Skip to comments.Rednecks: The Virtues Thereof
Posted on 05/22/2005 2:16:33 PM PDT by right said fred
Rednecks: The Virtues Thereof
Cornell As Evolutionary Miscalculation
May 22, 2005
There is a lot of snot and malice about rednecks on the internet. Most of it comes from such cornflowers and honeysuckles as college professors, other witless suburban nonentities, and assorted twits in cities. By redneck, these bundles of intellectual lingerie seem to mean anyone without a college degree who can hang a door or lube his car.
One of them, some sort of biochemical rascal, figured that rednecks were examples of poor evolutionary fitnesscompared, I guess, to him. Now, thats a stretch.
Tell you about rednecks. Theyre probably the only people in the whole country that aint unfit. What used to be Davy Crocketts country today is full mostly of folk who cant do anything for themselves. They call someone else to fix the plumbing, shoot the burglar, gap their plugs, build their houses, get their kids off drugs. If the cat dies they need a pet-loss grief-management counselor. From a rednecks point of view, the United States is turning fast into people like those nasty white grubs that nekkid savages in New Guinea eat, only with legs.
I know the breedrednecks, not grubs. I grew up with them, in King George County, Virginia, and in Athens, Alabama in 1957. Back then I thought I was Huck Finn. I may have been right. Certainly the evidence favored the proposition. Id run through the woods like a Southern Mowgli with a slingshot and later got drunk with the country boys in high school and drove like three dam fools, buy one and get two free. We hunted, and crabbed in the Potomac, and such like. We called people from Massachusetts Damyanks, or targets.
Now, the people in KG were either farmers or fishermen. They could build a crab boat from scratch. Try it. What they were, really, was versatile. Theyd snatch an old engine from a junkyard Chevy and rebuild it, convert it to marine, and mount it in the boat. They changed their own transmissions, replaced clutch plates, wired the barns they built. They could run a farm, keep old tractors going, blast a stump, raise hogs and slaughter them. They knew guns, and had them. They could hunt, shoot, and fish. They were tough, cut cordwood and split logs and dug foundations. If they wanted a wall, they laid the brick. If something broke, they fixed it.
Maybe they came up a little short on iambic pentameter. Didnt seem to hurtem none.
Now, if an asteroid hit Boston, which would be a good idea, and all the International Safeways and designer-cheese stores went tits-up, and the repair shops and gas stations that do things for all that human okra up there that needs someone else to water it, and if people had to take care of themselves like grownups how long do you think the English department at Cornell would last?
Too long, yes. Maybe minutes. Think of it: Five hundred BMWs descending on the drug stores, people squealing and clawing and snatching out eyeballs to steal the last Prozac. Why, they couldnt live without sour white wine not nearly as good as Ripple and those cheeses with names like Chartreuse. A week later theyd be eating their lawns. (I dont oppose this, understand. Id sell tickets.)
People in the country wouldnt blink. They might wonder how to start an asteroid so they could get Washington too.
If some upscale flowerbed like Fairfax County outside DC ever had to deal with hard times, it would the best show since Aunt Sally sat on that ant nest. It isnt just that they cant do anything. They cant even think about doing anything. I mean, suppose that after the asteroid hit the cops had other things to do, like look after their families, and a larcenous parasitic lawyer encountered some Diversity with a knife in its hand and an itch for his television or daughters, what would he do? Get extra therapy? Hit him with a rubber stamp? Say, Cant we talk about this?
Now, in the country, people had a slightly less lenient attitude toward having their homes invaded. Nobody ever shot anybody, much anyway. People didnt think it was civilized. They did have dogs and shotguns and rifles. Further, they had the backbone to use them if the need arose. Which is why it didnt.
Now, I reckon professors are pretty smart. After all theyre picked for itexcept in departments whose names end in Studies, and Departments of Education, where theyre picked for being stupid. And in some other departments, if brains were oil, the inmates would be about a quart low: Anthropology, psychology, sociology, cosmetology science. The really smart onesthere must be a couple of dozenmight be able to handle an asteroid strike.
