Media

And Somewhere in the Middle, There's Farmers

|

It's an East Coast/West Coast columnist showdown, starring Jon Carroll as 2pac and A.O. Scott as The Notorious B.I.G. Here's Carroll:

It's a pretty funny movie, but most of the jokes will sail over the kiddies' heads.

So here we have A.O. Scott writing about animated movies, specifically the film "Rango," in the New York Times: "The West has long since ceased to be the wild frontier of anything. It is a region so thoroughly conquered by movies that it no longer exists outside them."

As I understand it, New York City has also been so thoroughly conquered by movies that it no longer exists outside them. You fly into New York and discover nothing but colorful stage sets, Italian mobsters, corrupt waterfront bosses, rapacious billionaires, crafty drug dealers, attractive young people living in very large apartments, and cops, cops, cops. Also: lots of parking places.

Indeed, the entire East has basically ceased to exist. Once it was a mighty dream of forests and mountains and shining river valleys, now it's just a strip mall with unfamiliar chain restaurants. Oh, and I had held such a dream of the East in my breast: land of opportunity, where a man could live in Connecticut and never see another living soul.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Attn. DC Reasonoids! Come to Our DC HQ on March 31st at 8:30pm to Watch an Episode of Stossel That's Chock-Full of Students For Liberty!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Off topic, but did anybody in the cult notice that the reactors in Japan are privately owned and managed? I imagine government regulation is somehow responsible for everything that went wrong–that and the force of nature. Looking forward to the libertarian take on it all.

    1. The state invented fission.

      1. Go bakc to reeding you’re caticisem and say a 100 hale markets, retard.

    2. http://www.thedaily.com/page/2…..almia-1-2/

      “The Japanese government, in particular, has aggressively pushed nuclear in its quest for energy independence, perverting with political considerations the market’s natural ability to take safety issues into account.”

    3. Right, because if the facility were government-owned, there never would have been a magnitude 9 earthquake, but even there were, there never would have been a tsunami, and even there were, the facility would not have suffered any damage at all, but even if it did, there never would have been any radiation, but even if there were, it never would have leaked….

      1. I think you are missing the broader issue.

        Chernobyl which was a state owned and state run facility and had no corresponding natural disaster that caused its melt down cost far more lives and caused far more environmental and human health devastation then japan’s corporate owned non-melt down caused.

        Simply put privately owned and run nuke facilities are safer then state owned and run nuke facilities.

    4. Off topic, but did anybody in the cult notice that the reactors in Japan are privately owned and managed?

      Crap…i am pretty sure i underestimated in the time it would take for Max/Tony/Shrike to notice this in my dead pool.

      Anyone else give a closer estimate?

      1. For referance:

        https://reason.com/archives/201…..tcontainer

        joshua corning|3.16.11 @ 6:07PM|#

        I am taking dead pool bets on which left wing commenter firsts mentions that the nuclear reactors are owned by corporations.

        tony
        Max
        Chad
        MNG
        Sugerfree/John

        Someone else?

    5. Max’s arguments: all of them refer to libertarians; all of them are made of straw.

  2. Oh, and I had held such a dream of the East in my breast: land of opportunity, where a man could live in Connecticut and never see another living soul…from outside of New England, New York, or New Jersey.

    (This is the way New Englanders actually think)

    1. I completely agree.

    2. Aren’t you from Connecticut?

      And as a proud NH native, I say Mass and Connecticut don’t count.

      I would say it is more the way that people who move to New England from New York think.

      1. Having lived in Connecticut, I would argue that parts of it are in New England.

        Here, I’m think the East near Massachusetts (which is its own subset of New England, aka Massholes) and the Northern parts near New Hampshire and Vermont.

        1. The series of McDonald’s ads for their Newman’s Own coffee really annoy me as basically everything “New England” in them is actually pretty specifically Boston.

          1. I’m a proud native of Mass’s south coast, right on the RI border, and I can say with conviction we don’t want to see anyone from New York or New Jersey.

            As for Conn, everything east of Hartford more or less counts as New England, but we still hate them. Just a bad vibe all around coming out of Patheticut.

      2. I would say it is more the way that people who move to New England from New York think.

        As a native of Washington state i can attest that west coasters think New York is part of New England.

    3. Yup – New Yawkers in pertickler. Can’t say how many times I heard an obnoxious northeastern lib NYC yankee tawk about “fly over countr” with such disdain, you would have thought he or she had just stepped in dog shit while wearing open-toed Pradas.

