimilarity of our takes on this.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3145 on: January 19, 2023, 12:47:04 pm »
Maybe, although I've always thought Minneapolis and Denver were pretty similar, culturally. But what I said about Minneapolis contrasts would be true of other cities I'm familiar with: New York (Upper West Side vs. the Bronx), Chicago (South Side vs. the Gold Coast), L.A. (Compton vs. Santa Monica), New Orleans (St. Charles Avenue vs. Desire Housing Project). The differences are racial and socioeconomic of course but they're also different in terms of culture, values, lifestyle, tastes, hopes and dreams, etc.

Sorry, I don't mean to be so argumentative  :), I'm just struck by the dissimilarity of our takes on this.

You can certainly say the same for Philadelphia. The people who live around Rittenhouse Square (condos in the millions) are quite different from the people who live in deep South Philadelphia or in some of the neighborhoods north and northeast of Center City. I expect the people who live around Rittenhouse Square have more in common with the Upper West Side of Manhattan than with South Philadelphia.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3146 on: January 19, 2023, 02:24:45 pm »
And of course there's economic diversity in small towns and rural areas, too -- the house on the hill vs the other side of the tracks, the bank president vs the factory worker. But the difference is that because they're living in smaller towns or less populated areas, they're more likely to know each other, to have gone to the same schools, to know of the same prominent citizens, to share a local history. Of course, residents of Small Town A don't share all those things with residents of Small Town B 100 miles away. But people in both places typically know what it's like to live in a small town, may have similar recreational activities, probably are familiar with similar businesses and institutions. Small town businesses are pretty basic: grocery stores, banks, thrift shops, clinics and hospitals (sometimes), and so on. They don't as typically have IT startups, major malls, theaters, tourist places, art museums, foodie restaurants, bookstores, daily newspapers ...

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3147 on: January 19, 2023, 03:38:41 pm »
Well, I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town
Oh, those small communities.

--John Mellencamp

 ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3148 on: January 19, 2023, 04:27:46 pm »
In speaking about city dwellers, I wasn't thinking about suburbs, exurbs, and gated bastions. People who live there are possibly even more isolated than the other two groups. Places like Fifth Avenue and such are off my radar screen. Those people tend to be older, and I'm really not tuned in to their homogeneity or lack thereof.

But here in Denver we just had more than 20,000 people at our annual MLK "Marade" which is both a march and a parade. We also have big celebrations for the Day of the Dead and Cinco de Mayo. Our governor is gay. Many neighborhoods are becoming more diverse or being gentrified, whichever way you want to look at it. You can easily get gender-affirming treatment or an abortion, for example. More and more places are bi- or trilingual. Our performing arts center, which has won an Emmy for best regional arts, has been a champion of Black playwrights and BIPOC actors and dancers, and the audiences have grown more diverse.

The local media have done series on the problems in rural areas and many of the institutions that brought people together are dying out. Many people, particularly older ones, are isolated and younger people are leaving some of the rural communities.
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3149 on: January 24, 2023, 02:46:09 pm »
I was wondering if we could come up with a list of the criteria for a good "Shouts & Murmurs". I'll start. 1) It should contain references to weird current happenings the way "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" does. 2) It should not be heavy, hammy, or over-the-top. Well, it can go over the top, but just at the end. 3) It should expose an irony, absurdity, or folly. 4) Setting a current situation in another time or place is okay, but that shouldn't be all the piece does.

Oops, I meant to just lead with one or two examples. It strikes me that this topic might make the basis for a good S&M!
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