Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Middle America: Group of states, or state of mind?

I was reading an analysis of Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, and the analyzer said he thought her dress may have been "too bold for Middle America." This reminded me of a debate that began in my office about a year ago and never quite got resolved: Where is "Middle America"?

When people say Middle America, do they mean the physical middle of the country? Like the midwest? Or are they referring to the middle tier of society? Average folks, like?

I always thought it was the midwest, but someone in my office from Cleveland insists its the middle tier. Though he just might not want to come from "Middle America," since its usually used to describe a bunch of unsophisticated rubes.

Either way, I think this mysterious "Middle America" is chronically underestimated. You don't need to be from New York City to think Michelle Obama's dress looked lovely with her skin tone (though I'll admit I didn't realize it was a dress at first and thought it was a little casual. When I saw the full view, I stood corrected), and you don't need to be from LA to "get" things like The Daily Show and 30 Rock. Also, not everyone in Omaha wears elastic-waste sweatpants all the time and, and not everyone in South Dakota refuses to let their kids read Harry Potter. Furthermore, having grown up on the east coast and now residing on the west, I can assure you there are unfashionable, unitelligent troglodites who dwell by the sea as well, and wouldn't be caught dead in a Whole Foods.

My point being (and I do have one, sort of), is that I have faith in this "Middle America," wherever it is it may be.


poobomber said...

I do believe middle America is located right here:


Liz said...

And a fascinating place it is!

Malcolm said...

I used to think that "Middle America" was geographically based. Now I think it's a state of mind. Having said that, anyone in "Middle America" who had a problem with Michelle Obama's dress probably thinks that women shouldn't wear orange pantsuits either.

Falwless said...

Should anyone wear orange pantsuits?

words words words said...

Middle America is going to rise up one day and take its revenge on the Bluetooth-wearing, latte-drinking, Volvo-driving, Daily Show-watching d-bags on the coasts. When I started writing this comment I thought it was a good thing. Then I realized that Larry The Cable Guy would probably be elected president.

Dave H said...

Middle America sucks.


Central America

pistols at dawn said...

I always assume it's pandering to the Midwest, or the Flyover States. It's always used to remind us of our unhip uncles who couldn't handle the frantic city life of Topeka, thank you very much.

MelO said...

I heard something on the radio the other day where people were talking about how Michelle Obama is "attractive" but "not too attractive" ... this doesn't make any sense to me.  Apparently "too attractive" means people would look at her in a sexual way, therefore not be able to take her seriously. WTF? You can't be taken seriously if you're gorgeous or "hot"!? Well!... I never!!... this just won't work for me ;)

BeckEye said...

It's Omaha, right? I think I heard that in a Counting Crows song once.

Obama, Omaha...they're like the same thing.