5 Reasons People Hate Wisconsin (And Why They’re Wrong)

The Reasons Why People Hate Wisconsin And Why They're Wrong

A quick Google search of the words “Wisconsin sucks” will reward you with no less than four YouTube videos, a number of angry blog posts and threads, and a t-shirt that implies unpleasant things about our relationship with Minnesota. (Our haters are nothing if not resourceful.)

As someone who was, well, a teenager at one point, I’ll admit that the thought has crossed my mind, but since moving back here after college I’ve had a change of heart and a need to defend my home.

These are the five most common arguments against Wisconsin and why they’re a load of sauerkraut.

1. We’re Dumb Hicks

We all know the stereotype. Wiscononians are dumb yokels who are obsessed with cows, don’t know nothing about nothing, and call a drinking fountain a bubbler.

Well, au contraire! MIT, Harvard, and Standford recently released a list of the 100 smartest cities in America. Wisconsin took many of the spots with Madison, Appleton, Oshkosh-Neenah, Eau Claire, Sheboygan, and several other cities running intellectual circles around their competitors. (Source.)

Perhaps more important is disproving our overall clueless-ness, we’re really politically active. No matter what side of the spectrum you fall on, come November, you can’t deny that we care. We rank number three in the nation for overall voter turnout rate with 60.93 percent over the past six elections.

Also, don’t hate on hicks. They know how to fix things and they throw the best parties.

2. Our Food is Terrible

We get this especially from Southerners and any state with halfway decent Tex Mex. (To be fair, Southern food is exceptionally delicious.)

Wisconsin has good food. Not just good but healthy too (I know, shocking). The local food movement has grown in recent years with more communities embracing CSA programs and farmers markets. We’re actually ranked #9 in the nation for access to local food by the advocacy group Strolling the Heifers.

A great example here in Northeast Wisconsin is Grow Local in Neenah. Check out our interview with the founders.

Also, cheese. Seriously. If you’re not from here, I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I’ve had cheese before”, but trust me, you haven’t had real cheese. Not to mention the New Glarus Brewing Co. in the town of the same name. I don’t know how you can call yourself a true beer drinker until you’ve had a Spotted Cow.

Even when our food isn’t  healthy (aka has a caloric intake not comprehensible by the human brain) it’s SO GOOD! Try any of these delicacies delicacies—cheese curds, brats, funnel cakes, or sweet corn with butter—and you’ll be changing your tune.

3. We’re Homogeneous & Have No Culture

To be fair, this has some merit. According to the 2010 US Census numbers, Wisconsin’s population was 88.2 percent Caucasian, which is significantly higher than the national average of 77 percent.

That doesn’t mean there’s no diversity to speak of. Wisconsin actually has the third highest Hmong population of any state behind Minnesota and California. The Latino population has also increased by 74 percent in the last 10 years. We also have a significant African American population which accounted for 6.5 percent of our numbers in 2010.

As for having “no culture” that’s totally unfair. In the Green Bay and Appleton areas especially, we’ve got plenty of art museums, shows, comedy clubs, and poetry slams to satisfy the culture junkie.

One of our most recent successes was the Mile of Music Festival in August which brought 100 plus artists to more than 40 venues in downtown Appleton. (Not to mention around 10,000 people.)

If you’re living out in the boonies it might be a little harder to find a showing of Twelfth Night, but there’s still plenty of culture to go around.

4. Wisconsinites Suck

Ah yes, the piece de resistance. All Wisconsinites suck. We’re all smiles and helping you get your truck out of the mud one second, and then whispering behind your back the next.

And, well, it’s not all untrue. Wisconsinites can be kind of passive-aggressive. We don’t always say what’s on our mind and can hold some pretty deeply ingrained grudges. (I blame all the Norwegians, personally. Just kidding!)

But Wisconsinites are also a deeply compassionate bunch. They want to know why you’re upset, even if they don’t know you. They want to help solve your problem. They want to get your truck out of the mud. (Like I said before, it’s good to be friends with hicks.)

We’re good people, even if we’re not always going to be the first to tell you that your new boyfriend is a jerk. Just give us a few days. We’ll work up the courage eventually.

5. Winter

Oh come, winter’s not that bad. Who doesn’t love snowmen? And snowshoeing? And hot chocolate?

No one, that’s who! It’s great, it’s actually pretty . . . oh god, who am I kidding. WHY WINTER WHY WHY MUST YOU BE THE WAY YOU ARE!!!! AHHHHH!

Ahem, sorry about that.

There is a brief fourth period from February through April where everyone from Wisconsin, native-born or otherwise, will consider moving to the center of the sun. Don’t act on it this time, maybe next year.

But hey, there are some reasons to love winter. Like hot chocolate! And snowshoeing!

Besides, right now it’s fall. Lovely, beautiful fall! Maybe fall will last forever! You don’t know!

Let’s Hear From You!

Why do you love, hate, or love/hate Wisconsin? Leave a comment below!

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Comments

  1. Awesome post Grace! It was a super fun read and funny too. Nice job ; )

  2. I love Wisconsin! No, it may not be the greatest place on earth but there’s A LOT more to offer than most realize. Examples ranging from the greatest sports arena on earth (Lambeau Field) to the largest outdoor musical festival on earth (Summerfest). And the whole winter thing… look at it this way: the cold weather results in a greater appreciation for the warmer months. Wisconsin is my home and that will NEVER change. I even have a Wisconsin tattoo on the back of my arm! You can never hate on your home and that’s what Wisconsin is to me, HOME.

  3. you misspelled Stanford

  4. you’re possibly right about us Norwegians.

  5. Jennifer Sustar says:

    In response to #3, we definitely have culture in Wisconsin! Milwaukee host one of the worlds larges Irish fests, “America’s Largest Polish Fest,” The longest running Folk Fair in America and other ethnic festivals all summer long. Milwaukee at one time was the most culturally diverse city outside of New York! So, I would say that we are very culturally diverse.

  6. I miss Wisconsin! I was transplanted to Michigan as a kid and spent the first 14 years of my life growing up in Wisconsin; I still consider Rhinelander my hometown.