      I was in an airplane going from NJ to LA one time and an obnoxious yenta in the seat next to me was yakking with her obnoxious yenta friend in the next seat over, and they were having a good, smug guffaw about all the hicks and rubes down there in “flyover country” and how meaningless and dull it must be to live there, as we flew over Ohio. Various comments about red flannel and pickup trucks and lack of teeth and chewing tobacco and of course guns and bibles. I suggested that I would prefer to live among a lot of those dumb hicks and rubes than a bunch of smug, condescending people I’ve met in big metropolitan areas.

      They didn’t much seem to be too interested in talking to me after that. Which was just peachy with me.

      1. Proventialism is everywhere. Here in flyover country they think everyone on the coast is a faggot abortionist who sinks crucifixes in piss every Friday night. Idiots are everywhere: in some places they wear flannel and drive trucks, in others they take cabs and have non-ironic discussions about the death of independent coffeehouses.

        1. But the New York provincialists are the ones who claim to be broad-minded, tolerant, and diverse.

          1. Choosing to not even pay lip-service to those ideals is not a virtue. Rednecks are inordinately proud of their ignorance and make it a core identity. That they are truly close-minded, bigoted, and non-inclusive is not laudable because they are upfront about it.

        2. Then how do you explain the Wyoming cowboy out there in a sleet storm rounding up the doggies just so a New Yorker can enjoy a thick steak at Smith & Wollensky? It’s brotherly love for the wellbeing of his urban comrades, no, not some dark greedy capitalist quest for money?

        3. Ditto on “provincialism is everywhere”. Down in Louisiana, I was informed that North Louisianans think that South Louisiana is full of godless atheist libertines, while in South Louisiana they think North Louisiana is full of Bible-thumping rednecks. Never mind that they look pretty similar to a Yankee. (“The holy trinity of South Louisiana is God, Wal-mart, and LSU…not necessarily in that order.” – told to me by a native)

          1. Louisville is 70 miles away, and we hate those motherfuckers.

            1. Ancient Rome waged multiple wars of extermination against the Sabines, who lived 20 miles away and therefore were unspeakably alien.

            2. I hate Louisvillians or whatever the fuck they’re called. They like to think of themselves as so goddamn sophisticated, but really all they are are a bunch progressive fucktards from a moderately big city in a backwater state.

              Fuck Louisville.

          2. Geaux Tigers!!!

        4. “Proventialism is everywhere.” Absolutely true. God damn, but I run into assholes everywhere.

          ‘Course, you run into quietly decent people everywhere, too. Sometimes you need to look beyond the stereotypes to see them, and other times the stereotypes are serve as useful channel markers.

          Still, I’d prefer to live in flyover country. Despite the hicks.

  3. *checks photo*

    Oh gawd! Not another story about Charlie Sheen!

  4. Every place you’ve never been is a mental construct that you have to stuff the place into or discard when you actually go there. The mental construct is more complete and yet more inaccurate if it is location frequently used for works of fiction. The Old West, New York City, and Los Angeles are all fictional until you go there, and they remain fictional after you leave, just in a different manner.

    1. Los Angeles (and California in general) are, always have been, and always will be, fictional.

      Especially if you live there.

    2. The past and future don’t exist except as metaphors in your brain, and the present is so fleeting as to not matter. And I’m still not convinced that any of you people exist.

      1. Well, I don’t.

      2. Speak for yourself, figment.

      3. Anonbot clearly exists.

  5. Ha! it’s about me!

  6. I remember my first trip to Canada. It really is like driving off the map and into a blank margin.

    1. Isn’t that where the Langoliers come from?

    2. I remember my first (conscious) trip to Canada; I got weed after putting my hand on the jukebox at a hostel in Vancouver.

  7. Jon Carroll appears to have reading comprehension problem.

    Scott is saying that the west-as-frontier is a place that only exists in movies.

    Not that there’s no west.

    The corresponding statement about NYC would be to say that Woody Allen’s New York no longer exists outside of the movies, or that the New Jersey of The Sopranos ceased to exist outside of the TV show sometime around 1990.

    1. That’s about what I was thinking. The whole quote is pretty dumb.

  8. Thing with New Jersey is you can smell it before you get there.

    1. Only if Snooki is in town.

      1. Snookie is from NY. Specificall, Poughkeepsie.

    2. Only certain areas – those closest to NYC, in general.

      1. Heading south on the interstate, windows down:
        “Ugh What’s that STINK?”
        On cue there’s the sign WELCOME TO NEW JERSEY.

