28 votes

Move back to your dying hometown. Unless you can’t.

74 comments

  1. [67]
    Octofox
    Link
    Honestly why would 99% of people want to live in a rural town? We have machines and automation now meaning we don't need a huge town of people to run a farm. The rural town I was born in is almost...

    Honestly why would 99% of people want to live in a rural town? We have machines and automation now meaning we don't need a huge town of people to run a farm. The rural town I was born in is almost entirely people on welfare because the only job there is the fish and chips stores and the pub. The place is so depressing and boring. Every time I talk to the people there they just say they spend all their time drinking and watching netflix.

    Personally I plan to move out of the outer suburbs and get on the doorstep of the city which enables me a huge range of jobs, easy access to everything, the ability to live car free, countless meetup groups for all kinds of interests

    27 votes
    1. [42]
      xstresedg
      Link Parent
      Cities are depressing. They're grey, murky, synthetic. Even when nature is left there or forcefully placed, it looks unnatural. I'm lucky enough to have a city that's split in half by a river, so...

      Cities are depressing. They're grey, murky, synthetic. Even when nature is left there or forcefully placed, it looks unnatural. I'm lucky enough to have a city that's split in half by a river, so there is beauty along the river.

      But you know what's beautiful? Being able to see the sky and not have it littered with high rises. I love that it's a five to twenty minute walk to get to nature, not a half hour drive.

      Cities are wholly unnatural, unnerving, and depressing.

      29 votes
      1. [6]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        There isn't anything natural about people living as atomized nuclear units in disconnected McMansions on manicured lots either. The nature there is more like a cultivated garden to keep yourself...

        They're grey, murky, synthetic. Even when nature is left there or forcefully placed, it looks unnatural.

        There isn't anything natural about people living as atomized nuclear units in disconnected McMansions on manicured lots either. The nature there is more like a cultivated garden to keep yourself in. It's not nature in any real sense, no more than the tree lined streets and parks of a big city. What's natural or "in place" about this or even this?

        The lawns are cultivated, dependent on obsessive care and fertilizer to survive. The trees are new-growth either planted or sprung up like weeds after the last few rounds of clear-cutting. What wild greenery there is are just the plants that are too damn stubborn to let themselves be killed, like crabgrass or kudzu. Criss-crossing highways, ubiquitous free parking, and strip malls all mar the landscape, destroy migratory patterns for animals and take away potential of any sort of healthy biodiversity with them.

        The deer and other herbivores are half starved because there aren't any predators to keep their population in line with available foods. The wildlife that does persist are the animals that manage to dig a living out of human refuse, like racoons and mice. The birds are mostly sleep deprived and delirious from light pollution issuing off headlights, highway lighting, parking lots, and porches.

        A ton of money and cultivation and effort goes into making this theme-park simulacrum of nature. Somewhere you can have easy access to modern amenities and creature comforts while you can feel like you're living in the woods, but don't actually have to deal with wolves or bears or herds of buffalo roaming through your front yard. There is a fundamental incompatibility with expecting to have the creature comforts people expect--like well stocked supermarkets, modern healthcare, or access to trendy malls and next day shipping--and actual nature.

        If you care about nature qua nature, the best thing to do is to keep people the hell away from it. Trying to keep people living in or around it cannot help but destroy it.

        18 votes
        1. [4]
          Whom
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't mean to gatekeep definitions here, but who would call any of that "rural?" You're just showing and describing suburbs or small cities. The part about deer does hold up in rural areas known...

          I don't mean to gatekeep definitions here, but who would call any of that "rural?" You're just showing and describing suburbs or small cities.

          The part about deer does hold up in rural areas known for their hunting, though. Populations are artificially kept high and any initiatives to get them to a reasonable level are strongly opposed by hunters, given that there's no one alive who remembers a time when they were reasonable. Not only is that awful for the ecosystem, but it is the direct cause of so many deaths on our roads. I understand that it's difficult because the economies of many of these places rest on them being good for hunting and we'd be throwing away the livlihoods of entire communities, but there has to be a point where it's too far.

          13 votes
          1. [3]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            That's a pretty fair point, but a lot of American development over the 1990s and 2000s was "exurban," which is basically rural areas that built up strip malls and tract housing, but have no urban...

            That's a pretty fair point, but a lot of American development over the 1990s and 2000s was "exurban," which is basically rural areas that built up strip malls and tract housing, but have no urban core to attach to. Sun Belt states are chock full of them. They're not really suburbs to small cities, they're just city-sized populations sprawled out over immense expanses of land because they wanted to pretend they were still "rural" despite everyone being employed doing hospital administration or something.

            But even rural areas aren't that different. All that agriculture is extremely intensive use of the land. Much of the greenery is cultivated, there isn't much free wildlife and the farmers will kill as much of it as they can, and even most of the crops are GMO. So calling any of it "natural" and setting it in opposition to a "synthetic" city was the part that I wanted to focus on.

            If we take "synthetic" to mean something consciously designed and imposed upon the landscape and "natural" to mean something arising independently to fulfill its own purpose, I would say there isn't anything less synthetic about rural or agricultural areas than cities. If anything, the chaotic nature of thriving cities where they form their own unique sort of gestalt culture that aggregates all the people and lifeways that go through there, is probably less synthetic or consciously designed than rural or especially suburban/exurban areas. Sure it's got more vegetation growing, but that's a very narrow and purely aesthetic definition of "nature."

            8 votes
            1. [2]
              Whom
              Link Parent
              I think part of the disconnect is that my idea of "rural" is mostly describing the rural upper midwest, mostly filled with former logging towns or being what you would expect from the western edge...

              I think part of the disconnect is that my idea of "rural" is mostly describing the rural upper midwest, mostly filled with former logging towns or being what you would expect from the western edge of the rust belt. Farming is present up here, but it's largely disconnected from where people live and not necessarily a core aspect of a town's identity, though there are exceptions.

              Small towns up here are generally simple and compact: a small residential area, gas stations, churches, bars, and one center of industry, often a small factory. That's artificial, of course, but outside of that it's usually real deal forest, and the lines between the two are blurred anyway. Most people either own or have direct access to undeveloped land, bears hang out in town, that kind of thing. We don't really have much in the way of shielding from the reality of the land. And most of the population doesn't live in the town anyway, they really are just living in houses plopped in the middle of a forest somewhere.

              There may well be areas where the only choices are urban, suburban, "exurban," or agricultural, but that's not everywhere. Still, your point is valid and it's important for people to remember that agriculture isn't "natural."

