History Main / FlyoverCountry

23rd Jan '16 8:45:55 AM Jhonny
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** UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}
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** UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}} - the butt of many jokes, which may or may not have to do with its large African American culture, its DyingTown reputation and the fact that ''all'' its professional sports franchises are consistently abysmal, sometimes in ways not thought humanly possible. This is especially true for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
15th Jan '16 6:46:20 AM DesertDragon
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The political intricacies get elaborated on in the very next paragraph.
Needless to say, the truth is a little more complicated than that. While the states of the central U.S. do skew more rural than urban, the cities therein are as cosmopolitan as any coastal town. There's plenty of culture, style, and nightlife to be found in cities like [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], UsefulNotes/KansasCity, or Omaha (a full list of oft-featured cities is included at the end), and they have a much lower cost of living than the coasts--even Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, is cheaper than NYC or LA (although not by much). The "red state" perception is pretty off, too: although much of this region is a Republican stronghold, the Great Lakes region is either more or less solidly blue in presidential and senatorial races (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan) or seriously contested (Indiana and dear Lord ''Ohio''), and some other states can be pretty competitive (Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado in particular, although even Nebraska and Kansas get in on the act sometimes).[[note]]They'd be pretty close in Congressional contests, too, if it weren't for gerrymandering and the first-past-the-post system.[[/note]] And even some of the smaller towns, like Boulder, Colorado[[note]]where ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' was set[[/note]] and Ann Arbor, UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}[[note]]home of the UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan[[/note]], have their own quirks. There are very few states in the US that don't have at least ''one'' significant metropolitan area. Likewise, New York State and California both have conservative rural areas of their own. Politically, the cities and their metro areas are also more liberal than the surrounding region. Many of them are ([[DyingTown or were]]) industrial towns with a strong presence of labor unions and minorities, plus college students who stuck around after finishing. In fact, people in the surrounding, rural areas who don't fit in with the arch-conservative lifestyle will tend to relocate to the nearest decent-sized city. These factors frequently produce Democratic islands within states that are otherwise Republican strongholds. Many don't realize that Milwaukee was one of the hotbeds of the Socialist Party up until the second RedScare, and while North Dakota does lean to the right, it has a publicly-owned banking system unique in the nation. (That said, ''social'' conservatism really is stronger here on average than on the coasts, even if economic populism frequently trumps it.) Culturally also, the flyover region is a lot more diverse than popular folklore tends to credit it. Not merely Protestant in religion, its towns and neighborhoods may instead be heavily Catholic, Jewish, or (at least in the case of Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit) Muslim. To stereotype everyone here as "[[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant white Anglo-Saxon]] except for the blacks in the inner cities" is also grossly inaccurate; not only are most white Midwesterners of German rather than English stock, but the area's population since the early twentieth century has been an astonishing cross-section of ethnicities from all parts of Europe, and in some cases Asia too (the aforementioned Lebanese, Syrian and Iraqi Moslems have been in Dearborn for an entire century, and there is a surprisingly large Thai-American community in Iowa). There are even quite a few Native reservations (no, reservations aren't all in Arizona and New Mexico), including the Lakota (Sioux) community in South Dakota and the Ojibwa (Chippewa) community in Minnesota. The region has more African immigrants than you might imagine as well, with Minneapolis and Iowa of all places having rather large communities of Africans. These nuances and many more tend to be lost on Hollywood. Shows based in one of the coasts will lovingly show details of the landmarks and locales, while Midwestern locations are either fictionalized or used as a generic backdrop. For example, ''SexAndTheCity'' used real-life bars and restaurants in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity as the girls' hangouts. Meanwhile, GarryMarshall, the producer of ''Series/HappyDays'' and its SpinOff ''Series/LaverneAndShirley'', never set foot in UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}} until long after both shows ended, leading to a horrifically inaccurate portrayal of the city that may have hurt its actual economic and cultural growth.
