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#1
Old 01-18-2011, 02:06 PM
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Are Vermonters considered to be "dumb" like Mainers?

ok, before I get blasted for making stereotypes, know that I am inquiring *about* the stereotype.

Mainers (from what I've gathered) are regarded as simpletons by their Massachusettsan neighbors. In the same vein as Poles, Welsh, etc.

Simple question: do Vermonters have this same reputation? (not from Mass., but anywhere)

Last edited by Rumor_Watkins; 01-18-2011 at 02:08 PM.
#2
Old 01-18-2011, 02:13 PM
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I'm not from the NE, but perhaps the stereotype I associate with Vermonters is ex-hippies who got teaching jobs. I don't know how scientific these lists are, but Vermont tops the "smartest" states, see here, here, and here (probably have to click the arrow).

Last edited by thelurkinghorror; 01-18-2011 at 02:13 PM.
#3
Old 01-18-2011, 02:15 PM
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Isn't the stereotype about people from Maine that they're taciturn, not stupid?
#4
Old 01-18-2011, 02:15 PM
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No, Vermonters are granola-eating Birkenstock-wearing, eggheads. I'm surprised they don't expect the cows to milk themselves after a therapy session.
#5
Old 01-18-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Isn't the stereotype about people from Maine that they're taciturn, not stupid?
Canny and taciturn, is the stereotype I'm familiar with.

Tourist: where does this road go?

Mainer: It doesn't go nowheah, it stays right theah.

Tourist: I see there's a fork in the road, if I want to get to (city) does it matter which fork I take?

Mainer: Not to me.

And so on, this is a tiny part of a whole routine that was related to me once upon a time. FTR, I've been to Maine exactly once, driving from NH to the outlet stores in the town where LL Bean is. I'm from the west coast; I once had a college professor from Maine whose accent was so pronounced that I originally thought she was an immigrant from a foreign country. But she was not taciturn at all, she was very nice.


Roddy
#6
Old 01-18-2011, 02:56 PM
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I thought the stereotype for Maine was the ridiculously high murder rate, ref: Murder, She Wrote, a good chunk of Stephen King's bibliography, etc.
#7
Old 01-18-2011, 02:57 PM
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I live in Mass. and I do not think either Maine or Vermont has a dumb stereotype. We call people form Main "maniacs" but it's just because it sounds cool and it's sort of a term of endearment.
#8
Old 01-18-2011, 02:57 PM
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Before I moved back to Massachusetts, I never heard the stereotype of Mainers (Mainiacs?) as dumb -- as noted above, taciturn, but not stupid. But the local oldies station has run a daily joke feature "Men from Maine" every day for the past 20 years or so that has folks from Maine as stupid, ignorant, loose-moraled, foul-mouthed, and dirty. Aside from them, I don't know who's pushing this stereotype.


It's like the Salt Lake City stereotype of BYU co-eds as fat and dumb. I don't know where that came from -- the BYU co-eds I saw were generally gorgeous. But you can buy books of BYU coed jokes in SLC.
#9
Old 01-18-2011, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
And so on, this is a tiny part of a whole routine that was related to me once upon a time.
Stranger: Excuse me, does this road go to Portland?

Mainer: Nope, stays right here.

Stranger: Can I take this road to Portland?

Mainer: Ayup, you can, but they got plenty of roads in Portland already.

http://islandportpress.com/bert50.htm - Bert and I

And I agree with the other posters, there isn't any stereotype of Mainiacs as being dumb other than sort of a generic rural vs city thing. But Boston folk would say the same thing about people in western Mass.
#10
Old 01-18-2011, 03:30 PM
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I'm in Vermont. So no.
#11
Old 01-18-2011, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
I live in Mass. and I do not think either Maine or Vermont has a dumb stereotype. We call people form Main "maniacs" but it's just because it sounds cool and it's sort of a term of endearment.
I'm from Vermont originally, but left before the hippies took over. Back then it was inhabited by hard-working, taciturn, conservative individualists.

Oh, yeah, we called people from Massachusetts Massholes.

Sorry.
#12
Old 01-18-2011, 03:35 PM
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You have your stereotypes mixed up. Rhode Islanders are dumb.

Tourist: where does this road go?

Row Dilander: Duh?
#13
Old 01-18-2011, 03:37 PM
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I'm from MA and

- I go along with 'taciturn' for Maine,
- Vermont is pictured as 2 groups; the 'original' hill and valley folk, and the 'newcomers' from NY(City, mostly).

And yeah, for Maine humor;

Judge; "Have you lived here all your life?"
Witness; "Not yet."

Last edited by UncleFred; 01-18-2011 at 03:38 PM.
#14
Old 01-18-2011, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleFred View Post
- Vermont is pictured as 2 groups; the 'original' hill and valley folk, and the 'newcomers' from NY(City, mostly).
Uh, not "newcomers," but "flatlanders."

And, as James Thurber once wrote, "All people can be divided into two groups: those who divide people into two groups and those who don't,"
#15
Old 01-18-2011, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
No, Vermonters are granola-eating Birkenstock-wearing, eggheads. I'm surprised they don't expect the cows to milk themselves after a therapy session.
I took a trip to Vermont this Summer and that's exactly what I saw. You could split the population into two distinct groups: hippies and 20something college kids.
#16
Old 01-18-2011, 04:59 PM
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I lived in MA for 13 years, and Mainers were considered a touch odd, not stupid. VT=hippies is a pretty entrenched stereotype, though, as is VT=hicks who are outnumbered by the cows.
#17
Old 01-18-2011, 06:26 PM
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Farmer from Vermont, talking to Farmer from Maine: What did you feed your cow when it got the colic?

Maine: Bran and molasses.

A week later...

Vermont: I fed my cow bran and molasses and it died!

Maine: So did mine.
#18
Old 01-18-2011, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
I took a trip to Vermont this Summer and that's exactly what I saw. You could split the population into two distinct groups: hippies and 20something college kids.
Uhhhh....those are pretty much the same thing.

If (and that's a big if) you're going to divide Vermonters into two groups, it's twenty-something 'new age hippies/trustafarians' and then 'old-school' Vermonters (salt of the earth/farmer types.)

And really, if you aren't in Burlington or Brattleboro (and perhaps Montpelier and Bennington,) it's like 90% the other type of Vermonter.

The rural parts of the VT can be as red-state, gun-toting, Obama-hating as you can imagine (which isn't to say that all of the 'old-school' style Vermonters are like that, just that some of them are, and it surprises a lot of non-Vermonters who think everyone here is all hippe, liberal, atheist, commies.)
#19
Old 01-18-2011, 10:28 PM
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If you want to get the general idea of Vermont, just watch the 80's sitcom Newhart. It is exaggerated but fairly accurate except there aren't any real Larry, Darryl, and Darryls around as far as I ever saw but close. I made up my mind to live there when I was a was kid in Louisiana and managed to swing it in my early 20's for over a year. It is a drop-dead gorgeous place but very odd. I never heard anyone claim that the population was dumb, just the opposite. Its neighbor, New Hampshire picks up some of those comments but that isn't close to accurate either. If it wasn't so cold for most of the year, Northern New England would be close to heaven on earth. Vermont life still manages to straddle several centuries worth of technology successfully and some of it does seem primitive but charming. They still have true general stores that haven't been updated much from when they were built in the 1800's and the landscape hasn't changed that much over time.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 01-18-2011 at 10:28 PM.
#20
Old 01-18-2011, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
You have your stereotypes mixed up. Rhode Islanders are dumb.
You calling The Mob dumb? I'll have mayor Buddy Cianci stop by your house and punch you in the nose!

Yeah, Mainiacs are taciturn and folksy. Vermonters are socialists! I mean, they're almost Canadians. Notice how NH is narrow in the north (near Canada) and wide in the south (near MA). VT is the opposite. Everyone in VT is required to take classes at Bennington.
#21
Old 01-19-2011, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Stranger: Excuse me, does this road go to Portland?

Mainer: Nope, stays right here.

Stranger: Can I take this road to Portland?

Mainer: Ayup, you can, but they got plenty of roads in Portland already.

http://islandportpress.com/bert50.htm - Bert and I

And I agree with the other posters, there isn't any stereotype of Mainiacs as being dumb other than sort of a generic rural vs city thing. But Boston folk would say the same thing about people in western Mass.
Thank you! I gotta buy me that recording!


