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On YouTube, there’s a fake tourism video for Cleveland that boasts, “Our main export is crippling depression!” While that might feel less true in light of the recent NBA Championship victory for the Cavs, there’s a certain defeatist stench that’s hard to wash off when you’re from Ohio. I know, because I’m from there. I grew up in a suburb about thirty miles east of the “Mistake by the Lake,” as it was lovingly...
Borders are bogus, nationalism is more vacuous than racism, and this juvenile ‘my state is better than your state’ bullshit is, well, just that, juvenile bullshit. Which is to say that if the 13 original colonies were reclaimed by Johnson’s sovereign England and towed back across the Atlantic and everything north of Toledo and south or west of Cincinnati burst into flames and then sunk into the ocean, the Union would be preserved, more...
Ohio music occupies many disparate nooks within the collective imagination (so please pardon the, um, encyclopedic nature of this blurb). You've got your influential hip-hop visionaries from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Camu Tao to Kid Cudi, minds that turned their genre sideways. There are funk powerhouses like Zapp and the Ohio Players and R&B superstars from the Isley Brothers to John Legend. We've generated at least two spastic post-punk totems in Devo and Brainiac and...
Presidents none. Walk down the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Celebrity Path, and you'll find the names of ballplayers, entertainers, writers and politicians who were all born in Kings County. But you won't find the name of any American president. Only one POTUS was a born New Yorker—Teddy Roosevelt came into the world in a Gramercy townhouse, and lived with his family there on E. 20th Street until he was 14, and they moved uptown. As the...

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