to:
Needless to say, the truth is a little more complicated than that. While the states of the central U.S. do skew more rural than urban, the cities therein are as cosmopolitan as any coastal town. There's plenty of culture, style, and nightlife to be found in cities like [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], UsefulNotes/KansasCity, or Omaha (a full list of oft-featured cities is included at the end), and they have a much lower cost of living than the coasts--even Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, is cheaper than NYC or LA (although not by much). The "red state" perception is pretty off, too: although much of this region is a Republican stronghold, the Great Lakes region is either more or less solidly blue in presidential and senatorial races (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan) or seriously contested (Indiana and dear Lord ''Ohio''), and some other states can be pretty competitive (Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado in particular, although even Nebraska and Kansas get in on the act sometimes).[[note]]They'd be pretty close in Congressional contests, too, if it weren't for gerrymandering and the first-past-the-post system.[[/note]] And even some of the smaller towns, like Boulder, Colorado[[note]]where ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' was set[[/note]] and Ann Arbor, UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}[[note]]home of the UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan[[/note]], have their own quirks. There are very few states in the US that don't have at least ''one'' significant metropolitan area. Likewise, area (likewise, New York State and California both have conservative rural areas of their own. own as well). Politically, the these cities and their metro areas are also tend to be much more liberal than liberal--socially and economically--than the surrounding region. Many of them are ([[DyingTown or were]]) industrial towns with a strong presence of labor unions and minorities, plus college students who stuck around after finishing.graduating. In fact, people in the surrounding, rural areas who don't fit in with the arch-conservative lifestyle will tend to relocate to the nearest decent-sized city. These factors frequently produce Democratic islands within states that are otherwise Republican strongholds. Many don't realize that Milwaukee was one of the hotbeds of the Socialist Party up until the second RedScare, and while North Dakota does lean to the right, it has a publicly-owned banking system unique in the nation. (That said, ''social'' conservatism really is stronger here on average than on the coasts, even if economic populism frequently trumps it.) Culturally also, nation. Culturally, the flyover region is a lot more diverse in religion and ethnicity than popular folklore tends to credit it. Not merely Protestant in religion, its towns Most people are aware of the large African-American and neighborhoods may instead be heavily Catholic, Jewish, or (at least in Latino populations within the case of Dearborn, a cities, but there's more to it than that. For example, the Detroit suburb of Detroit) Muslim. To stereotype everyone here as "[[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant white Anglo-Saxon]] except for the blacks in the inner cities" is also grossly inaccurate; not only are most white Midwesterners of German rather than English stock, but the area's Dearborn has had a healthy Arab population since the early twentieth for over a century has been an astonishing cross-section of ethnicities from all parts of Europe, and is home to the largest mosque in some cases Asia too (the aforementioned Lebanese, Syrian North America, and Iraqi Moslems have been in Dearborn for an entire century, and there is a surprisingly large Thai-American community in Iowa). There are even quite a few several Native American reservations (no, reservations aren't all are located in Arizona and New Mexico), including the Lakota (Sioux) community in South Dakota Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Ojibwa (Chippewa) community in Minnesota. The region has more African immigrants than you might imagine as well, with Minneapolis and Iowa of all places having rather large communities of Africans. Dakotas. These nuances and many more tend to be lost on Hollywood. Shows based in one of the coasts will lovingly show details of the landmarks and locales, while Midwestern locations are either fictionalized or used as a generic backdrop. For example, ''SexAndTheCity'' ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' used real-life bars and restaurants in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity NYC as the girls' hangouts. Meanwhile, GarryMarshall, the producer of ''Series/HappyDays'' and its SpinOff ''Series/LaverneAndShirley'', never set foot in UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}} until long after both shows ended, leading to a horrifically inaccurate portrayal of the city that may have hurt its actual economic and cultural growth.

As mentioned above, if a show is actually based in one of the cities here, whether or not it's a subversion of this trope depends on how much research the writer has done (read: usually not much). However, the following tropes and locales of Middle America feature highly in the media:
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As mentioned above, if a show is actually based in one of the cities here, whether or not it's a subversion of this trope depends on how much research the writer has done (read: usually not much).done. However, the following tropes and locales of Middle America feature highly in the media:
15th Jan '16 6:29:20 AM DesertDragon
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Needless to say, the truth is a little more complicated than that. While the states of the central U.S. do skew more rural than urban, the cities therein are as cosmopolitan as any coastal town. There's plenty of culture, style, and nightlife to be found in cities like [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], UsefulNotes/KansasCity, or Omaha (a full list of oft-featured cities is included at the end), and they have a much lower cost of living than the coasts--even Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, is cheaper than NYC or LA (although not by much). The "red state" perception is pretty off, too: although much of this region is a Republican stronghold, the Great Lakes region is either more or less solidly blue in presidential and senatorial races (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan) or seriously contested (Indiana and dear Lord ''Ohio''), and some other states can be pretty competitive (Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado in particular, although even Nebraska and Kansas get in on the act sometimes).[[note]]They'd be pretty close in Congressional contests, too, if it weren't for gerrymandering and the first-past-the-post system.[[/note]] And even some of the smaller towns, like Boulder, Colorado[[note]]where ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' was set[[/note]] and Ann Arbor, UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}[[note]]home of the UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan[[/note]], have their own quirks. There are very few states in the US that don't have at least ''one'' significant metropolitan area. Likewise, New York State and California have rural areas of their own.
