Waiting to die in Iowa


Thanks Professor Bloom.  Your article pretty much summed up what everyone who has lived in Iowa and survived methamphetamine, Jesus and the Farm Crisis already knows about these forsaken lands.

You’ve actually lived almost 20 years in this backward-ass state?  Surprised you haven’t killed yourself, I mean with all those zealots saying “Happy Easter” once a year and everything. In fact, your nearly 6,000-word rant made me so sick – shouldn’t have chased that pork chop dinner with an anhydrous ammonia cocktail – that I don’t even have the will to pray for strength to publish a link to it.

But maybe, just maybe, one of those college-educated rural hicks who is running low on deer kills and has access to broadband – heck, the “legions of unemployed who have come to the realization that it makes no sense to look for work, since work pretty much no longer exists for them” still need something to do between hunting seasons – will figure out how to Google it. Got to give credit to my friend Shane Vander Hart for turning me on this crap.

“Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that ‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow.’” (Heh, I appreciated the journalism lecture, too, but has your publisher thought about hiring an educate, educated, education, er, skilled copywriter?)

By the way, I was born and raised here, so it probably comes as no surprise to you that I don’t get why most of your University of Iowa students choose not to stay after college? Forgive me for being so ignorant – those formative years I spent living with my parents in Madison County and a short stint in Carlisle must have did me in – but do your students choose to leave because “Iowa is a throwback to yesteryear and, at the same time, a cautionary tale of what lies around the corner” or is it really because you are kind of an ass?

Of course, I did appreciate the hard-nose facts in your article, especially the keen observations that were disguised as clichés and followed with assumptions. (“Iowa is not flat as a pancake, despite what most people think.”)

Perhaps my reaction is typical of others who have been forced to carry on their isolated, alienated and mundane existences in such a “schizophrenic, economically-depressed, and some say, culturally-challenged” place, eh?

Not that I should have a say, given that in the utopia of your mind there is “no way would Iowa ever be considered representative of America, or even a small part of it.” Even if I did have a voice, it doesn’t really matter because we all know that Iowa has “no sizable cities” and for more than 100 years has been “too hard to get to, too uninviting, or promised too little.”

Anyway, I’m just glad to finally realize that almost every Iowa household has a mudroom so we don’t track pig shit on the floor. At least we’ve got that going for us.

24 thoughts on “Waiting to die in Iowa

  1. OMG…you are a riot. Thank you so much for posting your most righteous rebuttal to the yawn-worthy Mr. Bloom.

    -Timid, ignorant rural Iowan who DID peer around the corner…and wishes she had just stayed ‘home’. ♥

  2. Go get ’em Mr. Razor! That guy really irked me with his pretentious babble!

    Not a methed out, waiting to die, inbred, xenophobic, agnostic…who still says Merry Christmas to strangers! =)

    (damn, we Iowans are so terrible!)

  3. You know? I’ve lived in Iowa, Texas, New Hampshire, Nebraska, and Indiana. Where did I go to raise my kids…Iowa. Iowa is home and always will be! And, just to set the record straight…Iowa is not flat! Nebraska is flat. Perhaps the pompous ass didn’t know for sure where he was!

  4. thank you. this was a useful antidote to the other person (you know who)’s folly which for some reason was PUBLISHED IN GLOSSY. it bored me…this rocks. now that i’ve read it more than twice i expect to be able to have a good night’s sleep. thanks again, for that and the words. by the way i was born in new york and the secret…shhh…is that iowa produces some REALLY NICE GUYS (*human!) that cause poor innocent new york women to hang around for decades. could b worse!!!!!!

  5. Good one, Todd! I for one am waiting to LIVE in the bucolic Iowa countryside. Can’t wait to leave this God-forsaken pagan Indianapolis. I hate the city. I only put up with it b/c of my job. My job is a means to an end and that end is a nice little hobby farm out in the country, with my dogs, my guns and my Bible. Yep, LOVE clinging to all three! They aint nuthin like gittin my hands full o’dirt and working da lann. Sho nuff! LOL. But, seriously, I’m working my way back to rural Iowa, from postmodern urban sprawl America. Cain’t wait! 

  6. Excellent. I hope his next Atlantic piece will be on Michigan which as we all know is an industrial wasteland full of hoodlums and useless auto workers on welfare.

  7. Here’s our show about Bloom’s article:

    “Yale talks with four native Iowans about the depiction of them and the state they call home in Stephen Bloom’s scathing and controversial article in The Atlantic Monthly, his motives for publishing it, the response its generated across the state, and its national implications with regards to Iowa’s first in the nation voting status.”


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