              6 votes
              1. NaraVara
                Link Parent
                Yeah I haven't really been out there much. My in-laws are from rural Wisconsin, but the parts of it I saw were basically highways and corn-fields. There were back woods, but they didn't seem all...

                I think part of the disconnect is that my idea of "rural" is mostly describing the rural upper midwest,

                Yeah I haven't really been out there much. My in-laws are from rural Wisconsin, but the parts of it I saw were basically highways and corn-fields. There were back woods, but they didn't seem all that big or deep. Most of my experience is informed by the Sun Belt where I grew up. We got a lot of transplants from big cities who would wax poetic about "country life" and "wide open spaces" while being among the most aggressively consumeristic and anti-communal folks around. Even their churches are anonymous, disconnecting, stadium sized monstrosities.

                5 votes
        2. vord
          Link Parent
          Agreed, the only way to preserve nature is to only allow access by foot, in limited quantity.

          Agreed, the only way to preserve nature is to only allow access by foot, in limited quantity.

          1 vote
      2. [5]
        pleure
        Link Parent
        Are most rural places much better? I'm fond of the country as well but that's because I grew up right on the edge of the wilderness, not in the middle of a huge flat expanse of farmland (most...

        Are most rural places much better? I'm fond of the country as well but that's because I grew up right on the edge of the wilderness, not in the middle of a huge flat expanse of farmland (most rural places, at least in the US, being the latter not the former).

        9 votes
        1. alyaza
          Link Parent
          having traveled to a billion tiny towns here in colorado, i think it's very much dependent on where those rural places are. for example, most of our tiny towns out on the eastern plains are...

          having traveled to a billion tiny towns here in colorado, i think it's very much dependent on where those rural places are. for example, most of our tiny towns out on the eastern plains are genuinely depressing places to live and have literally nothing in them beyond a few businesses and a school, and they're decaying accordingly unless they're close enough to a city to be gentrified by white people who have the capital to move out of the cities. most of the towns in the western mountains on the other hand (which are often just as small) are booming even if they're nowhere near a big city because the scenery is beautiful and there's always something to do. the western towns will probably be just fine--the eastern towns are probably going to continue to shrink (or be turned into suburbs) before long.

          15 votes
        2. [3]
          xstresedg
          Link Parent
          I enjoy going home, in many ways more than I enjoy being in the city. If I could, I'd move there, but without a viable job out there, I'd be fucked. I live in Saskatchewan, and have my whole life,...

          I enjoy going home, in many ways more than I enjoy being in the city. If I could, I'd move there, but without a viable job out there, I'd be fucked. I live in Saskatchewan, and have my whole life, so my city might not compare to large centers, but it still has all the same problems a city does.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            Ya. Unfortunately if your experience with cities is something like Regina or Saskskastoon you are certainly not getting the best out of cities. Regina especially is ugly as hell (sorry...

            Ya. Unfortunately if your experience with cities is something like Regina or Saskskastoon you are certainly not getting the best out of cities. Regina especially is ugly as hell (sorry Saskatchewaners).

            The experience in cities like Calgary, Edmonton (four months out of the year when everything is in bloom), Vancouver, Montreal is significantly better. In Calgary you have numerous green areas, including Nose Hill Park which is one of the largest urban park areas in North America, the mountains are in view and an hour's drive away, Bow River is an actual river and not a dammed slew like Regina. Hell my house in Calgary used to get Elk and Deer roaming through our backyards before the city expanded even further outwards.

            I lived in Regina and Saskatoon for three years, and while the people I met there were some of the best I have ever met, if those two cities were my only comparison I'd absolutely hate urban centers as well.

            8 votes
            1. xstresedg
              Link Parent
              Hahaha yeah, I lived in Regina for about a year and three months and moved back to Saskatoon, been back here since. I've lived here for about 9 years in total. I do enjoy Saskatoon, but it leaves...

              Hahaha yeah, I lived in Regina for about a year and three months and moved back to Saskatoon, been back here since. I've lived here for about 9 years in total. I do enjoy Saskatoon, but it leaves much to be desired.

              I've been to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and I wasn't overly impressed. Victoria impressed me though. That's probably the one place outside of SK that I'd move to.

              All in all, I'd rather live in a place that's small and quaint than large but cramped. I couldn't imagine living in a bigger city like Edmonton, Vancouver, or Toronto, or bigger like some places in the States. Too much stuff fit into tiny spaces.

              2 votes
      3. [22]
        welly
        Link Parent
        You know what else cities have? Life, music, art, culture, diversity, variety, opportunities. I'm not sure how you can say cities are unnatural. Most of them (I speak as someone living in the UK)...

        You know what else cities have? Life, music, art, culture, diversity, variety, opportunities.

        I'm not sure how you can say cities are unnatural. Most of them (I speak as someone living in the UK) have grown organically over time as they've needed to. They haven't just popped up out of nowhere with 500k - 1 million (or more) people suddenly appearing.

        That said, I've recently moved from London (which can be both unnerving and awe-inspiring at the same time) to a smaller city (Leeds in northern England) so I can get closer to the countryside and Leeds gives me the opportunity to easily access both country and city.

        8 votes
        1. [9]
          Whom
          Link Parent
          I feel a perfomative shell of those things when I'm in a city. It's all performance and the role you have to play is so much stricter. I can't breathe and I constantly have to be at attention...

          I feel a perfomative shell of those things when I'm in a city. It's all performance and the role you have to play is so much stricter. I can't breathe and I constantly have to be at attention because there's an unimaginably large number of people around me all doing different things and I can't be aware of everything going on around me all at once. There might be a bearded man playing on an acoustic guitar somewhere, but I sure don't feel like I'm living or that I'm more cultured than before.

          Do your thing and live how you'd like, but for some of us there's no life to be had in cities. For college I go to a town of about 70,000 and even that is far too large to ever relax, and this is several years in. There's nothing there or in "real" cities like Chicago for people like me.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Greg
            Link Parent
            I find this absolutely fascinating, because your concerns sound so much like my own, yet your comfort is the exact opposite. I'm not for a second trying to debate or dispute, it just really...

            I find this absolutely fascinating, because your concerns sound so much like my own, yet your comfort is the exact opposite. I'm not for a second trying to debate or dispute, it just really resonated even though it's so different.

            For me, the city is the only place where I don't feel the need to perform. I never need to worry about how people see me because I know they aren't even looking at me. The people I care about are always there, close by when we want to spend time together, but I can still choose to be anonymous when I want - another face in the crowd, rather than the focal point on a quiet street. The background noise, both literal and metaphorical, is hugely comforting.

