Moving to a Fly-Over State? FAQs About the Midwest

From the Business Insider, August 17, 2012:

Discover Magazine is Moving to the Middle of Nowhere

The science journalism world got a shake up this week when Kalmbach Publishing announced on Aug. 13 that they will be moving the highly successful popular science magazine Discover Magazine from New York City to Wisconsin. ... Kalmbach will close Discover's offices in New York in January 2013... several members of the staff have been offered the opportunity to move with the magazine, though so far none have accepted.

(Accompanying picture shows frozen farm field.)

Dear East Coast Friends and Family,

Where do I begin? With the fact that in a medium-sized city like Milwaukee, I can arrive at the symphony ten minutes after leaving home? The stunning beauty of Lake Michigan and of western Wisconsin's green, rolling hills? A tone of voice, a sentiment overheard on A Prairie Home Companion?

OK, I'll just blurt it out: I am moving to the Midwest.

Please calm down, especially you, Mom and Dad. I know you never saw this coming and I suspect you have questions and concerns. I've anticipated some of them below.

Where is the Midwest?

It's part of the United States and is located between LGA and LAX. It should not be confused with the Mideast. Much of the population clusters around the Great Lakes, which are quite large (hence the name) and take up 92,450 square miles. By comparison, New York State is 54,556 square miles.

Wikipedia calls this region the "Third Coast." Isn't that cute?

Will you need your passport and special vaccinations?


How did knowledge migrate across the natural barrier of the Appalachians?

You've just given me an idea for a Discover article.

What do you know about these people's culture and values?

The people do not seem to be impressed by labels, familial heritage or wealth. There seems to be an overall emphasis on cooperation over competition.

In what ways are their universities and colleges similar to, and different from, our own?

Much like the East Coast, the Midwest states have developed an infrastructure that supports transportation, healthcare and education. K-12 schoolchildren appear to have access to the same educational content as children on the East Coast. Colleges attract people from all over the world.

Oh honey, what did we do wrong?

Nothing, Mom and Dad. Remember, one of the most important aspects of work life is one's peers. And while they talk slower than East Coasters and sometimes wear funny clothes, I like these people! They're nice.

Nice? You based your decision on nice?

I'm just pointing out that people here value cheerfulness.

Couldn't you just keep going west until you reached San Francisco?

Stop it.

Your mind is obviously made up and we will always love you. But how will we explain your choice to others?

Tell them that my choice is not quaint or misguided. And that The Onion originated in Madison, Wisconsin.