        They really ought to move the sign…

  9. Speaking as someone who has lived there for a large part of his life, the main downside with the North (and this is truer in some places up north than others) is that, on both an individual and collective level, it intensely strives to be envied; there is a strong pressure to be (or at least appear to be) superior to others, or a to be a member of a group that is considered to be superior to all others.

    I don’t think this is as true of the entire east coast…perhaps the urban areas, but not the entire east coast. But generally, things and situations are viewed strictly in terms of how much success or power it yields, or how much advantage it gives one person or group over other people or groups.

    1. The above captures why all right-thinking people hate DC.

    2. It also captures that ntnu can post a comment entirely free of smug. Who knew?

  10. Should I shoots these guys an email telling them we do have indoor plumbing in the South before they talk about the South as portrayed in film?

    1. “Should I shoots these guys an email telling them we do have indoor plumbing in the South before they talk about the South as portrayed in film?”

      Don’t forget to mention air conditioning. I’ve seen enough movies set in the contemporary South filled with greasy, sweaty people who leave their windows open and sit under slow moving fans in the summer.

      1. I dunno. I always see icehouses in the summer with 3 ceiling fans and the garage doors open.

        Of course, I never go in them as I’m hanging out in the bars with AC, but still, they exist.

      2. Few things are more annoying than contemporary portrayals of the south in film.

        1. Agreed, I can’t think of a movie that had a remotely convincing southern accent.

    2. A honey pot,
      Is not,
      Indoor plumbing.

  11. Having lived in both places, I’d point out that the east doesn’t dominate the arts scene like it once did either.

    LA still sucks though.

  12. The West is populated by fiercely individualistic, self-sufficient pioneers who think the rest of the nation owes them a living, and no problem cannot be solved by a plentiful application of somebody else’s money.

    In other words, Americans.

    1. As a Chicagoan who spent two years in Colorado (quasi-West), I’m still not sure what I think about the Western notion of individualism. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and I grew up in a setting where you knew everybody on your block. At the same time I consider myself highly individualistic. I guess I just never considered community and individualism to be mutually exclusive, but I go the sense in Colorado that they kind of are. Maybe it’s just a different kind of individualism.

  13. And Antarctica is all penguins and polar bears.

    1. Stuck on ice floes, with a tear running down their cheek.

      1. Nope. They are too busy surfing and singing.

  14. So here we have A.O. Scott writing about animated movies, specifically the film “Rango,” in the New York Times: “The West has long since ceased to be the wild frontier of anything. It is a region so thoroughly conquered by movies that it no longer exists outside them.”

    What!? Mainstream movies, particularly comedies and kids movies, use popular notions and readily available and recognizable cultural schema, so that the audience can quickly take in the setting and tone and digest the non-verbal, contextual information? Say it ain’t so!

  15. Sometimes the portrayal is 100% accurate, such as in “Friday Night Lights.” Been there many times, know people who taught and coached there, and that film was an accurate portrayal. To be fair, many locals were up in arms about it cause they didn’t particularly want to see themselves on the silver screen.

  16. We live in Brooklyn baby

  17. “Rednecks are inordinately proud of their ignorance and make it a core identity.”

    And this is quantified how? And big city liberals don’t make their hand-waving dismissal of anything not Left-wing and cosmopolitan a feature of their core identify? And that’s not prideful and willfully ignorant?

    Nothing gets a blank stare like: “So have you actually ever been to the South?”

    I know. I know. Boyz in the Hood and Swimming with Sharks are not indicative of ‘normal’ LA life. But Mississippi Burning– wasn’t that a documentary?

    1. Also, sometimes “being proud of their ignorance” is just that and deserves our castigation.

      Other times though, it is a justified self defense mechanism, whereby one refuses to enter an honest debate with people who are obviously dishonest in their debate tactics. Or people who are just as ignorant as the “rednecks” but have less self awareness of said ignorance.

  18. Anyway, there are ignorant A-holes everywhere on Mother Gaia.

    And sometimes people mistake patronizing a large swath of Thai restaurants for actual open-mindedness.

    But what do I know? I don’t have a loft overlooking the East River. But I do own a hat that says “Proud to be an American.” So draw your own conclusions….

  19. A comedian on HBO was performing in New York (don’t ask me who, I was just channel surfing), and he opened a joke with, “I was in Alabama recently…” and the audience started laughing. So apparently you can get a laugh in New York city by just saying the name of a southern state.

    1. uhhhhhhhh huh . . . he said penis.

  20. also been so thoroughly conquered by movies that it no longer exists outside them. Y

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.