The Arkanssouri Blog.: Group Discussion.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Group Discussion.

Today's discussion topic is a selection from Ben Westhoff:

West Plains' toothless moonshiners have been largely replaced by
half-crazed crank cooks — although its poverty and isolation lingers on.


Extra points for the first to note that the Gateway City has morphed largely into "West East St. Louis," crackhouses and ghettoes and all.

My take?

Mr. Westhoff, I would wager, has never been to West Plains. Certainly not in his *ahem* "research" for this article.

Despite it's flaws, West Plains is growing rapidly. It is now roughly where Branson was twenty years ago, population and employment-wise.


The last time I checked, there were highways that ran to and through the city. Even an airport north of town. Anyone who wants to get there has no problem doing so.

Here, the writer shows his total ignorance:

Other than growing and/or manufacturing dope, there's not much
decent-paying work available in these parts, not since the stockyards and shoe
and cheese factories closed years back.

The stockyard's still going strong, dumbass. And the shoe and cheese factories weren't any more "decent-paying" than the Wal-Mart, the Fashion Bug, the Goody's, or any of the many other new and thriving businesses in the city. True, wages there lag behind those in West East St. Louis, but here's what dumbshit doesn't get -- you can live better on seven bucks an hour in West Plains than you can on fifteen bucks an hour in West East St. Louis.

I doubt you can even FIND just a house to rent in West Plains with rent costing $1200. Maybe not even HALF that. And if you did, you'd sure as hell get more than 3 BR/2 BA!

That's just one example. I could bring up others -- property taxes, groceries, coffee (if you look hard enough you can still find it in some places for a quarter a cup, free refills. Try finding THAT at Starbucks!).

Oh, you'll love this:

Woodrell is asked constantly by journalists why he doesn't head for, say, New
York City, where he might find more intellectual companionship.
Plop one of those New York "intellectuals" down in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest alongside an Ozarks native, and let's see which one has the intellect to survive long enough to find his way out.

I nominate Mr. Westhoff.


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