Monday, October 06, 2014

Jerks are everywhere

Here in Florida, we spend a lot of time complaining about tourists from New York. It's like the state industry is catering to tourists and the state hobby is hating them. Everybody knows the stereotypical reputation of New Yorkers; loud, brash, arrogant. Most New Yorkers won't attempt to deny it and many are downright proud of it. And they bring all of that with them by the buttload when they come to visit. Meanwhile, I have friends here in Florida, native Floridians, who think people from the Midwest are just the nicest, most humble and friendly people on the planet.
"Golly, I wish there were some strangers around that I could help" - How my Florida native friends thinks people in the Midwest spend their time.

I tell them to slow down.
I'm from the Midwest and that's a nice thing to say but I assure them that people there can be every bit as arrogant and condescending as anybody from New York City, maybe even worse. It's a smug, smarmy, passive-aggressive, humble-braggy, "well, isn't that special" kind of arrogant condescension that's unique to the region. I've struggled to find suitable examples for my friends... until now.
The following is a response from Francis Slay, the mayor of St. Louis, to an article that the Wall Street Journal posted last week that named the St. Louis Cardinals the "most hate-worthy team in this year’s baseball playoffs"...
The Wall Street Journal recently released its second-annual Major League Baseball Hateability Index in which it ranked the 10 playoff teams for 2014 “in order of general loathsomeness.” The rankings were based on 10 essential categories to haters including drug suspensions, “ridiculous beards” and, of course, the time-honored crime of winning too much.
On the strength of its pennant collection and rabid fan base, which both travels to opposing stadiums and refers to itself as a “nation,” my hometown St. Louis Cardinals came in first.
“The Cardinals prevailed in large part because of one of the primary measures of repulsiveness: recent success,” the Journal reported, as St. Louis bested the nearly-as-loathsome Los Angeles Dodgers. Take that, L.A.!
You see, while you might think of St. Louis as flyover country and not pay us much due, we’re kind of a big deal come October on Major League Baseball diamonds. In fact, we’re kind of a big deal for a number of reasons.
Thus, I feel compelled to deliver a simple message to America: We’re sorry.
Sure, we’re sorry the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, two since 2006. But there’s much, much more for which we owe all of you a heartfelt apology.
Indeed, we’re sorry that New York and San Francisco are 2.3 times and 1.7 times respectively more expensive to live in than the St. Louis metro area.
We’re sorry for producing one of the world’s best-selling batteries (Energizer) and two of the 10 best-selling beers in the world—Budweiser and Bud Light.
That guy Jon Hamm? Yeah, we’re sorry for raising him here and sending him out into the world for your entertainment delight.
We’re sorry for our diverse community in that more Bosnians—over 60,000—call St. Louis home than anywhere outside of Bosnia.
We’re sorry for Forest Park, our beautiful 1,300-acre urban park comprises an award-winning zoo, science center, art and history museums, golf courses, ice rink and green space.
We’re sorry for not only being home to 18 Fortune 1000 companies, but for developing one of the most promising and fastest-growing ecosystems for startups and entrepreneurs, delivering innovations that are being used by businesses and consumers world-wide. You know, like that pesky social-media platform Twitter (St. Louisan Jack Dorsey ) or credit-card processing device Square (St. Louisan Jim McKelvey).
We’re sorry that at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Richard Blechynden served tea with ice, thus inventing iced tea (although not the rapper/actor Ice-T).
We’re sorry that the four largest metro areas in the nation lost nearly 25,000 financial-service jobs between January 2007 and September 2012, while St. Louis added more than 5,500 in the sector.
We are, in fact, actually kind of sorry that our state animal is the mule, but that’s another discussion for another day. The point is that we here in the Midwest are not a boastful people. We’re humble and quietly go about our business, inventing the things you use every day, entertaining you, finding employment for your citizens and handing you losses on the baseball field regularly. (We’re especially sorry to Chicago.)
Don’t hate us because we’re beautiful here in St. Louis. But if you do, just know that we’re sorry. Go Cards!
Ugh!! See what I mean? The loathsome humbly bragging about how humble they are and how that trait inherently makes them superior -although they'd never say it aloud, of course (yeah, right)- somehow practically oozes forth.
Now, please don't make the mistake of thinking this is strictly a St. Louis thing because it's not. St. Louis is a great town and there's lots of nice people living there, just like there aqre plenty of fine people in New York. It's just that when they want to put their jerk hats on, this is what they look like. And again, it's the whole Midwest that does it. They're just as guilty of it in Detroit (DETROIT!). Trust me, I know.
My point being, New York is not the only place where you can find jerks. They're literally everywhere, even in the Midwest.
That said, Go Royals!

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