            And then when I do want to go to a concert, or a restaurant, or a park, or anything else, they're all there and waiting for me. Every day there are a thousand things happening, so whether I choose to take part or not, I don't ever need to worry about missing out because there'll be a thousand more tomorrow.

            That's what city life is for me: the place that I can take a deep breath and relax, because none of it is depending on me.

            9 votes
            1. crdpa
              Link Parent
              I live in a relatively small town (120,000), but i would love to move to a bigger one (400,000+) like the neighbour city here. There's a lot to do there. Here we do the same thing and go to the...

              I live in a relatively small town (120,000), but i would love to move to a bigger one (400,000+) like the neighbour city here. There's a lot to do there. Here we do the same thing and go to the same places all weekends.

              There's little variety, and it's all variations of the same things.

              2 votes
          2. [2]
            masochist
            Link Parent
            That sounds like agoraphobia and is something you should talk to a therapist about.

            That sounds like agoraphobia and is something you should talk to a therapist about.

            3 votes
            1. Whom
              Link Parent
              I have a lot of things to talk to my therapist about, but being uncomfortable in the middle of an ungodly amount of people is not one of them. My conscious mind and my feelings are in agreement...

              I have a lot of things to talk to my therapist about, but being uncomfortable in the middle of an ungodly amount of people is not one of them.

              My conscious mind and my feelings are in agreement there, I do not want to make the adaptations that people who live in cities do. I've seen it happen to others and know it well from most of my family being from Chicago, and I dislike the result.

              1 vote
          3. [4]
            welly
            Link Parent
            Performance? It sounds to me like you care far too much what other people think of you and that they care what you're doing. Honestly, there are far too many people in cities for them to have any...

            I feel a perfomative shell of those things when I'm in a city. It's all performance and the role you have to play is so much stricter.

            Performance? It sounds to me like you care far too much what other people think of you and that they care what you're doing. Honestly, there are far too many people in cities for them to have any interest in what you're doing, how you're behaving and what part you're playing.

            And vice versa, I care not in the slightest what other people I don't know or are unfamiliar with get up to on a daily basis. If they're performing a role or playing a part then that's on them. They can do what they want, I won't be paying the slightest bit of attention. I have my own life, my own friends, family and acquaintances that I have much more interest in.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              Whom
              Link Parent
              I'm aware that no one cares about anyone else, that's part of the issue. I've used that piece of advice before and it can be useful for a hit of courage, but it's irrelevant here. Is "Don't worry,...

              I'm aware that no one cares about anyone else, that's part of the issue. I've used that piece of advice before and it can be useful for a hit of courage, but it's irrelevant here. Is "Don't worry, no one even thinks of you as human" supposed to make it less suffocating and alienating?

              I typed a lot out and decided to delete it and keep this simple: It's not about other people watching me or what they think, it's about the modifications to ourselves people need to make to operate smoothly in a city. Being as individually focused and warm as in a rural area isn't possible when there's so many people, hell even processing everyone around you is impossible, so you either lose your mind trying to fit it all in your head at once or you develop tunnel vision at a young age or soon after moving there.
              Anywhere you live requires adaptation and living anywhere with people is in some way performance, but in my opinion the one we have to put on in cities makes us worse.

              I also originally meant that what were performative were the versions of the pluses you originally mentioned that you're likely to find in a city, but that doesn't matter much anymore.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                welly
                Link Parent
                I didn't say that, those are your words. I said no one cares about what you're doing or who you are in the same way as I don't care about all these people I pass by every day in big cities. It's...

                "Don't worry, no one even thinks of you as human"

                I didn't say that, those are your words.

                I said no one cares about what you're doing or who you are in the same way as I don't care about all these people I pass by every day in big cities.

                It's simply not practical or feasible to have concerns about each and every last person in a city, big or small, or even a town of any size. And I don't believe for a second you care about every last human being in whatever town or city you live in.

                By "care", I'm referring beyond a basic interest of the well being of my fellow humans. I wish the best for everyone, whether I know them or not. But that's as far as it goes. No one has the time or effort or ability to have an intimate, deep caring of people beyond your immediate social circle. And that goes for everything from small rural villages upwards.

                I feel like you're making life far more difficult for yourself than you perhaps should. Why are you wanting to process everyone around you? I might be reading what you're trying to say incorrectly or struggling to understand what you're saying but I really do think you're making a hard time for yourself, needlessly.

                3 votes
                1. Whom
                  Link Parent
                  If you don't even acknowledge the people around you or what they're doing in the time that they're around you, that is less than I believe a human should be considered. If you don't see it that...

                  If you don't even acknowledge the people around you or what they're doing in the time that they're around you, that is less than I believe a human should be considered. If you don't see it that way, that's the problem I have with what you're saying.

                  I don't know where you got deep intimate caring from, but you can acknowledge, greet, and (if you're more outgoing than I am) even be concerned and offer help if someone looks to be feeling down. If you don't believe that's possible either, I don't know what to tell you. I've been living it most of my life and I'm a very asocial person.

                  I'm not making it harder for myself. I'm valuing the kind of life that is the norm in the place that I care for and usually live. Just as trying not to make the adaptations necessary to live in a city makes that experience harder, not acting and feeling as I do would make mine harder, and for what gain?

                  2 votes
        2. [12]
          xstresedg
          Link Parent
          You're correct that cities do grow, but it's not as if buildings spawn from the ground like trees. Brick and mortar is not appealing to look at day in and day out, neither is tinted glass and...

          You're correct that cities do grow, but it's not as if buildings spawn from the ground like trees. Brick and mortar is not appealing to look at day in and day out, neither is tinted glass and metal.

          It's nice to be able to go outside and see an abundance of grass and trees, and to be able to get to places in a short amount of time without a metal object hurtling at you at high speeds.

          1 vote
          1. [6]
            Cosmos
            Link Parent
            It certainly can be. I see that building every single day, and it never gets old. This sounds like a benefit of dense, walkable urban areas, not sparse, spread out rural ones. Explain to me how...

            Brick and mortar is not appealing to look at day in and day out, neither is tinted glass and metal.

            It certainly can be. I see that building every single day, and it never gets old.

            be able to get to places in a short amount of time without a metal object hurtling at you at high speeds.

            This sounds like a benefit of dense, walkable urban areas, not sparse, spread out rural ones. Explain to me how you can go grocery shopping in Timbuktu without going into a metal object for a lengthy period of time.

