Stephen Bloom's recent article in the Atlantic explores his now home of 20 years: Iowa. Apparently his characterizations have caused a lot of controversy in Iowa that he is now "hiding" elsewhere after his wife received an anti-Semitic comment. While several of Blooms comments are blatantly over the top generalizations, they still hit close to home. To close at times to my own home in Northwest Iowa.
I grew up in Iowa...the first 22 years of my life. Following college I too left the state like so many others my age. I left for South Dakota...not much of a change. Now, I live in North Dakota the other worst state for keeping their educated young folks around.
As I said, some of Blooms comments are satire and are just over the top exaggerations. But that said, one does not need to scrape too far to find resonances of with his words and experiences. There no doubt was a culture shock for Bloom when we moved there. But in spite of this Bloom's long time commitment to the U of I and Iowa is remarkable. He has travelled the state widely. He has observed them and knows them well. Perhaps this is why it hurts me even as I have not lived in Iowa for nearly 15 years. It is my home. I know the sky and the dirt. I know the people and their strengths and foibles. There is much that he has correct and I suspect that there are many who would agree were it not for an arrogance and judgment in its delivery.
What is frustrating, is that you might say the same things about every state in the Union. Every state has its "things" they are proud of and those they would rather hide. Bloom has used those less savory aspects to imply that Iowa is undeserving of its political prominence.
Mr Bloom, while I agree with you on many of your points, I still think you are a dick for saying it as you did.
As a rejoinder, enjoy this video.