  7. I wanna come home! Wisconsin is great, and those were very good responses to our critics. But don’t forget the Fox Valley Symphony under the “culture” heading. It’s a fantastic orchestra in and of itself (I grew up on them), but it also brings in incredible guest talent. According to my mom, who just saw Patti LuPone perform with them, Patti said that it was one of the best orchestras she’d sung with. And the day I get home for Christmas vacation, I’ll be seeing my trumpet hero, Doc Severinsen, performing with them at the PAC. Can’t wait! (I played trumpet in the Madison Jr. Hi and Appleton East High School bands. And that’s another check in the culture column–the High School and other youth arts programs in NE WI. They are phenomenal!)

  8. I love downtown Appleton and tickets to the PAC would be awesome. But the jobs around here are low paying, if you can even find one. So you can watch the news and see how other people enjoy going to a performance at the PAC, and maybe that will be your slice of culture. Have had two major jobs that went offshore. The others were temp jobs, low pay, driving 40 plus miles. If you like driving old cars in cold weather until they fall apart, with no money, Wisconsin might be your cup of tea. Would rather be on the beach where it’s warm. Hitch hiking may just be an option! Except, I would have to sell a home first. PS. job discrimination against people over 55 years old is alive and well in Wisconsin.

    • I miss Texas says:

      I agree 100 percent. Had to move back for family reasons, went from making 90000 a year to 35000 a year doing the same job in Texas.

  9. Also in response to #3, there are 11 Native American tribes with land in Wisconsin, one of whose reservation is an entire county (Menominee)!

  10. I miss Texas says:

    I was born and raised in wisconsin. Every winter i swore to my self that it would be the last winter in this freezer. So at the age of 39, i packed up and moved to texas. Eleven months of fun in the sun and perfect motorcycle riding weather. One month of low 60’s,upper 50’s. The only things i missed about Wisconsin was the north woods in fall. Family issues forced me to move back this year. There are nice things about Wisconsin but i didn’t really miss it much. I will be moving back toTexas as soon as humanly possible. Im not going to bad mouth Wisconsin but its not home anymore.

  11. The cold is honestly a deal breaker for me. Tomorrow Milwaukee is going to be -44°F with the wind chill. Its painfully cold here in the winter and drenching humid in the summer. I’m going west.

  12. Ugh. I dread moving back to WI but have to due to personal reasons. I love Texas and can’t stand the thought of WI again. Too many bad memories and the police there are something else, not to mention the jobs are not that great at all when I was living there 10 years ago and by the sound of it that has not changed much at all. The beer is good and so is the cheese.

  13. Been stuck in this God Forsaken state for 7 1/2 months, If I could go back to AZ I would in a heartbeat! Supposed “Dairy State” and milk is twice as expensive as it is in AZ. Rest of my groceries are expensive too. And the people……………if you are not already in their circle forget it!

    • Sorry you’re having a rough time Zoey. Hopefully it grows on you! 🙂

    • I couldn’t agree more!! The only thing growing on me is my desire to leave this hellhole. It is the most Godforsaken place I have ever had the misfortune to live and I have traveled out of the country! Rude people, lack of quality goods and services, racism and ignorance, Scott Walker, 9 months of winter, I could go on and on…the people here for the most part are just AWFUL. I was treated better in Europe!

  14. LeeLee

    I lived in Wisconsin most of my life and Texas for six months when I was a kid. I enjoyed Texas and miss many things about it, but there are some nice things about Wisconsin as well. I don’t like the long frigid winters that last through practically April. By then I just want to move south. Florida is “out of the question.” Think Wisconsin is bad: Just visit Miami, FL, and you will get a new definition of a major crime, corruption, rude people, scamming state. Sure, there is crime everywhere, but Florida really takes the cake!

  15. It is a nice balmy 70 degrees here and sunny. Wisconsin was the worst 2 years of my life. You wonder why there are almost no transplants from other states. Wisconsin ranks on the bottom on the list for that. Good riddance.

    Anyone who says they love Wisconsin probably has grown up in the state and never lived in another for an extended period of time.

    Huge amount of population is obese, high taxes, and everyone’s main goal here is to get shit faced and drunk. Sad state of affairs.

    I hear its gonna be -15F tomorrow with windchill. Enjoy the snow.

    • Thanks. We hope you never come back. EVER!
      Have a nice day.

      • Seconded. Yes, I did grow up there, but yes, I have been away for an extended period of time. I’ve lived all over the country for the past 16 years, and I want desperately to return to the greatest state in the union. There are fat, drunk people in ever nook and cranny of the country. As for high taxes? It’s why I grew up in one of the best school systems in the country. If that’s all you took away from your time in WI, you weren’t even trying to experience what the state has to offer. You just wanted to see the couple of things that reinforced your ignorant opinion.

        • Lynne, I see the same things. So do many others.

          • Hahahas comments encompase my experianes as well. You must really have to search for what else this state has to offer. Fat and drunk people are everywhere, but in Wisconsin it is the dominant culture.

      • My sentiments exactly!

    • EXACTLY. You are SPOT ON.

    • cheezpleez says:

      I grew up in Wisconsin, but I’ve lived all over the world and I still love the dairy state. I’ll concede there’s not much culture outside of Madison and Milwaukee. The weather is much nicer in the south and on the west coast. The food is better pretty much everywhere. But the one thing Wisconsin has going for it (that many overlook) is the intelligence of its population. Many people are extremely bright and enjoy having laid back intellectual conversations. There are smart people all over the US (and world), but I’ve found they usually have an air of pretentiousness or pomposity about them. It’s like people in Wisconsin don’t have that because they are used to not being the only intelligent people around. Another thing I love and miss about Wisconsinites is their reflective nature. I think the long, harsh winters really force people to turn inward and spend more time meditating on themselves. Perhaps this is why a lot of them seem rather down-to-earth and self-aware. It’s a stark difference from people in FL, TX, AZ, and southern CA where many tend to be preoccupied with a “FUN FUN FUN”, image-based, external-heavy reality. Not that there’s anything wrong with those kind of people, just not my particular cup of tea.

      Oh, and cheese. Wisconsin has the best damn cheese in the country, and some of the best damn cheese in the entire world.

  16. Herr Schwänz says:

    I’m from Wisconsin, biggest problem is ignorance. After living all over the world, biggest problem I find(which is a problem nation wide) Ignorance!

