I like the plain states. By plain states I mean the Midwest. By Midwest I mean the territory in the Unites States west of the Mississippi River and East of the Rocky Mountains. These states hold a containment not found on the east coast. Their cities are separate from other cities and the mileage in between has some cornfields, cell phone towers, and a few dilapidated silos, not much else.
I think of a few things on these drives through the midwest; first, I wonder what it takes to start a town out here. There is a lot of unused property where I feel like if I paved a Main street and built a townhall, I could have my own town. People would come and gamble in the saloon and discuss building a water tower at town meetings. It seems feasible. We could have a low cost of living and draw people in with unique business ventures (as of yet to be determined). The founding fathers of our town could help raise the first structures, and we could paint a mosaic in the community center dedicated to them. We could be accessible by route 70 as that seems to be a big one where we are spending most of our time. Preferably tobacco sales would plummet and we could just buy up a few hundred acres of unprofitable tobacco fields and start our town on top of it. I will be in charge of the apple orchard where we ship apples to Krogers in Des Moines, Lincoln, and Kansas.
The other thing I think about sounds like this: “hmmm, I wonder how different these Americans are from the ones I spend my time with.” I like to think that since we all live in the same country, we are basically similar. Then again, if this were Europe, the spinto band would have just driven from Spain to Germany where the people change quite a bit (while they stay the same in many ways too.) When we drive by a group of row homes next to the highway I wonder if the occupants laugh at Stella, crave for Reeses, and worry about energy conservation. Sure they all probably voted for Bush, but they could still very well be the same.
This thought leads me to a thousand more thoughts: “if I grew up in the Midwest, would I be in a rock band?” “What is a larger determinant of personality, age/experience or environment?” “why is my cell phone still roaming despite all these damn cell towers in the corn fields?” So far most of the people I have met have been quite similar to myself. At shows and in gas stations, I still find people that want to find cheap breakfasts, watch Six Feet Under, and “let loose.” This was a bit disappointing. The differences I had built in my head remained right there… in my head. Note that I have not interacted with too many Midwesterners, and most of them are college students or young adults, but I still found that if they were German and I was Spanish, we would still be able to win a game of Team Sorry as teammates. Then again, I wonder if there is a spot on the globe, where this would not hold true.
Another thing I have been thinking about is that we are playing with a lot of bands with beards. The last two nights I have seen 7 beards on musicians AT LEAST. That is a whole other anthropology debate which I don’t think I’m ready for just yet. What is the correlation of percents of musicians with beards versus percents of accountants with beards and on top of that gross income of people with beards versus gross income of people without beards? I don’t think there has been a bearded president since the 1800s,. What does that tell you? Would I vote for a man with a beard? Most definitely.
Hopefully the high altitudes of Colorado will help me think these questions out. However, the sherpa-like citizens atop the Rockies may be too busy drinking hot cocoa and sharpening grappeling hooks to discuss such topics.