Fishersville Mike has thrown down the gauntlet: "On Facebook, Don Surber noted that Oklahoma City is the manliest city. We await comment from Dustbury."

My first thought, as it happens, is how sad it is that Don Surber, a name-brand news blogger for so many years, eventually was overtaken by the dreaded Blogger Burnout, though such things do happen and I'm not about to look down my nose at the poor fellow just because I'm still here. My second thought was "Geez, it's a Daily Mail article, and not the Daily Mail for which Surber blogged, but the one in the UK that supposedly hires the children of dirty men with clinging wives." Which means, inevitably, I needed another source.

The actual press release was a click away, and here's what it says:

COMBOS®, everyone's favorite cheese-filled pretzels, crackers and tortillas made with real cheese, once again partnered with Bert Sperling, the research expert behind the popular "Best Places to Live" studies, to develop the "America's Manliest Cities" study.

"The results don't lie: the manliest place to be is the city they call 'OKC,'" said Craig Hall, General Manager, Mars Chocolate North America. "From its stellar hoops team to its love of pick-up trucks, Oklahoma City exemplifies the best of being a man."

This from the corporation that now owns Juicy Fruit®.

As regards our "stellar hoops team," the blurb mentions that the home of that, um, other stellar hoops team finished 36th, which tells me that taking one's talent to South Beach hasn't crowded out the supermodels in the least.

The alleged methodology:

The COMBOS® "America's Manliest Cities" study takes 50 major metropolitan areas and ranks them from manliest to least manly. The study compiles manly city data such as the number of home improvement stores, steak houses and manly occupations per capita. But even if a city has a fair share of manly traits, unmanly or "girly" factors, like a high concentration of nail salons and fancy shopping boutiques can bump cities to the bottom of the list.

I don't get it. Every strip center from Norman to Edmond contains at least one nail salon and approximately 0.8 payday-loan joints. We are awash in them. It must be said, though, that there's a Lowe's right down the street at 39th and May.

Incidentally, OKC was third in last year's survey; Nashville, which was first, dropped to fourth. I'd like to know what happened in Tampa to push them up 16 places in one year. And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that San Francisco was next to the bottom 49th, which brings me to the other half of that Daily Mail article, which purports to list the gayest neighborhoods in the nation. From Trulia Trends, which conducted this study:

Overall, the Census reports around 646,000 same-sex households in the U.S., which is just 0.6% of the country's 117 million households. Of the same-sex households, 51% are female couples and 49% are male couples, which means that 0.3% of all households are male couples and 0.3% of all households are female couples. But many neighborhoods have a concentration of same-sex couples more than 10 times that national average.

I probably shouldn't have to point out that not all LGBT types are in fact part of a couple, and that some who are may not have self-reported themselves to the Bureau of the Census, so this particular set of numbers is at least somewhat skewed. That said, Oklahoma City has its own pockets of gayness; my own ZIP code, last I heard, tied the national average for gay men and exceeded it by a third for gay women. Perhaps more to the point, OKC's longstanding gay "strip" is located just inside that ZIP code, along 39th west of Pennsylvania one mile east of Lowe's, as it happens.

The Vent

  17 June 2012

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 Copyright © 2012 by Charles G. Hill