iowa, according to cnn

Maybe it’s the renewed bout of freezing that has us (and by us, I think we all know I mean me?) in a grumpy mood here at iowasthinking. Maybe it’s the fact that I passed a truckful of pigs on my commute to the museum this morning, or that my drive home was delayed by ten minutes as a train choo-choo’ed its way across Cedar Rapids, and dammit Iowa, why are you this cliched on the day I decide to write in your non-bumpkin defense?

I was watching CNN American Morning (their morning show, doesn’t it sound like a Fox program?) when correspondent Carol Costello, reporting from Ohio, threw out this gem: “And, as they say in the Midwest, that’s the way it goes.”

Read that over, I will wait.

That’s the way it goes? They say that everywhere. And while I’m sure this isn’t exactly revolutionary news to real Midwesterners, I for one entitled self, am getting good and tired of Iowa et al being mentioned on the news for one of three reasons.

  1. It’s SNOOOOOWING again! Sure is cold out there! With the farmers!
  2. We sent our camera crews to hunt down a slice of Real America (can you hunt down a slice? work with me here), and look where we ended up! Again! Sure is funny how there’s nothing real about Oregon or New York or Florida!
  3. OMG it’s primary season! Let’s all book all the rooms at the Vetro and eat burgers and milkshakes at the Hamburg Inn, talk about the state’s election history and farm economy and progressive values and why demographics suggest or don’t that we should relocate this uber-primar — and it’s February, off we go!

Heavens, it’s enough to make you watch local news. So let’s clear some things up. Chicago is in the Midwest. For those about to chime in that such a big city transcends regionalism, I will say no, Chicago is a Midwestern city. Other things we have here: sushi, tapas, and a pantheon of high and low dining options. Bars with coolers up front filled with ice and beer for sale once you step over the threshold. Independent book stores and cinemas. More German/Czech/Slovak-Americans than you. Gay marriage (helloooo, California and New York?).

We even have exciting police chases, as evidenced by one that landed right outside our front door during the State of the Union last night. All of a sudden there was a car pulled up on our corner, three lights-flashing police cars behind it. The cops emerged with their hands to their holsters. And for the next forty-five minutes, they talked with the driver and passenger, appeared to pass the same cell phone around, stood out in the cold (hardy folk!), and then . . . well, the two parties went their separate ways. A drug bust gone wrong? An assumed but eventually exonerated car thief? An alien with superhuman strength shot to east-central Iowa from his combusting plant to fight for truth, justice, and real America, especially in the primary season?

I guess we’ll never know. Iowa’s so full of intrigue, we’ve gotta move onto the next case.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Al on January 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    I’m always kind of offended by the idea that us Iowans are “real Americans.” First, it sort of implies that for some reason, people that don’t fit in with the typical Midwestern stereotype are NOT real Americans. Second, it’s really condescending. It appeals to the anti-intellectual in all of us by saying that for some reason, these little bumpkins in Iowa are just so much more in touch with America because they spend all day farming and driving huge trucks.

    And I’m really tired of people being surprised that we have progressive values. Why wouldn’t we? I’m frankly sick of the primary coverage in general. You weren’t even down here for the worst of it. It just means we get blamed a lot.

    Other stuff we’ve got: A dollar beer night at a downtown bar every day of the week. And Superman’s an Iowan. Well, the actor is, the character landed in Kansas. But I would like to take this opportunity dispel rumors that I am in fact Superman. Superman doesn’t wear glasses. I do. If I was Superman, I wouldn’t be able to see.

    Anyway, I love my state. But I love all you other states too. The last time Spring Awakening came to Iowa was never. New York kicks ass too. They both just kick ass in different ways.


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