Friday, January 25, 2008

Springfield: The City We Love (to leave)

Ha-ha. Today’s SJ-R online poll…

“If there were no money, job or family considerations, would you stay in Springfield or move somewhere else?"

Let’s just say I’m part of that 95.7 percent. I want to know who the 4.3 percent are. I know what they are - crazy. Of course, asking this in January during a cold snap probably skewed the already unscientific results. I'm not sure my answer would change on the nicest day in May though.


John said...

Springfield citizens know why the caged bird sings.

I wonder so often why people in Springfield seem so bitter and angry. This poll goes a long way to confirming some of my theories about why people are so angry. People hate it here, they're trapped by family or money, and they're pissed off.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm actually one of the 4.3 percent (of the skewed unscientific poll anyway) who actually WANTS to stay here. In fact I actually chose to move here a little over 4 years ago. I've very much enjoyed my 4+ years here so far. And I could probably still leave if I wanted. But I don't want to.

Maybe some of it has to do with my experience in the podunk, unfriendly, ill-planned, traffic-and-crime-ridden, and historically ignorant, backwards, and uneducated chessehead capitol of Wisconsin, the place I was forced to grow up in.

At least Springfield's got Lincoln, older interesting neighborhoods with character, local shops and interesting things in its downtown, history, and events I enjoy. It has a good combination of "big city" and "small town" character. It is easy to get around. There are plenty of things to do, and I still discover more things my former hometown never had all the time. I could list more positive things if I wanted to. Sure there's problems, but they're nothing compared to what I'm used to. (Try living in a city with St. Louis level traffic that is only 1/5 the size of St. Louis, that has curvy, confusing streets and wide boulevards leading nowhere, houses - and people - that all look the same and if you want to shop you can only do so at a big-box chain store or the mall on the edge of the ever sprawling city. And the only thing famous to come out of that damn town is the crappy grunge band Garbage (anybody remember them now?). It's these kind of things keep Springfield's more small townish problems - and its advantages - in perspective for me.)

One of my theories is that there are too many people here who take what we have in Springfield for granted. I think that we have plenty to be proud of. Having a positive attitude goes a long way. You can have the greenest grass in the world but if you ignore it then the grass "over there" will still seem greener to you. I still find it funny how the ALPM has attracted 1.5 million visitors from all 50 states and all over the world but maybe only 30% of Springfield has visited it. (Yes I've visited it.)

And I have met many people who live here who are happy and say they like living here. So I think the poll is very skewed. And knowing the kinds of people who use the comment board on (that I never read anymore for that reason) I guess I'm not that surprised by the results. It's hard for me to believe there are that many people in the world who are that miserable. It makes me wonder whether they'd be happy no matter where they lived.

So be happy, don't take things for granted so much, and maybe it'll seem better.