Thursday, January 20, 2005

Socializing in a Balkanized City

Ok, we've had a little 'fun' here lately with Dating discussions on a tangent level. Cincinnati has been ranked as the second worst place for singles. As a romantically-challenged stout man, quickly passing my prime, I take clear notice of such rankings. (Please spare me the personal jokes, comments, put downs, or other mocking statements that people will make even though I ask them not to.)

Now, the first point to mention is that the poll is way way off in some of the ways it ranks Cincinnati, which stems mainly from unfair comparisons to NY, LA, and Chicago. This has been hashed over in the past, so I will not dive into it.

My question: Is there a special secret to the people in Cincinnati? The elements of the ranking are moot when it comes to dating. The issue is not do singles have things to do here, we do. The issue is: what makes people here so cliquish? Am I getting back into the native v. transplant debate? Yes, I think that is part of it. The other part that plays into it is the urban v. suburban divide.

I don't 'like' the suburbs. I never want to live in a cul-de-sac. I don't like spending time there. I have no reason to spend time there, outside of my job requirements. Many or most of my counterparts living out in the burbs I believe have a similar view to the city. Why this is I will not go into, but it exists and is not changing.

How does this hurt singles in our quest to find the perfect mate (or mates)? Is there a cultural or regional divide in the area that blocks off social interaction? I could throw in the West Side - East Side rivalry inside the city that could be just as divisive. Are we regressing back to the right-side - wrong-side of the tracks type of prejudice? It is not based so much on class, but on culture. If taken to an extreme and coupled with the growing political polarization, religious division, and socio-economic differences, this type of cultural divide could build up into something more strict or costly to the society, resulting in a Balkanized metro area with a caste system or social order with signs of the olden days, but with modern twists.

We now live in a city with localized fiefdomsgovernments, how much longer before those tribal like structures take hold in social relations, not just political relations?

Also, is this something unique to Cincinnati or significantly different here than other cities?

1 comment:

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