the world beyond new york

“And now, here’s a look at the world beyond New York.” Pat Kiernan, morning anchor at NY1. It was very easy to succumb to the New York-centric mentality (New Yorker cover). “There’s a world beyond New York?” After 11 September 2001, even my old friends back in the Midwest knew everything that was going on in the city. The effective world was New York. That soon faded, and I’d talk about various city-related things but I’d remember, oh, I guess the national news is back to being national. These days, I still can’t muster up the interest to read the local papers because I like to believe I still have a vested interest in New Yorkslanted news.

To a great extent, us Americans are a little too preoccupied with ourselves, even now. Thomas Friedman talks about the reasons for 9/11, and I admit it’s eye-opening for me, even though I like to believe that I’m already aware of such things. But it always comes back to a single statement: “There’s a world beyond New York?,” even though it is plain that I’m surrounded by (hills|mountains) and more greenery than in the NY Botanical Garden, but more to the point, I’m still a Chicagoan at heart.

Fact of the matter is, I prefer illusion to despair, to paraphrase the great Nelson Muntz. The world continues to turn, the old adage “never get involved in a land war in Asia” still resonates, but March Madness reigns supreme. Only now, Pitt fell to Marquette, so there will be no joy in Mudville. That’s one less distraction from “the world beyond New York,” which means it’s back to such middling concerns as the war on Iraq, not to mention signs of the impending collapse of civilization and the inevitable Stand-esque showdown between good and evil. “M-O-O-N. That spells ‘stop this ride, I want to get off!'”

6 thoughts on “the world beyond new york

  1. I hate the Yankees. I imagine my hatred for the Yankees is similar to many people’s hatred for the Bulls during the championship heydey. Really any ill-will I have toward New York is just because I hate the Yankees.

    One thing I’ve noticed is there is a certain segment of Chicagoans who have a real chip on their shoulder about New York. I don’t count myself among them – New York is New York and Chicago will always be second (or third or fourth) fiddle, but that’s what I like about it.

    I will say one thing – I’ve met quite a few assholes from New York. The thing is, there are assholes everywhere – Chicago, Boise, Peoria, you name it. But an asshole frome New York, my god, not only is he an asshole, but I got to hear the words “New York” come out of his mouth every two seconds.

    Also, the local news in Pittsburgh is just really, really bad. I remember chafing watching it when I was there, and it’s not because Chicago’s local news is really any better. Pittsburgh’s news is just so damn provincial. Four words – “World in a Minute.” Do they still do that?

  2. Yeah… I don’t bother to watch the local news, but that’s because there’s other programming on at the same time that I’d rather watch. Futurama, for example.

    I haven’t run into any assholes that fit the description you mentioned, but I’m sure they’re out there. I bet I’ve probably met them, but maybe they don’t feel like they need to bring up New York every two seconds.

    The more likely explanation is that /I’m/ a New York asshole.

  3. I have come to have significant reservations about endorsing things Thomas Friedman says — not because his facts or even analyses are so weak or skewed, but because his value system is so pallid (though perhaps not transparently so).

    This leads to some unfortunate conclusions on his part.

  4. Well, up here in Ithaca, everyone’s from New York, asshole or otherwise.

    Even me. I’m from Illinois but really I’m from New York. All my friends who’ve lived in Philly have spent enough time in New York that they’re really from New York. When I say “the city” they know I mean New York. All the punk rock kids are from Long Island but really they’re from New York.

    New York is the center of the universe.

  5. New York is soo played out. Its sad that because of being a media center and having many ties to the business world that people from new york distort reality and it is effecting their out look in life, many of them are so far from reality that it is use even trying to talk to them they cannot understand anything but new york. This type of crap has spread to Atlanta and now in Florida. Does anyone have any idea how to communicate to people with childish mentality.

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