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krazeeboi

Southern jealousy

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OK, we all know the South isn't perfect. Most of our cities, particularly the ones that can now be classified as "boomtowns," grew up during the age of the automobile and lack the density and urbanity of its previously-developed counterparts; we know this. However, does it appear as though the South's stellar economic performance as of late has made it the target of jealous insults and such? I want to go beyond what we see and read on messageboards such as UP to what the "average Joe" may be saying.

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Most (not all) of the negative commentary probably comes from an impulsive mentality bred and preserved from the post Civil War era. Well educated (and experienced) individuals view the "New South" as being more progressive.

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However, does it appear as though the South's stellar economic performance as of late has made it the target of jealous insults and such?

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I think people like to insult the South because they think it makes for good comedy.

For instance, Family Guy takes some particularly harsh digs at the South, in my opinion. I don't know if the creator is from down here and is joking from an insider's point of view, or if he bases his comedy on his perception from the outside.

Perhaps this doesn't relate to economic performance, but on the other hand people's perceived image of the South (or New South) will affect their inclination to do business with us.

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Of course not. Was there a specific circumstance in the media etc. that make you think of it?

"People" "make fun of" the South because it's easy, not because they're impressed with contemporary economic growth they probably know nothing about. I seriously doubt any other region's residents are "just jealous." There's a long, long list of Southern-specific preconceived notions that can trigger an easy joke. Just set up some situation with banjo, barefoot, slavery, sweet tea, chain gangs, segregation, fire hoses, marching across bridges, cotton, plantations, Dukes of Hazzard, moonshine, country music et al et al et al et al, then knock it down and BLAM, laughs, because it fits the audience's preconceived notion. The reason you don't hear many jokes about the Pacific Northwest is because that list is much, much shorter. To repeat, the South is an easy target.

I'd say the question is evidence of a South with an inferiority complex. People make fun of Boston, New York, L.A., etc. too but by and large, residents there don't care or obsess about it. I guess the very patient education of visitors and viewers over the long term will help with generating more up-to-date notions and stereotypes (like say, "Designing Women".)

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I'd say the question is evidence of a South with an inferiority complex. People make fun of Boston, New York, L.A., etc. too but by and large, residents there don't care or obsess about it.

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Of course not. Was there a specific circumstance in the media etc. that make you think of it?

"People" "make fun of" the South because it's easy, not because they're impressed with contemporary economic growth they probably know nothing about. I seriously doubt any other region's residents are "just jealous." There's a long, long list of Southern-specific preconceived notions that can trigger an easy joke. Just set up some situation with banjo, barefoot, slavery, sweet tea, chain gangs, segregation, fire hoses, marching across bridges, cotton, plantations, Dukes of Hazzard, moonshine, country music et al et al et al et al, then knock it down and BLAM, laughs, because it fits the audience's preconceived notion. The reason you don't hear many jokes about the Pacific Northwest is because that list is much, much shorter. To repeat, the South is an easy target.

I'd say the question is evidence of a South with an inferiority complex. People make fun of Boston, New York, L.A., etc. too but by and large, residents there don't care or obsess about it. I guess the very patient education of visitors and viewers over the long term will help with generating more up-to-date notions and stereotypes (like say, "Designing Women".)

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I've heard much harsher jokes/superiority complex from some so-called "New South" types about

Alabama than from those in other regions.

When I told someone in Florida I was from Alabama, they looked at me like something

they'd scrape off the bottom of their shoe. By contrast, when I took a road trip through the midwest,

I didn't hear any negative comments.

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this has nothing to do with the topic, but just for the record, Atlanta is the largest city in the South excluding immigrants.

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this has nothing to do with the topic, but just for the record, Atlanta is the largest city in the South excluding immigrants.

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Would you rather the South have a superiority complex?

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"People" "make fun of" the South because it's easy, not because they're impressed with contemporary economic growth they probably know nothing about.

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I honestly don't know what there is to be jealous about. If you go to another country, say in Europe and Asia, and ask them what cities do you want to visit in America, and I can bet you there won't be one city in the South mentioned. Our economic growth is based on the exploitation of cheap land, cheap labor, and laws that put the needs of business ahead of the individual. The endless sprawl of Walmarts, fast food, and big box retails surrounded by cheap cul de sac housing is nothing to brag about and that is in the good parts. Get 50 miles off of an interstate and you find some of the worst economic despair in the modern world and it is getting worse. It's a land populated by Mrs Mini Van and Mr Redneck who look down on each other and are clueless about everyone else.

