Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Eye on Iowa: A University professor, Stephen Bloom, wrote an article for the Atlantic link below, about Iowa, a place he has lived in for twenty years. Brian Williams talked about the unflattering-to-Iowa piece because it has stirred up a hornet's nest of protest from some Iowans and because of it the professor had to go into hiding over the holidays. One of the paragraphs that Williams quoted from the article was the object of much Iowa vitriol. It said:

But relatively few rural Iowans are employed in the business of wind energy. The bulk of jobs here are low-income ones most Iowans don't want. Many have simply packed up and left the state (which helps keep the unemployment rate statewide low). Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that "The sun'll come out tomorrow.

I followed with a blog of my own on the Atlantic site:

I am a Massachusetts Bostonian from my toes to my hair. Some say I am a northeast snob because I rate people not by money but by their academic status, where they attended college and most of all how they write and the grammar they choose to string two sentences together.

I took a trip across country many years ago which included passing through Iowa. The trip was in February and there was no snow on the ground. I remember my first impression was that I was astounded as to how many tractor and feed stores I saw and how flat the ground was. I did not see a tree within sight. I asked the driver if people really lived here as it seemed so empty, gray and lonely. He rejected that assessment and told me how rich the land was and how it was some of the best farmland in the world.

Professor Bloom's assessment, though, rings true. I did not stay overnight in Iowa nor did I chat with many but I rode away from that state missing Massachusetts to my core. Upon return to my great state, I as my grandfather did when he came to America, wanted to kiss every rocky road and tree-lined highway in the state. I could not wait for the beautiful foliage of spring to be followed by even more glorious color in fall. Iowa may be a decent place to visit but I would not want to live there. I love my state, its diversity and its liberalness. I could not imagine living anywhere else! :-)


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