Posts Tagged: Flyover Country

A Visit to the Less Famous But Definitely Bigger World's Largest Ball of Twine

The World’s Largest Ball of Twine might just be the most famous example of a certain kind of American roadside kitsch, although I can't figure out why. It’s not part of the funky, burned-out cars and wigwam motels along Route 66. It’s not in National Lampoon’s Vacation, which is where most of my road trip knowledge comes from. Was it in those Guinness Book of World Records paperbacks I used to read as a kid, next to an entry about the man with the world’s longest fingernails or the world’s fattest identical twins? I don’t know.

Two summers ago, my boyfriend Josh and I borrowed a Jeep from an overly [...]


Here's Something New To Get Upset About!

Are you aware of the "coastie" controversy that is currently rocking Madison, WI? Apparently it has something to do with this terrible song, which some have accused of being anti-Semitic in its depiction of the titular "coastie," a "privileged East or West Coast transplant, often a woman of a certain look: black tights, Ugg boots, oversize sunglasses and sporting a Starbucks cup." Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel is on the case.


Empty Chairs And Old Glory: Election Season In The Desert

It's all but forgotten now, but six weeks ago the biggest news on Earth was that geriatric movie actor Clint Eastwood brought an empty chair to accompany his improv at the Republican National Convention. Millions of people laughed and said, "What even was that?" And then they went back to their lives: thinking about tomorrow's lunch, ordering the new iPhone, forgetting to give the dog its heartworm medicine, etc.

But there are parts of the country where bizarre right-wing political-media stunts outlive the churn of the news cycle by weeks, sometimes even months. These parts of the country are called "rural and exurban areas." And they are everywhere, basically [...]


Real America: Go On, Move Here Then

Last week an Awl contributor opined that a boycott was not the answer for Arizona's recent immigration law. The essay posited that the best thing for Arizona's backwardness was for you, the enlightened, liberal person, to visit there, spend your money to boost the economy and engender in its people "new ways of thinking." It added, in conclusion, "if you really want to change Arizona, move there." I will preface my criticism of this idea by saying that, in the larger picture, we're on the same team. But I wholeheartedly disagree with the logic, or lack thereof, behind some of this argument. And I find the tone of [...]