  17. I have lived in Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas, LA, Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago, but I always go home to Wisconsin!!! I feel at home here. I am content. I would feel homesick when I was driving my car in another state and saw a car with Wisconsin license plates. I love the Green Bay Packers & the Milwaukee Brewers. I remember being at a Miami Dolphins/Green Bay Packer game in Miami. There were more Green Bay Packer fans than Miami Dolphins fans!!! Go Brewers!!! Win the World Series!!! Go little Hank, The Ballpark Pup!!!

  18. Leah Bartow says:

    Oshkosh and neenah are two different cities…..im from neenah. I know this….lok

  19. I moved to Appleton from Texas in 2013, and I braved my first WI winter. Northeast Wisconsin (especially Appleton) is not a bad place, but I do miss the cultural diversity I had growing up in Dallas-Fort Worth.

    • I was just talking to my mom about Appleton’s diversity (or lack thereof) last night. Growing up there, I was under the impression that most of the world was Catholic, with Lutheran a close second. I was the only Presbyterian–and often the only non-Lutheran Protestant–in my circle of friends. It wasn’t until Jr. Hi or so, when I learned that electing Catholic JFK was a big deal, that I learned otherwise. I can name the 3 Black kids I went to Appleton East high school with. And I didn’t know any people of Hispanic origin. However, even now, when I go back for visits, I can tell that the diversity has increased dramatically. It’s no Chicago or New York, (or Dallas-Ft. Worth) but it’s definitely changed. And that’s a good thing.

      • It’s interesting that you bring up the Catholic thing. Someone was telling me about their grand-daughter’s confirmation, and they were showing me pictures. I asked, “Why is there no Jesus on the cross?” To which they replied, “I don’t know. That’s the way it’s always been.” It finally dawned on me that it was a Lutheran confirmation. I learned something new I suppose.

      • Interesting. Growing up in Milwaukee, I thought the U.S. was 40% black , 40% white, 15% latino, and 5% “other”. I was shocked when I first heard some statistic with only 12% black people. Now that I live in Idaho, I can see why African-Americans are considered a “minority”.

  20. No culture? They have obviously not been to the Summerfest grounds. Ever. There is a different cultural festival going on all summer long. Not to mention the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest.

  21. Hello, my name is JoshCube, and I’m the blogger of the Wisconsin Sucks site. I have recently posted an argument towards what you have posted.

    Everyone hates you but tries to hide it.

    View the argument here – http://wisconsinsucksass.blogspot.com/2012/06/do-not-move-to-this-state.html

    • So, I moved here from Texas. I’m Catholic with white/hispanic parents, but I look like everyone else up here. In my first year here, I was pulled over twice and given a ticket for parking my car overnight in front of my house. The DUI system is crazy up here, but the Tavern League stonewalls efforts to reduce drunk driving. I am not really into sports so it’s been really hard to make friends. My husband likes sports, and he’s made friends easily – he says I should try harder which speaks volumes about how well he’s adapted. I really miss Dallas, but I am trying to find some positive things here which is really hard.

    • spot on

  22. Wisconsin is a nice state, considering i live in Illinois, but man are people from Wisconsin rude as hell, I thought chicago folks were assholes guess not. Love the food up in Wisconsin another plus to the state and Packers of course. Other then that Wisconsin people drive me nuts talking about how they are smarter then us, have better schools, less crime on and on. Well throw some diversity like chicago does then maybe u will have higher crime rate, and schools that suck. Not everything is better in Wisconsin, not saying Illinois is great hell no, but seriously when people drink 24 7 up there that’s not right.

  23. DownWithWisconsin says:

    Wisconsin SUCKS! It has sucked the life out of me BOTH times. The first was when I lived in Green Bay back in the mid-90s and now for over 10 years in Milwaukee. Hate the dirty neighborhoods, hate the politics, hate the increasing crime rate, hate the school district, hate the ghetto attitude of the people, hate the segregation, hate the racism, hate the discrimination, hate the dirty stores, hate the lack of growth and progress, hate the high property tax for such a shitty city, HATE, HATE, HATE!

    There’s no escaping the crappiness of Wisconsin. Drive up north and run into racist, White rednecks (or racist, white yuppies). Stay in the city and have to deal with ghetto, racist Blacks. There’s no end to the shithole called Wisconsin.

    I have never been so depressed, miserable, and bitchy since living in Wisconsin. I was once a happy-go-lucky, down-to-earth person but have turned into a political, controversial, and opinionated recluse. There are so many wrongs going on in the state of Wisconsin that how can a person NOT have an opinion.

    • I miss Texas says:

      You hit the nail right on the head except you forgot the freezing winters that last for eleven months.

    • agree totally! When I lived in California and Texas I was getting color back in my face and was feeling better. My wife brought me back to this dump and I can’t believe I cooperated.

    • AMEN!!!!

  24. People in Wisconsin are fat, ugly and stupid. Just read the posts on here they serve as proof. The weather is a joke and there are no large cities and the ones near by (Minneapolis & Chicago) suck donkey balls. They should test nukes in this part of the country.

  25. I’ve been to so many different States in U.S and countries all over the world, I never hated a place as much as I hate Wisconsin, it is miserable, cold, has no culture, Those fairs don’t reflect any true culture, culture when you see it all over the place, in the street, not in a small park that host these fairs.
    Milwaukee has nothing, other than trouble, there is no where to go, people are so in love with lake Michigan, which is frozen almost 8 months of the year!
    There is no where to go, people are not friendly, know nothing but Wisconsin and its culture.

  26. Deniers going to deny! Wisconsin sucks!!

  27. I have to say number 4 is wrong. When I moved to the south I was told I was way to blunt. Wisconsin people are very blunt.

  28. I love Wisconsin because we have at least 5 months with no bugs and ours don’t get as big as other states do.

  29. Quit using the word Wisconsonian. It’s stupid. People who are really from Wisconsin are Wisconsinites and we are proud.

  30. Kasey is as Kasey does.

  31. I grew up in southern Wisconsin and my family grew up in northern Wisconsin. Lived here for over 25 years since birth then another 9 years later on. For work I lived in Milwaukee, Madison, Janesville, Dallas, TX., San Diego, CA., and Minneapolis, MN. My wife’s career as a physician also took us to some of those cities because it is required. I had a unique perspective because my schedule allowed more time for it. Many aspects are responsible for why so many view Wisconsin as a bad place to live. In my experience some of those are prejudice behavior, hypocritical behavior, driving, lack of activities for all interests, climate, corruption, greed, racism, etc. While it is true many of these exist everywhere in my experience I never witnessed them quite so abundant as they are in Wisconsin. Again this is my experience only and keep in mind I wasn’t in other states as long as I resided in Wisconsin. Much of what others hate about Wisconsin I’ve witnessed in all great lake states. It wasn’t isolated to only Wisconsin so perhaps this is a great lakes thing.