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              xstresedg
              Link Parent
              I can't, since I don't live there. I'm from rural Saskatchewan, originally. Yes, obviously you have to travel between places in cars/trucks, but in town, you can walk from one side of town to the...

              Explain to me how you can go grocery shopping in Timbuktu without going into a metal object for a lengthy period of time.

              I can't, since I don't live there.

              I'm from rural Saskatchewan, originally. Yes, obviously you have to travel between places in cars/trucks, but in town, you can walk from one side of town to the other in under an hour. You can make a trip downtown, or to the grocery store, by walking. You are not required to drive.

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                Cosmos
                Link Parent
                Most cities allow you to walk to the grocery store as well.

                Most cities allow you to walk to the grocery store as well.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  xstresedg
                  Link Parent
                  In a reasonable distance? Under 5 km? Without having to take transit?

                  In a reasonable distance? Under 5 km? Without having to take transit?

                  1. Cosmos
                    Link Parent
                    Yup! Though it is worth noting that poorer areas tend not to have as easy access to grocery stores.

                    Yup!

                    Though it is worth noting that poorer areas tend not to have as easy access to grocery stores.

                    2 votes
            2. masochist
              Link Parent
              And there are so many other lovely buildings--especially on university campuses (and especially schools with architecture programs)--that I don't think this point has any merit. Sure, uninspired...

              And there are so many other lovely buildings--especially on university campuses (and especially schools with architecture programs)--that I don't think this point has any merit. Sure, uninspired buildings that don't have any history behind them, that all look the same, aren't very inspiring. But good architecture is its own form of art, and I'm very happy to live in one of the cities in the US that has a near European mix of old and new (hello from a few blocks from that photo, by the way!).

              1 vote
          2. [5]
            crdpa
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I think the argument about things being natural and not natural is a little weird. We all achieve those "unnatural" things by manipulating natural elements. We are a creation of nature, we evolved...

            I think the argument about things being natural and not natural is a little weird. We all achieve those "unnatural" things by manipulating natural elements. We are a creation of nature, we evolved and one should argue that everything we do and build is natural. Why set ourselves apart?

            It's not like anything comes out of thin air.

            If things need to spawn from the ground, should we just live under trees to be natural? We cut trees to make houses. So do beavers.

            Our way of living is unsustainable, but unnatural is not a good word to call it.

            You can call everything we do as unnatural. The plumbing system, sitting in the toilet or using the internet.

            4 votes
            1. Whom
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Instead of overreaching what most people mean when they say "natural," you could consider what they mean and feel. Regardless of if it fits what you think the word "natural" should mean, there's...

              Instead of overreaching what most people mean when they say "natural," you could consider what they mean and feel.

              Regardless of if it fits what you think the word "natural" should mean, there's clearly a whole lot of humans that find comfort, safety, and other kinds of value in seeing green shit and not being subject to the added stressors present in more developed and populous places. Call that whatever you'd like, but it's plenty valid.

              3 votes
            2. [2]
              xstresedg
              Link Parent
              Valid. It's simply my perception. I look at things made of stone and metal and I appreciate the time and effort going into making it, but I just prefer the look and feel of wood (or wood...

              Valid. It's simply my perception. I look at things made of stone and metal and I appreciate the time and effort going into making it, but I just prefer the look and feel of wood (or wood simulated) constructs such as houses, etc. I know most houses use non-wood based siding, usually just a cladding, but it just looks more appealing than stone or brick.

              This is all subjective. I enjoy and appreciate the modern things we have such as plumbing, electronics, etc., but as someone who surrounds himself in so much of it due to work and enjoyment, more abundant open spaces rather than tight living conditions (referring to cramped downtowns and compact residential lots) is always appreciated, and preferred.

              I just can't articulate what I mean, or at least, I feel I haven't done a good job of it.

              2 votes
              1. masochist
                Link Parent
                A lot of what you're saying here is that you have an architecture / design preference rather than a preference for a certain style of living. Preferring wood to masonry is just that, a preference....

                A lot of what you're saying here is that you have an architecture / design preference rather than a preference for a certain style of living. Preferring wood to masonry is just that, a preference. It doesn't have any bearing on rural, suburban, exurban, urban, etc. living. I happen to have an appreciation for masonry, especially as exhibited in some of the older buildings in the US and Europe, and it doesn't matter where the building is.

            3. welly
              Link Parent
              Agreed. You know what else is natural? Ebola. Onchocerca volvulus, etc.

              I think the argument about things being natural and not natural is a little weird.

              Agreed. You know what else is natural? Ebola. Onchocerca volvulus, etc.

              1 vote
      4. [2]
        Douglas
        Link Parent
        I was going to guess Portland, but it's unfortunately not all that beautiful along the river on account of our egregious homelessness situation. It's just a constant reminder how terrible this...

        I was going to guess Portland, but it's unfortunately not all that beautiful along the river on account of our egregious homelessness situation. It's just a constant reminder how terrible this city is about providing affordable housing and how much everyone moving here just wants to sweep them under the rug.

        3 votes
        1. xstresedg
          Link Parent
          Hahaha no, I live in Saskatoon, up in the Canadian prairies.

          Hahaha no, I live in Saskatoon, up in the Canadian prairies.

          2 votes
      5. [4]
        Octofox
        Link Parent
        Thats dependant on the city. My city has large forested parklands that form a ring around the cbd. Air pollution isn't too bad and you can ride a bike out to untouched nature reserves.

        Thats dependant on the city. My city has large forested parklands that form a ring around the cbd. Air pollution isn't too bad and you can ride a bike out to untouched nature reserves.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          xstresedg
          Link Parent
          CBD being central business district? I've never seen the acroneviation (I can never remember if it's an acronym or abbreviation) before in terms of a city haha. And you're quite right, it is...

          CBD being central business district? I've never seen the acroneviation (I can never remember if it's an acronym or abbreviation) before in terms of a city haha.

          And you're quite right, it is dependent on the city. Also depends on where you live in the city, too.

          2 votes
      6. [2]
        lazer
        Link Parent
        I feel like the city I live in has a great balance of this. It sits on a set of islands so water is always nearby, and a green space is never far away. I recently moved to a neighborhood that is a...

        I feel like the city I live in has a great balance of this. It sits on a set of islands so water is always nearby, and a green space is never far away. I recently moved to a neighborhood that is a 5-10 minute walk from one of the waterfronts and a 3km walk from my work. I walk to and from work through a forest now, it's a great way to stay in touch with nature while living and working pretty much in the middle of a city.

