Just when I felt completely spent from my last entry (an ode to Julie Brown), along comes a national news item so very very great that I am forced to celebrate the existence of a place that I never even dreamt I’d drive across …not even in order to get to a better place.
78. The State of Iowa
That’s right–Iowa! My admittedly ignorant opinion about Iowa was previously based on assumptions I had about their corn-fed-white-bread constituency. I mean, we’re talking real heartland-breadbasket-Midwest territory here. Naturally, as an east coast liberal and current ex-pat, I thought that I could close my mind to any hope of progressive change coming from Iowa–or anywhere East of New Mexico or West of Pennyslvania for that matter. I just sort of lumped Iowa in with places like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and other such shit-bergs.
Here’s a guy on youtube articulating almost word for word what is going on in my head (without the cymbal-clapping chimpanzee in my brain that normally overwhelms my thought process):
Well colour me dumbfounded! But what has Iowa gone and done but legalized gay marriage?! Never in a million years would I have predicted that in the late 2000 and noughts that California would repeal it’s gay marriage rights and Iowa would institute their own. But, reading up, I now understand that not only is Iowa the food capital of America and that its economy, population, and landscape are incredibly diverse but that it has often been a trailblazer in regards to civil rights. In 1868, Iowa discarded the notion of separate but equal. They also ruled against segregation in public places 91 years before The Supreme Court came to that ‘no-duh’ conclusion. Furthermore, Iowa was the first state in the Union to permit women to practice law. Consider me schooled!
Now, not only is Iowa only the 3rd state in the Union to allow same-sex marriage but the ruling was a unanimous one. UNANIMOUS! Is there any better word when it comes to decisions regarding civil liberties?
What else can I say about Iowa? Well, it’s one of the safest states to live (unless you’re allergic to corn). More than just harvesting niblets to stuff inJolly Green Giant tins, its major industries include biotechnology and green energy production. I think I’m in love. Oh, and get this–its population is both literate and well-educated. Governed by democrat Chet Culver, it has the 3rd highest high-school graduation rate in the nation Totally better than that hunk of shit Nebraska! Or that waster Montana.
Iowa, named after the Native American Ioway peoples, is also home to the driftless zone which sounds like a place that the Fantastic Four would travel to. In reality, the driftless zone is a Paleozoic plateau featuring deeply carved rivers and a lack of glacial ‘drift’. Reed is such a douche. He’s always picking the vacation destinations.
This all sounds great, you might be thinking to yourself. The corn, the fresh air, the civil rights, the lack of glacial drift–but what about Nobel prize winners? I only like to visit locations that have birthed winners of this international award. Well you’re in luck, because Iowa’s home to three of them including Norman Borlaug–a humanitarian and agronomist.
Other children of the corn include:
Well, there you have it–my ode to Iowa. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour as much as I have. I can’t wait to go there now. No seriously, I might–now that I know a little more about it…I mean not for a whole week or anything but I might go canoeing on the river for a day or two the next time I plan on some inter-state travel back home. What? It could happen! Doubters.
In closing, here’s a fun little ode to Iowa that I found on Youtube.
Thanks Iowa! You totally did us homos a solid!
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