“Don’t give me this disillusioned, glossy effect of who we are. This is who we really are.”
Transcript for Should Play Nicer
Good neighbors. That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? I think it is.
All the counties in Northwest Indiana, especially Lake and Porter Counties, live in this tribal fiefdom. Is that the right word? Of parochial, little communities. And we say that we are a melting pot, and I never thought we were a melting pot, and some people try to gloss that up by saying, “Well, we live in a salad. And you know, we’re not mixing like soup, but at least we’re coexisting like a crouton and a piece of lettuce.” And I just dispel that, too. We don’t even do that. You know, we can’t even be a salad in this region.
Because if you think of stereotypes, Porter County is like bumpkins, and Lake County is thugs. And that’s how we still quantify things pretty much to this day, although it’s going back decades with that characterization.
And Porter County makes fun of Lake County, which is humorous because Lake County makes fun of Porter County, of course, and they think that thugs only exist in Lake County until the Portage mayor got indicted last month for possible corruption charges, and he’s a Republican so, “Oh, wait. You’re shaking things up in the region! You can’t have a Republican from Porter County being indicted! Just Democrats from Lake County should be indicted.”
So, yeah, I still think we want to exist, but we can’t, and that’s why we have so many communities. We don’t have a hub. Gary is not—is supposed to be the hub, and it’s not really anymore, because it’s Gary, so we lost our hub. We lost our identity. So we have all these little cooks in the kitchen who think they are the chef, and they’re just sous chefs, or whatever the word would be, yeah, so.
No, things should change. We should get along better. We should not be that soup or salad bowl characterization. We should play nicer in the sandbox of Northwest Indiana and the dunes together, and we don’t to that well enough, and it’s usually by greed, and fear, and prejudice, and those components of human nature that we can’t really control as well as we’d like to think we can. So, it can definitely get better; I just don’t think it will, to be honest.
And I have no prescription for it. I mean, I don’t prescribe things, you know, I don’t–I’m not that–people think that, because of my job, sometimes. Because I write, and you know, and people read my stuff, and then, “Well, you should prescribe this.” But I’m not a preacher, I don’t prescribe things. I just—I just reflect, I think, what we have.
My biggest—what I really want to do most with my jobs is just show a nice, honest, fair mirror that I just Windexed off that’s nice and clear. “This is who we are. That’s it. You do what you want with it. I don’t care. Don’t give me this disillusioned, glossy effect of who we are. This is who we really are.”
So, this is what Northwest Indiana is, and I’m fine with it. Yeah, I’m really fine with it.
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