Slarrow

"Slarrow" refers to the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" from Hamlet's soliloquy. Here are the chronicles of such darts and whatever attempt there may be to take arms against such a sea of troubles.

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Location: Ozarks, United States

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Counties, Not States

There's been a lot of significance (and a lot of vitriol) aimed at the red-blue divide in the country. But the country is divvied up as red and blue states. It's even promoted some stupid talk about secession, for heaven's sake.

Part of this, I think, is made possible by the notion that all those weirdos live far, far away (no matter what side you're on.) But look at the red/blue county map from USA Today. At least for the Blue team, those weirdos are far closer than you think. Even in the blue "states", most of the counties are red. In the red states, most of the counties are red. In fact, it looks like there are only six or seven states where blue counties outnumber red ones.

A couple of observations arise from this. First, the red/blue state thing casts it a regional divide; the red/blue county approach clearly makes it an urban/non-urban divide. Second, it puts the lie to the notion that the blue states can live without the red states. Maybe so, but can the blue counties live without the red counties? Who will feed the cities? Who will fight for the cities? Where will they train?

Finally, it suggests that while the red counties know a lot about the blue ones (because they're cities, and virtually all media emanates from or is centered around cities), the blue counties don't really know the red ones, even though they're often in their own back yard. Of course, part of the point of living in a city is that you usually don't have a back yard. Maybe it's no wonder they have difficulty getting their minds around the metaphor; after all, walled cities aren't that far in Western Civilization's past.

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