Saturday, February 21, 2004

A Bully Brooklynite's Head in the Sand

Ken Wohlrob, Publisher and Editor of Bully Magazine, has put out Bully's "Ten Worst American Cities To Live In" List. This magazine is new to me, I had never heard of it before reading about this list on the Cincymusic.com boards. I therefore am not placing much credence in its finds, but I still have few bones to pick with it. Here’s the list:
10. Seattle
9. Toledo
8. Los Angeles
7. Salt Lake City
6. Cincinnati
5. St. Louis
4. Atlanta
3. Miami
2. Phoenix
1. Cleveland
Now, I don’t mind that Cincinnati made the list, but I really have to wonder how this list was complied and if actual residents of the cities were interviewed. What was written about Cincinnati is just plain wrong:
If you took Chicago, sucked out every last ounce of culture including its thriving music scenes and quality restaurants and bars, leaving a graying hulk of skyscrapers and a complete lack of night life, then you would have Cincinnati. To some Cincinnati is the greatest city in the U.S. - usually these folks are old, white, Christian fundamentalists, confined to wheelchairs, and are very scared of "coloreds." If you are not this type of person and you live in Cincinnati and like it, you have mental problems and should seek professional help.
Now, Cincinnati has a shit load of conservatives who don’t know a Dali from Dogs Playing Poker or Gershwin from Jessica Simpson, but Cincinnati has as good a culture as any City its size if not better. The CSO, Cincinnati Pops, Ballet, Opera, CAM, CAC, Taft, just to name a few of the MAJOR cultural institutions that this city has to offer that are as good as any in the country, except for New York and other mega cities. We don't have places that would get the girls on "Sex and the City" wet, but for a Midwestern city of nearly 2 million people we have plenty to do and plenty of good places and cultural events to go. In fact with the conformist and stale society in this city I would argue the artistic and cultural groups here have more courage, are more cutting edge than New York. Throwing horseshit on a painting or laying in the street nude is rather innocuous in the Big Apple. Here in Cincinnati, dying your hair pink still gets you looked at funny. We have far more people per capita here willing to be "truly" unique, than say NY or LA. Uniqueness is of course relative to the situation, but the variation is still part of the equation. We here in Cincinnati don't have to go to the extremes to gain attention from the blue hairs. Other places they have to damn near blow their brains out to cause a ruckus.

Has Mr. Wohlrob ever even been to Cincinnati? I am guessing he has, mainly because three Ohio cities were on the list, Cleveland being #1. I would guess that is where Mr. Wohlrob was beaten up for dressing up like member of the Cure back in the 1980’s. Now, while I don’t like Bullies either, it just strikes me as funny that he would call his magazine Bully and then proceed to condemn 10 cities basically because they are not New York. Well, they are not Brooklyn. That is the high land of culture where Mr. Wohlrob’s is based. We all know the fabulous cultural wonders that make Brooklyn the vibrant hub of American culture.

I really have to wonder why cities like Buffalo, Jacksonville, Tampa, Houston, Dallas, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, St. Paul, Detroit, Portland, San Diego, Lexington, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Eire, Richmond Va., or anywhere in the State of New Jersey.

Cincinnati does not deserve to be on this list. The city is made a laughing stock by the mainstream media who live on the coasts and think the midwest is where they escaped from after college. Life is not dull here. It is vibrant. We are not New York or Chicago or San Francisco. We are, however, not a bad place to live.

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