Penelope Trunk wrote about Diversity.
She wasn’t referring to skin color, however, which is what usually comes to mind when that word pops up in conversation. Instead she used the term in its denotative, rather than connotative, sense. For the challenged, this means that she used the word in correct context per dictionary definition, as opposed to the spirit of the word or the feelings it evokes.
The immediate, gut reaction is…
that we are about to talk about race, and that it could possibly get ugly. But at its base, diversity merely refers to variety or differences or even contradictions (meanings courtesy of Dictionary.com). And this doesn’t have to deal with the way people look. Mixed nuts is a good example of diversity, or maybe a kitchen sink salad.
Sure, a few commentators noted that there is a middle ground, somewhere in the lands of suburbia, but on the whole, Suburbia is really neither / nor, fence-sitters who want their cake and plan to eat it too.
And on the other hand, Suburbanites are also kind of wanna-be City Mice — they stayed close enough to the city so they can still hit the malls and pick up fast-food for dinner on the way home from their work commute. Milk without the trouble of going through a cow.
We can argue all day as to whether or not Suburbia represents yet a third way of life, but eventually it will be a moot point because of a little thing we like to call Urban Sprawl. Oh, and also over-population, but that’s a topic for another post.
“Oh dear, there goes the neighborhood! Don’t let the slums get you — run, for goodness sakes, run while you still can — out to the country!” So truly Suburbanites are at their root merely lazy Country Mice who just haven’t realized yet that they are doomed. That’s okay — we of the farmlands are doomed too, just at a slower pace. Have you not seen all the dystopic literature floating around out there? The whole world will be one giant ghetto at some point in the future. So simmer down, Suburbanites, I wasn’t trying to get your goat. So to speak.
Back to the original premise:
Country Mice vs. City Mice, and the diversity of lifestyles therein. Penelope and many of her city-minded followers contend that their crowd are more intelligent and fast paced, while country folk are more inclined to creativity and the relaxed pace of a snail. To some degree, I would judge this to be correct.
[What makes me a capable judge? (a) I've lived all over the world in all kinds of settings. (b) It's my planet. No for realz.]
which for the geographically clueless (including me up until about the age of 30, at which point I realized how small this world is, and exactly how stupid are most of her occupants) is where the Country is located. We’ve got funny man David Letterman, the much-missed Kurt Vonnegut, and the late great Michael Jackson from Indiana. Ohio offers up Erma Bombeck, Toni Morrison, Paul Newman, and Steven Spielberg.
[Interesting fact about Ohio: seven of our U.S. presidents claimed the Buckeye State as home. Does this indicate politicians grow up on corn and have a proclivity for being creative? Based on the way many of them answer questions, methinks yes.]
The farmland celebrities listed herein all inhabit creative fields (no pun intended), which indicates they fit the bill for having time on their hands to stew the juices of imagination. Yet I can’t wrap my brain around the idea that any of them are yokels, hicks, or outright dumb-dumbs. That image just doesn’t work here. In spite of backwoods school systems, hayrides, and hillybilly golf, somehow we’ve managed to cook up entire bushels of intellectuals.
Maybe Country Mice beat out City Mice altogether? Thought to ponder, from my lily pad on the small pond of Farmersville, Ohio.