    The climate in here is very challenging although this and last summer was absolutely beautiful. I’m talking San Diego weather daily thanks to this arctic blast we keep receiving. Almost a little too cool for pool weather. The winter was unbelievably bad and dragged on forever. To make matters worse we had all kinds of problems with local airports making it near impossible to travel away from the problem plus state of Illinois and state of Wisconsin up and decided to perform construction on all major routes all at once. This you can definitely add to list of why Wisconsin sucks because the states seem to enjoy doing odd things up here.

    I witness driving up here I only saw one other place in the country upon my travels and that was New York. At times it almost seems psychotic and it is extremely abundant occurring on average twice a day in a 30 mile strip or under an hour travel. I’m talking motorists who are so obsessed with speed they’re using their vehicles as a weapon to force compliance on other drivers. I’ll give you an example. I was dropping my wife off at Stoughton hospital one day and upon leaving town I came up on a driver traveling 15 mph in a 45 on the right side of the road. I figured they were looking for something or had something wrong so I passed on the left. This driver floored the accelerator speeding his car up thus forcing me into oncoming traffic. I tried to slow down and get back behind him and he slowed down as well. No matter what I did he kept copying my movements like he was trying to force me into a head on collision with the semi which was coming. I had to change direction and go into the ditch to avoid a major head on accident. I witness this kind of driving here daily and I’m not exaggerating in the least bit.

    Years ago I began recording all our driving like police officers do with a dash cams because it was suggested by the state after I told them about my experiences. Wouldn’t you know it, over the years once evidence began piling up when I furnished it to police departments they were still insisting they had to witness it themselves before they could punish the driver. I still do it for liability reasons plus its handy to have.

    Another aspect mentioned above is lack of activities for all interests. Yes Wisconsin has things to do but most of it surrounds sports and is limited at best. This is especially true in late winter through spring which happens to be a difficult time of year as many have cabin fever from a long winter. If you don’t have children it even seems more lame because much activities surround kids in school. We don’t personally have children because we can’t and in a lot of ways we feel awkward. At times it feels like we’re discriminated against because of that fact. People plan things all the time and never include us and some even flat out tell us it is because we don’t have children. Many also assume that if you go someplace by yourself or if you’re a couple in public without children you must be perverts or criminals. There are so many things occurring here which ultimately leave you feeling really bad about yourself at the end of day. If you go public with this information people like Kasey will say really mean things and bully you back to the stone age while alienating you. Reason I use Kasey as an example is because they behave similar to him early on by chastising someone because they’re different or don’t necessary agree.

    One last thing I also noticed about Wisconsin is employment. Hard to find jobs here and ones which exist are usually small to medium sized business’s. In my experience these jobs are usually temporary with no job security in comparison. They are also a bear to work for and usually family owned or loaded with corruption. Fair and equal opportunity is a big problem here. I’ve actually witnessed discrimination at the state level with various departments but none of it is provable without violating others rights. When Chrysler and General Motors were still in Wisconsin you couldn’t get an application unless you had family or a very close friend who already worked there. This sound like equal opportunity to you? From what I’ve heard it is pretty much the same way at Kraft in Madison or the railroad.

    I could carry on and on about this state but in the end I’d be wasting my time because the simple fact is none of the residents gives a crap what anyone else thinks. Interesting thing is you should see them all line up on Sunday at church like they’re deep down Christians with moral objectives. This state has a way of challenging your patience like no other and molds people into certain things. Much more so than a war or a torturous experience. It also makes you utilize more of your brain because you’re constantly watching out for the other guy or avoiding ridicule. For years I thought I could avoid this problem by being silent and removing myself from the equation. If you do this you will be alienated and picked on and this behavior DOES NOT STOP at 18. In fact I think it gets worse in adult years. I honestly think the nicest people here are senior citizens or very religious people. Only problem if they’re very religious is they’re always trying to convert you and won’t stop talking about God. “Religion can be a fine thing if taken in moderation.”

    I also agree with another gentleman on here about the difficulty of making new friends in Wisconsin. I also had that same exact experience in Minneapolis and Chicago. People tightly stick to their circles and tend to judge those outside. Again this is my experience I can’t speak for all communities in this area. Perhaps pockets of good exist out there but I definitely found them faster in California and Texas. Good luck.

  32. Shortly after typing the above message I noticed a few grammar errors and missing words but this page didn’t allow me to delete or edit the message. Besides I think you get the general idea. I also wanted to add how mean some people are up here. I’m talking very mean and belittling. They don’t respect others rights and go that extra mile to real offend people deep down. These are folks with a lot of education who use it to perform mean mental acts which hit you deeply. A good example of this I was reading the Janesville Gazette the other night an article about the upcoming election. One person commented below about how they weren’t going to vote simply because they did like either candidate and a group of people jumped down his/her throat with all kinds of mean and vicious attacks. Attacks which were clearly in violation of the rules on this newspapers website. Interestingly the newspaper didn’t remove the comments and I witness this sort of thing regularly on this site. One writer went on and on and made comments directly attacking the persons intellect and yet I thought the person being attacked was totally professional and kind. Even after they responded they still didn’t defend them self and kept it professional. These people were like sharks swirling around in the water after fresh blood. I NEVER see this any place but up here. Occasionally in Chicago I witness it in NBC news comments but not as often as I do in Janesville or Madison. I mean honestly how intelligent is it to use your education to belittle others to the point of severe depression? That isn’t wisdom it’s lunacy. Some of these folks definitely need therapy and maybe some medicine.

    • Todd I live up north and people here act like they are in junior high
      Most mean spirited nasty people I have ever seen and I have traveled a lot! Awful people awful state.

