A while back, Craig at mtpolitics posted a piece called “Life in a Small Town.” It got me to thinking about the cultural differences among us, which, in no small measure, are traceable to the places and circumstances of our upbringing. How each of us ended up being raised in a particular place (or places) is often the result of some sort of cosmic crapshoot that planted our ancestors in a particular place or places during our youth.
It is often said that things like television and the internet have smoothed over many of the cultural differences in the U.S. and have made us a homogenized swill. However, Craig’s questions serve as a stark reminder that there are still big differences in people’s youthful experiences, which, in turn, produce the great cultural mosaic that is the USA, the 7 o’clock news notwithstanding.
I was raised in a town in Northeastern New Jersey (across the “Meadowlands” from New York City). To me, it was a “small town” – at least it was when one compared it to its neighbors, Newark and New York.
So, for the hell of it, I thought I’d respond to the questions in Craig’s post from my perspective of having been raised in a “small town” in Northern Jersey.
Let’s get on with it, shall we.