Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What's wrong with Lafayette?

Phillip has pretty much captured how I feel about my hometown right now.

I frankly don't see why half of the city has not yet engaged in a mass exodus. The job market sucks, our university has recently been ranked near the cellar academically, our leaders seem to be falling off the deep end, urban sprawl is applauded, drivers suck and people in general seem nuts (or, at least, unfriendly). Numerous friends of mine have been lucky enough to move; others insist that south Louisiana is paradise and that nothing else compares. Having traveled from Los Angeles to Miami and everywhere else along I-10, I'd have to disagree. But then, Lafayette has one of the highest rates of people returning home in the nation (I recently read that somewhere...probably in the phone book). But of the ones I know who have returned, it's usually more due to poverty or loneliness than because of some cultural epiphany they had while away. The ones who do have the epiphany usually stay where they are.

I suppose a big part of this feeling is that I am no one's idea of a Cajun. I don't have the last name, don't have any kind of accent and definitely chucked any vestiges of Cajunspeak a long time ago; I don't say "tee-tiny," "cher" (pronounced "sha") or even "y'all." I'm also a lot more, shall I say, not cliquish than the general population. Until recently, I worked in several small towns in the area, and in two years I established rapport with maybe six or seven people, almost none of whom were from the area. Around here, family and business connections really matter. I think my dad said it best: "Sure, south Louisianians will give you the shirt off their backs...if they've known you for 30 years."

The result of this good-ol-boy network is that, for example, many drivers will plow their vehicles through traffic, blissfully ignorant of traffic laws and causing a danger to the rest of us. Why? Because they know someone who will fix their ticket.

I have friends who will not look when they cross the street because they figure they'll just sue if a car hits them. People who have never left a 50-mile radius of their hometown declare with authority that they live in paradise. Our school board actually has a law requiring students to say "ma'am" and "sir." Kids in some areas still get whipped in school, often for something as trivial as not referring to a teacher as "ma'am" or "sir." Our high schools didn't fully integrate until 1970, and my mom's senior yearbook really plays up that racial tension. A college classmate of mine was scolded for having the nerve to wear dress pants to a public meeting (as opposed to a skirt).

In the workplace, I have been reprimanded for refusing to engage in illegal and unsafe practices to cut corners. Employees of one company wear t-shirts proudly proclaiming that their workplace is "100% UNION FREE!" People accept decrepit streets and horrible urban sprawl as facts of life. The local media is basically one corporation with several faces. For some of our community leaders, their seemingly sole qualification is the ability to accrue lots of money. So many intelligent guys I know have chucked college because it's more lucrative and reliable to work on offshore oil rigs. Anyone over 23 and still single is likely to have their sexuality called into question.

In the last four years, nearly every 24-hour store and 100-year-old family business has been wiped out by places like the Wal-Mart Supercenter, and yet everyone still shops there. At the University of Louisiana, nearly every single expanse of grass larger than a cubicle has been built on, sometimes at the expense of century oaks that are in the recruitment brochures. At least once a week, trucks roam our streets spraying toxic pesticides into the air. Upper-crust families would rather put their kids in a drug-infested private school than in a good public school. When the Katrina evacuees first came here, our officials had to go on the radio and breathlessly announce that no, no one's carjacking anyone at Wal-Mart...yet. If something new and unusual comes to town, such as a semipro sports team or an oxygen bar, it's best enjoyed quickly before it goes defunct from the inevitable lack of interest.

The saddest part of all of this is that probably 90 percent of local residents don't even realize that these things are not normal elsewhere. I myself was shocked to realize how people in other areas live, work and prioritize. If this is what you choose for yourself, fine; but the self-righteousness of the area really needs to stop. Confine that pride to the festivals and the local performance scenes--those deserve the acclaim. (Also, I cannot fault the many genuinely decent people I know and love here. I just wish there were more like you.)

I invite my Lafayette readers (or anyone who is familiar with the area, such as the expatriates) to offer their own theories on the subject. I was once the biggest apologist for this area, but as I get older I realize that more and more people are sharing my current view. What do you suppose it is?

To paraphrase a very old PR campaign, I love Lafayette...but I really don't believe in it.

29 comments:

Joseph said...

Whew! Makes me glad I'm about ready to retire.

My theory? It's too damn hot here.