    • I can completely understand what you are saying about the misusing the education. My best friend dated a guy from Wisconsin and he finally dumped her because as he put it, she was not on the same educational and thus not on the same intellectual level as him. Actually so pathetic that you dump someone over state, I guess Wisconsin people only can date other genius minded Wisconsin people. He was so racist as well blacks were the cause of everything according to him, and drinking was cultural which to me doesn’t say much about where you live if u drink all the time. I’m Swedish guess i can drink a whole bottle of svedka and that’s alright its cultural… not.

  33. Wisconsin sucks cx worst state I’ve been to !!

  34. I inherited a house up north. No people here don’t pull you out of the mud if they don’t know you. The food SUCKS yet is VERY overpriced. The cheese? Meh. Yet some places have good deep fried curds. The key is getting the white ones. Culture?? Here??? That would be the bar. Beautiful state but sadly ruined by many of the people.

  35. Thank you Linda and hang in there. Also don’t trust them because minute you turn your back they’re sneaking into your stuff. They are very bold and sly by performing their acts at the most unexpected time. I didn’t pick up on this until I installed advanced security with surveillance. Originally I did it to help aid with the construction of my home as major modifications were needed. I can totally see why large corporations install the stuff because employee theft is a big problem. I was witnessing some bizarre things. Initially I had hidden surveillance all over the property then as years past I decided to make them more public. Darn if they aren’t always testing things to exploit vulnerabilities. I install firewalls and other security for large corporations as work and its my natural impulse to be this way. I knew from growing up here how it can be and if anyone was going to believe me I would need a bunch of technology besides I wanted to test these new hd cameras by GeoVision. Only way to have any legal recourse with these calamities is a bunch of evidence and money. I think you’ll find as I did in the end it simply isn’t worth it because a lot of times you run into the same problems in the courts. I can’t prove that part unless I have full access to everything with security blanketed all around. It is possible but you would need total control while violating their rights (which I refuse to do) and they know this.

    It’s rather funny because when I first realized much of this I discovered the book Devil’s Knot. Obviously not a best seller but it tells a story about how messed up some communities can be. They nearly executed these boys for murder based on a bunch of circumstantial evidence. I suspect it’s because they simply didn’t like their choices and the way they looked. Don’t get me wrong I don’t behave the way these boys did but I can definitely relate to how they were treated by their community. Book was later made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon and received lousy reviews.

  36. I think the story took place near Tennessee and Arkansas border. Obviously not Wisconsin or a great lake state but you can see how pockets exist elsewhere. I think those pockets are more abundant up here but that’s my opinion. It’s unfortunate because like you said Wisconsin can be a beautiful place.

    • I’m really sad that you guys generalize the whole state and its people like that. I’ve never been told that I’m a rude person even when I’m in other states. I’ve never said nor believed in racial comments. I believe in equal treatment and empathy for others and would help anyone who got stuck in the mud or the snow. People have helped me out of the snow. I’m just really disappointed that you think all of us are like that.

      • Now who is generalizing? Doesn’t change the fact our experiences indicate otherwise and don’t forget I have plenty of video. I never said it was all, by the way. But it is definitely bad enough to warrant writing on here. I obviously feel strongly about it. Just because someone helped you out of the snow doesn’t mean what we experienced isn’t true. Taking video of something and being able to confirm it on video is hardly generalizing. Your interest to quickly attack my opinion of your state is also one of reasons I dislike Wisconsin but I think I said that early. People in Wisconsin are very confrontational and always political but it isn’t everyone. I think ones which are this way bleed badly into normalcy thus leaving many feeling the way I do. Deep down you don’t feel respected unless you conform to their style of living and thinking which I find personally offensive considering this is suppose to be a free and democratic society.

  37. all the people who complain about the cold, then move to flordia or california. the bitter cold and snow is going to happen here big deal.

  38. OK, I am so glad I have stumbled on to this thread. I am from Illinois and came to Milwaukee via Colorado. I had no problem making friends in IL, or CO and when I moved to WI I did it for my now ex-wife and she introduced me to her friends. Things were ok at first since I had a built in group of friends. On the job I had a few friends. Non that I would actually hang out with or anything but basically people that I could joke with. The others were openly rude to me. Here are just a few of my many experiences compliments of the find people of WI.

    I used to do karaoke gigs in both IL and Co, so I found a karaoke company to work for here. First gig was at the Sin Bin. A bar owned by a rugby team. There the team of owners would just come up, throw their request in my face and say “Make it happen”. Ok fine, a team of rude self centered bar owners. Bad luck. Next gig in Brown Deer, where they took themselves way too seriously. Every one expected to be treated like a rockstar. One women walking around at a dive bar in a sequined evening dress who was known as “the woman who can sing just like Cher” was a particular pain in the ass. Never really seen anything like it before and I had been doing karaoke for 14 years by that point in time. Ok, bad luck. None of the other gigs went well for me either. One of my gigs at UWM Gasthaus a kid came up and sang the song Brown Sugar. This started a racial disagreement that ended with karaoke being banned. I was floored. At another gig, I was just there to run the machine while 2 others emceed. I was punched in the stomach by one of the bar owners friends because he didn’t want me up by the singers. Ok, so I decided to stop doing karaoke.

    I am indeed a Cubs fan and I wear a beautiful old school leather Cubs jacket when the weather gets cold. I truly get sick of hearing that the Cubs are the Brewers arch rivals. I asked my Mom, who is an avid Cubs fan, about that and she looked at me confused and said “Since when are the Brewers our rivals? What kind of fools do you have up there?” (now don’t get offended by what my Mom said about WI people being fools, my Mom always calls you a fool if you say something stupid). I remember being in a bar and seeing the Cubs beat the Brewers and watched in amazement as the entire bar broke in to song the main line being “The Cubs still suck”. All supposed Cubs Brewers rivalry aside though, I do get pretty sick of those who constantly feel the need to come up to me and report on how much they think the Cubs suck. For the record Brewers fans, you are not a rival of the Cubs. It’s the Cardinals.

    Once, I was stranded on the side of the road and as I was waiting for the tow truck driver someone actually spit on my windshield as they drove by, and someone else tried to throw a pop can threw my window. As a side note, I have lived here since 2003 and had WI plates on my car at the time. I used to drive for a living. My cars have mainly been crappy and and have broken down frequently. That had never happened to me before.

