What I hate about the Midwest.

What I hate about the Midwest.

The weather: The wind has been blowing at 20 mph for as long as I can remember. Today it’s getting up to 40. This winter, it was equally windy+ it snowed and at froze at least 4 times. It stayed frozen on the ground for weeks. It was slicker than horse shit. Lately we have tornados in the vicinity. At least nothing has been hit yet. The wind woke me up last weekend at 3 am. I was reminded of Hurricanes David, Hugo and Opal, all of which I “participated” in. Those were fun in comparison. Last year we didn’t get any precipitation in the winter or spring to speak of, so instead we had grass fires. One of which was next to my house, my wife had to call the fire department, and another time we had to pack our stuff because they evacuated a neighborhood near by.

The people: They are on an individual level as nice as any other people from a rural area, and arguably nicer than those from a large city. None of what follows is really their fault. Almost all are native’s, they are so homogeneous as to be truly boring. They are overwhelmingly conservative. Most have almost no frame of reference for other parts of the country and even less for other parts of the world. I am sick and fucking tired of hearing about what church they attend. In short most are a bunch of boring bible thumping conformists who should take their support our something ribbon bumper sticker and shove it up their aged pearly white ass.

The traffic: There is almost none. In fact when I moved here I thought it was great. How foolish. I drove in Atlanta for 15 years and never had an accident. Here I have already been hit once it took less than 18 months. The drivers are very old, very inconsiderate, and very, very oblivious. Frankly (even when cycling) I miss heavy traffic. At least they mostly paid attention.

The cows stink. When the wind blows in the wrong direction, this whole fucking town smells like cow shit. I used to live next to a paper mill, it was better. Oh and the locals like to say that’s the scent of money. Try cycling through a cloud of dry cattle shit from a feed lot which looks like a concentration camp.

Did I mention the scenery? Flat and dusty with about 60 billion billboards’s advertising some shitty chain. And there’s some stupid millionaire whose idea of art is to buy more even more signs which say stupid shit for peoples front yards.

How about someplace to eat? Restaurants are great here if all you want is a fucking hamburger. Or a plate of melted cheese which is euphemistically called “tex mex”.

Did I mention the nuclear bomb factory? Reassuringly they take them apart there now.

My neighbor Beelzebub moved out. He said he couldn’t take the weather. It’s too bad because when we moved in he was the only one in our goddamned neighborhood who came over when we threw a BBQ to meet our neighbors.

Where are you from?

Why don’t you go back there?

I’m guessing your neighbors won’t mind one little bit.

As much as I am an East Coaster at heart, I can’t agree with most of what you said (other than about the weather). Where are you living? Des Moines isn’t bad at all, but unless you get into a pretty small town I’d say the Midwest is livable. Also, I don’t find it “overwhelmingly conservative” … several states in the Midwest, including Iowa, were blue states in the last election and are more centrist than anything.

And, I will argue with anyone who says the drivers are worse in the Midwest than they were in my home state (New Jersey).

It is my theory that America can be geographically/culturally divided into two main categories:

The places that consider Pizza Hut the best pizza in their area and those that do not.

By and large, the midwest is a “Pizza Hut is best” type of place. If you are from the other sort of place, living here will slowly suck out your soul if you let it.

There are surprisingly large pockets of liberalism in the midwest - you just have to know how to find them.

What I hate about Chicago:

I have no idea if I live in the Midwest or not.

Looking at a map, it would appear so, but not a single thing in the OP applies to me or my neighbors.

Oh, you definitely live in the Midwest. The problem is that the OP should probably be titled “What I hate about the small-town Midwest.”

BTW< OP, where are you? Nebraska?

“stadtluft macht frei”

“City air liberates”

If it’s any consolation, cowshit is like fresh cinnamon rolls after you’ve cycled past a large swine farm.

No kidding. Pig shit smells so much fouler than that of any other animal I’ve encountered, and so unique in its stench, that it’s no wonder some ancient peoples assumed swine must be unclean.