Phillip said...

traffic-wise, i'm not sure people plow around like they own the roads because they know someone will get them out of whatever trouble they may get into. i think it's more an underlying foundation of ignorance. i don't say this to sound aristocratic or superior by any means, but the overall intellectual acumen of this town is abysmally low (maybe because in the not-so-distant pass alot of people married their cousins? just a thoery).

obviously ul has huge management problems, louisiana politics has always been nationally regarded as a joke, we eat deep-fried cigarettes, have fun only by getting drunk and trying to fight people, dress alike, regard traffic lights as mere suggestions, and (like you said) call anyone who doesn't fit the cookie-cutter good ol' boy mythos a queer.

over the years i've gotten to the point where i don't even give much initial credit to anyone with a cajun last name. it's prejudicial, but when you never see evidence to the contrary it's hard not to believe it.

great post.

Flamingo Jones said...

Thank you for including corporal punishment, Ian. I know that, strictly speaking, it isn't a Lafayette issue...but it's definitely my worst memory of the region. I appreciate the mention.

As for all of the issues as a whole, I had a theory that I developed when I got there and had to come to terms with the stark contrast to the life I was used to. It's long and involved, so I'll just sum it up. For whatever reason, there seems to be a lack of cohesiveness in the community...a lack of a sense of shared responsibility. I got the overwhelming feeling that a large majority* of people do NOT feel any duty to their neighbor.

A big pet peeve of mine was the fact that I never saw one person put a shopping cart away in a parking lot. It drove me insane. More than just a nuisance, I always took that as a metaphor for society at large. It's a fairly simple act that takes 2 seconds and very little effort and makes the quality of life for everyone else better. Yet people didn't do it, because it was easier for them personally to leave the cart wherever they damn well pleased.

Other parts of my theory included skewed priorites that put appearances and superficiality above actual intent, motives and deeds. It doesn't matter what you do, just what it LOOKS like. If that makes sense.

Oh lord. I could go on all day. Wow. How did you manage to keep your post as short as it is?



*not everyone, because I too met some extremely wonderful people...mostly people who were from or had visited other places, but that's another theory altogether

Phillip said...

we would have much fodder for a "what's wrong with lafayette" blog unto itself.

humidhaney said...

Lafayette was a good place to me and my girlfriend and 2 dogs. We first escaped NOLA and went to Atlanta for 1 week. The Suburbia and Sprawl allowed us to escape into a strange cacoon. It was not real. Absent of any identity. Which was fine for us at first, an escape. But after a few days we started to go crazy.

We then were outside of Baton Rouge for a week. Not much I can say about that other than it made Lafayette a nice change of pace.

I was mainly alright with Lafayette because I knew I did not have to stay. The hospitality was nice for a few days until I realized it was mainly fake. Felt at times like a movie about the South. All acting but with a dead on accent.

The Right Wing conservativism took me some tiome to get used to. My friends from Lafayette were artists and musicians and fair, open minded people. So the residents I met were a shock at first.

So I guess my point is I am thankful that Lafayette took me in but I would never want to live there.

Ian McGibboney said...

Humidhaney, Lafayette is definitely better than Baton Rouge. I spent a lot of time in both places as a child, and even then I thought there was something really depressing about BR. I'd rather live here than there to this day. Indeed, Lafayette is actually my favorite city in Louisiana (aside from N.O. in ideal days), which says a lot. I just feel like it's a bad place to be in general these days.

I cringe when I see the Saints have the kind of season that they're having because it's representative of the state as a whole: so much talent, so much enthusiasm, so much loyalty, and yet nearly constant underachievement undercut by a penny-pinching administration whose ideas for improvement hit every target but those that are actually there. Metaphorically speaking.

Yes, it is unbearably humid here all the time, hot or cold. And people do not put carts away (I do, and people will actually complain or otherwise look at me funny when they see me doing it). And there does seem to be an odd sameness to some of the people here. After going to UL, I can guess where someone's from by the subtleties of their accent. And I don't mean Germany; I mean the difference between Gueydan and Kaplan. It's that reliable.

Nick said...

"I got the overwhelming feeling that a large majority* of people do NOT feel any duty to their neighbor."

That may describe the city of Lafayette, but go just 2 miles outside the city limits and things are much different. I lived in Broussard for 8 years, before Lafayette spilled into it, and the neighbors all looked out for each other and each other's property. My parents always knew they could count on our neighbors to look out for me when I was outside playing with friends and look out for our home when we were away.

Contrary to what Icon says, Lafayette's economy is actually good compared to the rest of the state, which I suppose isn't saying much.

