What is it that makes me so attached to certain places and so repelled by others? I seem to have an overly developped sensibility to the atmospheres which surround me at any given moment. I have been blessed in the past, some would say spoiled, since I have lived in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Now that I live far from anything of natural or manmade beauty, I feel a constant sense of horror. Now that I am in the middle West, the plainness of people, landscapes and buildings seems to reflect a deeper reality, that of a plainness of speech and more insidiously thought and soul. I am afraid that ugliness is contagious, that I will start to blend in here. After a while, I will start buying clothes at K-mart and eating at Red Lobster for my birthday... I know for most, this sentiment is only a factor of my own incurable snobbishness. And yet, as a snob, I am not alone. Nietzsche, who's memory and thought this blog is of course indirectly dedicated, theoriezed that great philosophy and great art was only possible in the geographic arc that extends from Rome, through Tuscany and then over Southern France and ending in Paris. Everywhere else, the atmosphere (too hot or too cold) extinguishes the spirit, stiffles hope, and forces man to focus on his survival. If one were to translate (move across) F.N.'s European geography to an American one, we would get the very familiar coastal divide, or the red/blue America. Maybe thought is only possible in blue states (maybe this explains much).