I stumbled across Alan Gutierrez' blog this evening thanks to the aggregator over at ArborBlogs. Alan seems like one of those kindred spirits that I knew existed in this town, but often kept to themselves out of fear of "a tirade against a red-state," as Alan puts it.
That post isn't what made me write about Alan's site. This one is. I'll quote because Alan nails it (sorry Ann Arbor, he's got your number).
I started with noting how caustic Ann Arbor is. That people lack social grace, because they are Michiganders. They're wipping past each other at 70 MPH all day. They don't know how to say hello. That Ann Arbor is bubble, and people come here to escape the rest of Michigan, they think it is some sort of Paris of the mid-West. Ann Arbor is a bubble and people are bubble people, scared of what is outside the bubble, oddly xenophobic, while trying to seem worldly. Then I talked about having to litterally beg to differ, how thin-skinned, easily offended these people are. Then I mentioned the agenda-oriented social scene, and exaggerated gender roles. Ended up saying that the orthodoxy of Ann Arbor runs counter to mine. I feel people make the best descisions for themselves, that if you listen to them, they'll make sense. Ann Arborites think that people can't make decisions for themselves, and you have to tell them how wrong they are so they'll understand.
I think Alan is like me; here for the time being because this is where the work is. I have no loyalty to this town, I have no ties to the idiocy that this town spews forth everyday. Alan's right: this is a place where ideas come to die, not flourish. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on your perspective), there is one entity that can toss huge sums of cash at lots of people and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This town will never be forced to gain perspective. It's a shame, really, with the diversity that does exist on campus that Ann Arbor hasn't found a way to integrate those philosophies into the community.