sep 9

Real America

The Awl visits the Minnesota State Fair and picks up on the way that agriculture is still presented as the centerpiece, even though most people have no relationship to agriculture anymore. Since the first time I visited the fair in the early '80s, it has transformed from something like a trade fair vibe to a museum of a forgotten lifestyle. Or as The Awl puts it:

They are petting zoos for the 90-some percent of visitors who no longer have any connection whatsoever to the fundamental pillar of local society going back to whatever beginning you're inclined to believe we had.

It wasn't that long ago that agricultural subsidies were discussed with the same rigor as health care is debated today. My sister and nieces still live on a farm in Minnesota. I thought of them the other day when someone casually mentioned Farm Aid, which I'm surprised to learn still exists. Farm Aid -- that was a big deal once upon a time!


Keep reading past the first page. It gets nicely lyrical:

Strollers, the breadth and depth of style of which seem limitless, pick through the herd, jolting now and then on an Achilles tendon. So many Jon Gosselin impersonators. Bendy young girls on the grass like stacks of giggling folding chairs. Awkward boys striving to be cool, adopting fashions Kanye can barely pull off; it's too painful to look at them. Teen girls test out the limits of their new sexuality, clearly not yet comfortable with the furtive ogling they will come to endure for the next ten to twelve years.

posted by Rex at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2009

This Abe kid has been killing it all across the Midwest this summer. Did you read his teabagger piece? Same guy, right? He should've come to the Marsh Family Compound for labor day last weekend, but that's probably a book.

posted by stevemarsh at 4:29 PM on September 9, 2009

Rex, you need to spend more time back in ND. Small town cafes and watering holes where you can throw a stone and hit a wheat field. Maybe Awl should visit too. Real America does exist but nobody wants to go there.

posted by Hagz at 10:21 PM on September 10, 2009

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