        2 votes
        1. xstresedg
          Link Parent
          That does sound really nice! That's how I felt when I was in Victoria, BC.

          That does sound really nice! That's how I felt when I was in Victoria, BC.

          2 votes
    2. [20]
      TheInvaderZim
      Link Parent
      In addition to what the other guy said in direct answer, rural areas are also slower and friendlier. You can know people easier, and the community is less hostile, which is to say, in a rural...

      In addition to what the other guy said in direct answer, rural areas are also slower and friendlier. You can know people easier, and the community is less hostile, which is to say, in a rural area, there's far less need to lock your doors.

      In terms of it being slower, there's nothing wrong with 'just gettin' by' and rural communities often embody that ideal. Living in a city, to me, often felt like "hurry up and wait," from work to traffic to relationships and hobbies. Rural areas are very pleasantly slow by comparison.

      11 votes
      1. [19]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        If you're white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe... but the further you get from that archetype the less friendly I imagine many (maybe even most) rural communities get, at least in the US...

        rural areas are also ... friendlier

        If you're white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe... but the further you get from that archetype the less friendly I imagine many (maybe even most) rural communities get, at least in the US (and even here in Canada).

        9 votes
        1. mftrhu
          Link Parent
          And if your interests do not diverge too much from the interests of the people in that area - and divergence, here, might be something as trivial as "likes to read, not interested in sports". In a...

          If you're white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe...

          And if your interests do not diverge too much from the interests of the people in that area - and divergence, here, might be something as trivial as "likes to read, not interested in sports". In a city you will probably find someone to talk/hang out with. Good luck doing that in a rural community, especially considering the fact that most don't have good public transport.

          They might be friendlier on the surface, but with a lot of rules and caveats and silly points of contention - e.g., "person X didn't greet me yesterday, what a stuck-up, fuck him" when X might just not have noticed them.

          And they are slower all-right, which is not a good thing - not when you need to add at least half a hour to get anywhere, or to buy something that you urgently need, or to get to the nearest hospital before you die.

          3 votes
        2. [16]
          elcuello
          Link Parent
          It seems like you don't really know what you're talking about. I don't know either but maybe someone who does might wanna chip in.

          If you're white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe... but the further you get from that archetype the less friendly I imagine many (maybe even most) rural communities get, at least in the US (and even here in Canada)

          It seems like you don't really know what you're talking about. I don't know either but maybe someone who does might wanna chip in.

          2 votes
          1. [15]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I live in a largely rural area... and bigotry is absolutely, undeniably much more widespread here than when I lived in the cities I have (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, London (UK), Boston, Miami)....

            I live in a largely rural area... and bigotry is absolutely, undeniably much more widespread here than when I lived in the cities I have (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, London (UK), Boston, Miami). It's not stereotypical over-the-top racism, nobody is screaming the n-word or throwing bottles, but it's just as obvious and in some ways more insidious... E.g. The municipality I live in refuses to set up a public transportation system even though they can afford it, and it's largely to keep out "undesirables", aka lower income immigrants. The only "imagine" I have is that it's similar elsewhere. @TheInvaderZim too.

            11 votes
            1. [14]
              TheInvaderZim
              Link Parent
              I've not seen or experienced anything like your ideas, and resent your claim. Sorry that your particular area is a bad apple? As for it not appearing in cities, I doubt its to do with cities...

              I've not seen or experienced anything like your ideas, and resent your claim. Sorry that your particular area is a bad apple? As for it not appearing in cities, I doubt its to do with cities somehow filtering out the hate, and far more to do with rural areas simply being more knowable. To overgeneralize, 1 labelled racist in 10 people stands out far more than 10 labelled racists in 100 people, especially when its easier to know the 10 than the 100.

              Your view strikes me less as someone being actively attacked and more as someone designing their own persecution. Not having public transport is not racist. Its american.

              3 votes
              1. cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                First off, I am Canadian not American... and public transport is rather common here in Southern Ontario even in the more rural areas. However, not having public transport is a very specific choice...

                and more as someone designing their own persecution. Not having public transport is not racist. Its American.

                First off, I am Canadian not American... and public transport is rather common here in Southern Ontario even in the more rural areas. However, not having public transport is a very specific choice my municipality has made. Despite it being proposed multiple times they have continued to reject it and the people here don't even try to hide their reasoning why.

                Second, and speaking of resentment, accusing someone of "designing their own persecution"... someone who you don't know anything about or where they even live is a remarkably shitty thing to do.

                p.s. I am glad you haven't experienced any hatred or bigotry where you live, but I have. That's the problem with anecdotes. But I don't think you can really deny that rural places in North America do tend to generally be far less accepting of things outside the "norm"... E.g. Resistance to LGBT and Gay-Straight Alliance school clubs is not really something that ever happens in cities but it does happen in rural areas.

                9 votes
              2. [12]
                alyaza
                Link Parent
                if we're going to get into this discussion about whether or not rural areas or big cities are more racist, hands down the answer is almost always rural areas. big cities have a long legacy of...

                if we're going to get into this discussion about whether or not rural areas or big cities are more racist, hands down the answer is almost always rural areas. big cities have a long legacy of racism, of course, but big city racism is predominantly not existential so much as it is sociopolitical and socioeconomic. big cities suffer from large amounts of segregation (which persist to this day in most places), but not necessarily things like racial violence. comparatively, in large parts of what we consider rural america, though, it was literally an existential threat for a long time to be a minority. sunset areas for all sorts of racial minorities persisted well into the 20th century, and even today in some places still no doubt have such arrangements informally. i mean, well into the 1990s an entire fucking county in georgia literally prided itself on not having a significant black population because they'd all been forced out in the early 1900s. that's simply not something that happens in like, las vegas or miami or new york city or chicago.

                5 votes
                1. [11]
                  TheInvaderZim
                  Link Parent
                  I'm not naive, and I dont pretend that rural areas arent more likely to be racist. However, we live in the safest time and history. Pretending that things are somehow "just as bad" is a disservice...

                  I'm not naive, and I dont pretend that rural areas arent more likely to be racist. However, we live in the safest time and history. Pretending that things are somehow "just as bad" is a disservice to the progress that has been made. You underestimate just how much time has passed since, for your own example, the 90s georgia county. We are now as far from 1994 as 1994 was from 1970. Its quite a leap to think that we havent continued to progress in the same manner.

                  I will never deny that discrimination is still a problem. I will, however, staunchly defend that it is less of a problem, and more liveable now than any other time in history. Pretending otherwise is nothing less than media hysterics.