I wouldn't care to live in Lafayette, but the outskirt area would be nice to live, like Youngsville. That's why my fiance and I will be residing in Iota for now. I've actually always wanted to live in Thibodaux, LA, but I don't think current work situation or Cherie's desires would allow for that right now.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, make sure you get to know the people in Iota. My friend is from there, and she said she used to get suspicious of anyone she saw walking down the street who she didn't immediately recognize. Nothing wrong with community, but it can go to the opposite extreme as well.

Flamingo Jones said...

I lived outside of Lafayette too...and dear god, nobody was looking out for anybody but #1. So, Nick, if you have found that tiny sliver of utopia, I'm glad for you, because I don't think that's the norm.

Nick said...

Icon:

Cherie's lived there all her life, except for the two years she was in college. I find the people I don't know to be friendly there. When I'm out running, just about all the people drive their vehicles on the opposite side of the road from me and wave, unlike Lafayette where most drivers damn near run me over.

I'll be moving in with Cherie to start out when we get married. She lives in her maw-maw's trailer, when is next to her maw-maw's house. That's right, you'll be able to call me "a trailer trash conservative," and you actually wouldn't be lying. Just about everyone who lives on her street is a relative of hers, whether a cousin or aunt & uncle. It's not in the "city limits" of Iota. It's actually more in Evangeline, the site of Louisiana's first ever oil well drilled. That's prefect for me.

Nick said...

Flamingo:

I don't know what your experiences were living in the Acadiana area, but your view appears distorted. You may disagree with the political views of most of them, but most Acadiana people are very friendly and do in fact look out for each other, with the exception of people living in the majority of Lafayette and Jennings. Lafayette has alot of snobby people and Jennings is full of mostly trashy and downright stupid people. Opelousas has turned into alot of trash within its city limits too. But places like Broussard, Youngsville, Breaux Bridge, Iota, etc. are full of friendly and caring people.

In my work I travel alot and also talk with people who live all over the country. Just about all of them, when I tell them where I'm from, talk about how they've either visited or used to live in the Acadiana area and loved it. They talk about the good food and FRIENDLY people.

ccgirl said...

I love having 30 Catholic churches within 13 miles of my house and having services available every thirty minutes after 6:30 am on Sunday.

I also love being close to extended family.

People are people wherever you go. If you respond with kindness, people usually will react accordingly. I make eye contact with and smile at people all the time in grocery stores and they usually smile back.

Flamingo Jones said...

Honestly, Nick, I really hope that my experiences were isolated. I do. But here are just a couple of my favorites:

When I first got the gas hooked up in my apartment, the utility guy was really chatty, and asked me about my job. When I said I was going to teach, he asked which school. When I told him, he wrinkled up his face and said (direct quote here, I won't forget this as long as I live): "Oooh. You better watch out. There's a lot of them blacks there."

Another new teacher I was very good friends with happened to be gay. The first time he was bold enough to go on a date with another man in public, they went to a Lafayette movie theater...where some teenagers guessed what was going on, called them fags and dumped pop (soda to y'all) on them. He refused to go to Lafayette theaters after that.

And I'd probably be OK if that was all...but it wasn't. Anytime you want to hear the full experience, I'll be happy to share it.

I guess that when I said "neighbor" before, I meant that mostly in the biblical sense of "anyone who isn't you". Not the "you live next door to me, are the same religion, same race and same socioeconomic status" sense. And I'm not trying to be a smart ass. I would honestly love to hear some examples of people there being truly loving and caring toward the less fortunate/strangers/people they don't agree with. It might take away some of the sting of my bad experiences.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, the people that I find friendly are mostly in Lafayette. People from other places seem to be more open when they come here. My experience in places such as Crowley, Franklin and (to a lesser extent) New Iberia is one of "Where are YOU from?"--That is, when they cared at all. Some seemed irritated by my presence. That's the double-edged sword of a small community: it can be great if your entire family lives along your street; but what if I were to move there? How would you take to an interloper?

Flamingo, I have a Franklin story of my own: I have relatives from there, and an in-law's father came to visit us in Lafayette one day. This was when I was in high school, and the subject turned to my football team. I told him who I played for, and his first question was "Do you have n--uh, BLACK people on your team?" Well, yeah. His son apologized to me later, saying that as a child he was taught to throw rocks at black kids. He was ashamed of it, but said that's how things were in 1970s Franklin. Sad.

CCgirl, I too find that if I treat people nice, that I usually receive the same treatment. I fully believe in that. But I can't discount the times I've been rebuffed after being friendly, only to have the offending person turn around and become amazingly friendly to someone's mother-in-law. That is certainly not "Southern hospitality." Of course, when I mention that I am, in fact, a local, they get apologetic, as if they meant to reserve that attitude for some tourist.

