Friday, June 22, 2007

The Diaspora Echo Chamber

Burgh Diaspora brought it up, Bill Toland in today's Post-Gazette writes about it, and now I'm blogging the P-G coverage. The Pittsburgh Diaspora has been spotted in Florida. Score one for the Manifesto.
There ought to be a way to connect these souls -- Pittsburgh's human capital with its satellite job-providers.

And the result of that would be ... ?

"Wherever you go, and whatever you want to do, there are Pittsburghers who can help you."

The conversation at Antirust about Pittsburgh "authenticity" offers an interesting counterpoint; in the comments there, "authenticity" is local within Pittsburgh. "Pittsburgh" is represented by a neighborhood, a football field, a bar. (The comments about Heinz Field are noteworthy given that the stadium is basically brand new. Would Pittsburghers have said the same thing about Three Rivers? Forbes Field? Is it the place, or the team?) In diasporan terms, Pittsburgh represents itself, that is, Pittsburgh is its own best evidence of authenticity. I think that's where the Antirust conversation is going; "authenticity" is a construct -- physical (bar, stadium), metaphoric (the working class ethos), cultural (Pittsburghese) -- that brings Pittsburghers together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the link. And agreed on all counts.

I would add that the most authentically "Pittsburgh" place I have ever been is a bar called the Purple Goose.

It's in Baltimore.

And I mean that it is "Pittsburgh" in just about every way. In it's authenticity, its artificiality, its romanticism, its realism. It has Primanti's sandwiches. Steelers games. Iron City. It's completely fake. It's the real deal.

People get drunk like hillbillies. Then go back to their jobs at investment banking companies the next day. They probably spend more time then they would like to admit pondering the implications. But they don't talk about it too much. Because that would be too fake. Or something.

But you know what? They keep gathering. And they all know each other.