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Thread: City Stereotypes

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    City Stereotypes

    Wherever you are in this country you have an image of the character of a place according to what you’ve seen on tv and movies. In RI we’ve benefitted from one of the most kiss-ass tv shows of all time “Providence” (just cancelled) which was terrible but gave us positive exposure nationwide. Providence has many bad neighborhoods that never seemed to make it onto the show. New York seems to have improved from Taxi Driver to Friends. On the other hand, there was that Homicide show that every week showed people getting killed on the blood-red streets of Baltimore.

    These seem to be other common images of places from tv and movies:

    Boston – Hip, charming college town or tough, backward Irish enclave (Good Will Hunting)

    Miami – Fun and carefree but overrun with flashy hispanic drug dealers

    Detriot – See 8 Mile

    LA – obvious

    Portland, OR - Planning utopia where planners are treated like rock stars (OK that one I picked up from Planning School)

    The entire Southeastern US - Illiterate slow talking buffoons and hypocritical religious zealots, eating racoon in trailers and shunning enlightenment all for the entertainment of us northerners.

    The entire Midwest except for Chicago - Nothing

    How do the stereotypes hold up to reality where you are? I’m especially interested in hearing from you Southerners – If I were you, I’d be pretty pissed by now.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    You forgot New Orleans - public drunkeness, girls gone wild, public nudity and sex, etc.

    I'd like to add, for the record, that I have never flashed the twin peaks for beads.

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Originally posted by Planderella
    I'd like to add, for the record, that I have never flashed the twin peaks for beads.
    The important bit to note is the "for beads", right?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Re: City Stereotypes

    Originally posted by Seabishop
    How do the stereotypes hold up to reality where you are? I’m especially interested in hearing from you Southerners – If I were you, I’d be pretty pissed by now.

    I get a little upset that they feature Texans as stupid or slow- like the Pace Picante commercials or the Subway commercial (like we couldn't comprehend a dog walker or had never seen a poodle being walked).
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    You know I will admit I am from the south, graduated high school in BFE Alabama-it was right out of some movie, it was HORRIBLE beyond words. I went to college in NC and beyond the tech crescent along I85 the majority of the state was still in the 50's. Mind you there are exceptions-Asheville etc but it was poor, very very very rural, backwards folks and it was a HUGE step up from Alabama.

    *note I know rural does not mean one must be by default backwards but there is rural and then there is trailer with 5 rusted cars, chickens and half doz hound dogs in the yard. oh yes never forget the HUGE satellite dish and brand new camaro.*

    Alabama's cash crop is weed, and no I don't mean dandelions. I was actually told when I was ready to graduate college that I should be a teacher, nurse or house wife. Not to worry about going out of state to college, it was not healthy for young women. Most girls were engaged by the Christmas of their senior year and married in June. No college, no real jobs unless you count working at the local Tyson's plant a job to support the house full of kids you were expected to have (average was 4).

    Scary as hell
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  6. #6
    Ed is set in Ohio
    same with the Drew Carey Show

    I think both portray Ohio as ordinary with not much excitement.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Re: Re: City Stereotypes

    Originally posted by TexasPlanner



    I get a little upset that they feature Texans as stupid or slow- like the Pace Picante commercials or the Subway commercial (like we couldn't comprehend a dog walker or had never seen a poodle being walked).
    I'm sure that out of the several million people in Texas someone heard of a dog walker. Texans are always portrayed as actually having certain facial features - A big, boxy face and squinty eyes - like Nick Nolte or Gary Busy, I guess its just a cowboy thing.

    I've never been to the South, but after reading PlannerGirl's post I guess there is still some truth to the "I don't need no ejumacation" thing. But there's also Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, etc. which are probably alot like every other city for better or worse. Movies are always set in the South for a REASON. If its not blatant racism, that reason is usually the main character's struggle against ignorance in their closed-minded small town.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    It's true what they say about Philly...

    We will kick your ass if you show up at an Eagles game with a Cowboys jersey on...

  9. #9

    Re: City Stereotypes

    Originally posted by Seabishop

    The entire Southeastern US - Illiterate slow talking buffoons and hypocritical religious zealots, eating racoon in trailers and shunning enlightenment all for the entertainment of us northerners.
    Actually, we Southerners are greatly entertained by hearing the misconceptions that you yankees have about us. Yes, we do wear shoes (sometimes even with socks). No we don't all live in trailers (some of us have ordinances that, GASP!!!, regulate them. I do tend to talk a bit slow but am far from illiterate. I am religious and a proud Christian but hardly a zealot. I have never eaten racoon but I have had my share of squirrel jumbalaya, gumbo (with oysters of course), venison, rabbit, and of course a frequent helping of Southern fried catfish.