What do you expect? The sole purpose of the midwest is to give us something to look at from the plane when we are flying from one coast to the other. People aren’t supposed to live there.
Except Chicago, I love Chicago almost as much as I love my NYC. If we could move Chicago to the east coast it would be perfect.

notation for the humor impared: it’s a joke.


But then we’d have to deal with HILLS! shudder Unnatural bumpy things. All that up and down and no horizon. It’s like the world’s closing in on you and the ground’s going to swallow you up! :eek:

notation for the humor impared: it’s also a joke.

Too much traffic in too-narrow freeways with too many one-lane interchanges.

Too much makeup and hairspray. I thought it went out of fashion in the early 90s.

And WHAT THE FUCK IS IT with all the country music? Sweet crack-smoking Houdini, I’m buying a pack of Oreos and a gallon of milk and is it too much to ask that I not be subjected to formulaic pop-country crap the whole time I’m in the store? If I hear one more offkey groan about your tender heart I’m going to stomp on it with SARS-encrusted soccer cleats. Just one tune by the Pixies. That’s all I ask for. Please. Just one.

While I sympathize with the o.p., I also have to agree with the statements above minus the understated vitrol. Some people really like living out in the pasture, droning on endlessly about their church activities, and comparing the haute cuisine of considering mediocre chain restaurants. If that’s not you, then you need to find some place more suited to your personality and interests before it sucks the life right out of you. I grew up in the central Midwest, in one of those indistinguishable little towns with a grain elevator and two competing churches, suffered through an adolescence of being taunted for reading and being a “college boooy”, kept to myself rather than participate in the typical leisure activities of shooting traffic signs, date-raping girls, harassing the few non-whites, and getting stones and stupid drunk at cornfield keggers, and got the hell out of there as quickly as I could, which was not nearly quick enough. I have no intention of ever going back there for anything longer than a funeral.

But hey, some people like it. And, as Long Time First Time notes, there are spots of variety and tolerance here and there, usually found in college towns that also have the virtue of supporting a wide variety of restaurants, museums, bookstores, and other amenities one won’t find in central Kansas.


Dit-fucking-to. We are definitely the Midwest, but without the cow shit and or any of the other negatives. I think the OP’s problem is rural vs. city or suburban life.

Exactly. This same diatribe could have been written about a rural town in Texas, South Carolina, Nevada or Oregon.

I assure you, it’s not just Chicago. Madison, WI is a fairly small city, population wise, but the experience here is the antithesis of the OP’s.

Educated, friendly, mostly liberal people, in a beautiful natural setting. Arts, culture, funky little restaurants and coffeehouses, bike trails and running paths everywhere.

Moved here from the East Coast abotu 4 years ago, and I am NEVER going back. I’ve got the best of East Coast living, and none of the traffic, attitude or expensive cost of living.

And beer and cheese. Lots of beer and cheese.

There’s lots of great towns and smallish cities throughout Wisco, Minnie Soda, and (northern) Iowa.

Did I mention the beer and cheese?

Madison isn’t really in the Midwest. It’s a small neighborhood just south of Berkeley, CA that is attached to central Wisconsin via a hyperspace bypass. Great town (if only the had mountains…sigh), but not at all representative of the areas adjacent to it, or indeed, the bulk of the Midwest.


It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…

When I start reading this, I was prepared to slam you. But, as much as I love Texas, I have to agree with you.

Wait a minute. Isn’t the OP actually living in Texas? When did they move Texas to the Midwest?

Well, I’m an outsider (from way outside), living in Columbus, Ohio.

What I don’t like:
The flat scenery (unless you drive east or south from here).
Some of the blandness – though not everything is bland.
The lack of public transport.

What I do like:
The politeness, including the polite drivers.
The quirkiness, and odd bits of history that you find – like a liberator of Bulgaria in a small town in southeast Ohio.
A variety of immigrant cultures, at least where I live, where I’m close to Chinese, Japanese, Indian. Middle Eastern and Mexican grocery stores – not just restaurants.