Frontier Former Editor

September 23, 2008

Well, it does explain why I don’t get many dinner invitations . . .

Hard to believe its been almost 40 years . . .

Hard to believe it's been almost 40 years . . .

When I think of the Wall Street Journal and the word ‘health,’ I usually think of reports of stockbrokers leaping to their deaths after the closing bell, but the good folks at Rupert Murdoch’s new bitch seem to have something of moderate interest here.

“Certain regional stereotypes have long since become cliches: The stressed-out New Yorker. The laid-back Californian.

“But the conscientious Floridian? The neurotic Kentuckian?

“You bet — at least, according to new research on the geography of personality. Based on more than 600,000 questionnaires and published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, the study maps regional clusters of personality traits, then overlays state-by-state data on crime, health and economic development in search of correlations.”

According to this little piece of enterprise reporting, the lower 48, the upper 1 and the offshore 1 were rated on a scale of 1-50 (1= most, 50 = least) on five basic qualities. The Old Dominion’s rating on those qualities?

  • Extraversion: 45
  • Agreeableness: 44
  • Conscientiousness: 39
  • Neuroticism: 21
  • Openess: 11

So, if the slogan is true that Virginia is for lovers, then it’s for that sullen, uptight, careless, annoying, in-your-face girlfriend or that Robert DeNiro ‘Taxi Driver’-like boyfriend. The first four categories, however,  do go some length to explain some of our more notorious recent products, like George Allen and James Gilmore.

But, if you like living in a state where every spinster has the potential to have a dead boyfriend in their bed and a large bill for quicklime, then Mississippi may be your kind of place:

“Or take a cue from Ted Ownby, who studies Southern culture at the University of Mississippi. His state came up highly neurotic — and he suspects his neighbors would be proud.

“”Here in the home of William Faulkner,” Mr. Ownby said, “we take intense, almost perverse neuroticism as a sign of emotional depth.””

Yep, and all Virginia did besides mother a few presidents was to run Stephen Austin and Sam Houston out of the Commonwealth and to speculate on some real estate just north of the Rio Grande . . .

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July 4, 2008

And a Fourth of July finale from Norton, Va.

Filed under: My God, it's full of stars, Virginia — Tags: , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 10:28 pm

January 21, 2008

Maybe the little things do count more

Filed under: Blacksburg, bureaucracy, observations, old college days, rationality, schools, Virginia, Virginia Tech — Frontier Former Editor @ 4:35 pm

I spent part of the coldest day of this year in Blacksburg, Va. Sunday and picked up this little piece of literature: (more…)

November 22, 2007

Same as it ever was . . . same as it ever was – or musical wanderings

One spring evening 22 years ago, I was sitting in the old Biograph Theater in Richmond, Virginia enjoying a pleasant buzz from the half-gallon milk jug of grapefruit juice and grain that my roomie had brought along to enhance the experience of “Stop Making Sense.”

One of the better concert films of my particular era, even stacked against “The Last Waltz,” I rather enjoyed watching this particular flick. Even though the opening with “Psycho Killer” was fascinating enough, this segment left me walking around the dorm many a drunken night wearing an oversized sportcoat and jerking around as if being shot repeatedly by a large caliber handgun and muttering “same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was . . . ”

More proof that geeky white boys can funk and rock . . .

While sitting at work Tuesday, waiting on hold for some other agent with an infirm grasp of the obvious to help my customer on some issue, I was vegging out momentarily when I realized that the hold muzak had a Steely Dan/Donald Fagen theme and that I was whistling “Green Flower Street.” At once, I realized that the barely post-teen agent in the next cubicle was looking at me like I’d lost my mind, that the muzak was almost worth listening to, and that Steely Dan had achieved cultural trivialization.

And a little side trip with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings . . .

I’m still not exactly in a literarily coherent state these days, but I’m working on it.

September 20, 2007

Two-armed bandit (or privateer if you’re English . . . .)

The stuff you miss out on unless you’re standing in a super Wal-mart at 9 p.m. on a weeknight . . . .

 This juicy bit of historical revisionism comes from about 360 miles due east of my chair, in the burg of Newport News, Va., named in part after Captain Christopher Newport, the skipper of the seagoing part of the first Virginia Company expedition to what became Jamestown.

 Confused? Bored? Hold on because it starts to get funny shortly.

Christopher Newport University (named after guess who? No, not Burton Cummings . . .) recently dedicated a 24-foot statue of Captain Newport at the university’s main entrance.

Now for the funny part . . . .

(more…)

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