    My girlfriend and I are not big people. We are not overweight. She is a WI native and we frequently visit IL. Whenever we get back home to WI she always tells me how great it is to see the cultures in Chicago blending together. As much as I know WI people hate Chicago because you think you are going to be shot there, she feels quite comfortable there and always enjoys herself. She also noticed that people in Chicago gave us our space and that we weren’t bumped in to by people the way Milwaukee people do. In Milwaukee we can be walking down the sidewalk and just about get knocked on to the grass. People in Milwaukee seem to think that they don’t have to move out of our way even though are on the correct side of the sidewalk. I am going to go ahead and get mean here now because quit frankly, I think it’s true. The fatass people of Milwaukee figure that if you weigh less than them than they have the right to knock you around. When waiting in lines I can feel the person behind me bump me with their bellies and hear their labored breathing too damn close to me to the point that I can smell their stale beer breath. It’s disgusting and I truly hate it. I posted a frustrated rant about it on facebook just to vent on a day when for some reason everyone in line at the supermarket decided they just wanted to rub up or bump against me in their quest for king sized snickers and Reese’s. It was incredibly rude and I posted that the people here are like dogs that are now are full grown and don’t realize how big they are and still want to sit on your lap. Instead of any comments pertaining to the rudeness of these people it turned in to a big argument about obesity and how we have to accept these over eaters and be nice to them and allow them to continue their child like behavior. One of my friends even posted that if I didn’t like it, then I could just go back to IL. Typical Kasey attitude of “Don’t like fat rude drunk and stupid? Leave, we don’t need you”

    I am very nice and friendly, but I am getting jaded due to how consistently rudely I am treated here. A majority of my good friends are from somewhere else. From chatting with people from other states and countries I have concluded that the only people who think WI people are friendly are WI people.

    Anyway, that concludes part one.
    I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts on why there is such animosity between our two fine states.

  39. I still think it’s psychological. I believe we’re facing a psychological problem beyond epic proportions for a state. State of Wisconsin will never do anything about it I mean look at drunk driving for instance. I’m constantly reading about various infractions and repeated offenses. No question the locals are in denial.

  40. Btw well written Rob and I had same results in everything I do.

  41. Sooo, I came across this article as I’ve been doing research on Wisconsin, to potentially move there with my partner. I have to say I’ve been left not knowing what to think. I’ve lived in 3 different states (now I live in Illinois), so I know people are different from place to place to certain degrees. But can anyone without bias tell me more about the people of Wisconsin? My biggest concern is that I don’t want others hating on me because of the fact that I’m gay, or have a male partner. I read that as early as the 80s Wisconsin was making moves to support gay rights, but I know currently WI has lagged behind others in this regard. Is Wisconsin very discriminatory? I don’t mind living among people who disagree with my “lifestyle”, I just don’t want to have strangers insulting me over it. Also I see a lot of people here who clearly hate Wisconsin due to their own experiences. For a while I really did not like the town I lived in here in IL, but something I’ve noticed is that the more anger and hatred I had, the worse things seemed. Now that I’m in a better place psychologically, I realize even that town wasn’t as bad as I thought at one point. Is that what’s going on here? Or is Wisconsin really such a rotten place?

    • As you can see from the dates of the comments, almost all of the negative comments have come recently. Somehow the haters discovered this thread and went to town. I don’t know about the rest of the Wisconsin people on the thread who have remained silent, but for my part, I’ve chosen not to engage with them because I think it would be fruitless. They’re entitled to their opinion. If you read the earlier comments, I think you’ll get a much better picture of WI than a few disgruntled people with bad experiences. I don’t doubt their grievances, but I do object to them painting the entire state with one brush. As to your question, there are better and worse places in the state for you to live. I agree with Todd that Madison would probably be the best place, as it’s pretty much the most liberal city, being a college town. I grew up in Appleton, in Northeast WI. While Northeast WI is one of the more conservative areas, my experiences growing up and coming back as an adult have been very positive as far as tolerance is concerned. I would recommend that over any other city, but I’m quite partial, and there is the matter of the greater conservative area in which Appleton is situated. Granted, WI isn’t a very diverse place overall, but the circles I ran in (family, friends, school, church) were very welcoming and unprejudiced and I was taught to be so as well. Now, Appleton is more white-collar and less blue-collar, than, say Green Bay, so that may be the difference. (I say this after I criticized people for generalizing, and I apologize, but I’m going with statistics and trends here, not my individual experience projected onto the whole state.) Also, I’m a straight white girl, so my experiences would be different. I’m just telling you what I see. Unfortunately, we have indeed been less than progressive on LGBT rights since Scott Walker was elected and the rise of the Tea Party in 2010, and it’s devastating to me to see it happening. This however, seems to be part of a broader problem as we’ve regressed on women’s rights, worker’s rights, education, voting rights, taxes, and many other issues. too. In the past, WI has been a pretty consistently blue state overall (with pockets of liberals and conservatives throughout), and I have faith that it will be again. I’ll admit, I am biased towards WI (which is why it hurts to much to see the state going contrary to our motto of “Forward”), but I’m trying to be as objective as possible to answer your question. Of course, there will always be idiots no matter where you go, but I hope you give serious consideration to Madison.

      • Southbound says:

        I find it comforting to know that other folks are finding the same rude, arrogant, disrespectful attitudes among the natives of wi. Therapeutic even! I guess the term a-holes isnt well understood in these parts. Heaven help those who have no compassion or care for anyone except themselves and their clique.. Maybe it is a front and they r just misunderstood. Should always try to find the good in people! Also i really miss enjoying the woods wthout concerns of fatal blood loss…. Cabin fever is not restricted to winter!

  42. If you move to Wisconsin I recommend living in Madison. I think it is less discriminating there. As far as your other questions only you can figure that out. I think it all depends on your likes or dislikes. I personally wouldn’t recommend it but I’m different.

  43. Also I don’t think people will hate on you because of sexual orientation unless you move to certain communities in Wisconsin. I won’t say any names but many in Madison know which communities I’m talking about. I do think they are improving.

