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"Bush Country Faces Grim Shortages of Latte, Galleries"
By Ed Driscoll · August 6, 2005 10:24 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!

As James Lileks once wrote:

Once upon a time the major media at least pretended that the heart & soul of the country was a porch in Kansas with an American flag. Now it’s the outlands, the Strange Beyond. They vote for Bush, they believe in God, they’d have to drive 2 hours for decent Thai. Who are these people?
This is the month that the press finds out; one of the great joys of August, Iowahawk writes, is knowing that the elite media will be making their "annual Bush vacation Bataan death march" to cover the president on his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Naturally of course, their coverage of the ranch and its surrounding region will be filtered through a Upper West Side mentality that views small town America as Hell On Earth:
The rampant cultural poverty that afflicts Crawford manifests itself in unanticipated ways. It even impacts basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter and transportation.

For instance, a severe arugula shortage means that salads here must be constructed out of crude iceberg lettuce. It is nearly impossible to find a restaurant that serves balsamic chervil aioli, or a simple bone marrow gnocchi in white wine reduction; diners are forced to subsist on a diet of jumbo enchiladas or the $6.99 all-you-can-eat Brisket Buffet at Sonny's.

Without a single Prada or Moschino or even Emporio Armani within a twenty-mile radius, the fashions of Crawford are dictated by the clumsy designs of local courtiers like Wal-Mart, Sheplers or Tractor Supply Company.

Even more shocking, during a recent Salvation Army clothing drive, local residents were seen giving away what appeared to be dozens of designs from Jean Paul Gaultier's new fall collection.

Perhaps nothing illustrates the desperate straits of Crawford better than its bleak housing situation. While homes here appear plentiful and clean, most residents are forced to live in the numbing isolation of gigantic floor plans that often exceed 300 square feet, separated by as much as 50 yards from their nearest neighbors.

Compounding the loneliness, they are constrained by tiny housing budgets that would scarcely afford a seedy, roach-infested efficiency in the East Village, without the soothing sirens and the security of rent control.

Travel options are limited as well. The glaring lack of subways and cabs means residents of Crawford are forced to rely on dangerous private automobiles and trucks, which are sometimes inexplicably decorated with "#3" and decals of a urinating cartoon Calvin, talismans perhaps designed to ward off evil spirits.

Read the rest with advance warning that--unless your name is Al Hunt or E.J. Dionne--it is a riot.

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