Roddy
#22
Old 01-19-2011, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
ou could split the population into two distinct groups: hippies
And not just college student hippies. My girlfriend's family is from VT. They are EXTREMELY lefty...Like straight out of a 1960's commune! earth crunchy granola, Super feminist, Wiccan and Mama is a lesbian (and I swear to god before I met them I thought that the Wiccan lesbian leftie was something made up by the religious right) Heck the girl came out at 15, thought that was totally and completely normal and was all freaked out when she fell in love with a boy.
#23
Old 01-19-2011, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bouv View Post
Uhhhh....those are pretty much the same thing.
Nah. While 20something college kids can be hippies, most weren't. While everyone over the age of 35 was a walking stereotypical hippie. Although that's another thing, I saw very few people between the ages of 30 and 50 on my trip. It was odd.
#24
Old 01-19-2011, 08:58 AM
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The Vermonters between 30 and 50 are too busy to be out where tourists can see them. I think they spend all their time making artisan organic goat cheeses to sell to each other.
#25
Old 01-23-2011, 06:15 PM
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I grew up in Vermont and still return frequently, as my parents, siblings, etc. still reside there. I would say that just about every stereotype mentioned above is somewhat true in general if applied to a certain geographical era, and small pockets of each stereotype throughout the state. The Burlington area (NW VT, on Lake Champlain) is a college town (so plenty of teaching jobs for ex-hippies) and is also a perfect example of how you can balance quality of life and economic opportunity which, in better economic times, attracted a lot of would-be entrepreneurs. I would say that a stereotypical Burlingtonite (a word I made up) is a white-collar professional, politically liberal, who either came to the area as a hippie to attend college but, after graduation, realized that they needed to sell out and get a real job and a haircut to pay the bills.

Northeastern Vermont (aka The Northeast kingdom - it's a real phrase) is very rural, lots of multigenerational family farms and plenty of the stereotypical New England quaintness to match. This this culture does attract some "back to nature" types from other states as well, but this is much less prevalent than in the Burlington area, so the impact on the native culture is minimal.

The Rutland area, where I'm from, located in SW Central VT is a bit different. There is a very strong Italian presence due to the local marble industry. Recently (last 15-20 years, or so) there has been an influx of wannabee yuppie types, mostly people from Boston law, investment, consulting, etc., firms who didn't make partner or were let go because of their company's "up or out" policy, etc., and moved to the area with the intention of becoming big fishes in a small pond. These people tend to be politically conservative and seem to go out of the way to emulate the 80's yuppie stereotype (not realizing that it became pejorative over 20 years ago), i.e. Volvos, Ralph Lauren polo shirts (from outlet stores, of course), etc., and seem to share a collective hatred for anyone who has less, or even worse, more, than them.

The rest of Vermont, IMHO, seems to contain mixtures of all of the types I mentioned, but, individually, none of them seem to be concentrated heavily enough in any particular area to define it.
#26
Old 01-24-2011, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
I'll have mayor Buddy Cianci stop by your house and punch you in the nose!
You probably already know this, but for our viewers watching from home, Buddy's not the mayor of Providence any more. According to the terms of his sentence applicable after his 2007 release from prison, he wouldn't be allowed to run for mayor again until 2012.

And he never did his own punching, anyway.
#27
Old 01-24-2011, 12:09 AM
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shrewd, taciturn and cheap was the historical stereotype about them in MA, I believe.
#28
Old 01-25-2011, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
You have your stereotypes mixed up. Rhode Islanders are dumb.

Tourist: where does this road go?

Row Dilander: Duh?
No, only the ones from Woonsocket, where they park their cars side by each.
#29
Old 01-25-2011, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by skdo23 View Post
... a stereotypical Burlingtonite (a word I made up)
[Reverend Jim ON] Burlingtonite or Burlingtonarian? [Reverend Jim OFF]

Last edited by Rocketeer; 01-25-2011 at 10:30 AM.
#30
Old 01-25-2011, 12:04 PM
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No, only the ones from Woonsocket, where they park their cars side by each.
Throw me down the stairs my shoes, you.

And of course, said to the neighbor's kids: "Next time you cut tru my yard you go 'round!"

Only 45 miles acrost, but it's a wicked diffrent place, dependin on where yours from.
#31
Old 01-25-2011, 01:24 PM
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From many visits to Vermont where relatives lived...

Nouveau hippies, sensitive emo poets, and earth-goddess types, with a very loose sense of time and place.

"Meet for lunch at 11:00" means stand around until 11:30 wondering why no one has shown up, and then walk around the local streets to find various distracted members of the party who are "on their way there" window shopping, stopping at the local outdoor market, playing frisbee in the park, etc. Spend the next two hours having people gradually show up non-concurrently to eat, while others finish and leave.

