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TheGerbil

Why do you think...

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some people who live here act like they hate it so much, yet they stay? Doesn't make sense to me. I'm thinking about this because a DJ on the radio the other day said something about "living in this crap-hole." If he really thinks it's a crap-hole (which is a preposterous idea, but that's not the point right now) why is he here? I don't get it.

Is there any other city with such a love-hate thing going on? I wish I knew. I'm just kind of tired of listening to the haters. It's perplexing to hear such venomous comments when I look around and see what a lovely place this is. Not to mention all the out-of-towners who rave about how great it is here. It's so strange to see this extreme dichotomy in opinions. I am sure every city has that to some extent, but I get the impression it's much more prominant here.

Has anyone witnessed this phenomenon elsewhere? Do you think it's more noticeable here?

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Most people learn to appreciate their hometown after they leave the region. Rare is the local who appreciates his or her environment without seeing if the grass is really greener. I've been the outsider in many places, including Pittsburgh. A different perspective helps you appreciate home.

The most vocal haters tend to be people who are stuck, for one reason or another. If you haven't chosen where you live, you tend to dwell on the negatives. I think Pittsburgh has more than its share of people who are stuck. In any region ravaged by outmigration, those left behind are often bitter. Most Rust Belt cities are now below the national average for outmigration (and sorely lacking inmigration). Pittsburgh's demographic profile is increasinly filled with people who didn't choose to live here.

The most negative descriptions of Pittsburgh come mostly from people who are stuck there. Almost anyone would benefit from getting out and seeing the world. And being able to pick your place of residence gives one a sense of power. There may be negatives, but the place is still your choice. The sad irony is that there are a number of people who would choose to live in Pittsburgh, but can't find the means to make that dream come true.

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The negativity of some people really gets to me, too. For some reason I even get kind of personally offended when somebody criticizes Pittsburgh. I didn't grow up here, either...

I'm starting to think that it's in human nature to just sit around and complain. I've noticed this about a lot of people... when talking about relationships with their partners, they seem to focus on the things that aren't perfect (whatever that is), their house "should" be better, their work should be easier, they should be paid more, their coworkers, politicians, or whoever aren't doing a good job, blah, blah, blah...

I've noticed this especially in the last two years. I'm a high school teacher, and I've worked in 4 schools in 3 different states. The first three schools were rougher schools in pretty tough neighborhoods. The teachers complained constantly about everything. I thought this was justified given the stressful environment. I am fortunate enough now to work at my ideal school. The students are smart, the building is incredible... overall it's the dream school for a teacher. And the staff seem to just sit around and complain nonstop, and rarely focus on the positive. That's just my experience, though, and I'm not sure what the answer to this is, or if it's worse here than anywhere else.

I just try my best to ignore, though it still gets under my skin.

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This kind of brings up another gripe that I have... DJ's. DJ's get their own little pulpits on the airwaves but they are rarely qualified to give their opinion on anything... especially music. They should stick to flipping records like their Clear Channel corporate owners tell them to do and keep their mouths shut. I would love nothing more than to see some of these immature, unprofessional people move OUT of Allegheny County. There's a couple DJ's in town that are witty and engaging, but not enough of them to get me to ever listen to the radio. Thank god for ipods.

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For some reason I even get kind of personally offended when somebody criticizes Pittsburgh. I didn't grow up here, either...

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I agree, Blueblackcat. I think people are under the impression that extremist, shock-jock stuff sells. Maybe they're right... maybe that's what people want to hear - something "edgy" and offensive. In my opinion, though, this is so overdone that it's corny. It's so lame and unoriginal, but every venom-spewing DJ thinks of himself as a renegade who's finally willing to "tell it like it is."

I feel the same way about the local news. They don't spew their ridiculous, uninformed opinions in the way that DJs do, but everything is so sensational and lacking in real substance.

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You know what else bugs me? I'm tired of being called a pollyanna just because I don't buy into the dire predictions about the city that some people spew. I'm tired of being told that I am ignoring problems (or getting in the way of solutions) just because I don't care for gross exaggeration.

There are those who say the city is on the brink of financial ruin. I don't think so. Many cities have been through bankruptcy and come out okay. Does having that opinion mean I am wearing rose-colored glasses? I don't think so. What some people don't seem to grasp is that people like me DO want change, but we also recognize that the city isn't going to wither away.

I firmly believe that one can have a positive outlook at the same time as identifying and working on problems. My ideal leader for the city would be someone who loves Pittsburgh as much as O'Connor did, but is as pro-change as someone like Mark DeSantis. You know what I mean? Some people claim to love the city, yet they insult it and refuse to believe that some of the problems are imposed by outside forces.

Why must I either bemoan that the city is 'dying' and people are 'fleeing' or else be seen as some kind of happy-go-lucky pink bunny with blinders on?

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