(First off, can I just tell you that I just watched Biden's speech in Tampa, and have been giggling for an hour over the fact that he said something along the lines of "we need someone who can raise up his hand and say no! Not some angry man lurching from position to position" Because the imagery in that was just fantastic. He's right. McCain- cannot raise up his arms, was definitely lurching last night. Lurching is an amazing word)
Anyway... Sarah Vowell was on The Daily Show last night talking about the whole weird love/hate thing conservatives have with NYC- you know, they sure love talking about 9/11, but think the people who live there are evil elitist jerks or something. Which, you know, is not in fact true.
But I believe I know why they think this. See, when someone grows up in a small town, 9 times out of 10, they're dying to leave. That's what spurs this country on, the desire to get the fuck out of wherever your parents raised you. The people who don't get out and wish they could, are bitter. The people who don't want to get out, I assume, feel like the people who did thought they were "too good" for that life. Which, I think, is why people in those towns feel that NYC and other cities are elitist. I mean, it's not like people are clamoring to move to Wasilla, ya know? If they were, it would certainly be more populated.
But I don't think it's a matter of insult on so many levels. Some people are better suited to city life, and some are happy in smaller towns. Country Mouse, City Mouse and all that. I mean, it's possible that people grow up in cities and decide that they'd prefer small town life, but you don't hear about that so much. I mean, if someone here did that, I wouldn't take it as a direct insult to my way of life, so much as a personal decision on the part of the other person. Living in cities sort of forces you to deal with multitudes of people not living the same life as you are. Every day, I meet people who believe things that I do not, that do things that I do not- were I to take it as a personal insult to my being, or a rejection on some level, I'd be pretty unhappy with life.
The thing is, I sort of feel like a lot of these people just watched "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" a few too many times or something. And while the Capra films are lovely and heartwarming (and I do love love love "It Happened One Night"), they're not really, like, fact. Despite the fact that Hollywood is supposed to be another bastien of the elite, there are craploads of movies out there espousing the whole idealized vision of Wholesome Small Town America vs. Corrupt Big Cities. And if that's where you're getting your information from, yeah, it's gonna be a little skewed.
At the end of the day, I think that it has more to do with hierarchy than anything else. Our capitalist culture demands that in order to be worthy, you have to be better than someone else. I mean, that's pretty much the whole reason people are racist or homophobic- fear of not being better than someone else (look at the people who are, and try to tell me I'm not right about this). Small towns have little to offer in the way of "things to do"- so it probably makes them feel better to cling to the idea that they are morally superior to larger cities, despite all the meth use and teenage pregnancies. They have to have something, I guess.