"See what happens when you change a consonant."
The Catbox inspired me to share this bit of slang. As many expressed their dislikes for various regions of the United States, I was reminded of this term for Salt Lake City, UT a friend of mine uses to refer to the city he currently resides in. Utah does indeed have laws pertaining to drugs, alcohol and other vice which rest on the far right. Zero tolerance policies and the Mormon religion tend to give other urban dwellers the sense that Salt Lake City is indeed pitiful.
Otis Redding felt pitiful too sometimes.
Point is that geographical areas aren't to blame. Rather, the ideologies we bring with us and into areas with established laws and customs sometimes clash. We don't always feel "good" about a place, be it our mood, the weather, or a number of other variables.
Residents and visitors often feel similar vibes from places and areas, providing nicknames that give an accurate portrayal of a place. These become slogans or mottos to put on license plates or bill boards and even water towers.
Can you imagine heading down I-80 to see a water tower in the middle of the desert reading,
SALT LAKE PITY
...where no fun is to be had
. Do these stereotypes really exist and influence our perceptions of a region? Certainly, where they originate and grow, I don't know.