Wednesday, September 15, 2010

US States

Psst, Dina seems to be in London and, although who can be sure, and Ian has jetlag. I will take the chance that they aren't reading and have a look at stereotypes of the states of United States. What do you know about the various states? We Australians and probably others have some strong stereotype knowledge of some of the US states.

California, rich, oranges, wine, earthquakes, fires, Golden Gate Bridge, Castro in San Fran Frisco, Golden Gate Bridge, fog, cable trams, Governor Arnie. In spite of Arnie , quite civilised really but poor roads and services due to Governor Reagan reducing taxes.

Nevada, desert and LA. Is that where LA is? Water from Hoover Dam. LA, freeways, traffic jams and no public transport, gambling.

So where is Hollywood? California? Near LA in Nevada? I don't know.

Not far from California is Utah, Mormons in Salt Lake City, although I have a distant relative who lives there and is not Mormon.

Let us get our kicks and cross the continent on Route 66 to Chicago. What state is that in? Windy, black dominated, poor, car industry, music. But I have also heard it is a very beautiful city.

Texas, cowboys, tall cactus, rattle snakes, George Dubbya, oil, socially conservative, nay, redneck. Big big roads and carparks and no public transport, Waco.

Florida. Miami, sticky, hot and humid, pretty and colourful Art Deco houses, apartments blocks full of tanned and leathery old widows seeking the sun and bored. Latin gigolos skating along the beach on blades. Surrounded by the Everglade swamps, ahhh, wetlands, with alligators and boats propelled by jet fans. Close to the gay mecca Quay what? West?

Alabama, black.

New Hampshire, rich and white, based entirely on the movie Hotel New Hampshire.

Ohio, Olivia Newton John, Down by the banks of the the old Ohio.

Struggling here, trying to do it with out looking at a map.

Iowa, mid west, where all the gay guys in the US are born and they then move to either San Fran or NYC.

New Mexico, Reno? Get married there easily? Albuquerque (by golly my spell check works well for US states. Surprise?)

Colorado, Colorado River and Grand Canyon.

Washington? Once I made a point of clarifying in my mind the difference between Washington City and Washington State. I forget now. Is Washington near New York and Washington State on the west coast above Californiaye.

Ok, out of steam, need to look at a map.

Louisiana, New Orleans, cyclone, trams, jazz. levee banks.

Mississippi, show boats on the river, magnolia trees, mint juleps.

Kansas, Dorothy.

Arkansas, Little Rock, Clintons, why is it pronounced Arkansaw.

Virginia, Kennedys.

Kentucky, horses, green grass, white timber fences.

Georgia, Coca Cola, Olympics.

Maine, holiday houses.

Tennessee, Pardon me boys, its the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Going to Jackson with Johnny Cash, Memphis and Elvis, Nashville and bad music.

Now, before this post becomes the basis for a school child's home work project, someone better correct a few things.


  1. The Kennedys are Massachusetts.

    Reno is in Nevada.

    I've been to Albuquerque and driven around New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah.

  2. You forgot Alaska and Gun-Totin' Barbie.

  3. California rich you got to be kidding, something like 12% unemployment and a big foreclosure problem.
    With enough signatures residents can bring anything to the polls and sometime in the 70s the good folk there pretty much abolished stamp duty on property, nice one if you are buying property, tho it does deny the state a revenue stream, Reagan was famous for cutting taxes when he was president, not sure bout when he was gov of CA.
    Oranges no , Florida more famous for that, I would say, there are endless adds on tv for Florida orange juice and none for CA orange juice.
    pop 30 mill or so

    Nevada, Vegas?, John McCain, no, Arizona

    Route 66 not what it was as there is now a freeway or something to get from here to there

    Chicago, corrupt politics

    Texas, dunno and not interested.

    Florida, a lot of old folk

    New Hampshire, nice in the fall as the leave turn golden and such. Gay marriage legal

    Ohio, 11 million people, politically a swing state, the Buckeye state, a buckeye is a tree, lots of hot guys in wrestling singlets turn up on flickr, tumblr and the like from Ohio.