                  1 vote
                  1. [10]
                    alyaza
                    Link Parent
                    so then, what exactly are you contesting here? the point @cfabbro made that you responded to is pretty much only about that, and you've just conceded that what both me and @cfabbro have said is...

                    I'm not naive, and I dont pretend that rural areas arent more likely to be racist.

                    so then, what exactly are you contesting here? the point @cfabbro made that you responded to is pretty much only about that, and you've just conceded that what both me and @cfabbro have said is accurate.

                    However, we live in the safest time and history. Pretending that things are somehow "just as bad" is a disservice to the progress that has been made. You underestimate just how much time has passed since, for your own example, the 90s georgia county. We are now as far from 1994 as 1994 was from 1970. Its quite a leap to think that we havent continued to progress in the same manner.

                    nobody is arguing that things are just as bad as they used to be, so please don't build up that tired old strawman and knock it down as though anybody here said that. it's disingenuous also to act like things are universally better just because of time. things are better in some places--they are not elsewhere. some places do not have sundown towns or anymore--other places absolutely do. but as a sum, rural areas nearly universally are and will likely continue to be more racist than any city could ever hope to be, because most cities are simply too multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic for racial animosity to gain widespread traction outside of extreme circumstances, and most small towns and most rural areas are the inverse--far too racially homogeneous for dissent to be widespread.

                    also, if you'd like me to update you on the county in question just as an example of how utterly wrong this line of thinking is that time necessarily makes things better, it's still 85% white (91% if you count the 6% asian population in with that) with only a 2% black population despite: (1) 25 years of difference between then and now; (2) metropolitan atlanta being literally right next door; (3) the state of georgia as a whole becoming something to the tune of 10% less white in the interval between 1990 and 2010, and probably 15% less white in the interval between 1990 and now; and (4) a massive amount of news coverage on the subject of it basically being a sundown county well into a time when sundown counties should have ceased to exist. the only thing that's really changed is how open the racism is.

                    I will never deny that discrimination is still a problem. I will, however, staunchly defend that it is less of a problem, and more liveable now than any other time in history. Pretending otherwise is nothing less than media hysterics.

                    you can stop staunchly defending it in this case then, because like with the other point you're talking about, nobody is arguing that things aren't more liveable now than they used to be or buying into media hysterics here.

                    4 votes
                    1. [9]
                      TheInvaderZim
                      Link Parent
                      Youve lost track of the discussion. I presented that rural areas are slower and friendlier than cities. It was contested that rural areas are not, on the grounds of discrimination being more...

                      Youve lost track of the discussion. I presented that rural areas are slower and friendlier than cities. It was contested that rural areas are not, on the grounds of discrimination being more present. I counter-argued that that's not the case everywhere, and that even where it is, its not nearly as bad as it used to be. Perhaps where my point was lost, is that it was livable 25 years ago, and has only continued to get better. So, hence my original point: rural areas are slower and friendlier, and my distinction, that discrimination is not so predominant that it would undermine that fact.

                      There are outliers, yes. But for every example of your georgia county, theres another rural town hosting an LGBTQ parade or protesting discrimination in some other way. The stated idea that I'm arguing against - that rural communities are somehow unliveable if youre not a white cis male - is laughable in most cases. At best, a stereotype and misconception, at worst, media hysterics. Yous say youre not "buying into" it but thats the entire point of the discussion - that by merit of being a minority, these communities become markedly more hostile. Thats bull.

                      1 vote
                      1. Whom
                        Link Parent
                        I'm not sure I'm with your point comparing it to the past or acting like things are generally okay, but I'm not comfortable painting rural America with broad strokes like everyone else is either....

                        I'm not sure I'm with your point comparing it to the past or acting like things are generally okay, but I'm not comfortable painting rural America with broad strokes like everyone else is either. In a lot of ways the discrimination in many rural areas is far outweighed by the general culture of friendliness and being personable, to the point where I'm much more comfortable as a gay trans woman and lesbian in most of rural Wisconsin than I would be in a city like Milwaukee or Chicago.

                        Every small town queer kid grows up dreaming of what it'll be like once they get to leave for an accepting city and I've seen so many be disappointed when they finally get out.

                        4 votes
                      2. [7]
                        alyaza
                        Link Parent
                        i'm referring to everything after this point in the conversation, to be clear. i don't particularly care for the case of rural areas being slower and friendlier than cities, and if i did i would...

                        Youve lost track of the discussion. I presented that rural areas are slower and friendlier than cities. It was contested that rural areas are not, on the grounds of discrimination being more present. I counter-argued that that's not the case everywhere, and that even where it is, its not nearly as bad as it used to be. Perhaps where my point was lost, is that it was livable 25 years ago, and has only continued to get better. So, hence my original point: rural areas are slower and friendlier, and my distinction, that discrimination is not so predominant that it would undermine that fact.

                        i'm referring to everything after this point in the conversation, to be clear. i don't particularly care for the case of rural areas being slower and friendlier than cities, and if i did i would have lodged my point with that and not with the point we're currently talking about.

                        There are outliers, yes. But for every example of your georgia county, theres another rural town hosting an LGBTQ parade or protesting discrimination in some other way.

                        i'm going to just quote what i just said, because i feel like you either completely missed it in writing this or ignored it, and i don't want to bother restating it:

                        but as a sum, rural areas nearly universally are and will likely continue to be more racist than any city could ever hope to be, because most cities are simply too multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic for racial animosity to gain widespread traction outside of extreme circumstances, and most small towns and most rural areas are the inverse--far too racially homogeneous for dissent to be widespread.


                        The stated idea that I'm arguing against - that rural communities are somehow unliveable if youre not a white cis male - is laughable in most cases.

                        you're arguing against a point that, again, literally nobody is arguing for. here is what @cfabbro wrote in response to you originally:

                        If you're white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe... but the further you get from that archetype the less friendly I imagine many (maybe even most) rural communities get, at least in the US (and even here in Canada).

                        please tell me where that says anything even close to what you are trying to argue about here. all it says is that the further away you get from being white, straight, cis, and maybe Christian, the less likely your archetype of how friendly rural areas will probably be. absolutely nothing about it being unlivable, or anything resembling that.

                        At best, a stereotype and misconception, at worst, media hysterics. Yous say youre not "buying into" it but thats the entire point of the discussion - that by merit of being a minority, these communities become markedly more hostile. Thats bull.

