Shinde m'dear,You really are making a blanket statement here about an entire state and the people contained within it. I can't help but be insulted, seeing as except for a nine month stint in Washington state which has recently come to a close, I have lived here all of my life and plan to live here for at least a couple more years. In fact, I'd like to come back here to live after my wild oats have been sown and my schooling is compete because I love this state so much. I can think of nothing sweeter than, after living to some remote age and at last dying peacefully in my sleep, being laid to rest beneath one of Wisconsin's great oaks, it's boughs whispering in the early summer breeze. I'll just tell you before I get into discussing your points that I am pretty defensive about this place, so my opinion is quite biased and you might be better off asking someone who has just spent a few months here visiting a friend's dog, or someone who is partial to the terrible drivers of Illinois, or whatever.Wisconsin was a beautiful and excellent place to grow up. I spent my childhood on the outskirts of the booming metropolis of Green Bay, where the football team is a way of life and the winter is six months long. The people here are tough, red-faced and good-natured, sculpted in a way by the forces of nature that drive them in their daily lives even in our modern ways of technology and industry. The autumns in Wisconsin are mulit-colored and splendid, full of acorns that litter the floors of quiet forest paths and brilliant maples awash with gold and red. The summers are warm and fragrant, full to the brim with slow, loud bees that buzz from glade to glade, and the afternoons are basked in a golden light before a refreshing thunder-shower sweeps away the cares of the day. Springtime renews hope in everyone, man and animal alike, even as it renews the vibrant growing life around us, sending up tender green shoots through the melting snows. Yes, it was a great place to grow up, and I would not trade my childhood of romping through the forests and playing in the muddy pools of this place for anyone else's.The land here is a perfect blend of hill and valley and field. In the summer the miles of corn stretch a green runway out to a horizon of trees and in the fall the patchwork color of the trees speckle the hills in glorious piebald splendor. The cities rise up from the surrounding farmland like lighthouses on the dark shores of the rocky sea. The cities themselves are large enough so as to contain the essentials and intricacies of urban life but are lacking in a lot of the problems that plague so many large cities in this country, such as high rates of crime and pollution and the like. Living in one of Wisconsin's urban centers is living amidst the perfect blend of country charm and metropolitan glamor.There are a lot of large (read: fatties) people here, but then, there are large people everywhere in the United States these days. Maybe part of it has to do with the cold weather in Wisconsin and the tendency of the human body to store food in preparation for the winter months. It also makes sense that there are large people here in that the food sources tend to contain a high ratio of fatty meats and dairy products. We do not have a lot of seafood here. Despite our close proximity to the Great Lakes, we don't really fish all that much save perhaps the sport fisherman who catches a trout or two in one of the many inland lakes. This fact, in combination with the high rate of dairy production and beef cattle, means that our diets here are conducive to being on the large side of things, people-wise. We also like to drink a lot, not to mention the fact that we raise and eat a lot of grains and grain-based products. This tendency to become obese is easily avoidable for many people who exercise and have a healthy lifestyle, but for people who work factory jobs or live in the country and have little access to the conveniences of modern life, being fat is sort of the way that things go, especially as you get older.Perhaps you have not had the opportunity to travel a lot, but I have. I have been pretty much everywhere that there is to go in this country, and that's saying a lot considering the geographical and topological diversity that the good old USA #1 has to offer. I can say with complete honesty that there is no where else that I have found that even comes close to the artless perfection that I find in the lovably simple yet obviously complex ways of my home state nor which produces even what I consider to be adequate alternatives for Wisconsin's many gifts. There are hicks and rednecks everywhere, Wisconsin included. There are stupid and ignorant people everywhere, Wisconsin included. But these facts aside, when you pare it down such that the chaff is blown away, no other state encompasses such a perfect blend of beauty and sophisticated charm as my home state of Wisconsin. I am sorry that you did not see these things for yourself in your short term here, but I assure you that it is you who are deficient, not this place. Better luck next time.

On Wisconsin.

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