    Iowa, a rural state, goes first in the presidential primaries, no one wants to upset Iowa, lots of agricultural subsidies means lots of corn and then lots of high fructose corn syrup produced a lot cheaper than it really costs and then it goes into a lot of food and something like 80 million Americans are pre diabetic or have type 11 diabetes, 1 in 3 born after 2000 is expected to develop diabeties, I say it has a lot to answer for Iowa. Gay marriage legal

    Washington state I think is where the Twilight saga gets filmed

    Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and possibly others form New England

    Colorado, mountainous, economically better than most

    And I could be wrong on some of those things too.

    and what of New York?, I think Rudd will be here next week, so I read somewhere, perhaps, I hope for his sake he stays away from any strip joints and sticks to the diplomacy now he's our foreign minister.

  4. Andrew, next time check a map. LA in Nevada?! ;)

  5. Anonymous4:45 pm

    Peter, I'm glad someone else picked that up - I was just about to say something too! V.

  6. I think these are pretty much the stereotypes Americans think of us well. We stereotype people in other states.

    Los Angeles (which includes Hollywood) is in southern California. Don't worry about not knowing that. Most Americans would fail on a geography test of Australia.

    MY stereotype of California is plastic surgery and alternative medicine.

    Chicago is in Illinois.

    You know what mystifies me. South Dakota and North Dakota. I've never met anyone who lives there.

  7. Tennessee - some of that's good music to me, Andrew. lol

    Georgia - Savannah, Civil War, humidity, eccentric, voodoo, Bonaventure cemetery, spanish moss

    Mississippi - Old Man River, Huck Finn

  8. Kennedy Massachusetts Victor? Didn't know that. The name Albuquerque appeals to me.

    How could I have left her out Jayne?

    Ian, yet don't we hear CA has the third largest economy in the world, or something like that? We get Californian oranges here, so I expect that is where that came from. I am almost sure Reagan was responsible for the reduction in taxation, leading to no money being available for services.

    Ah yeah, Chicago, corruption, speakeasys. Ah, Al Capone?

    Tumblr, I have a vague idea what it is about.

    Lordy, another Rudd stripper club scandal and he will be back as PM!

    Peter, the point was to not check but spout forth nonsense and inaccuracies that were in my head.

    Unlike you V., I have not had multiple trips to the US.

    Dina, we do the same here, perhaps to a lesser extent. Truly did not know Chicago was in Illinois. What is an important city doing in a non descript state? Must be just cattle ranches in N and S Dakota.

    LiD, I looked up the cemetery but I can't pick anything up significant about it. From your recent blog post, clearly you had a cemetery obsession. How could I have forgotten Old Man River and Huck Finn. Is not OMR the bestest song.

  9. I have been in the Chicago bar on Clark Street where the St.Valentine Day Massacre was.
    You must have seen The Blues Brothers? Wayne County?
    Chicago is, of course, Oprah and Obama, home of Blues Music and the deep-dish pizza.
    Miami is Dade County.
    We get so much US TV I am surprised we can't all name the various Counties.
    DETROIT, Michigan, The Motor City !

  10. S'pose you were in Chicago for the music. I think I saw Blues Brothers, I can't really recall. The other, no.

    I used to be able to recite every US state and and its capital. Clearly not like riding a bicycle.

    R's bro in law and sister are known as Motown and Star. They both like the music from Chicago.

  11. Andrew,
    Paul Robeson's voice is magnificent, sends shivers.

    Yes, I may have a slight obsession. It is a very picturesque cemetery in parts, and was made famous by the book/movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I did find some interesting links in the past, but I can't seem to find them at the moment. I remember Johnny Mercer, who wrote Moon River, was buried there. Good for trivial Pursuit.

  12. Anonymous5:58 pm

    Leave the smokers alone.............they'll live a lot longer then you or I.

  13. You accidentally placed your comment on the wrong post, but I wasn't having a go at smokers. I was questioning whether it was really necessary to ban smoking at out door eating areas.

  14. Ha ha ha, fascinating stab at it--I kind of enjoyed this piece, and it represents the concept of "live in a continent apart, be somewhat ignorant of the rest of the world", which the people of the United States are always accused of. (Unfortunately, most Americans would utterly fail in a similar exposition of Australia...they wouldn't even make the attempt!)

    So, some corrections (I will try to be kind, but please excuse me if fail!). Unfortunately, I am going to have to present this in pieces, as Blogger seems to want to control comment length.

    California is more than San Francisco. How could you not know anything at all about Los Angeles? LA is the powerhouse of California. Don't you EVER watch a movie? Yes, I know, Australia does have a movie industry of its own, but it seems that many of your actors move to LA, so I would have thought that something about it would have been generally known in your country.

    Saying that Los Angeles is in Nevada would be like me saying that Sydney was next to Ayer's Rock. Or in New Zealand! Your dig about Governor Reagan brands you (to me) as a Socialist. Lowering taxes and cutting down on government is ALWAYS an improvement. The state is bankrupt, now, thanks to the spend spend spend state legislature. Raising enough taxes to cover the inexcusable shortfall would utterly ruin a state that has the sixth largest economy in the world.

    Also, Los Angeles does have public transportation; busses, light rail, a subway, a street car system, and an elevated railway. The Metro is one of the largest of such systems in the world.

    Hollywood is in LA which is in California.

  15. Continued:Mormons live throughout Utah, and also in portions of Arizona and Idaho, and, well, everywhere really, but Utah is more or less THEIR state. "Not far from California"...well, not far if you count two whole day's worth of driving "not far". About as "not far" as Gladstone from Melbourne.

    You can't drive Route 66; that highway was decommissioned sometime in the 1970s once the Interstate Highway system was completed. Too bad, many people (me, included) have nostalgia for it.

    Chicago, the car industry? That would be Detroit (although the making of cars in Detroit is all but dead, now; cars are made in Tennessee, Ohio, South Carolina, and some other places I may not know about). BIG difference between those two cities, even though they aren't too far apart from each other. I wouldn't say Chicago, the second or third largest city in the US, is "black" dominated, although they certainly do have blacks there. Also, you said "music", which makes me think you must be thinking of "Motown", but again, that is DETROIT. Chicago is in Illinois, whereas Detroit is in Michigan. You asked why Chicago was in such a "nondescript" state; it's because of the Great Lakes (same as for Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Duluth), essential for transportation. The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway is a major shipping corridor (check the map to see what is also happening on the Canadian side). Also, iron ore is conveniently located in nearby Minnesota and American industry needed STEEL.

  16. Continued:

    You associated Texas with "redneck", yet this is discounting the wealth and power of the oil industry (well, and even of the cattle industry) which at some levels is anything but "redneck". You say Texas and you think Waco? (Do I think Australia and think Darwin?) You ought to think "Dallas" or "Houston", big powerful wealthy sophisticated "big shopping" cities.

    The Everglades are in Southwestern Florida, whereas Miami is in Southeastern Florida, not exactly a "surrounding it" situation. And I don't know that the elderly are any more bored in Miami than they would be anywhere else. There is a lot to do in Miami.

    I really had to struggle to figure out what you were trying to say about a gay mecca, since Miami Beach has one called "South Beach". But then I realized you were thinking of "Key West". Well, that's on the end of a string of islands halfway across the ocean between Miami and Havana, Cuba, but yeah, it is in Florida.

    Blacks do live in Alabama, although the state where the majority of the population (but not by a long shot all) is black is Mississippi.

    If you are thinking of a state that might correctly be described as "rich" and "white", that would be Connecticut, although, based on per capital income figures, heavily industrialized New Jersey comes in a close second and may beat out Connecticut some years. (California is way up there, too, thanks to the computer industry and also central valley agriculture, the most productive food region in the country.) That is because they have beautiful residential areas within commuting distance of New York City, where the richest captains of industry WORK. New England, on the other hand, made up of small states (such as New Hampshire), while filled with pride, is struggling economically (Boston is a notable exception).

  17. Continued:

    Ohio and Olivia Newton John? I can't even begin to figure this one out. Olivia Newton John is from Australia, not sure what she has to do with Ohio. Northern Ohio is a foundry state on one of the Great Lakes (like Indiana and Illinois), but Southern Ohio is a farming state, also like Indiana and Illinois.

    Reno is in the northern region of Nevada. You seem to get confused about the northern versus the southern portions of the states, which very often have their own large cities and very different economic characteristics. Did you mention Las Vegas, which is in southern Nevada? No, you thought it was Los Angeles. I guess that "Los" and "Las" CAN be confusing, but they're only Spanish articles that mean "the" for plural nouns, are not the most important aspect of the actual name. "Angeles" and "Vegas" don't sound very much alike.

    Yes, Colorado does have the Colorado River, probably one of its least important features (and not unique to Colorado as the river runs all the way over to California and just about reaches Mexico except that it peters out the last few miles or so thanks to thirsty western states). Colorado is ROCKY MOUNTAINS (as are Montana and Wyoming). The Grand Canyon is in Arizona, not too terribly far from Hoover Dam (in Nevada) that you had mentioned.

    Washington state is in the far northwestern corner of the United States, right south of Canada's British Columbia. Washington, D.C., our nation's capital, is between Maryland and Virginia in the east, the northern tip of "the South". About 3,500 miles from each other. Yes they have the same name, named after our first President (George Washington), who is also on the one dollar bill, but about as similar to each other as Canberra and Kimberly.

    One associates "cyclones" with Kansas, and "tornadoes" with Oklahoma, which are a type of destructive spiraling wind pattern that comes from the intersection of a cold, dry, northern climate and a wet, hot Gulf of Mexico climate. What you are thinking of regarding Louisiana is HURRICANES, which are not the same thing as cyclones and tornados. Hurricanes begin at the equator and are tropical storm patterns and affect everything in their path. Tornados have all their destructive force at the point of a funnel and may destroy one house while leaving the one next door entirely intact.

    Arkansas is an indian name, so their pronunciation rules don't necessarily follow English (the indians who lived there originally did not have a written language).

  18. Concluded:

    Virginia and the Kennedies? I don't think there has ever been a Kennedy living in Virginia in the history of American politics (I could be wrong about this, but I doubt it). The Kennedies are pure New Englanders, particularly Massachusetts, but Caroline Kennedy lives in New York. Virginia is a southern state, although Washington, D.C., is right next to it. Before he was President, John Kennedy lived in Georgetown, but that is in the District of Columbia (the federal district), not in Virginia.

    It's odd you associate the Olympics with Georgia (Atlanta, presumably). Every four years, the Olympics are in a different location around the world. This last go-round, the Olympics were in CHINA.

    Yes, there are holiday houses in Maine, and in every state in the entire country. For Maine, you may want to associate lobsters, the end of the Appalachian Trail, thousands of little ocean inlets and islands and beautiful forests.

    I've been to Australia, enjoyed the pristine beauty of Sydney, although my favorite region was Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef where I went scuba diving. I only saw the eastern strip from Melbourne to Gladstone, so I know I missed a lot. For my next trip there, I would love to see so much more, particularly the west coast from Perth on up to the Western Territory. That whole region fascinates me; I wish it didn't cost to much (and take so long!) to fly there!

  19. Thanks Pitbullshark. I rarely watch movies or American tv shows. Many of compatriots would know about California far better.

    I certainly had Chicago wrong. I can now mentally see a map showing where Utah is, yes, a long way.

    Texas, yes I know about Dallas and Houston and Fort Worth. They just did not spring immediately to my mind. Tongue in cheek, don't the Everglades alligators sneak into Miami when they are hungry some times?

    Olivia Newton John sand a song called Down by the Banks of the Ohio.

    Re cyclones, no wonder the name Katrina would not come to me because I wasn't thinking of hurricane. Are these definitions consistent around the world? Must check that.

    Who knows where the Kennedy and Virgina thing came from. I don't.

    Atlanta Olympics has stuck in my hear because of the fuss over the suggestion that Coca Cola had 'bought' the games.

    I never think of Sydney as being pristine. In parts it is I suppose, but they are not usually the areas I go to. As yet, I have not seen the west coast. I don't like Queensland's hot weather. Winter is tolerable. The Great Barrier Reef is an amazing thing to see, well whatever part of you see. Yes, the tyranny of distance stops many, such as myself, from visiting the US. Maybe one day.

  20. Pitbull Shark sure is named right!
    Thanks for that wonderful wrap-up.

    Down here we are swamped with US TV, and I have been on LA buses (to Frank Gehry in Santa Monica) and on NYC subway (to Blossom Dearie at Reno Sweeneys). I have done Chicago Alligator records, and Detroit to the FoMoCo test track, the Pomona County Fair, and ridden a palomino on a ranch and had a rattlesnake shot out from under us. I have spent a week in the Chateau Marmont and a week in the hotel at Disneyland LA.
    I've done the day Of The Dead in Silverlake with a famous songwriter, and roamed the NYC docks at 1am on 4th July after going out to liberty on a yacht.
    I know Utah is The Beehive State thanks to Randy Newman, and that Olivia Ohio record was rubbish.
    Ohio will always be Four Dead At Ohio (Kent State - see Neil Young).
    dear Pitbull, I am not one of those Aussies ignorant of the US.
    My ex is now a US citizen.

  21. Pardon me Em Stacks. You must be talking about the real US.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.