My main issue, though, is how some Cajuns are quick to dismiss other places (I think I was a few years old before I heard "California" in a non-sneering tone) when they themselves have never been there. I can't tell you how many people in my life have told me (and friends of mine) that south Louisiana is WHERE YOU BELONG, no questions asked. As if they would know? That goes beyond local pride into the realm of arrognaance.

Murph said...

"Other parts of my theory included skewed priorites that put appearances and superficiality above actual intent, motives and deeds. It doesn't matter what you do, just what it LOOKS like."

With that, Flamingo, I think you described much of Los Angeles, Manhattan and pretty much America in general. I agree with a lot of what is being said about people in Lafayette, but I hardly think that this is some phenomenon exclusive to Lafayette. People are rude, especially to people they don't know, mainly because we are a selfish species and it's the challenge of life to overcome this bit of human nature. When so many technological things encourage less effort, most people have quit trying.

But I do like Ian's revival of "I believe in Lafayette." I do remember the joke at the time was to say it like "I Be Leavin' Lafayette".

I will say that if you think Lafayette is all that bad, come stay at my place in the other L.A. for a few weeks and see what you think.

Ian McGibboney said...

Murph, the difference between Los Angeles and Lafayette is that L.A. is at least honest in its insincerity and superficiality. I found my experience there honestly not all that different than, say, New Orleans. But the weather was better and there was more to do. It's probably different living there, just like living here is different than visiting it. Truth be told, polite people don't really fit in anywhere these days.

Anonymous said...

Just read through all the post, and nobody can simply limit all of that to Lafayette and the surrounding areas. Living in Lafayette, I think this is a great city to live in. I've been here about seven years and I've meet people of all walks of life. From people in the oil and gas industry (or poor white trash as some "educated" people would say), to affluent business people, to others I've studied with in college from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa (all of which loved going to ULL, with some staying after graduation).

Now, some posts I've seen talk about experiences of people they know being discriminated against because of their color or sexual preference and I think it’s a bunch of bullshit. You cannot just limit some isolated experiences on this particular area or the south in general. That shit is fucking everywhere. And really, if you say Lafayette has not accepted the gay community, you're fucking blind (have you ever heard of the Apollo Ball, largest Mardi Gras ball in Lafayette and one of the largest in the state. As well as one of the best ones I've been to for that matter).

That being said, yeah, the Acadiana area is, for the most part, country and far right, but that doesn't mean most of them aren't good people. Sure, there are some that have racial tendencies and still feel uncomfortable being around gays, but that's changing with time.

And Ian, if you only established rapport with six or seven people in two years, maybe that’s saying something more about yourself that the people around you. I not saying that as a putdown, but c'mon man, I've studied for years at Barnes and Noble and CC's, and with some of the conversations I heard in the past, I'm confident that after about thirty minutes, you would be knee deep in some sort of liberal orgy bashing Bush, talking about how the rich get richer, and how we don't need guns. I mean fuck, after a week I can get about six or seven contacts.

Also, some talk about the lack of tolerance over here, since this is such a redneck hick area. Can anybody honestly say I would be accepted on the streets of Berkeley with a Bush or "I support the 2nd amendment" t-shirt on? I guarantee you; they would call me a warmonger and probably throw red paint on me.

Ian McGibboney said...

The point I'm making here is not that my experience is unique to this area, but that it is happening in an area that constantly prides itself on being one of the friendliest places on Earth. Kind of like how Republicans extol faith, strength and economic discipline while using religion politically and starting expensive wars without any experience in uniform themselves. It's kind of jarring and more than a little sad.

First off, I was not the one calling oil-and-gas people "white-slash-trailer trash." Nick called HIMSELF that. My point with the college-versus-offshore comment was that Louisiana is not the best argument for going to college, because salary is completely unrelated to level of education. It wasn't to decry anyone's profession. I have lots of friends and family who work offshore. They're decent people.

Everyone who has commented on this thread either lives, has lived in, or is a native of Louisiana. At least two of them currently live on opposite corners of the U.S. from us. I don't think anyone can accuse them of blindly echoing my sentiments; they're all coming from their own experiences. If I wasn't at least partially correct, though, don't you think I'd have been called on it more? Read some other posts on this blog and you'll see that I sometimes get chewed out even by my ideological allies. So don't think this stuff is put out because I ask for it; it's there because it's true.

