I’m From America’s 5th Saddest City

Posted on February 21, 2013


The 5th Saddest City in America, Monroe Louisiana - my hometown

The 5th Saddest City in America, Monroe Louisiana – my hometown

Monroe Louisiana is my hometown.

Situated on the eastern banks of the Ouachita river, Monroe is a tiny city, in fact its barely a city at all, more like a town on steroids.

But I love this small city in the northeast corner of the Louisiana boot, its home so I really have no choice in the matter.

‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in’. – The Hired Man, Robert Frost

Monroe has always been like that for me, I’ve packed up my troubles and headed for greener pastures many times in my life, the first time I was 15, the last time – 34.

But I always came back, Monroe had to take me in.

I complain about my hometown, unfortunately there is no shortage of things to complain about.

But, just like an actual family, I get upset when ‘outsiders’ talk ugly about my hometown.

Like this article – http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20130221/NEWS01/302210313/Blue-Bayou-State

The University of Vermont analyzed more than 10 million tweets from 2011 and concluded Louisiana is the saddest state in the union and Monroe, my hometown, is the 5th saddest city in America.

These grad students from the Maple Syrup state looked at ‘sad words’. Words like hate, boo and of course, profanities (being a frequent and often profane tweeter I feel I must shoulder some responsibility for this. So, anyway… sorry bout that) and contrasting those with the Twitter frequency of ‘nice words’ like happy, good, rainbow (I kid you not, rainbow), and of course, nice. 

I don’t wanna judge, I went to Vo-Tech after all, but the criteria choices for this study seem kinda weak huh?

Now like I said, there is no shortage of ‘sad’ in Monroe and all across northeast Louisiana.

I’m sad when I drive past the abandoned GM plant where so many of my friends once had good jobs, I’m sad when I look at the gleaming new Nascar track on the eastern edge of town that sat idle for years (next month that is set to change under new management, I’m hopeful, but past experience has taught me not to be too hopeful).

I’m sad that we take so little pride in Monroe itself, the trash littering the roadways and clogging our rivers, canals, bayous and lakes is testament to our terrible attitude towards appearances and disdain about how we’re perceived by visitors and for that matter, how we look at ourselves.

But I’m not sad because we’re not ‘nicer’ on Twitter, I’m not the least upset we don’t tweet more about how happy we are, where are they so nauseatingly happy anyway*?

*Turns out, Napa, California, the happiest city in America according to those Vermont college students, where citizens ride unicorns across the rainbow bridge to work in the Napa wine factories.

Say… maybe Napa denizens aren’t so much happy as they are drunk?

I’m sad our city school board is a laughing stock in Louisiana, yes Louisiana, the state with one of, if not the worst – public education systems in the USA and the Monroe City School Board is literally the worst of the worst in the Bayou State, a perpetual source of embarrassment for my hometown.

But I’m not sad because we’re cranky and profane and vulgar on Twitter.

Come to think of it, if we changed our profane vulgar ways we’d probably become the most boring city in America.

But I would like to ride a unicorn across a rainbow bridge, that would be pretty cool.




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