Friday, March 31, 2006

Goldberg: They sure are nice down there.

Jonah Goldberg, in town to speak at Marquette, has posted the following about our area:

I think this is my fourth or fifth visit to this part of the country in the last year or so alone. And every time I come out here the more impressed I am with the people. Politics aside, the people seem to be one standard-deviation nicer than people elsewhere. The college kids I meet tend to be sharp, but also very decent. Normal workers -- flight attendants, cab drivers, store clerks, waiters, etc -- all seem to be just slightly more professional for professionalism's sake. I don't want to live out here -- Milwaukee is hardly a garden spot and Madison has very high level of lefty zomboid infiltration -- but I always leave with just a bit more respect for the people than when I arrived.

I would like to argue that Milwaukee is a garden spot, but I suppose I can't (although it's alot nicer than Jonah implies). What strikes me about this is that I have the same reaction when I go to Iowa (where we have a plant). Kind of dull and pedestrian place, but the people sure are nice.

Is there an inverse relationship between the superficial "attractiveness" of a place (e.g., the night life, scenery, trendiness, fast paced professional life) and the decency of the people who live there? If so, why is that?

5 comments:

elliot said...

I actually do think Milwaukee is paradise.

I believe the difference is that it's hard not to act humble when you live in a humble place.

Hip and sophisticated cities lead to jaded and superior citizens.

It's why I hope Milwaukee never becomes cool.

Todd said...

I don't think so. Portland, Oregon is one of the nicest and most polite places I've ever been (even look at crosswalk and the cars stop for you, lots of smiling at strangers), but it's also one of the most attractive and cleanest cities there are. Of course, its attractiveness is hardly superficial--there's all the natural beauty (Mt. Hood) and the people seem very healthy and active.

Come to think of it, same thing for Portland, Maine.

Todd said...

My "don't think so" response was to the original post, not to Elliot.

Elliot, though, I gotta say, with restaurants like Trocadero and cheap rents attracting artists, I'm afraid Milwaukee might already have begun the unstoppable move towards cooldom.

jp said...

Maybe a cause and relationship effect?

I lived in San Francisco for three years (1965-1968). Milwaukee is a NICE place.

jp said...

On second thought, superficial "attractiveness" may better answer your question.