                        it's bull if you ignore the very, very long history of things like sundown towns in rural america, and their lasting legacy, sure. it's also bull if you completely ignore the differences culturally between most of rural america and most of suburban and urban america. but if you do consider those things--and there's no reason not to, honestly--this idea that minorities don't often have it worse than white people in a lot of rural areas completely collapses. once again, at no point have i stated that this is a universal thing, because plenty of rural areas are actually majority-minority and there are certainly liberal rural areas--but overwhelmingly, yes, minorities have historically been and often still do experience worse, more existential racism in most of rural america than they would in probably any urban center. i have anecdotal experience of this being the case; there is historical record of this being the case; there are places where people could probably tell you this is still the case.

                        3 votes
                        1. Whom
                          Link Parent
                          Not really continuing the conversation as a whole, but just to note with sundown towns, many of those were the largest communities in their areas...I would call it more a characteristic of the...

                          Not really continuing the conversation as a whole, but just to note with sundown towns, many of those were the largest communities in their areas...I would call it more a characteristic of the regions that had them than a population density thing.

                          Still important to bring up though! It's infuriating how little sundown towns are mentioned in our education and our general dialogue about racism in America.

                          2 votes
                        2. [5]
                          TheInvaderZim
                          Link Parent
                          Stop trying to explode the conversation. Theres no point to you doing so, it dilutes your points and kills my interest in actually engaging with you. Its not constructive, nor helpful, and forces...

                          Stop trying to explode the conversation. Theres no point to you doing so, it dilutes your points and kills my interest in actually engaging with you. Its not constructive, nor helpful, and forces me to grossly simplify over and over again which causes my own points to suffer, else we both write essay after essay and see who tires first. Its obnoxious. Cut it out.

                          Here is the essence of your point, and where youve disconnected from what I'm saying:

                          please tell me where that says anything even close to what you are trying to argue about here

                          the further you get from that archetype the less friendly... Rural communities get.

                          And therefor more hostile. Is the context of this whole discussion not about how small towns are unapproachable to LGBTQs? Is not the,entire discussion about that very issue? I'd hope you could understand how I might have wandered into debating such thoughts in the context of this particular article.

                          1. [2]
                            FZeroRacer
                            (edited )
                            Link Parent
                            Not to jump into the middle of an argument, but earlier in this same thread you said So it seems rather disingenuous for you to complain about someone trying to explode the conversation when it...

                            Not to jump into the middle of an argument, but earlier in this same thread you said

                            Your view strikes me less as someone being actively attacked and more as someone designing their own persecution. Not having public transport is not racist. Its american.

                            So it seems rather disingenuous for you to complain about someone trying to explode the conversation when it seems like you were never willing to engage in good faith to begin with.

                            4 votes
                            1. TheInvaderZim
                              Link Parent
                              Lol, I dont know that I agree with the comparison but I respect the point. I've been guilty of it in the past. Am trying to improve.

                              Lol, I dont know that I agree with the comparison but I respect the point. I've been guilty of it in the past. Am trying to improve.

                              1 vote
                          2. [2]
                            alyaza
                            Link Parent
                            well... no, it's not, because @cfabbro pretty explicitly says "white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe..." (which isn't just LGBT people it's also about race and religion) and says pretty...

                            Is the context of this whole discussion not about how small towns are unapproachable to LGBTQs? Is not the,entire discussion about that very issue? I'd hope you could understand how I might have wandered into debating such thoughts in the context of this particular article.

                            well... no, it's not, because @cfabbro pretty explicitly says "white, straight, cisgender and Christian maybe..." (which isn't just LGBT people it's also about race and religion) and says pretty much nothing about being "unapproachable" or the other verbiage you've used, just that it's less friendly. that might carry an implication of rural areas being less approachable, but less approachable is not at all the same thing as unapproachable (or even hostile, honestly).

                            in any case, i take the stance that you simply cannot have an accurate conversation about how "friendly" rural areas are to non-whites, LGBT people, and non-Christians or the irreligious without getting into the points i'm talking about which demonstrate that historically, many of those people have been treated like utter dogshit in rural areas (and sometimes continue to be) at rates that are probably higher than they would be in any urban area due to simple matters of diversity. that's why i'm "exploding" the conversation here.

                            i simply do not think that anybody can in good conscience say that most of rural america is friendly to--as an example case--gay people simply because rural americans aren't overtly hateful, when on almost every ballot measure that has ever sought to restrict the lives of gay americans it's rural areas that such ballot measures do best in.

                            2 votes
                            1. TheInvaderZim
                              Link Parent
                              I misspoke in my representation of the issue. At risk of digging the hole deeper, I meant to say 'minorities.' Thats a valid response. It also is very contrary to my own experience. What set me...

                              I misspoke in my representation of the issue. At risk of digging the hole deeper, I meant to say 'minorities.'

                              Thats a valid response. It also is very contrary to my own experience. What set me off more than anything, though, was the example used at the start of the discussion, hence my comparison to past problems and how we've moved past them. The point was made that public transport has been rejected because it disproportionately affects minorities. Assuming that reasoning is true (which is a leap that I'm still unwilling to make but equally unqualified to dissuade), theres still a pretty massive difference between not having mass transit in general and open segregation of busses specifically.

                              Hence, my own point; the idea that you "cant go back" to your hometown is ludacrous. Even if you experience discrimination, there is a big fucking difference between (at worst) a mild cultural deterrent and a an actual bar over the door.

                              Less approachable? Stastically, I'm forced to concede that. But nothing more, which is what I apparently misattributed this discussion to be about from the article that it seems like nobody else read.

                              1 vote
        3. TheInvaderZim
          Link Parent
          Thats a stereotype. There are certainly racists and homophobes, but not in any higher concentration than youll find in a city, and certainly not enough that youll feel persecuted. Real life is not...

          Thats a stereotype. There are certainly racists and homophobes, but not in any higher concentration than youll find in a city, and certainly not enough that youll feel persecuted. Real life is not the internet - even if someone is quietly homophobic or racist, theyre not going to scream and throw bottles at you.

          "I imagine" means you dont know, so dont make the assumption.

          1 vote
    3. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. NaraVara
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Part of the reason rural areas die is because all the youth and vitality gets sucked out of them by more thriving economic centers. It isn't just a property of the soil. It's more about the people...

        Part of the reason rural areas die is because all the youth and vitality gets sucked out of them by more thriving economic centers. It isn't just a property of the soil. It's more about the people and entrepreneurship of the communities that live there. What really killed rural and small town America is the lack of investment in social infrastructure that enables communities of people to accomplish things together. When our planning and idealized lifestyle involves everyone living disconnected, atomized lives as community-less individuals, before long there won't be any there there.