to:
Needless to say, the truth is a little more complicated than that. While the states of the central U.S. do skew more rural than urban, the cities therein are as cosmopolitan as any coastal town. There's plenty of culture, style, and nightlife to be found in cities like [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], UsefulNotes/KansasCity, or Omaha (a full list of oft-featured cities is included at the end), and they have a much lower cost of living than the coasts--even Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, is cheaper than NYC or LA (although not by much). The "red state" perception is pretty off, too: although much of this region is a Republican stronghold, the Great Lakes region is either more or less solidly blue in presidential and senatorial races (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan) or seriously contested (Indiana and dear Lord ''Ohio''), and some other states can be pretty competitive (Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado in particular, although even Nebraska and Kansas get in on the act sometimes).[[note]]They'd be pretty close in Congressional contests, too, if it weren't for gerrymandering and the first-past-the-post system.[[/note]] And even some of the smaller towns, like Boulder, Colorado[[note]]where ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' was set[[/note]] and Ann Arbor, UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}[[note]]home of the UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan[[/note]], have their own quirks. There are very few states in the US that don't have at least ''one'' significant metropolitan area. Likewise, New York State and California both have conservative rural areas of their own.
9th Jan '16 8:53:23 AM DesertDragon
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Needless to say, the truth is a little more complicated than that. While the states of the central U.S. do skew more rural than urban, the cities therein are as cosmopolitan as any coastal town. There's plenty of culture, style, and nightlife to be found in cities like [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], UsefulNotes/KansasCity, or Omaha (a full list of oft-featured cities is included at the end), and they have a much lower cost of living than the coasts--even Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, is cheaper than NYC or LA (although not by much). The "red state" perception is pretty off, too: although much of this region is a Republican stronghold, the Great Lakes region is either more or less solidly blue in presidential and senatorial races (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan) or seriously contested (Indiana and dear Lord ''Ohio''), and some other states can be pretty competitive (Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado in particular, although even Nebraska and Kansas get in on the act sometimes).[[note]]They'd be pretty close in Congressional contests, too, if it weren't for gerrymandering and the first-past-the-post system.[[/note]] And even some of the smaller towns, like Boulder, Colorado[[note]]where ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' was set[[/note]] and Ann Arbor, UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}[[note]]home of the UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan[[/note]], have their own quirks. There are very few states in the US that don't have at least ''one'' significant metropolitan area.
to:
Needless to say, the truth is a little more complicated than that. While the states of the central U.S. do skew more rural than urban, the cities therein are as cosmopolitan as any coastal town. There's plenty of culture, style, and nightlife to be found in cities like [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], UsefulNotes/KansasCity, or Omaha (a full list of oft-featured cities is included at the end), and they have a much lower cost of living than the coasts--even Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest, is cheaper than NYC or LA (although not by much). The "red state" perception is pretty off, too: although much of this region is a Republican stronghold, the Great Lakes region is either more or less solidly blue in presidential and senatorial races (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan) or seriously contested (Indiana and dear Lord ''Ohio''), and some other states can be pretty competitive (Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado in particular, although even Nebraska and Kansas get in on the act sometimes).[[note]]They'd be pretty close in Congressional contests, too, if it weren't for gerrymandering and the first-past-the-post system.[[/note]] And even some of the smaller towns, like Boulder, Colorado[[note]]where ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' was set[[/note]] and Ann Arbor, UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}[[note]]home of the UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan[[/note]], have their own quirks. There are very few states in the US that don't have at least ''one'' significant metropolitan area. area. Likewise, New York State and California have rural areas of their own.
20th Nov '15 7:22:07 AM scionofgrace
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Adding Lincoln, Nebraska
Added DiffLines:
