In Maine, I often try to explain to east-coasters (even rural, stratified east-coasters like Mainahs) how different the culture in the midwest is. Many young Mainers haven’t been outside of Maine much. I tell them that, for the most part, they don’t know what they have here. There are subtle, but tangible differences in culture. People seem more grounded here, less caught up in artificial materialism and status. People seem less asleep here.
I was reading an article in my hometown newspaper today that illustrated some of these differences. From the article:
Junk food and smoking habits are hardly limited to Kentucky. Every state in the Coronary Valley [from Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky down to Louisiana] has at least 40 percent of its residents in the same heart risk boat as Kentucky.
But the risk is not equal nationwide. In other states, the population with increased heart risk can be as low as 27 percent.
That means regional and cultural differences must be playing a role.
“It is somewhat of a societal thing. It’s like people accept it as part of life,” said Dr. Steve Steinhubl, a cardiologist with the University of Kentucky.
So given that I was raised in this culture, it can be no surprise that I have health issues in this area that I’ve been struggling for years to overcome. It’s interesting that a culture can arise where it encourages nearly half of its population to slowly kill itself. At worst this is genocide; at best it is nihilism on a mass scale.