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Vince's visit to the Midwest; an Enlightenment

When you think of the Midwest, you may think about roadside attractions. While the world’s largest rubber stamp, basket, and horseshoe crab are all in Ohio (where I’ve been since last Thursday) I had a chance to see the most relevant and of them all; the world’s longest bar. It’s located in Put-In-Bay, OH, an island on Lake Eerie. It’s snakes around and clocks in at 405 feet, 10 inches. Put-In-Bay looks like a quaint old town from the 50s, but with bars lining the main street, and with swim up bars at the small resorts, it’s kind of like spring break all summer for all ages. Even on a Sunday night, it was crazy; forty-somethings drunkingly dancing to a halfway decent cover band, old people on strolls, and college students running around playing shot tag. And all these groups coexisting beautifully.
When you think of the Midwest, you might also think about small town, rural values, or dare I say, red state values. During my stay in Ohio I spent some time in Oak Harbor, OH (pop. 8,000) where my girlfriend is from (also the home of American Idol runner up, Crystal Bowersox.) As I soaked up the laid-back atmosphere, the sports-crazy, Ohio State fanaticism (seriously, it’s everywhere) and small town charm, I thought to myself, this life out here is kind of nice. Even as I saw Bush/Cheney stickers, and a few anti-Obama slogans, I still had a noble respect for that point of view. But I soon realized that Ohio is still on the Liberal side of things. I consider myself a bit of Shakespeare buff/scholar/fan. And I was sickened by a news report about Sarah Palin comparing herself to the Bard because she “invented new words.” Just because you fuck up a bunch of words trying to sound smarter than everyone knows you are, doesn’t mean you get to compare yourself to Billy Shakes. Ok, lets compare: Shakespeare impacted the world of literature and speech for eternity, and you…are still one of the monkeys sitting in a room with a typewriter that some people may believe could eventually produce Shakespeare but that everyone knows is never going to do anything but play with it’s poop.


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