As for the gay acceptance, that's debatable. I've always thought that the Cajun community has been a buffer against the uglier influences of the Deep South, so you might have something there. But your statement of gay acceptance sounds a little angry, as if you yourself don't like that. And that's the kind of attitude I'm talking about.

My disillusionment about my area is a reaction, not the way I've gone through life. I didn't not make friends because I acted this way two years ago; in fact, you might be surprised how many times I've taken your position on this subject. But after looking at the big picture over the last couple of years, I definitely see a pattern of what determines rapport among some people. The saddest part of it was the sense that, after meeting some people, I realized that they would never accept me as a friend or otherwise take me seriously. That's true everywhere, but here it's grounds for some serious false advertising.

Your analogy about Berkeley is hollow. I did not travel here to purposefully antagonize the population; I was born here, schooled here, have worked here and (writing aside) went about my business. No one should be miserably unhappy where they live just because they have the nerve to honestly critique a self-congratulatory way of life.

And yes, I know lots of people who don't fit the mold. I've been around this so-called "liberal orgy" of which you speak; that is more of a testament of how FEW people there are like that here than how MANY there are. Most of those people either are not from here or they have friends not from here. It occurred to me about a year ago that almost none of my friends were from anywhere near here. The local friends I do have generally are not ones with whom I have political or cultural discussions. This place is mostly decent people; but some of them do have an ugly side, as evidenced by the anonymous comment. I must have struck a nerve, because I sense a lot of defensiveness from my detractors.

Nick said...

My whole thing is that someone like Flamingo, b/c she doesn't necessarily agree with the political views of most people here, recites only her experiences here of when people showed racist or homophobic behaviors. I take offense to that because I know that is not any more prevelant around here than in other places. I can't stand the way some people who don't live here stick their noses up at our lifestyles because we may like eating mudbugs (crawfish), and many successful people may not have gone to college. Hell, I've had clam chowder and wouldn't even make my dog eat it. Also, I've met people who are so called "educated" with years of college and couldn't do shit for themselves with an onion & a knife or even know what a caulking gun is.

There are just as many racist people up north. How do I know, b/c most people in the "tolerance" states don't want to give poor people a chance to go to better schools through vouchers. They don't think their children should have to go to school with poor black kids. That sounds pretty racist to me.

I tell people who aren't from the gulf coast that I work in the oil business, and some of them look at me like I work I either: 1) Work for Satan and/or 2) Equate it as a dumb person's profession. They fail to realize that someone has to make it possible for their upity asses to heat their homes. It's been a damn good industry for people down here, as it pays for many people's education, food, etc. Sure, I'd to make 300k/ yr. being some computer program genius or saving lives as a doctor, as I'm sure all those "sophisticated" people do (obvious sarcasim). But that's not me. I'm not as "smart" as them. So hey, I do work in the oil business. And I'll take my measly 60k/yr. and be damn proud of it b/c it's helping provide for my future family and provides a service helps our entire nation.

Nick said...

Oh, and Icon:

The anonymous post was from Big A Carnillia. He e-mailed me last night to find out if he could get an account to log on without having a blog.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, I had a feeling it was Carnilla, probably because I've seen him studying at Barnes and Noble with a scowl on his face. I should counter with my own Barnes and Noble story, where several children saw me reading a silly Bush parody and ran around screaming to other browsers that I hated cars and wanted to kill babies. But I think that's already on another post. (Incidentally, you can set up an account the way big A wants it, because Alisha did it. But I'm not sure how.)

Concerning this post, though, it's interesting to see the direction it has taken. To begin with, most of my complaints aren't even political in nature, whereas the attacks/defenses are almost strictly about politics. You can allege that my political views are isolating me here; but am I wrong in saying that people drive like maniacs or that they cross the street recklessly? Or that the slapdash nature of Lafayette's construction leaves a lot to be desired? Or that UL (and the city) seems intent on gobbling up all of its green space while letting its existing buildings go to hell? Should I not expect more from a city that prides itself on its sense of community and congeniality, whether Democrat or Republican?

Yes, Nick, I actually agree with you that New England food is nasty. I'm not into upper-crust culture either. When I make remarks about how I don't fit in, I'm not attacking you; seafood is seafood as far as I'm concerned, and I find it nasty anywhere. If anything, I should be the one angry about that (as opposed to you) because I'm the one looked down upon for not wanting to eat what everyone else eats.

