You know, on this podcast, I’ve talked a lot about the American Midwest considering it’s a place I’ve been twice, for a few days each time.
So, I figured it was about time we got one of the locals on to tell us about the region, to argue with my diagnosis of its ills – and, most importantly, to explain what its obsession with weird public art is.
Dayton native Sarah Manavis wrote an excellent piece for us with the memorable headline “Here are the six freak statues of Ohio”. She tells me the parable of Touchdown Jesus; explains how Arnold Schwarzenegger came to be in Columbus; and discusses how her home state came to vote for Trump. Oh, and also – why is somewhere very clearly in the eastern half of the United States known as the MidWest?
After that, Patrick Maguire, the not-quite-Scouse wunderkind of the New Statesman politics desk joins me for this week’s audience participation bit, in which we ask: what’s everyone’s favourite weird tourist attraction?
Alas, it’s Patrick’s last week at the New Statesman. So as a very special treat I let him talk about his home town, Southport, and its lawnmower museum.