        Most of the older cities in America did better and bounced back from an era of wide-spread disinvestment because the municipal governments actually made those investments rather than relying on churches or groups like the Shriners to do it. So even though the infrastructure for social cohesion was frayed and threadbare, there was still something there to build off of. Because of this, they became engines of economic growth that attracted people from all over, especially rural areas that didn't want them or their ideas and didn't have the resources to support their growth even if they did. When Church attendance fell and those old fraternal organizations and associations got older and duller from failure to attract new members, the communities around them withered too. And a generalized xenophobia and suspicion of outsiders made sure nobody shows up to replace the youths that leave.

        A good natural experiment for this hypothesis is university towns. They're functionally the ONLY small towns in America that actually do okay these days without having a natural gas pocket under them. It's not just because the university itself provides jobs and money, but it also brings fresh blood and demand for services as all these new people bring different ideas and connections to elsewhere.

        The other communities that actually do okay, interestingly enough, are the ones with large immigrant populations, particularly refugees. Once again, new people refreshing the business centers with new ideas and services keep things going. Big surprise that this winds up being the major political cleavage in society now. College education and immigrant status forms lock-step Democratic areas and lack of those form lock-step Republican areas.

        8 votes
    4. [3]
      sublime_aenima
      Link Parent
      Another reason to avoid living in cities is living near nature improves health.

      Another reason to avoid living in cities is living near nature improves health.

      2 votes
      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Urban sprawl is the thing that removes people from nature. The density of cities allows us to maintain a harder line between development and nature AND makes nature more accessible. In countries...

        Another reason to avoid living in cities is living near nature improves health.

        Urban sprawl is the thing that removes people from nature. The density of cities allows us to maintain a harder line between development and nature AND makes nature more accessible. In countries with better infrastructure you can take fairly short (<1 hour) train rides to go from city centers to forests or hiking trails.

        7 votes
      2. Octofox
        Link Parent
        This is an urban sprawl problem. In my city you can ride a bike from huge nature reserves to the city fairly quickly.

        This is an urban sprawl problem. In my city you can ride a bike from huge nature reserves to the city fairly quickly.

        3 votes
  2. [5]
    Grendel
    Link
    Homophobia and racism aren't small town problems, theyr'e human problems. Even major metro areas have their fair share of bigots and hateful people. I think in small towns it's more noticeable...

    Homophobia and racism aren't small town problems, theyr'e human problems. Even major metro areas have their fair share of bigots and hateful people. I think in small towns it's more noticeable because the town is smaller, so it stands out more.

    Just last week I moved back to the rural town I spent part of my childhood in. Now, I am a straight white male and I know that that has an influence on my opinion, so I mentioned the article to my coworker who is openly gay and also used to live in that same rural town with a population of less than 1,400. He also agrees that the article is being too broad and is generalizing about the nature of small towns in middle America.

    I understand that the issues the author mentioned are real issues, but my biggest problem with this article is that it seems to falsely limit theses issues to just the small rural towns of America.

    13 votes
    1. [4]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      I don't think the issues are exclusive to rural towns, but I do think they are a bigger problem in them. Small towns tend to not have very diverse populations. Almost everyone is the same color,...

      I don't think the issues are exclusive to rural towns, but I do think they are a bigger problem in them. Small towns tend to not have very diverse populations. Almost everyone is the same color, goes to the same church, etc. Comparatively, in any major city, it's hard to throw a rock without hitting someone of another race, color, or creed. Frequent exposure to people of other colors and cultures makes one generally more tolerant and accepting of them

      I don't think of this as the fault of the people living in small towns. It's more of a problem of lack of opportunity. How we fix that, I don't know. I don't think it's productive to just tell people that they way they think is incorrect.

      9 votes
      1. [3]
        Grendel
        Link Parent
        I think this is only true when one already has somewhat of an open mind. During Briton's imperial age many of the English were living abroad among different cultures and races, yet they were still...

        Frequent exposure to people of other colors and cultures makes one generally more tolerant and accepting of them

        I think this is only true when one already has somewhat of an open mind. During Briton's imperial age many of the English were living abroad among different cultures and races, yet they were still oppressive and hateful toward them.

        It's unfair to believe that people are more likely to be racist simply because their town is less diverse.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          unknown user
          Link Parent
          That is a wholly different social setting. They went there, like other colonists, to appropriate the land and gain goods and money. Not to cohabit with the locals and form communities with them.

          During Briton's imperial age many of the English were living abroad among different cultures and races, yet they were still oppressive and hateful toward them.

          That is a wholly different social setting. They went there, like other colonists, to appropriate the land and gain goods and money. Not to cohabit with the locals and form communities with them.

          1 vote
          1. Grendel
            Link Parent
            But that's my point. It had everything to do with their intentions and frame of mind. Being around or not being around people of color isn't what made the difference.

            They went there, like other colonists, to appropriate the land and gain goods and money. Not to cohabit with the locals and form communities with them.

            But that's my point. It had everything to do with their intentions and frame of mind. Being around or not being around people of color isn't what made the difference.

  3. alyaza
    Link
    incidentally, vox had another article based on the premise of moving back to cedar rapids, iowa from seattle, so for a perspective that in some ways runs counter to this one, see this article,...

    incidentally, vox had another article based on the premise of moving back to cedar rapids, iowa from seattle, so for a perspective that in some ways runs counter to this one, see this article, which i also posted here about two and a half weeks ago.

    6 votes
  4. s-sea
    Link
    This a great foil to this article someone posted a bit back. I guess the narratives that jive with me are far different than the writer, but the lines I thought were going to be followed up more...

    This a great foil to this article someone posted a bit back.

    I guess the narratives that jive with me are far different than the writer, but the lines

    Where I live in Iowa, the land seems expansive. But the openness is a deception. I know that the places before me are filled with crops, commerce, fear, and expectation.

    I thought were going to be followed up more on the questions of Corporate Farming and the concentration of community values vis-a-vis a loss of younger folks and a lack of diversity.

    That being said, I kind of get it? I don't agree necessarily - certainly some towns would be more distrustful/discriminatory though I don't think most are - but I see why someone would feel that. From my experience in towns like York and Hebron, folks are kind and trusting. Even if you're different (whatever that might mean), there's not a lot of sense of xenophobia. Then again, small sample size and anecdotal - just a few towns in Nebraska.

    Obviously could be different in other states and regions, but that's where I agree with the other posters - it's overgeneralizing small towns and ignores how it's an issue in cities as well.

    5 votes