As for the school-voucher issue, that is an entirely different discussion. Suffice to say, that's hardly the best example of northern intolerance one could think of. Indeed, your remark presupposes that most New England people are rich and send thir kids to private school to avoid the riff-raff. I'd say that's just as unfair a blanket judgment as the ones of which you accuse me.

Finally, Nick, you're taking my comment about the oil industry too personally. I used it as an example of a prevalent industry where a college degree is not required for many of its important positions. I could name any number of professional positions that are the same way (the richest people I know here do not have degrees). But oil drilling seemed like a good example because 1) it's the big game in town and 2)I've had several friends who told me personally it was not worth it to stay in college when they could be making big bank now. A tempting proposition anywhere, of course. Meanwhile, here I am with two degrees and am having to look halfway across the country for a suitable job. My gripe is that the dropouts are absolutely right.

Ian McGibboney said...

Oh, and Nick, regarding Flamingo: she is a good friend of mine, and we've talked a lot about her experience here. She was in Teach for America, a two-year program, but she quit after a year because she had so many isolated incidents. For someone of her strength and threshold of friction, it takes a lot more than ideological dissent to break down like that. Of course, the difference between Lafayette and Franklin should not be ignored in this discussion. But she spent plenty of time in both places.

Nick said...

Icon:

Most of my umbridge (we'll see if I can use that word right) was not with you, but rather the retoric by Flamingo that is the same as what I here way too often from other people not on the gulf coast. And I never said you criticized or looked down upon people in the oil business. I was referring to the criticizim and odd looks I get from people in personal conversation, like a store, bar, resturant, party, etc. I guess the combo of your post (which itself I didn't find offensive) and the commets left by some people, like Phizz with his "we eat fried cigarettes, only have fun getting drunk and getting into fights" comment, just set me off and made me want to rant b/c of the shit I also hear people make about my personal southern and/or cajun lifestyle and profession.

It just makes me want to get in those upity people's faces and say:
"Yes, I am a cajun from Broussard Louisiana. Yes, my momma brest fed me in a trailer. I do eat mudbugs, along with rabbits, alligator, and various birds. My daddy does own a small marsh boat and my favoite past time is fishing in the marsh. I love Lynyrd Skynyrd and hate listening to anything that resembles Green Day or Half Dollar (50 Cent). My girlfriend does live in a trailer in the country with a little girl she had out of wedlock, and I'm moving in with her when we get married. I work in the oil business and enjoy it. So yeah, much of my life may resemble cajun trailer thrash, but I like it so go express your lifestyle opinions to someone who cares what you think."

That comment could be directed at many Yankees, Floridians, big TX city residents, and just about anyone living in CA, NW, and New England.

Nick said...

By the way, I do completely agree with you on the traffic and horrible city planning. My favorite op-ed of your was your satire regarding driving rules and regulations in Lafayette.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, the word is "umbrage." And yes, you used it correctly.

I can understand why you would resent someone like Flamingo Jones harping on your hometown. But I think your biggest beef is that natives such as Phillip and I are doing the same thing. I am happy for you, Nick, because you are definitely where you belong and feel content here. You lucked out, because not everybody is fortunate enough to be born and raised in the perfect environment for their desires.

Also, if you're mad that people cut you down for your chosen lifestyle, then it's best not to dismiss them for their "Yankee" lifestyle. There's room enough for all of us.

Nick said...

But to say "we eat fried cigarette and only have fun getting drunk and starting fights" is just a down right lie about the lifestyle here. That is exactly the same as saying blacks in Opelousas like to eat watermelon, and only have fun getting high and stealing TV. Sure, there are cajun people who like to only get drunk and start fights, just like there are blacks who only like to get high & steal TV's, but make a blanket statement about people like that is absured and just plain stupid. Besides, liberals are supposed to be the "open minded" ones.

Nick said...

Now I'm off to run my 8 miles for the day. I guess that would just make me plain wierd or crazy.

A-Train said...

Ian:

You probably seen me studying with a scowl on my face because I was most likely working out one problem for over an hour while having to hear some ex-hippie still talking about the 2000 election, some soccer mom yelling into cell phone while her brat kids are running circles around my table, and hearing high schoolers quoting "Napoleon Dynamite" the whole time.

Ian McGibboney said...

A-Train, I can imagine how aggravating that is. At my grandfather's funeral, my great-uncle and his buddies pontificated loudly on how black people were ruining everything in society. I'd have left, but I was a pallbearer and I figured I'd at least wait out the rosary.

As for the soccer mom and the ND kids, I'd help you clock them.