Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Editorial Response Day

The above image is a time exposure I recorded from the 24th Street Bridge looking north towards downtown Minneapolis. Today's image is relevant because it's one of the images I recorded on the first FlickrWalk I attended with the Minneapolis Photo Mob, a mere three days after I moved into my new neighborhood.

The Minneapolis Photo Mob is a group that I originally avoided joining when I first relocated to the area because I wasn't going to stay in Minneapolis, but move further outstate to live in Granite Falls. It made no sense whatsoever for me to join a group, and start to build friendships that I was going to have to abandon less than eighteen months later.

All of my New York readers, and the far and away majority of my Minnesota readers are aware of the fact that I came to Minnesota for one purpose, and after being here for less than a year, that purpose no longer existed.

I weighed my options carefully, and chose to stay in Minnesota, specifically the Twin Cities, to see what the area had to offer me if I stayed on my own terms. Considering that my other option was to admit failure and return to New York with my tail between my legs, defeated by a place I hadn't even really gotten to know, my choice to remain here and start over was really a no-brainer.

Interestingly enough, the individual responsible for my original reason for being here coming to an end was dumbfounded that I didn't "run home to momma" as it were. My friend from high school who lives about forty-five minutes west of the Twin Cities was not in the least bit surprised that I decided to stay... especially after I discussed the entire situation with him.

I'm from New York.

If you don't kill us the first time, we'll keep coming back until you do.

Back to the topic at hand for today...

I am declaring today "Editorial Response Day" because of an anonymous comment that someone left on yesterday's entry: "I Bet The Teller Is Originally From New York".

First of all, I find myself in a position where I think I need to explain to some over-sensitive Minnesota readers that I am not bashing the State of Minnesota. If it sucked here, I wouldn't have chosen to stay here.

I do however, find the glaring differences between Minnesota natives and the rest of the United States to be a constant source of amusement, and yes... sometimes a source of irritation. My experiences in dealing with what are quite simply cultural differences as I make a new life for myself here are exactly what this blog is about. For every sociopolitcal rant about the softball, ripe-for-a-takeover nature of Minnesota politics, there is one about the hardball, stab-you-in-the-back-business-as-usual nature of New York politics.

I don't mean to offend any of my Minnesota readers, but there are new readers among that group who are in complete agreement with the two following statements:

1. New Yorkers are tougher than Minnesotans, and can run roughshod over them with ease.

2. Minnesota better pray that New York politicians never figure that out, because as soon as they do, you're going to find yourselves with a Governor who speaks with a Brooklyn accent.

When I got in last night, I logged into the blog to check for comments, and I found this:

Anonymous said...

i love that you are starting to enjoy minnesota, but please start realizing the residents are real.... we do not need to be from ny to stand up for ourselves... your neighborhood before may have sucked but as you should see by now it is not a true showing of minnesotans.

First of all, my point about the passive-aggressive nature of the people here is made quite clear by the fact that whoever left that comment did so to defend Minnesotans in general, yet chose to make their point anonymously. Now I know that not everyone wants to create a Google, Live Journal, Word Press, Type Pad, AIM, or Open ID account solely for the purpose of leaving comments on my blog, but I feel it necessary to point out that the New Yorkers who choose to save time by using the "Anonymous" comment option at least have the chutzpah to add their name to their anonymous comment... especially if they don't agree with me!

I responded to the above-referenced comment as follows:

Osiris said...

Whoever left the above comment, I have to disagree with your statement about the residents being "real". As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, the only people who I have come across that have become actual FRIENDS, not just acquaintances I met through someone else fall into two distinct categories:

1. They are NOT FROM HERE.


2. They are from here, but have lived somewhere else for an extended period of time and only recently returned to Minnesota.

Interestingly enough, the people that fall into the second group agree with my observations about the "Minnesota Dynamic".

At the end of the day, Minnesotans just aren't warm and friendly people... In an earlier blog entry I've already discussed the whole "Minnesota Nice" concept, and what a crock of shit it is.

Insincere, forced politeness is not "real".

Being passive aggressive is not "standing up for yourself".

I've seen the "true showing" of Minnesotans up close and personal, thank you very much. My current situation is indicative of that.

Now I do need to make known that I have a fairly good idea of who left the "Anonymous" comment that I felt the need to respond to... In fact, it could only be one of three people... two of whom I actually respect, and do NOT fall into the category of "Regular Minnesotans" and would actually be quite successful if they ever moved to New York. As for the two of you that I respect, one of you lives and works in Granite Falls, and the other lives in a town called Spicer. I won't out either of you because I do sincerely respect you, but you two are the last ones I would expect to hide behind an "Anonymous" tag. One of you, I believe is fully aware that I got the raw end of the deal in my situation, and also knows the sacrifices I made to come here.

In the unlikely event the "Anonymous" commenter is the one that I have no respect for, feel free to comment whenever you wish, but please REMAIN "Anonymous", and understand that if you are the author of the above-referenced comment, then your words are laughable, and meaningless to me in the context that I put far too much faith into your character and promises, and "nice" is not a word that Misplaced uses to describe you.

Apologies to my regular readers, but some house-cleaning was in order here, especially since there is a one in three chance that the author of the comment that got me so fired up is quite possibly the biggest hypocrite I have ever had the misfortune to cross paths with.

See you tomorrow... with a shiny happy post to make up for today's not-so-pleasant one.


  1. Jonathan I don't usually coment on blogs but since I'm a Minnesota native in addition to being your neighbor and fellow Minneapolis Photo Mob member, I'm going to speak up this time. I've lived in Chicago and Pittsburgh so I think I'm qualified to weigh in here.

    First of all you're right in your general assessment of my fellow Minnesotans. The people here really aren't truly welcoming to people they consider outsiders and do hide their true feelings under a veneer of Minnesota Nice. The conversation you and I had a little while back about the veiled racism comes to mind. No one there would ever admit it, but I heard plenty of it behind closed doors growing up in Montevideo. Since I've lived elsewhere, I have been able to notice the differences between Minnesota and "the rest of America" as you put it. I blame it on our Scandinavian ancestors. Hard headed and stubborn to the point that they would go to their graves without ever speaking their minds about things that really matter to them.

    Don't even get me started on the whole Swedes vs Norwegians thing. That just adds to the weirdness of this place.

    By the way, THIS Minnesotan is using the anonymous feature but adding his name:

    Stephen - in case you couldn't figure it out.

  2. You're all full of it...

    LET'S... GO... BUFFALO!