In a sign that modern discourse has gone somewhat mad, famous economist Paul Krugman has linked to my old Farm Fetish post. On his New York Times blog.
In this post I simply point out the ridiculousness of certain politicians, and most of the media, constantly referring to rural small-town Americans as "REAL" Americans (in the cultural sense), considering that according to the US Census and Department of Labor, only 17% of Americans live in rural settings anymore, and roughly 2 million Americans farm for a living. I do this by mentioning that there are more World of Warcraft players in the US than professional Farmers.
Of course, some people have missed the point completely.
There are the comments that farmers produce, while WoW players do not. That farm living has more intrinsic value. That I'm stating urban voters and computer geeks are more "real" Americans, that city dwellers are "out of touch" (with what, for chrissake?)...
Blah blah frikkin' blah. Separated from the context of a discussion of culture, the statistic is indeed meaningless. The point I was making is that in the US many people, including the dominant political commentators and pundits, use as the defining cultural identity for America a cultural identity held by less than 1 in every five citizens. That this is, when given a moment's thought, ridiculous. Any definition of culture which automatically excludes roughly 240 million out of the nation's 300 million citizens is, one would think, inherently ridiculous.
I was using the most opposite identity group I could think of -- computer gamers -- to make my point. Of ridiculousness.
Also -- orc joke. I believe that is the first orc joke ever linked in the New York Times, and I am taking my win and going home.