The other day I was reading The Stranger, Seattle’s truly alternative alt weekly newspaper, and came across the hilarious story “The Different Kinds of People That Are.” Writer Lindy West, calling her piece “A complete list,” discusses 35 or so archetypes she runs across in her daily life.
First off, it’s amazing what you can learn by reading a newspaper. We should all read them more often.
Secondly, it got me thinking of Cincinnati archetypes. I stopped at 10 because I ran out of space in the print version of this column — add your own in the comments below.
Creative People Who Make Interesting Things: Let’s start at the top, since these people basically make life worth living. Some of them host a music/art “campout” in an Over-the-Rhine building (see our Bunk Warehouse report), some start bands to play in bars around town and some work with teenagers to host a temporary Outdoor Museum in Eden Park.
People Who Say There’s Nothing to Do Here: They’re ill-informed whiners and should be shunned.
High School Friends: If you’re like me and didn’t grow up here, it can be amusing to hear people discuss what high school they attended and who they still hang out with from those days. It’s a deeply held part of locals’ identities that’s both endearing and obnoxious. As much as I enjoy teasing Elder grads about living a mile from their parents, I also know several Elder guys who’ve “escaped” the West Side.
People Who Think There’s a Difference Between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and That the Ohio Side Is Superior: There’s no difference. Get over it.
Germans: They drink beer, build strong buildings and support the arts. They don’t like change or risk. They’re everywhere.
Young Professionals: “YPs” often are recruited to make parties and events “cool.” The thing is, it works. They also form groups to raise money for charities, network for new jobs and lobby politicians to back streetcars, downtown condos and “entertainment districts.”
People Who Dig Cincinnati’s History and Geography: Hey, we didn’t design Music Hall, settle Mount Adams or create Devou Park, but we sure as hell can preserve them for future generations.
People Who Still Are Angry About the New Reds and Bengals Stadiums: I know the stadiums aren’t new anymore. I know the teams aren’t giving us our money back. I know the Reds and Bengals don’t feel obligated to produce better teams. But come on! That 1998 sales tax vote has poisoned every decent tax proposal since and is bankrupting Hamilton County. I still can be a little angry.
Proctoids: Current and former P&G folks run local government, nonprofits, hospitals, stores and banks. They own 95 percent of the property and money in Greater Cincinnati. Resistance is futile.
Suburbanites Who Are Afraid to Come Downtown: I don’t know any myself, but I hear they exist. Sad.
CONTACT JOHN FOX: firstname.lastname@example.org
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