Monday, September 3, 2007

Concept Check

A number of Middled readers do not live in the Midwest. By birth or calling, they identify themselves with what locals here might consider the outlying regions. You know—New York, Hollywood and the like. While these dispersed peoples understandably crave insight into Midwestern culture, they may find themselves distracted by local issues or trends completely irrelevant to the Central States. Possibly, the decline of the subprime mortgage market or a recent splurge on affordable children’s toys has kept that St. Louis or Dubuque getaway weekend just out of reach. Between dips in the Hudson and cruising the Orlando strip, these readers might feel crunched for Internet time and therefore pestered by the question, “What does Middled do for me?”

Think of this blog as an armless emergency poncho. In this comparison, the filmy plastic represents Middled’s thematic capacity. Though, reasonably, only one head can utilize the head hole at a time, there’s plenty of room for several bodies under the poncho’s minimal shelter.

One theme is that I live in St. Louis and need to eat. I also need to have conversations with interesting people and probably exercise. This theme has geographic parameters.

Another theme is that I’m twenty-seven and troubled by the inkling that generations of twenty-seven year olds before me had a firmer hold on those purpose/identity-forming tools used to rig up the suspension lines of adulthood (mysterious things, those). My own meandering has been enabled by privilege and opportunity and I’m thankful for it, but I sense that I’m not the only one in this radar-less boat. This theme is willing to cross the state line.

Regardless of age, professional talents, convictions or race, people get middled. Some more seriously than others, but the stickiness has a familiar pull. It’s hard to know how to move or where to move to. That’s what I’d like to explore—how people get moving.

What I do know is that if you get a flat tire on the highway during a thunderstorm, you need you’re poncho. Once you take it out, it’s really hard to repack into tiny pillow form, so you might as well wear it all the time.

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