“Consider the way North America really works. It is Nine Nations. Each with its capital and distinctive web of power and influence.... These nations look different, feel different, and sound different from each other, and few of their boundaries match the political lines drawn on current maps....Most importantly, each nation has a distinctive prism through which it views the world,” [Garreau, 1981:1-2].
The U.S. still retains some of its old regionalism, even though overall it is much, much more homogenized than when I was a little girl and my family would take road trips around the country. Back then, going to another state or region was almost as foreign as going abroad. The Burma Shave signs along the (2-lane!) highways down south, the different foods, accents, and dialects, music and radio stations (Call letters starting with “W” east of the Mississippi and starting with “K” west of it), mom-and-pop stores and motels, distinctive regional architecture, and the fact that large parts of the country were still under insane segregation laws, all pointed to a regionalism which we have by and large lost today. I miss that (well, all excepting the insane segregation laws) in our new world of coast-to-coast chain fast food joints, identical big box stores, cookie-cutter suburbs, you-could-be-anywhere hotels, and same-old, same old satellite radio stations and cable TV.