Showing posts with label Complaining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Complaining. Show all posts


Big Chill

We have got to chill out.

No, I mean for real.

There was a point raised to me by someone I trust and respect in the last year. This point, once it had been planted in my brain, germinated and sprouted. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro this idea has grown like a weed. It was, in a way, a spoiler, something that cracks your perspective. Now I find my worldview forever tainted by this simple idea. It's cultivating the urge inside me to just level us out. To play it cool.

Simply put, we need to mellow out on ourselves in Minnesota.

Please, forgive my violation of the Midwestern norms and allow me to explain my offense.

The thing is...we are trying way too hard to run with the big kids. The pervasive "me too!" attitude in the metro area (and I suppose the upper Midwest in general) is becoming grating. If it's this intolerable to a resident who is still quite happy to live here, how unbearable must it be to the rest of the country? We must sound like the youngest kid in your culdesac who tags along and tries to act even tougher than the toughest kid. Sorry, rest of the country.

This must come across as negative and disdainful, but I have to say that it seems to be a frequent occurrence to open the paper or go to the City Pages blog and see another gushing, "aren't we wonderful?" article written on how we're the 'best place to live' or in the top 10 for biking or the best to be young or single or have a band or oh dear lord, can't we just be a city? We're not even that big of one. Again, insufferable humblebragging. I know. But you have to know that other cities don't do this. They don't have to assert their wonderful qualities at a steady, relentless pace. We have to chill out and let our strengths speak for themselves.

Here's what really helped me understand it. The person who broke the concept for me watched a lot of true crime and Cold Case style shows. Typical episodes would start by setting the scene in a short exposition. "New Orleans, city on the the edge" or "New York, the city that never sleeps..." What happened in the Minneapolis episode? We had a pretentious pontificator exposing on how "Minneapolis is a burgeoning city, with a vibrant art scene, a sprawling business district, fabulous restaurants .." and it went on and on. Never had we heard another long winded speech asserting a city's good qualities. It was like a parent espousing the black sheep's fabulous social life or athletic prowess despite going nowhere in life. 

I know, I know. This is pooh-ing where you live, dumping on those that share your space. But we have to mellow out. If it's so wonderful, let's let the wonders speak for themselves. The great secrets may stay a little more secret and the citizens of Chicago may think of us as their hick cousins but you know what? That's okay. That's who we are. No amount of "me too me too! We're great too!" is going to change the fact that we're not Portland or Jo-burg. 

Let's love this place, warts and all. Even with miserly miscreants like myself calling it home.