Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the history of the hillbilly in America. – Slate Magazine

The hillbilly figure allows middle-class white people to offload the venality and sin of the nation onto some other constituency, people who live somewhere—anywhere—else. The hillbilly’s backwardness highlights the progress more upstanding Americans in the cities or the suburbs have made. These fools haven’t crawled out of the muck, the story goes, because they don’t want to.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the history of the hillbilly in America. – Slate Magazine

The people who move to the suburbs aren’t nearly as stupid or careless or brainwashed as the urbanites seem to think. They know they’re going to get a lawn, a garage, and a backyard. They know they will be miles from a store or cafe, and that they’ll have to drive everywhere. Most people move to the suburbs with eyes wide open, fully aware of the tradeoffs they are making. They are not looking for some pastoral idyll, but for more privacy, space, quiet, and parking.

A rural person expects to know every person in his world, and therefore thinks of every person as an individual. An urbanized person never expects to know the people he comes into contact with, and therefore rarely focuses on them as individuals. Stating the same thing in a different way, when you have more categories in your mind than people, you tend to see the categories as characteristics of the people. […] But once you have more people in your world than categories, you start to sort the people into categories.

Bill James in Popular Crime. Food for thought.

Ranking Baseball’s Best Ballparks –

The winner by a country mile is Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. More than 80 percent of reviewers gave it the top, 5-star rating, and its average score was 4.77 points. It is followed by Boston’s Fenway Park (4.59 stars), San Francisco’s AT&T Park (4.57), Minneapolis’ Target Field (4.53), and Baltimore’s Camden Yards (4.47).

I have a suspicion based on zero personal experience that Pittsburgh is one of America’s secretly great cities.

Ranking Baseball’s Best Ballparks –

Pre-interstate Atlanta, 1919 by the Foote & Davies Company.

This is an image from the 1919 Foote and Davies map of Atlanta, taken from the very cool Big Map Blog. We can see what the built environment of downtown Atlanta looked like (and might have continued to look like) before the interstates and their ramps sliced wide chasms of asphalt and concrete through the area.

I’m trying to imagine Atlanta if we got rid of the I-75/I-85 Connector and did a Cheonggyecheon-style restoration. I can dream.