The King of Mean Acouple of years ago I happened to see an article in the Utne Reader thatlisted the 10 most "progressive" cities in the United States. Oneof the cities making the cut was Portland, ME. This gladdened my heart. I wasabout to move to Portland part-time, and, as an LBJ Democrat, I thought I wouldfeel at home there among all the like-minded progressives. On arriving in Portland,however, I did not find many LBJ Democrats. What I did find was (1) lots oflesbians, (2) lots of handicapped people and (3) lots of cars sporting bumperstickers with "progressive" messages like MEAN PEOPLE SUCK.
In fact,anti-meanness turned out to be more than a mere slogan. There are actually legalpenalties in the state of Maine for being chronically and incorrigibly mean.