NEW YORK CITY PROVINCIALISM | 2004-08-21
Today no one is surprised when you say, "He is a New York City provincial." But when I was growing up in the 50's New York was sophisticated and everyone else was provincial. To say that a New Yorker could be provincial was exactly like saying that the pope was a Methodist.
Today we all understand that the idea that New Yorkers had that New Yorkers are sophisticated and everybody else is a rube is the most extreme form of provincialism possible. All real rubes think everybody else is different from the real thing, and the real thing is them, just like the New Yorkers did. That's what provincialism IS. But back then all the television networks were based in New York, all the editorial outlets were based in New York, all the publishing was based in New York.
So all the Great Minds said New York was sophisticated and everybody else was a rube.
In the 1950's when a country boy went to New York he adopted a New York City attitude to show he was no longer a provincial.
You are thinking, "What could be more provincial than that attitude?" I said the same thing back then, but nobody understood what I was talking about.