** Lincoln: For when even Omaha isn't small enough.
20th Nov '15 7:19:05 AM scionofgrace
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Tweaking the tone in one section
* Nebraska: Farmland extraordinaire, populated with fat old guys in denim overalls and straw hats, chewing on a stalk of wheat and talking (slowly) about whether it's rained enough this year. Completely ignorant of the outside world, and, if the writer's sympathetic, struggling with drought, debt, bad markets, or all three. ** Omaha: A smallish, somewhat isolated city used as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town far, ''faaaaar'' away from everything you know and love that you're forced to relocate to because the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for. Firstly, Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. Secondly, it's a long way from either coast: if you try to drive to New York City, it'll take you two whole days to get there; three to get to Los Angeles. Even Chicago is an eight-hour drive. However, Omaha ''has'' featured in a few movies, mostly thanks to native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
to:
* Nebraska: Farmland extraordinaire, populated with fat old guys in denim overalls and straw hats, chewing on a stalk of wheat and talking (slowly) about whether it's rained enough this year. Completely ignorant of the outside world, and, if the writer's sympathetic, struggling with drought, debt, bad markets, or all three. three.[[note]]This is all nonsense, of course. Nebraska farmers wear baseball caps, not straw hats.[[/note]] ** Omaha: A smallish, somewhat isolated city used as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town far, ''faaaaar'' away from everything you know and love that you're forced to relocate move to because it was the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see only job you could find. (See also: Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for. Firstly, Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. has a strong job market. Secondly, it's a long way from either coast: if you try to anywhere: an eight hour drive to Chicago, two whole days to New York City, it'll take you two whole and ''three'' days to get there; three to get to Los Angeles. Even Chicago is an eight-hour drive. However, Omaha ''has'' has featured in a few movies, mostly thanks to native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
4th Nov '15 10:19:51 AM scionofgrace
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Separating Omaha and Nebraska
* Nebraska: Farmland extraordinaire, populated with fat old guys in denim overalls and straw hats, chewing on a stalk of wheat and talking (slowly) about whether it's rained enough this year. Completely ignorant of the outside world, and, if the writer's sympathetic, struggling with drought, debt, bad markets, or all three. ** Omaha: A smallish, somewhat isolated city used as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town far, ''faaaaar'' away from everything you know and love that you're forced to relocate to because the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for. Firstly, Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. Secondly, it's a long way from either coast: if you try to drive to New York City, it'll take you two whole days to get there; three to get to Los Angeles. Even Chicago is an eight-hour drive. However, Omaha ''has'' featured in a few movies, mostly thanks to native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].

* Omaha, Nebraska: A smallish, somewhat isolated city that the media likes to use as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town far, ''faaaaar'' away from everything you know and love that you're forced to relocate to because the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for. Firstly, Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. Secondly, it's a long way from either coast: two days of driving to get to New York City, three to get to Los Angeles. Even Chicago is an eight-hour drive. However, Omaha ''has'' featured in a few movies, mostly thanks to native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
4th Nov '15 10:08:46 AM scionofgrace
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* Omaha, Nebraska: A smallish, somewhat isolated city that the media likes to use as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town you're forced to relocate to because the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for: Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. It ''has'' featured in a few movies, mostly thanks to native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
to:
* Omaha, Nebraska: A smallish, somewhat isolated city that the media likes to use as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town far, ''faaaaar'' away from everything you know and love that you're forced to relocate to because the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for: uncalled-for. Firstly, Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. It Secondly, it's a long way from either coast: two days of driving to get to New York City, three to get to Los Angeles. Even Chicago is an eight-hour drive. However, Omaha ''has'' featured in a few movies, mostly thanks to native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
4th Nov '15 10:02:27 AM scionofgrace
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Making the Omaha entry more relevant to how it's used in media
* Omaha, Nebraska ** A smallish (60th in the nation by metro population), somewhat geographically isolated city that still manages more exposure than you'd expect thanks partly to an oversized corporate presence (including Warren Buffett and his mega-holding company Berkshire Hathaway) and a fairly strong indie music scene (including [[Music/BrightEyes Bright Eyes]]). Has even been in a few movies, though mostly due to the efforts of native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
to:
* Omaha, Nebraska ** Nebraska: A smallish (60th in the nation by metro population), smallish, somewhat geographically isolated city that still manages more exposure than you'd expect thanks partly the media likes to an oversized corporate presence (including Warren Buffett and his mega-holding company Berkshire Hathaway) and a fairly strong indie music scene (including [[Music/BrightEyes Bright Eyes]]). Has even been use as shorthand for "city in the middle of nowhere", i.e. that podunk town you're forced to relocate to because the Home Office is trying to cut costs. (Also see Des Moines, Iowa.) Which isn't uncalled-for: Omaha is home to several major corporations (Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, etc) despite being one of the smaller cities on this list. It ''has'' featured in a few movies, though mostly due thanks to the efforts of native son [[Creator/AlexanderPayne Alexander Payne]].
25th Oct '15 12:14:36 AM ExOttoyuhr
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The southeastern US, while sometimes considered part of the region, carries many of its own stereotypes and is often treated as a separate entity. For more information on that, see DeepSouth and UsefulNotes/{{Appalachia}}. The rough UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}n equivalent would be the Outback or, more broadly, the areas outside the "capital cities".
to:
The southeastern US, while sometimes considered part of the region, carries many of its own stereotypes and is often treated as a separate entity. For more information on that, see DeepSouth and UsefulNotes/{{Appalachia}}. The rough UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}n equivalent would be to FlyoverCountry is the Outback or, more broadly, the areas outside the "capital cities". cities". The American South (the former Confederate States of America), settled by Englishmen and Scots rather than Germans, Scandinavians, and Irishmen, is similar to FlyoverCountry but not exactly identical, and is sometimes treated as FlyoverCountry in media, sometimes not. For information on the Southern lowlands, settled by the West Country English (and by Africans they imported as slaves), see DeepSouth; for the Southern highlands, settled by the Scotch-Irish, see UsefulNotes/{{Appalachia}}.
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