UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Straight Outta Flint

Straight Outta Flint

If you’ll take a moment to notice, you’ll find that the title of this column is “Straight Outta Flint.” If you’re not familiar with the 26th state of the US, Flint is a city in Michigan. In fact, it happens to be the third most dangerous city, behind Detroit and St. Louis.

Anyway, I am not from Flint. At least, not directly. I’m from a city called Fenton, about 15 minutes outside of Flint. Ironically enough, there’s a Fenton right outside of St. Louis.

Not the point.

So, I get asked about Michigan frequently when people find out that I’m not from Massachusetts. Quite frequently, it happens around the Mass Media office. But, bear in mind that when I say, “asked,” I really mean “get made fun of.” So, because of their ridiculous comments, allow me to dispel some “common” misconceptions of Michigan, and the Midwest in general:

01. Not everyone speaks with a half-Canadian, half-hick accent. That’s mostly the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. And parts of Minnesota.

02. It’s not some primitive land that’s technologically 100 years behind the East Coast. Believe it or not, there is electricity.

03. Not everyone lives on a farm. Some do, but the area is not a huge field full of crops. As well, most people don’t drive tractors on the street (one kid did as a senior prank at my high school, but that’s kind of different), and I can’t think of the last time I saw a communal outhouse.

04. The school system does, in fact, go beyond the sixth grade. We also have some great colleges (Hail to the victors, Michigan!).

I know. Surprising revelations, eh?

Not really.

Every state has their upbeat, trendy urban areas, their suburban sprawl and their rural parts that people just forget about. And I’m fine with that. But when I say that I’m from a city, that doesn’t mean we just got running water last week.

You know, when I moved here, I didn’t move here with the expectation that every person I met was going to pronounce the word “pizza” with an ‘r’ at the end and believe that “khakis” are what you use to unlock your car door.

Also, I didn’t believe that “Michigan” would be the colloquial way for people to address me. I don’t call you “Roxbury,” now do I? Sure, it’s funny the first couple of times, but then it gets old.

Come on, let’s play nice. I won’t make fun of you, and you’ll…probably continue to make fun of me. Oh, whatever.

And, for the sake of formalities, for the rest of this column’s existence, I hope to be writing about whatever piece of news (yeah, I’m one of those dorks who reads the newspaper) strikes me as intriguing, or whatever crazy press release about a new social networking site happens to land in my email inbox.

Oh, and just to get it out of the way, lay off the Lions jokes. I’m not a fan, I’ve never been a fan and I really don’t care. But I get it. They suck. And they know it.