The Pleasant Peninsula: An Outsider’s View

by Jeremy Eccles

“The alcohol here is impressive.”

If you seek a pleasant peninsula, then define what you mean by “pleasant.” Let’s start with the positive and the most important. The alcohol here is impressive. We have great breweries, wineries, and hard cider mills.

I like our politics. I know, many will say they are corrupt, but I’m more of a student of them than an actual reformer. We have two strong political parties, a huge diversity of public opinion, and contingent on your region of the state, some major players in the national political science.

We have a fascinating history. Labor relations, ethnic conflicts, class struggles, urban and rural schisms, Ford, Motown, and art are just a few items worth our study.

“The Tigers seem to unite Michiganders when few things can…”

I have fallen for the Detroit Tigers. I grew up a Texas Rangers fan, but decades of mediocrity did little to cement this allegiance. The Tigers seem to unite Michiganders when few things can, and they may have had the best baseball player to ever play the game in Ty Cobb.

Yes, I like the weather, okay sometimes. June through November are usually splendid, and I never get too hot in the summer during any time of the day. Fall is also nice, with the colors and the pennant race.

Our proximity to Canada is a huge asset. We have two first-class state universities. Oh, and I guess I should also throw in meeting my current wife in Michigan as a positive.

Okay, now time to get real. First, the weather here is horrible. The sun never shines, our winters last forever, and springs are frighteningly ugly. It also doesn’t help when Michiganders say, “It’s going to be a nice day today,” at 4 p.m. No, it’s not. Give up hope and don’t say, “Wait until tomorrow; it’s going to be beautiful.”

Second, the large majority of the state despises its most populous city. Please, let others hate it, not us. Also, concerning regions of the state, going “Up North” is vastly overstated. It’s always cold, the drive is painfully slow, and some, although not all, of the residents lack any signs of sophistication.

map_design

“…some […] residents lack any signs of sophistication.”

Also, can we get a map out and put our hands down when explaining a fairly simple geography?

Many of these matters are not too significant, but I’m quite bothered by our lack of concern with education. We simply shun investments at all levels and believe the manufacturing age will always rule. Finally, your car and deer carcass are much more intriguing to you than to others. Bummer Dude!

Images courtesy of our friends at Midwest Lint.

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