Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Christian Left Radio in the Heartland 

From Southern Michigan to Northern Indiana, to Northern Illinois, there's really no indication of what state you are in. The only way you can really even be sure you are in America is the combination of Christian Radio and Giant Roadside Ads for Fireworks and The Adult Toy Superstore.

I somehow or other couldn't find Chicago's skyline, so I passed through it until I ended up in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Wisconsin is great because it has its share of Christian Fundamentalist talk radio but also really weirdly liberal patriotic radio. Which, I think, is brilliant. For example, on Christian Radio you have preachers talking over dramatic music trying to point out why Gay Marriage is wrong. On the other channel, you have a man talking in hushed tones over the glory of God's Idea (America) over decades of oppression and racial intolerance. It's the sort of Patriotism that you'd expect for flag waving barbeques down in some fireworks capital of the heartland, but it's also decidedly progressive, without being intellectually alienating. It's emotional progressivism and I've never heard anything like it.

Sunday, March 21, 2004


I don't know if this is more about me or America in general, but if you want to judge a society by it highways, America's cuisine is releasing a cascading torrent of shitmud into the local sewage economy of every small town along I-90 to the US/Canadian Border. There's not a single thing I ate that didn't force me to make an emergency stop at the next rest area, where, had I been any other citizen less suspicious of McDonalds, Sparro's and Dunkin Donuts, would have immediately purchased something else to make up for the total net loss of nutrients. This is maybe how we'll take care of social security?

If Canadian Drivers are any indication of the society in general, I can say no wonder it's orderly. A massive accident on the QEW was a simple pull to the left lane and every driver let you merge- not a single horn was honking, and this is all prior to the arrival of any traffic authority. It was an interesting contrast to the traffic in Boston, which still cannot deal with a construction project that has been going on for 12 years or so now.

Toronto is also very clean, from the streets to the construction projects covered up with modern-art poster prints to block the eyesores of construction. We don't do that much here, either. And while I am totally offending every American when I say this, I feel it needs to be said: Western New York, for whatever reason, smells like a mixture of elephant shit and circus peanuts. Canada, on the other hand, smells like sulfur.

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