tice Abraham Yates, Jr., held out. Downstate Federalistsnresorted to threat: if New York did not ratify, its largest citynwould split off and join the Union anyway. To our everlastingnregret, several Upstate delegates caved in, and wenentered the United States as one.nBy 1861, the City had turned disunionist. Unwilling tonoffend “our aggrieved brethren of the slave states,” doughfacenMayor Fernando Wood, a Breckinridge man, proposednto take New York City out of New York State — and thenUnited States — and declare independence. No principlenwas involved, just good old filthy lucre: Wood wanted tonpreserve the Southern trade. Typically, New York Citynhoped to profit from war while avoiding the fighting.nWood’s trial balloon was punctured, and over the nextncentury not even William Randolph Hearst could set itnaloft. Upstate blocked Hearst from the governorship, as it didnEd Koch in 1982, after hizzoner imprudently told Playboy:n”This rural America thing — I’m telling you, it’s a joke.”nBehind the pastoral facade lurked a truly nightmarish reality,nalmost David Lynchian: “wasting time in a pickup trucknwhen you have to drive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or anSears, Roebuck suit.”nNot exactly Jackie Mason, but still, a pretty harmless jest.nRural York, alas, had lost its sense of humor. We rejectednKoch for that agrarian knight, Mario Cuomo.nGovernor Cuomo’s speechwriters have since beaten then”family of New York” trope into tripe. How is an Elbanonion farmer kin to Jackie Onassis or the Reverend AlnSharpton or Billy Joel? David Leavitt, Manhattan’s goldennboy of letters (and an NEA grantee, natch), looks beyondnthe Hudson and sees “a scrubbed, manicured neighborhood.n. . . The music is by Wayne Newton, the paintingsnare by Norman Rockwell, and sex takes place onlynbetween married men and women in beds at night.”nThe details are all wrong, of course, except maybe fornNorman Rockwell and the bed, but that’s to be expected ofnLeavitt, who knows less about the real America than I donabout the nightlife of subsidized Bohemians and trust-fundntrash. No matter. This is how Greenwich Village sees us,nand this is why some sharp Upstate pol, maybe a demagoguenand maybe not, will one day tap into the populist potentialnand try to set this house on fire. Our preamble to battlencould come from William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Goldnspeech: “Our war is not a war of conquest. We are fightingnin the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. Wenhave petitioned, and our petitions have been disregarded; wenhave begged, and they have mocked when our calamityncame. We beg no longer; we petition no more. We defynthem.”nThe train of abuses and usurpations snakes into eternity.nWe are taxed to subsidize their squalid subway system, theirnwelfare industry, and those artistic expressions deemednpleasing by culture czar Kitty Carlisle. (Perhaps AnnienSprinkle playing the home version of To Tell the Truth?)nRural and working-class folks are harassed by an array of gunnlaws, 55 m.p.h. paternalism, and extortionate regressivenlevies on everything from fishing to foodstuffs.nThe vitality is gone up here; no ferment, no foment, nonnothing. Or so it appeared to Governor Cuomo, whonseriously overplayed his hand and is facing an incipient ruralnrebellion.nIn 1989, the governor determined to locate a low-levelnnuclear waste dump in rural, money-poor Allegany ornCortland County. Most of New York’s waste is generated innWestchester County and around the City, but, well, younknow: mustn’t rouse the righteous dander of Joseph Pappnand E.L. Doctorow and Christie Brinkley. It’d be so muchneasier to steal farmland in our godforsaken region. ThenTimes won’t make a peep.nImagine Cuomo’s surprise when his likeness was hung inneffigy across Western New York. Protesters — not shaggyncollege kids but natives, many with roots generationsndeep — have kept state inspectors off the threatened property.nRaucous rallies recall Whiskey Rebels and Daniel Shays.nGuitar slingers who’d take Hank Williams Jr. over Joan Baeznany day sing rousing songs. Top of the pops: “AlleganynCounty is full of nasty boys / Shotguns is their favorite toys.”nThe anti-nuke firestorm is whipping up a great new cloudnof anti-urbanism. Most Upstaters, at least in my neck of thenwoods, have never even been to New York City. Nevertheless,nas Norman Mailer has said, “the good farmers andnsmall-town workers of New York State rather detest us.”nAnd why not? You send your murderers and howling Son ofnSam lunatics to Attica, and now you want to bury yournnuclear waste in our woodlands. Like a boorish suitor whonhas already been to the mountaintop, you don’t even flatternus into submission. You just seize the land by eminentndomain, all the while crowing about how Green thou art.n(The upper-middle-class environmentalist groups, so exercisednover plastic trash bags and snowmobiles, are shamefullynsilent on the rape of Allegany. Might they want plumnappointments in the Cuomo administration of 1993?)nThe anti-Cuomo, anti-NYC sentiment is diffuse andnunchanneled. It has no public outlet. The parties, the chainnpapers, the TV and radio stations are owned by Manhattanncorporations: the New York establishment really is one bignhappy family. Agrarian and small-town dissent embarrassesnUpstate elites, who have been to college and met peoplenfrom all over the world and learned never to trust their ownnjudgment or those of undegreed, untraveled neighbors.nThis past November, the Republicans ran for governor anManhattan millionaire economist named Pierre Rinfret,nchosen for his bulging purse. Rinfret yammered about thendeath penalty and the fool drug war, as though serial killersnand white powder are what ails us. He called his Upstatencampaign trips “a waste of cash.” He squandered the ruralnvote with a remarkable proposal that counties bid for thenprivilege of not hosting waste dumps — thus insuring thatnour poorest, most verdurous, least populated shires wouldnbecome the Metropolis’s latrine. Westchester would gonscot-free, while Allegany would be forever despoiled. DespairingnYorkers cried that the Cuomo-Rinfret contest provednthat the system no longer works, though I suspect it provednjust the opposite: the system by which Cities and Moneynkeep us in vassalage works all too well.nSo what? some of my landmen say. Subjection isninevitable. David Harum, the cracker-barrel Yorker of an19th-century regional novel, philosophized, “A reasonablenamount of fleas is good for a dog — they keep him f’mnbroodin’ on bein’ a dog.”nThe problem is. Upstate has become a miserable whippednnnJANUARY 1991/19n