The world I knew

By Razib Khan | July 10, 2012 8:24 pm

There’s something about this 1995 single from Collective Soul, The World I Know, which is redolent to me of the Pacific Northwest.* Yes, it’s precious, but the Pacific Northwest is a bit precious. The land of misty mornings, SWPLs, and strong coffee. The shadows alternating with colorized high key lighting common in these alter-rock videos from the mid-90s does neatly parallel some of the scenery which you encounter in the geography of that region. It was only through happenstance that my family moved to the land of big trees when I was on the cusp of puberty, but it was where I matured as a person. Living outside the Northwest now I regularly identify as a Northwesterner, and I certainly miss some of the perks of that region, though I could do without the feeling that I’m walking around in a cloud forest scene in a fantasy novel all the time. ’till we see each other again, on 47th and Division.

* I am aware that CS is not a “Seattle band.”

MORE ABOUT: Northwest
  • dave chamberlin

    My heart never left Portland. By hook or by crook I’m spending at least summers there in the years to come. While the rest of the country lost it’s regional identity the Northwest never did. It isn’t the natural beauty, it isn’t the high concentration of happy eccentric people, it isn’t that I have family there, it’s all of it.

  • Razib Khan

    #1, re: regional identity. the south?

  • dave chamberlin

    #2, not anything like it was a generation ago. My Austin cousins have half the accent their parents had and driving down commercial streets I could be anywhere in the country. I’m sixty, the south has lost most of it’s regional identity in my lifetime. Blame it on air conditioning and TV but from my perspective the south has a fracion of the regional identity it had when I was a kid.

  • April Brown

    It’s the cloud forest fantasy scene I miss the most of all, I think. When I moved to Seattle it was like I’d finally found the modern Lothlorien, and now everywhere in the world I live I hold to that impossible standard. (Totally unfair, of course, but I can’t help it.)

  • Paipo Jim

    It’s coming apart. In addition to always bitching about overflow parking for the Japanese Tea Garden and unsuccessfully trying to rescind the permit for Hempfest in Washington Park, the asshole neighbors in the Arlington Heights neighborhood are trying to BAN SKATEBOARDING there (Zoo Bomb). Quelle horreur!

    Luckily the coffeehouse across the street from my apartment on West Burnside still pours Stumptown Coffee (although he has sold out to some NYC venture capitalists.)

  • Andrew Selvarasa

    Do you watch PORTLANDIA?

  • JayMan

    I’ve never been to the Northwest, but I want to go. That region of the country strikes me as the only other place in America similar to Maine and northern New England, in geography and scenery.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar