Friday, November 23, 2012

Seen In The Midwest

I am in the bleak American Midwest for the holiday week.

Photos by JEF


Caroline said...

Hahaha, love your tag "Midwest misery." I've lived here my whole life and it's not bleak to me. But if you're in Indiana, different story! Happy Thanksgiving.

Jeff (Geoff) said...

Hi Caroline,

I am indeed in Indiana and it sounds like you already know that it IS bleak. I am in a little tiny town surrounded by rural area. There is something so desolate about it all, and not just the landscape. I mean, I am all for farming--we need farmers and the food they produce, so having lots of farm land is not what I am talking about (there can be a certain country charm to such scenes). But there seems to me to be a desolation of mind and spirit. I find it in the people I interact with, and I find it in the local culture. The utter lack of bookstores, except for Christian book and gift stores, is alarming (Biblical Find-A-Word, anyone?). And I can see a burdened, nearly depressed look in the eyes of all the teens and young people here, too. The political and societal beliefs seem to be oppressive as well...I was told that the Ten Commandments you see in the last picture were installed on private property at a prominent corner in town by a man who simply wanted to stir up trouble after all those recent high profile cases where the Ten Commandments were removed from public/government owned spaces such as court houses and post offices. But this is a tiny, superstitious town--if one is not evangelical, one is Amish--and no one has said a word. Even if they did, it is on private property. The owner of the land of course has an absolute right to display them, but the fact that he wants to in the first place is enough to make me want to steer clear of such people. And no matter what restaurant we go to (the Pizza Hut, for example, on the highway outside of town), the television is tuned to FOX NEWS only. My mother-in-law's neighbor thinks--literally--that Obama is "the anti-Christ" and that the End Times are here. Ay yay yay...

So I come to visit in-laws and support my partner. As you have seen from my most recent posts marking the anniversaries of my parents' deaths, I don't have any family left, so I make this yearly slog to Indiana! I tagged the post "Midwest misery" because I just don't see, hear of, read about, or sense things like this on either coast!

I would much rather visit Chicago!