"The 10 Worst Places to Live in Georgia"
Found one of those crazy lists today. You know, "Top 10 Places to Buy Sriracha BBQ Potato Chips" or whatever. I usually scroll right on past such silliness since no one with any hometraining puts sriracha in BBQ.
But that wasn't the topic of this particular list. The title was "These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Georgia". They then went on to claim that they had used science to choose the ten worst places to live in Georgia. I was intrigued and figured a scientific investigation of this sort was going to count on measurements of the various forms of pollution, lack of access to fresh food, inadequate outdoor areas for fresh air and exercise, stress, and overcrowding. All those nasty places inside I-285 were about to take a beating in print.
Boy was I wrong. Here's their list:
The writer then joked about the fact that you've never heard of these places. The only problem is, I have heard of these places. I've heard of every one of them. I have friends that live in some, I have spent nights in some, played high school football games in some. I know these small towns. These are the places that produce the finest watermelons, peaches, pecans, and onions in the world. Many of these towns have storied histories, intricate architecture, even museums. How in the world did these towns beat out Decatur, Chamblee, East Point, Atlanta...I mean seriously, College Park is a 24/7/365 existence of jumbo jets screaming by your house at 300 mph, 11 feet off the ground, blowing the shingles on your roof up and dropping excess fuel under them in case they crash across the street. I'm supposed to believe that is a better existence than being a Vidalia onion farmer?
Here is the "science" they used:
What kind of fool thinks that more is better when it comes to population density? All those cookie cutter houses 18 inches apart that are shoved into every available 1/8 of an acre in Atlanta but still cost $475,000 are better than an affordable home with a yard (or maybe even a field) in South Georgia? And expenditures in schools is directly related to the fact that Georgia spends dimes in North Georgia, dollars in the metro, and doughnuts in South Georgia. And I'm calling bull on the crime. They can discuss overall crime numbers if they want but they need to dig up specifics. I've never felt in danger in Vidalia, Thomaston, Cordele, etc. I can't say the same for the metro.
Here's the deal. These are modern city folks. They're impressed by fancy overpasses, tall buildings, hospitals full of stabbing victims, bright lights, lots of noise, sludge, smog, and trash. They think peaches and pork grow at Kroger. They think a big fancy school is always better than a small community school and concrete and glass is better than brick and mortar. They couldn't tell the difference between a tobacco barn and a chicken house. So they went out and found the ten least urban communities and deemed them the worst.
If you are curious about their Top 10, its pretty predictable. With the exception of Wilmington Island (which is actually a very good choice), they are all northern Atlanta suburbs. Its impossible to know where one ends and the other begins without the use of a surveyor's transit, a compass, and a plot map. They're just one big blob of city that all real Georgians just call "Atlana". One t. No identity to call their own. Just a neighborhood name to give in conversation so folks don't think they live on Bankhead or MLK.
As for me, with the exception of Wilmington Island, you can have all those Top 10 places. Give me real Georgia.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire