The Rockford Files

Excessive Misery

I’m miserable.  But if you paid attention to the national news or dialed up the Drudge Report in late February, you probably knew that already.  How could I not be, sitting here in my office in downtown Rockford, Illinois?  After all, according to Forbes, Rockford is the third most miserable city in the United States.

This was no impressionistic study.  The editors of Forbes didn’t drive from town to town, spending a few days here, a few days there, trying to figure out just which cities made them feel happy and which brought them to the brink of despair.  Heck, they probably never even left Manhattan, or wherever it is that Forbes calls home.  Of course, New York City made the list as well—it’s number ten—so clearly there’s something to this.  I’ve met few men more miserable than Taki, and if someone told me I had to live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I’d probably end it all right now.

But why should we be surprised that Forbes nailed it?  This was a scientific study, after all.  Forbes isolated nine factors that everyone knows make men miserable, and weighted them equally, creating a “misery index” on which to arrange the top 200 metro areas by population.  Figures, as they say, never lie.  (I think there might be more to that saying,...

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