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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 05:17 PM
Original message
I have a question for Alaskans:
I am from Texas. I came to be acquainted with 2 Alaskan men in college. Neither of them seemed to have much sense of humor and both, even though they didn't previously know each other, were always overly serious and rather dull, to the point of being irritating. They were very quick tempered too. It was easy to make them angry by doing so much as asking them to repeat themselves when they spoke too softly. I learned to get along with them well enough, but they were uniquely odd in this respect.

I had forgotten about them until I noticed the same sort of manners in Todd Palin and Levi Johnston. McCain campaign people spoke of Todd Palin's reticence and gloomy demeanor while relating an occasion they had to engage him in friendly conversation. I have seen for myself the way Levi speaks during interviews and it echos the exaggerated calmness and lack of vibrancy I recollect in my two college acquaintances.

Is this common among Alaskan men? Sarah Palin doesn't know when to shut up, but the guys seem almost to deplore conversation and socialization. I'm just curious if this is a coincidence and if anyone agrees with my assessment.
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Steerpike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. No
We're not all alike. Go down to the Panhandle Bar and corner some old sourdoughs and you will se how loquacious Alaskan men can be. Really, you seem to have had some real bad luck in running into the "silent mountain man" type. These "silent mountain men" type do exist, but are not the norm. There is also the "biker outlaw" type which will talk you to death. And, of course, the "Broke Artist" type that will constantly ask for money to buy beer and weed. And let us not forget the long suffering "Alaskan Woman" type, usually seen with expensive cameras and cell phones (not to be confused with the "Wealthy Japanese Tourist" types which are not actually indigeonous to southcentral Alaska) wandering aimlessly down 5th avenue looking for the entrance to Penny's and the 5th avenue mall. They talk alot too...alot...
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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's good to hear.
I was really hoping it wasn't a cultural thing I was seeing, because I'm not very fond of it.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. I agree with Steerpike,
we come in all configurations, and I think if you spent some time here, you would find that Alaskans are endlessly entertaining. Part of the reason I love living here so much is because of the "interesting" people.


I have to laugh at "the Alaska woman" with the expensive camera. That would be ME -- but no cellphone. :)
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wolfsbane Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. They're.... Special People
Edited on Thu Jul-16-09 07:25 PM by wolfsbane
WARNING: Alaska is like a fungus, it /does/ grow on you, and, depending on your line of work, Spenard Road and the surrounding area can be very profitable for you. If you spend any length of time here you will, inevitably, come back. This is just a fact. As much as I detested much of my time there, the comments about 5th Avenue do bring back fond memories.

I had the unfortunate opportunity to go to Alaska, in 2005, to stand up the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Airborne). I was there until January of this year, and, I have to tell you, Alaska seemed to me a collection of special people from all over "the lower 48".

In my humble opinion, being Alaskan was like any other generational occupation or service in the sense of how Alaskans view themselves. Imagine, for instance, being a firefighter, whose father was a firefighter, and whose father before him was, also, a firefighter. It just comes with the territory that, while still a member of the larger group, you begin to view yourself as a special sub-set of that group. You probably hang out, generally, with other firefighters, you're kids play with other firefighters kids, your wives work and socialize together. I think that may explain why Alaskans are a bit more standoffish to "outsiders" (if you will). They see themselves as part of the contiguous United States, but also see themselves as different because of the remote isolation and close knit community structure in Alaskan villages and towns. I would equate it to Hawaiians or even an Amish Communities detachment from what we would consider normalcy.

Have you ever seen "30 Days of Night"?

"We live here because no one else can." "Hey, oe Shmoe, you still got that Genny over at your place? Take Marcy, the kids, and and half the village and lock yourselves in 'til I figure out what's going on.

Okay, maybe a bad analogy.

Either way, my point is... They aren't, necessarily, trying to be dark, nor did they leave their manners at the door. They just can't relate to you, try as they might. Their scope is too narrow. Many Alaskans act as though they are their own country. Shit, some of them honestly believe they are. Alaska doesn't even attract many tourists to mainland Alaska. They all go on cruises out of po-dunk Seward, Alaska, and then fly right back home.

AND Sarah Palin should be exorcised or in a mental institution. That's about all that can be said for her.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I couldn't agree more with your last statement.
:rofl:

And what you say about Alaska "growing" on you was certainly my own experience. I first came up here from California in 1972 to visit my parents who had moved here in 1969. I came up again the next summer, and in 1975 moved here for good. I loved the place so much that I didn't even leave the state AT ALL from 1980 to 2000.

Every once in a while my husband (who has only been here since 2003) makes some suggestion like, hey, wouldn't it be cool to live in Washington or Oregon -- I shut him down QUICK. This is my home, and this is where I will stay. And I do live in Spenard :).
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Steerpike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Alaska really cannot be defined.
I lived in Midtown, in Mountain View, in Spenard and in Muldoon. Really you can't define Alaskans because they all come from different places. To try to define an Alaskan is like trying to define the lands they immigrated from. You are really talking about Californians, Oklahomans, Texans, Virginians, Germans, Mexicans, Asians and a myriad other groups who have traveled up to the great land. If you had bad experiences in Alaska you were probably just hanging out with the wrong group of people. Were any of them named "Wade"? (never mind)

Anyways, if you have specific definitions of what Alaskans are, you are probably just projecting your own foibles. And, anyone who is here, if you are not enjoying the people or your social experience, get your ass to Spenard and hang out at Bosco's or Momma O's. You need to sit down with a big fat halibut sandwich and read some comic books....only then can you achieve enlightenment.
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Witchy_Dem Donating Member (496 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Tundra comic books no less....
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Steerpike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. I believe this guy agrees
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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I can see how the geography could be mesmerizing.
The photos I've seen are fabulous and fetching. My instincts told me that my generalizations had to be anecdotal. I can't imagine a whole group of people being homogeneously sullen and baleful all the time. It was an itch in my ass that I had to express about my own personal experience. Thanks Alaskans!
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Maybe the people you met
were just grumpy because they weren't here at home. :)
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Witchy_Dem Donating Member (496 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. Transplants
Most of the dudes I know up here are transplanted from somewhere else, mostly the mid-west. Some are quiet until you start talkin' guns and politics and then as the token dem my mettle gets tested and they sure aren't quiet anymore. My spine is made of a teflon/titanium alloy...

Those stereotypes, blanket statements, don't exist.
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