  44. Thank you for your replies, Lynne and Todd. I have read as much about Madison regarding its liberality. And Lynne I agree I also got the impression from this and other sites that there are just too many making generalizations based on isolated experiences which are typical of human nature anyway. I’ve noticed that the people who complain the most about any given topic are usually the ones who actually make the situation worse. I have lived in Illinois for 3 years, and I’ve seen that all the people who regularly gripe about how “Illinois sucks” are usually trouble-makers whose only idea of fun is getting drunk or high every day and not doing anything meaningful with their lives. (Not that I’m against pot or alcohol, but if that’s all that your recreation revolves around, then there’s a bigger problem at hand). They complain that there’s nothing to do yet they ignore all the opportunities around us. After living in the northeast, the south, and now the midwest, I believe this part of the country is where I’d like to stay. And all my research + the unbiased statements I’ve read on forums like this tell me that Wisconsin is a nice place. I think the easiest way to spot those who are just hating is that they always say the same things, and they’re always incessantly negative, as if they live in a 3rd world country or something. I also agree with the sentiment that you find what you look for. So if you’re bent on seeing evil everywhere, then that is what you’ll see, and if you seek out the good things of life, you will find them and they will come to you. Thanks again! 🙂

    • You’re welcome. I’ve also lived on every side of the country (Houston, San Francisco, and the Eastern Shore of MD), and I’ve seen the extremes of liberalism and conservatism. I’m partial to where I grew up, I can’t help it. I feel like it’s a happy medium. I’m trying hard to get back to the midwest. (If you know of any museums that are hiring, let me know! 🙂 ) I also feel that if I’m there I can do *something* to help stop this slide towards extreme conservatism that’s going on now. But why I’m actually replying is because I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the Supreme Court’s decision (or non-decision) on marriage rights, so you don’t have to worry about legalities getting in the way of being with your partner. 35 (and DC) down, 15 to go!

      • Yes, I’m aware! 😀 I wish the court would tackle the issue for the whole nation already, but it’s still a big step in the right direction, which I’m thankful for. I think the slide-back is hopefully a temporary backlash to all the progress that’s been made in the last several election cycles, but I see how people in my generation and younger are much more egalitarian in their outlook on life than a lot of folks in the older generations, so I have hope. I have never been out past Iowa but Maryland is very nice, I’ve been to Ocean City a few times as well as Calvert county. I grew up mostly in NY, north of NYC, and I lived in Florida for a while too. Can’t say I miss the heat, or the southern “charm”. But NY is too extreme in certain ways for me as well. I also get that sense that here in the Midwest there’s much more of a middle-ground, MYOB atmosphere, which is nice. I recently read how the city of Seattle will fine residents for “wasted food”, which is strange because it’s supposed to be so liberal, and to me liberal means letting others live their lives the way they want to. It’s strange how far both parties have come from their starting points. I’m interested to know, what kind of museum work do you do? It seems like it’d be a lot of fun to work in one.

        • Lynne Phillips says:

          Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate assessment. If you want to get a good feel of midwest attitudes and values, I recommend reading (or listening to) anything by Garrison Keillor, especially “Homegrown Democrat.” Sorry if plugging a Minnesotan offends any of my fellow Wisconsinites 😉

          I’m the collections manager. I take care of the artifacts, archives, etc. Also loans, research requests, exhibit prep, and other stuff. It is fun, but I’m just sick of it here and I want to go home. Also, if I never see another boat (unless it’s a canoe on the Menom) it’ll be too soon. I work at a maritime museum.

          • I’ll check him out. He actually looks kind of familiar. Good hunting to you on your job search. That seems like a good job but since you’re wanting to return to the Heartland then I wish you a quick journey back! I imagine you’re hoping for Wisconsin but if you haven’t looked around Chicago I would guess you might find something there, even if it’s not your first choice. I’m sure you’ve already considered that but I know a lot of people who don’t live in/near Chicago actually don’t like Chicago. But as an outsider who has visited a few times, I think it’s decent! 🙂

          • Actually, Chicago’s my favorite city in the world (except for Appleton, of course). Sorry, Wisconsinites. My mom was born and raised there, so I’m very familiar with the city. And a die-hard Cubs fan. It’s the only big city I’d be willing to work in. They have the best museums. Garrison Keillor is the guy who does A Prairie Home Companion, which has been on NPR for…ever. 40 years, maybe? So that’s probably why you recognize him.

  45. lol Lynn those cities you mention are predominantly liberal if those are your experience it ain’t saying much. houston’s being overrun with foreigners who usually are dumb voters. San fran is weird for sure only diff between that and wis is cold weird and more people in san fran. wi is boring highlight of entertainment is lighting farts. u people are all weird and big part of what is wrong with this country. oh and chicago sucks highest crime rate in country plus it’s hole in earth. lynn journey down to gas station air pump and get a refill your head is empty. this whole page is dumb and makes no sense. those of you u defending wi aren’t selling your case much cause you sound judgmental at first glance. lol andrew your odd to imply because one has diff of opinion or hates what you don’t they are troublemakers. wi has one of highest rates of college grads excepting jobs elsewhere. by your logic all college grads end up in trouble with law. you’ll fit right in at wis if you keep stereotyping like that. todd you sound bored and depressed im not surprised if you live in wis n married to a doctor

  46. I might be the only one to say this but, I personally love the winters here and wish they would last longer.

    • You’re NOT the only one. With this early snowfall, I told my mom that if she was really lucky it might last until May. God, I want to be back…

  47. I moved to Wisconsin in March of this year to take a job at Fort McCoy, which is based in middle of two nondescript towns named Sparta and Tomah. Everyday I ask myself why I moved here. I was living in Phoenix with my wife and couldn’t find work in that state so moved by myself to this frozen wasteland in order to secure a federal job and be able to pay my child support. I ask myself daily what possessed me to come here. Upon my arrival to snow and sub-zero conditions in late March I immediately regretted it. I lived in Illinois for nine years so was familiar with the Midwest, but nothing prepared me for the nightmare that is this area of Wisconsin. There is nothing here. Nothing. It is a recipe for insanity. Things like cultural diversity, plentiful amenities and nice weather simply do not exist. It is mid November and already the nights are long and cold, the snow piling up and being locked inside to prevent exposure and certain death. Who in their right mind would consciously move to this hellhole? When I reluctantly go to the Wal Mart in Tomah (there’s nowhere else to shop) the humanity I see repulses and shocks me. The people appear to be barely functioning humans. I have never seen such disgusting, obese, slovenly freaks as I have here. It’s as if they let all the inhabitants of a mental asylum loose. Clearly they’ve given up on life. I can’t blame them if they’ve lived here their whole lives. What’s there to do? Where’s there to go? I told my wife to stay in Arizona where at least there is real life and nice weather. If she did move here where would she work? There’s no gainful employment or opportunities. The only decent city Madison is 10 miles away and who would want to commute in the horrific weather this dump has to offer? As soon as the chance comes I’ll be looking to move out of this nightmare and back to a proper state like Texas or Arizona. I have never been so depressed as I have in Wisconsin. It’s such a ghastly state with zero appeal. I agree with the person who said the people who like this place and the weather obviously have never been out of the state or lived anywhere else. I’ve lived all over the world and was born in New Zealand. This place ranks bottom of anywhere I’ve been. It can’t be soon enough until I make my escape, as long as I don’t go insane over the brutal winter ahead. Luckily most people I work with also despise this dump. I’m sorry if this offends devout Wisconsinites but I’m at my wits end living here. It truly is a nowhere, nothing state, especially where I’m located.