    We do have actual gasoline powered vehicles down here and paved roads. In fact, my County currently has less that 20 total miles of unpaved public roads (out of over 800 total miles). We have real colleges and universities where you can get real degrees. In fact, some of the greatest cultural influences in our society have come from Mississippi. For starters there is the Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Singer Jimmy Buffett, Authors William Faulkner and John Grisham, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, and Green Bay QB Brett Favre. To see others check out this link: http://lott.senate.gov/ms/fame.html

    Hey, don't think that I don't like yankees. In fact, as long as you continue to vacation down here, spend your money, and then leave when the money is all spent I will continue to appreciate ya'll.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones that need the advice.
    --Bill Cosby

  10. #10
          Downtown's avatar
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    Re: Re: City Stereotypes

    Originally posted by jestes


    In fact, some of the greatest cultural influences in our society have come from Mississippi. For starters there is the Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Singer Jimmy Buffett, Authors William Faulkner and John Grisham, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, and Green Bay QB Brett Favre. To see others check out this link: http://lott.senate.gov/ms/fame.html
    Oh Jestes, I know you didn't just count Trent Lott as a great cultural influence! Hey, where was Jim Varney from? Kidding.

    Anyway, I think the cultural perception of the midwest is influenced by Drew Carey, Roseanne and Tommy Boy.

    Minnesota=Grumpy old men

    Hawaii = Magnum PI

    Seattle = Singles

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: City Stereotypes

    Originally posted by KMateja


    Anyway, I think the cultural perception of the midwest is influenced by Drew Carey, Roseanne and Tommy Boy.

    Minnesota=Grumpy old men

    Hawaii = Magnum PI

    Seattle = Singles


    By far the biggest purveyor of Midwest culture is JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP! Bikers riding on the plains, dive-bars, playing guitar in front of your pink house's big porch, rain falling on the scarecrow outside of the smalltown - JCM IS the Midwest.

    Connecticut = Who's the Boss and general suburban escapism for New Yorkers

    Wisconsin = Happy Days (positive), American Movie (Negative)

    Seattle = Frasier

    The entire country of Canada = Hockey, Maple products, Rush and shivering

  12. #12
    Let's just take a look at some of the famous/influential people who have called Mississippi home:

    Trent Lott - Senate Majority Leader
    Walter Anderson - Artist
    Jimmy Buffett - Singer
    Jerry Clower - Comedian
    Dizzy Dean - Athlete
    Bo Diddly - Musician
    William Faulkner - Author
    Morgan Freeman - Actor
    Bobby Gentry - Singer
    Faith Hill - Singer
    John Lee Hooker - Musician
    James Earl Jones - Actor
    B.B. King - Musician
    Gerald McRaney - Actor
    Willie Morris - Author
    Hartley Peavey - Peavey Electronics Founder
    Bob Pittman - Businessman/Creator of MTV
    Elvis Presley - Self Explainatory
    Leontyne Price - Opera Singer
    Hiram Revels - First African American Senator
    LeAnn Rimes - Singer
    Richard Truly - Astronaut
    Sela Ward (Hubba Hubba!) - Actor
    Eudora Welty - Author
    Oprah Winfrey
    Tennessee Williams - Playwright
    Jim Henson - Muppets Creator
    And last but certainly not least - Jestes - Almost world famous County Planner.

    Also, the last time I checked, Mississippi was ranked fourth in the nation in supercomputer power. Lets not forget about Stennis Space Center where every rocket booster in the Space Shuttle Program has been developed and tested.

    The South has quite a bit to be proud of, perhaps we just don't do a good enough job of telling the world about it.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones that need the advice.
    --Bill Cosby

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Hi Jestes......I'm your snotty next door neighbor!! Just curious, how many of those people on your list STILL reside in Mississippi? :p

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I can't say I get pissed about the southern stereotype, as long as Yankees remember we stereotype them, also: loud, obnoxious, uneducated Archie Bunker types.
    Actually, my dad taught me that there are Yankees and then there are Damn Yankees. Damn Yankees being the above-referenced loud obnoxious ones, usually from NJ and NY.
    My hometown, Orlando, has its own public image, not so much from t.v. or movies, but from tourists who think it's all theme park-y.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Its good to see shout-outs for the South!

