This morning on my drive in to work, I was listening to a story about dockworkers in New England, and a thought occurred to me: despite my general perception of New England as a relatively *soft* place (NOTE: I was listening to NPR while driving my sensible family sedan to my white-collar office job, and my neck hurts from sleeping: I am not tough), there's a lot of people there who think it's tough as hell.
Then I thought about it more, and well, everywhere thinks it's tough. Thanks to history and popular culture, New York City has a widely-propagated self-image of rugged, hard-nosed brutishness, when it's the softest damn place on Earth. Every part of America has built a portion of its ego around a self-perceived set of qualities that set them aside from those wimps in [other place].
The West is rugged and individualistic, free from the government.
The South is rebels, hunters, strong country folk.
The Midwest is corn-fed, hard-working Farmers Only.
New England is salty, rusty, wicked strong. (I must re-emphasize: SELF-PERCEPTION.)
I put the question to Twitter this morning, and it was hotly contested:
Thought experiment: what US state/region/place has the least self-perception of toughness?— Scott (@actioncookbook) May 6, 2015
You can scroll through the responses for the many quality (yet flawed) suggestions that came up, but now I'm boiling it down to the most common / best responses and putting it to you: who *doesn't* think they're tough? Expanded arguments welcomed in the comments, I say, like that isn't what we do here every day.