Could Be Worse

Um…holy fuck.  I stopped checking Ye Olde Blog because I’d already manually exported everything, but after seeing that someone I liked had de-blogrolled me (I don’t know the reason and I’m too embarrassed to ask), I decided to visit my old dashboard and see if it’s views were faring any better than this one.

And how on earth because my last, like, five entries were all about how I was moving here, but over 10,000 views in October?  Are you serious?  After I stopped writing there?  What are you people looking for?  Aside from “why do my socks smell like cat pee after walking on my wood floors” and “what day do hookers work,” I mean.

(I should mention that this has nothing to do with my own exporting.  I did that from the archives editor, not from hitting the main site itself.  So nyeh.)

It’s no big surprise to anyone who lives here, but St. Louis has (again) been named the Most Dangerous City in America.  In case you need a comparison, the national average for violent crimes per 100,000 residents is 429.4.  In St. Louis, our violent crime rate per 100,000 residents is 2,070.1.  Violent crimes include murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery.  They do not include theft or being an asshole driver, which I assure you happens quite a bit here, too.  If you’d like to see how your city scored, click here.

When I woke up this morning and saw the link, I immediately posted it to my friend Justin’s Facebook wall.  Justin is originally from Detroit, and for the past 8 years of our acquaintance (Justin, if you’re reading this, can you believe?  Eight years?!), we’ve been in competition with one another over whose hometown is the shittiest.  It’s been a pretty even draw for the most part, even though he says he can fix the most recent statistics with “a box of matches and a Swiss army knife.”

Which I doubt, but it is funny to steal a line from Homer Simpson: “Take that, East St. Louis!”

(But I mean, how could East St. Louis not have been included in those rankings?  I know it’s in another state and all, but that place is just as ugly as Camden and highly dangerous.  Tip: If you’re ever driving through and get stopped at railroad tracks, don’t fucking stop.  Turn around and keep driving.)

One thing I noticed on Facebook was all of these out-of-towner people commenting about how the statistics must be flawed, because where they’re from is so much worse.  My favorite asinine comment was “Alot of the stuff that happens in California never gets reported to police out of fear someone will kill u and your family so I wonder what the real #1 is.”

Oh, girl.  Really?  First with the “alot” business, and then with the murder mouthing?  Fucking really? You want this title?  Fucking take it.  It doesn’t make me any cooler or more badass or beholden of higher property values.  It’s only a competition in our minds (and it’s really not) because we literally don’t have anything else, but I don’t think any of us would be upset if we suddenly ranked #8, which is where Compton – the first instance of any Los Angeles township on the list and certainly never any place to fuck around with – appears.  After that, L.A. (where this girl lives, according to my stalking of her page) next appears sometime after #40.  If this is what’s passing for local pride these days, count me out.  I won’t ever move to the suburbs over it, but you people are pissing me off.

Like we’re all so backwards here in the Midwest.  We’re so sheltered and slow and weird and incapable of making anyone’s murder list because we’re too Midwestern to be so complicated.  Oh, go fuck yourselves.

The whole coastal attitude to the Midwest is disturbingly provincial sometimes.  I know that everyone wants to believe they’re better than someone else simply by virtue of where they happen to live at any given time, but you’d think with stuff like the Internet and books and every other fucking thing that exposes a person to the rest of the world, some people would have gotten a clue by now.  Because my job says I have to support business operations on both coasts all day, I get a lot of people trying to bully me because my being in St. Louis means I can’t possibly understand their sense of urgency or self-importance.  This is not a complex, either; it’s really, truly true, and it happens to me every single day.  And fine, if you really want me to say it, there are some disadvantages we have to the coasts because of our location.  We don’t travel as much, what we wear is at least two seasons behind everyone else, and we still don’t have a fucking IKEA here.  But overall, we do have a sense of general propriety and politesse (though not when we’re driving), which is something the rest of the country (excluding the South, those politer-than-thou bastards) could stand to learn.

I’m not usually a fan of Midwestern stereotypers (especially those from New York…dudes, I get it, New York is awesome, but there is a world outside of it and if you don’t shape up now, you’re going to end up just like those assholes in California), but Julie Klauser sums it up pretty well in her book I Don’t Care About Your Band:

“Tom was dry; friendly but reserved, and rather affectless.  He wasn’t in the business of lavishing attention on tall poppy; his was the character of the gardener hired to prune it, out of courtesy to the rest of the flowers.  I’ve since met other Midwesterners, and I know the drill: They can be witty, bright, and kind, but they’re not self-centered, grandiose, or emotional.  They are even-tempered, even during shitstorms of winter weather that render their climate unfit for life.  They use relative negatives when they’re asked how they’re doing, and say they “could be worse.”  They’re polite enough to keep their feelings from bleeding over into messy ethnic territories.  They hate margarine.”

Okay, so she uses way too many semi-colons and isn’t thinking about the rural Midwest (have you ever seen an even-tempered meth user?), but it’s a nice way to think of all of us living in the interior, patiently waiting for someone to say “thank you” when we hold the door and get the hell out of the way on the interstate, because really, I’m not kidding, we’re awful at that.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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2 Responses to Could Be Worse

  1. Sandy says:

    You just reminded me I need to update your web address on my blogroll. Also, thank you for this, I’ve been listening to a lot of West Coast Best Coast uppity bullshit lately.

  2. Chicago’s data couldn’t be included because “the rape numbers couldn’t be collected.” Nation forfeits. Automatic win for Chicago.

    St. Louis’ numbers are jacked because of the city/county stuff. Though, I’m not exactly arguing because someone got murdered in front of my building. I know danger, America! I live by Sugar Lounge!

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