Someone mentioned that Atlanta is the largest city, which when one examines the facts, one finds that only 10% of that metro actually lives in the city and everyone else lives around the vast endless sprawl of that metro area that spreads over 10,000 sq miles. This is a small town surrounded by a disaster in sustainability.

Sure there are pockets where it is good in the South, but there is so much bad it is far far drowned out. Most Southerners won't listen to this as they travel to the next newest mall or gawk at the next tallest unneeded skyscraper choosing instead to believe they live in the best part of the world. UrbanPlanet is one of the few places where you will be presented with thoughts such as this.

BTW, UrbanPlanet is owned and operated by Southerners.

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I daresay that the VAST percentage of the Earth's inhabitants are not preoccupied with urban form. For them, where they live is simply where they live. Moreover, there are many things other than urban form which people come to value. And of the four Japanese and Russian exchange students my wife have hosted over the years, all were starry-eyed while in Florida, and at least two of the Japanese students did not want to return to Japan. One of them was from Tokyo, the other Yokohama.

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suburban george, to be clear with you, I was talking about metro areas and the keyword was excluding immigrants, Atlanta is the biggest Metro area in the south (only pertaining to native born americans that consider Atlanta or any other city their first home). my point was to create discussion on native born Americans in the southern cities. so like I said, above Houston, Dallas and Miami, Atlanta is the largest city in the south excluding immigrant populations. It's Just something to think about.

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suburban george, to be clear with you, I was talking about metro areas and the keyword was excluding immigrants, Atlanta is the biggest Metro area in the south (only pertaining to native born americans that consider Atlanta or any other city their first home). my point was to create discussion on native born Americans in the southern cities. so like I said, above Houston, Dallas and Miami, Atlanta is the largest city in the south excluding immigrant populations. It's Just something to think about.

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Yeah, I'm trying to see how the number of natives in Atlanta relates to Southern jealousy.

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Speaking of Atlanta, a few years back, Fortune Magazine cobbled together an extensive survey gauging standard-of-living across the globe. They factored in such things as local costs, income, amenities, mobility and such. They determined that a suburban Atlantan enjoyed the highest standard-of-living in the world.

If any close to being the case, there's a basis for some jealousy.

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Speaking of Atlanta, a few years back, Fortune Magazine cobbled together an extensive survey gauging standard-of-living across the globe. ....

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I think it has more to do with exploiting established stereotypes than "jealousy." Apart from a family vacation to Disney World or Virginia Beach, Joe Average (non-southerner) probably hasn't explored the South and knows very little about it aside from what he hears joked about on TV. Being a New Jersey resident, I get the "oh yeah, which exit?" joke a lot. Most often it's told by someone in California who has never even been to NJ. Manhattanites, too, like to make NJ the butt of their jokes, and believe me, they're hardly jealous!!

Stereotypes are old and they die hard, especially since they're easy fodder for a quick laugh from an audience. Even if all parts of the country continue to assimilate into one big blob of sameness, the Northeast will for a long time be known for being rude, the South for being redneckish, the Midwest for being flyover, and the West Coast for being the land of fruits nuts and vegetables.

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These grocery store rags are pretty useless for determining anything of that nature. They have a best of every month and almost every city in the south as been on one of these lists one time or the other.

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Ha! I'll bet you wouldn't be caught dead in a Publix. And in any case, why is such an assertion so wildly implausible ? For the money one would pay for a 2,000 sq. ft. house in, say, Acworth ... what would that get you in London ? Paris ? Milan ?

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^I think it depends on the type of list and who's sponsoring it. For instance, we'd tend to give this list more clout here on UP then a Forbes or CNNMoney list. Even then, some of the more "fluffy" lists still offer valuable information about how cities stack up in certain categories, if one takes the time to look at the data behind the rankings and put it in context.

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Well that depends upon one's definition of quality of life. A 2500 sq ft house in Bugtussle might be considered by some to be something that represents a HQL, but I would argue that prices are much higher in cities that you mention because that is the environment where people would rather. Most of the world does not live in an endless mundane wunderland of big box retail, chain stores, mass produced disposable homes and urban areas constructed so that one has to use the automobile as a necessary prosthetic.

I stand by what I said earlier about the vast majority of the South and an article in Fortune magazine is really irrelevant to the points that I made. They make these lists to sell magazines, not to inform.

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The South is getting a lot of positive exposure these days. (...) these lists are published in media that reach a very large audience.

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