The National Press and Flyover Country

The reporting by the national press from Iowa recently bespeaks their contempt for anywhere they can’t get a specialty raw oyster dish or Peete’s coffee. On their expense account.

They don’t want to be there, they don’t want to cover the people living there, they can’t wait to get back to Hudson Yards, 30 Rock, or, if their career is in decline, some weekend television studio in Atlanta. (Although that reporter probably lives in Marietta).

This Talking Heads song has always been a favorite of mine. It is only slightly satirical. As Commander Kor would say, “Good honest hatred. Very refreshing.”

I can imagine it describing a New York musician, a Manhattanite no doubt, expressing what he thinks about rural America as he flies into LAX to meet another artistically inclined soul of delicate sensibilities and contempt. Perhaps a drive past Skid Row for fun before their limo takes them into the Hollywood Hills.

The newspaper reporting I did for the small town I lived in was the highlight of my writing career.

The Big Country

I see the shapes,
I remember from maps.
I see the shoreline.
I see the whitecaps.

A baseball diamond, nice weather down there.
I see the school and the houses where the kids are.
Places to park by the factories and buildings.
Restaurants and bars for later in the evening.

Then we come to the farmlands, and the undeveloped areas.
And I have learned how these things work together.
I see the parkway that passes through them all.
And I have learned how to look at these things and I say,

I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.
I couldn’t live like that, no siree!
I wouldn’t do the things the way those people do.
I couldn’t live there if you paid me to.

I guess it’s healthy, I guess the air is clean.
I guess those people have fun with their neighbors and friends.
Look at that kitchen and all of that food.
Look at them eat it, I guess it tastes real good.
They grow it in the farmlands
And they take it to the stores
They put it in the car trunk
And they bring it back home
And I say…

I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.
I couldn’t live like that, no siree!
I wouldn’t do the things the way those people do.
I couldn’t live there if you paid me to.

I’m tired of looking out the windows of the airplane
I’m tired of traveling, I want to be somewhere.
It’s not even worth talking
About those people down there.

Goo Goo Ga Ga Ga
Goo Goo Ga Ga Ga



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https://www.instagram.com/tgfarley/

 

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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