    An annual study that measures charitable giving always lists the southern states as the most charitable relative to income, and New England as the least charitable. This year Mississippi was most charitable and New Hampshire was least.

    I thought it was sad when I read that teenagers in Louisiana aren't saying "ya'll" anymore because people on tv say "you guys." I guess I'm just a Southern sympathizer.

    RI's most famous include . . . uh, James Woods, Vinnie Pazienza, and most importantly - John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band!

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Planderella
    Hi Jestes......I'm your snotty next door neighbor!! Just curious, how many of those people on your list STILL reside in Mississippi? :p

    Well, considering that the vast majority of those listed are dead, not many. However, the point is that the South and particularly Mississippi (That is typically listed last in every category that the media thinks matters) is not a vast wasteland devoid of culture and intellect. I typically do not mind the silly stereotypes that people love to attach to the South. However, just like with most Planning issues, sometimes the best way to deal with a lack of knowledge on a particular issue is through education.

    The South is actually quite rich in resources and as evidenced by my previous posts has produced a variety of great individuals who have made significant contributions to our culture and society.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones that need the advice.
    --Bill Cosby

  17. #17
    Oh yea, I almost forgot Planderalla,

    How are things in New Orleans lately? I am in Hattiesburg and used to get down to New Orleans regularly. Also, I think that we (USM) play Tulane next weekend. After our miserable showing against Louisville last night I am sure that ya'll won't have much of a challenge with us.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones that need the advice.
    --Bill Cosby

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Originally posted by jestes
    Oh yea, I almost forgot Planderalla,

    How are things in New Orleans lately? I am in Hattiesburg and used to get down to New Orleans regularly. Also, I think that we (USM) play Tulane next weekend. After our miserable showing against Louisville last night I am sure that ya'll won't have much of a challenge with us.
    Don't bet on it. Tulane's been kicking some serious boo-tay lately.

  19. #19
    Detroit:



  20. #20

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    Its too bad about the accent change. Even though I could never relate to Southern culture, I still hate the loss of interesting regional quirks. Not every local tradition is bad

    I'm a born-and-bred (and fled) midwesterner, and I'm probably the only one out here in California who finds Drew Carey funny

  21. #21
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Seabishop
    This year Mississippi was most charitable and New Hampshire was least.
    My least favorite statistic about my home state. Too many "new" rich people that made money and don't want anyone to do anything with it. People up here are skeptical about giving their money to anyone for anything....just look at the mess we have with education funding up here and you get an idea about the fiscal mentality of most in NH....

    http://www.eagletribune.com/specials...920/NH_002.htm
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    If someone would just give me loads of money I would be SO charitable with it. The "Live Free or Die" thing has its virtues but does not lend itself well to charity I guess. What's up with those weird state liquor stores too?

  23. #23
    Milwaukee gets this beer and brats stereotype. While the beer drinking stereotype is reality, this nonsense about people here eating nothing but bratwurst couldn't be any further from reality. We also get the Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley tag too.

    I think that Milwaukee has a big time inferiority complex and these stereotypes seem to hurt the image of the City. Anyone who visits here, especially in the summer, would find out that there is a lot more to Milwaukee than beer, brats, and 70s tv shows.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I was surprised to hear people call Milwaukee the most European city in America. That recent muder by all those kids must have really been awful for the city's image. Whenever cities start to get back on track there always seem to be hooligans who ruin everything and keep people in the area from ever going to the city much less live there.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Seabishop
    I was surprised to hear people call Milwaukee the most European city in America. That recent muder by all those kids must have really been awful for the city's image. Whenever cities start to get back on track there always seem to be hooligans who ruin everything and keep people in the area from ever going to the city much less live there.
    Yeah, that hurt. Part of the Euro-comparison is people and not not necessarily architecture or style. It's a very friendly place.

    Back on topic:

    "Happy Days" and the early years of "Laverne and Shirley" - yeah that's our image...

    "That '70's Show" is based in Wisconsin too. A very "Stevens Point" mid-state flavor.

    "Step by Step" was set in Port Washington, WI 30 minutes to Milwaukee's north. Also very blue collar.

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