  48. That would be 100 miles away.

  49. Hmmm….I didn’t read every single comment to this post, but I don’t have to. I would like to suggest that the majority of the people leaving brutal comments ripping Wisconsin and its residents to shreds are the type of people that will eventually hate whatever environment they live in.

    Yes…what I’m saying to all you Wisconsin haters is this: the problem may not be with the state or the people that live in it, but a more likely possibility is that the problem stems from the very person you see when you look in the mirror every morning. Some people will spend their whole lives doing nothing but taking time to criticize, condemn and complain about everything they experience. People like this will blame everyone and everything around them for their problems, rather than owning up to the fact that they may just in fact be a bitter, miserable person. *Everyone* lights up a room…some light it up when they walk in, and others light it up when they walk out and take their soul-sucking darkness and crappy attitude with them. There are plenty of awesome things and people in this great state, and all the other states as well, but habitual complainers will never allow themselves to see any of it.

    I’m not naive…I seriously doubt this will change the minds of any of you professional haters, and to that, I say this: If you really do hate Wisconsin and it’s incredibly friendly residents, please…by all means….get out of here as quickly as possible and I wish you Godspeed on your journey out of town. Besides, that just means there will be more awesome cheese curds, butter burgers, brats and Spotted Cow for me and my Wisconsin loving friends to enjoy.

    Peace Out…

    • I know you would like to believe that to be true Scott, but the truth hurts sometimes. I’ve lived all over the country, been stationed in South Korea, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and all of them were better than nowhere Wisconsin. I moved here out of job necessity from Arizona where I had never been happier. I can find positives for most places Ive lived but nothing for Tomah-Sparta. It is the biggest dump I’ve had to endure. I know you love the state based on what you wrote, but all the dissenters on this thread can’t all be wrong can they?

      • Jeff, I could choose to find tons of negative things to say about *anything*, *anyone*,*anywhere* and rip them all apart mercilessly if I really wanted too. The point is that it’s all about how I choose to look at life. We might not always have a choice as to what we experience and where we experience it, but we *do* have a choice as to how we react to all of it. It all comes down to what lens you choose to view the world through…

        Peace Out…

        • Lynne Phillips says:

          Scott. THANK YOU! I’m so sick of all these people dumping on WI, and you put into words exactly my thoughts. This used to be such a nice little thread where we could come together and share our love on WI and now it’s been hijacked. I notice there aren’t many positive comments lately, and I think that’s because my fellow Wisconsinites–like me–have felt that discretion is the better part of valor and chosen not to engage. You can’t convince someone with so much hate in their heart anyway. I’ve also lived all over the country and that’s why I’m dying to get back to WI. And though I’ve grown to hate every other place I’ve lived, they all have redeeming qualities which I do not hesitate to expound upon. No place is all bad or all good. And focusing on only one of those is a recipe for either despair or naivete.

      • Jeff – I appreciate your honesty and I’m sorry about your situation. There are certainly many things about Wisconsin that can improve. The goal of this website is to shine a light on the good things happening in this part of Wisconsin.

        We are based on the eastern side, so I don’t know much about where you’re living. But I do know that you are pretty close to La Crosse (much closer than Madison), which is a college town with a decent amount of stuff going. I’ve spent a weekend there and think it’s actually a pretty cool little downtown area. You may have to drive 20 minutes or so, but there are plenty of great restaurants, unique stores and places besides Wal-Mart to shop.

        Go to pretty much any Wal-Mart in the country, and you’ll start losing a little faith in humanity (in my opinion).

        Check out the La Crosse website for more – http://www.cityoflacrosse.org/index.aspx?NID=1334

        I think many of the so-called dissenters on this thread of comments are really just people who feel stuck and lonely. You can start feeling that way anywhere. Scott is right about choosing a positive or negative attitude.

        But if you’ve already made up your mind, there’s no convincing you. WhooNEW is for people who are looking to be inspired and discover new things, not for people who are looking to vent.

        • I live in La Crosse. Like mostbof Wisconsin there are things to do… if the thing you want to do is get drunk at a bar.

  50. I have lived here all my life and why my parents moved here from Colorado is beyond me. I raised two kids into adults and remain here because of family only. Jobs are scarce, the winters are way to long and summers are hot and humid. I’d like a place like Austin Texas or California better for me.

  51. Recently moved to WI for school. WORST decision ever. This state sucks.

    The culture is flat and nearly unanimously European (though they have kept the native names for towns). Meausems don’t substitute for actual multiculturalism. There is a decent latino population, but they blend right in since the primary past time (dangerous and unhealthy binge drinking) is a shared cultural factor with the European Wisconsinites.

    New Glarius doesn’t make a beer that can hold a candle against the local brews of other cities I have been in.

    I can count the good restaurants I have found on one hand. Greasy cheese and fried food is the hallmark and it really does suck. Cheese is twice what I paid in CA or NC and no better. Let me repeat. You can buy better qualitly, cheaper cheese outside of WI. Wisconsinites also like to brag that they have the highest density of organic farms in the country, even if true these are dairy and meat farms, i.e. they are environmentally poor.

    The people can be alright. Like most places cities are sufficiently educated and liberal and (generally) the old conservative assholes in between are aweful.

    Winter is completely aweful.

    If you are considering moving here, don’t. There is a reason posts like this exist: for most people this is a frozen hellscape. Stay away.