When trying to set up the next lunch plans, smile at yourself as the Vermonters writhe and twitch in fear at the use of the term "-o'clock" instead of the temporally imprecise "-ish", "around then", or "Wednesday".
#32
Old 01-25-2011, 05:28 PM
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So checking in at Maddow's blog today I found this amusing map

Maine wins the award of dumbest state

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleated-jeans
19. Maine: dumbest state claim based on lowest average SAT score (1389)

http://commonwealthfoundation.or...cores-by-state
Vermont got

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleated-jeans
Vermont: infertility claim based on lowest birth rate of any state (10.6 births per 1,000) (tied with Maine)

Maine is one of my favorite escapes. A few of my aunts have always lived there one in northern Maine one on the upper coast. I've never thought of the people as dumb.
#33
Old 01-25-2011, 06:02 PM
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I'll contribute my thoughts before reading the thread so my opinions aren't tainted by others.

Speaking as someone from Chicago, my personal stereotype of Maine is pretty small, full of fisherman, hole in the wall bars, delicious seafood, and populated by potentially small-minded people who speak with strange accents that drop too many letters. I don't think of them as stupid, but uneducated... yes. Kinda goes along with all the guys being fishermen and all the women being waitresses or barmaids in said hole in the wall bars. Overall not the best impression, but not bad either. Especially since I love seafood and holes in the wall.

My view of Vermont is largely based on the fact that employers and insurance companies are not allowed to drug test employees in that state. So I think of Vermont as a small, awesome, !!EXTRAORDINARILY PROGRESSIVE!! state. If it weren't for that factoid, I wouldn't have any opinion of VT at all.
#34
Old 01-26-2011, 10:38 AM
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I don't know that I would characterize Vermonters as stupid. However, let us not forget who sends Bernie Sanders back to the Senate every six years.
#35
Old 01-26-2011, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
I don't know that I would characterize Vermonters as stupid. However, let us not forget who sends Bernie Sanders back to the Senate every six years.
He's actually never been re-elected to the senate.

(And are you saying that electing ol' Bernie is a stupid thing? He's one of the few passionate senators out there who actually fights for real causes he campaigns about and doesn't just give lip service to them to get votes, and then panders to lobbyists.)
#36
Old 01-26-2011, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
You probably already know this, but for our viewers watching from home, Buddy's not the mayor of Providence any more. According to the terms of his sentence applicable after his 2007 release from prison, he wouldn't be allowed to run for mayor again until 2012.

And he never did his own punching, anyway.
Well, perhaps not punching, but as his Wiki pages states:

"Cianci was forced by law to resign from office for the first time in 1984 after pleading guilty to assaulting a Bristol, Rhode Island contractor with a lit cigarette, an ashtray and a fireplace log. "
#37
Old 01-26-2011, 12:09 PM
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Bouv, my bad about being re-elected to the Senate, Should have been more specific by including serving in the House.

I most certainly agree that he is passionate. Candidly, I actually like the guy because he doesn't pussy foot around about what he believes. All elected officuals should be as candid and honest as he is. However, he is so far to the left that IMHO he serves no practical purpose. If I were a Vermonter I'd rather have someone who isn't so marginalized by his radical/socialist views. Long ago I learned to ignore the extremes, both left and right. They make for good sound bitess, but rarely contribute much of value.
#38
Old 01-26-2011, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
I don't know that I would characterize Vermonters as stupid. However, let us not forget who sends Bernie Sanders back to the Senate every six years.
[moderating]
Please keep the political potshots out of GQ.
[/moderating]
#39
Old 01-26-2011, 12:25 PM
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Noted. Comment was rendered as somewhat tongue and cheek.
#40
Old 01-26-2011, 01:11 PM
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Best info on Maine is John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley.

His interactions with people in various states are fascinating. I don't think he visited Vermont. It's been awhile since I read Steinbeck.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-26-2011 at 01:13 PM.
#41
Old 01-26-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleated-jeans
19. Maine: dumbest state claim based on lowest average SAT score (1389)

http://commonwealthfoundation.or...cores-by-state
That comes from this chart, which is interesting. The highest scoring state, Iowa, only has 3% of students taking the test, presumably the brightest 3%. Maine, at the bottom, has a pretty remarkable 92% of students taking the test. "Maine is dumb" is hardly a fair conclusion, I think.

(Also, apparently they've added another section, writing, to the SATs, making what used to be a good score now a crappy one. Didn't know that.)
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