But I doubt it. The dinosaurs didnt. What happens is, most people grow up helpless in some suburb. It isnt their fault. They have to wear helmets and life-preservers to walk around the block and probably adult diapers and if they are boys they like as not get estrogen injections so they wont be. They cant wrestle or play dodge ball because its violent. They cant play Cowboys and Engines because its insensitive. Then they get a job in some office fiddling with forms. And thats all they do. Ever.
A redneck has a life, lots of times anyway. A buddy of mine grew up in a tough section of a Yankee city, where the deciding factor in a philosophical discussion was a good right hook. He went to Viet Nam for a couple of tours in spec ops, spent ten years in the fishing fleets of Alaska, and retired as a fireman-EMT. He knows motorcycles, scuba, and NASCAR.
A man like that has some depth to him. He knows what life is. He has seen it. You can talk to him about the street tradescops, fire, paramedicsand he knows what happens. He knows Nana Plaza and small boats in cold oceans and Saigon in the bad times. You dont get that with a biochemist, master of aldehydes. A perfesser is like one of those polished jewels of the British upper classes, except bright, and pig-ignorant of the world. I mean, if you spend ten years in labs to get your meal ticket, you dont have time to amount to much.
Of course you might cure cancer. And I guess penicillin is pretty good stuff. Maybe everybodys got some virtue, even professors. They still cant cure an asteroid.
Perhaps I have to say that, as I have science and engineering degrees, but at heart, I am a country boy, and I love the song, "A country boy can survive".
Should be "of the world in academe".
Texas born, and brought up all over the country by Tennessee born military parents. And I'm a redneck :)
I worked at Oak Ridge National Lab for a few months after I got out of the military. I was delivering mail, getting to talk with some of the best and the brightest in the nation. I also picked up spare change doing things like tuning their cars, changing the oil, stuff such as that.
Funniest experience of all at the Lab. This was after the comet strike on Jupiter. I'm at one of the physics labs, looking at a bulletin board. Someone pinned up a bunch of pictures of the strikes on the planet, and this gentleman comes up to me and asks what I do. I tell him that I deliver mail, and that leads him to ask "Do you know what you're looking at?" The tone was kind of snide, but you should have seen the look on his face when I answered him.
I can't recall the exact words - it's been ten years now, but it was something along the lines of "That's fragment Alpha, striking the planet at such and such location. The force of the blast was approximately 150 megatons, determined by the flash of the blast, etc, etc. The impact zone was aproximately XXX in size, etc etc etc." I gave him all the technical details of the comet strike, how many fragments, total energy expended, you name it.
He slowly shook his head and asked "What is a man like you doing delivering mail?" I told him that it wasn't as boring as some other things I could be doing...didn't have the heart to tell him that I read the answer word for word from the captions under the pictures.
Not the best of Fred, but I became politically aware in Ada County Idaho, in the late '50's, so I can relate.
"...we called.....people from Massachusets targets..."
Would someone please explain to me how you can refer to someone who embraces this philosophy as "virtuous"? Or was it written as sarcasm? Are rednecks still fighting the civil war?
Oh for Chrissake, did you overdose on the sensitivity and political correctness pills this morning. Yep, they must have been targets - they hid in the woods and shot them dead with assault rifles. (eyeroll)
My folks are from the eastern shore, now called Delmarva. It used to be free country. None of em believed in government. They'd push their pungyboats up into the swamps to avoid tax men. They were pirates and smugglers to a man.
Today they own more water front marsh land than the government. So the government puts their claims off limits to development. Swamps are protected now. So they still are pirates and smugglers.
They did not support the revolution. They did not fight on either side of the civil war and they damn well tried to avoid all the other wars. They also avoid taxes and voting and social security.
They think rednecks are ignorant mountain people who can't clean a crab or shuck an oyster. They damn well want to be left alone.
Now I live near the Everglades. These people down here are about the same as my p[eople back on the Chesapeake but they figured out how to beat the government back. They call themselves native Americans and set up their own government.
They can kill and eat as many gators as they want and they do not answer to the Feds or the state. Oh yeah, and they steal from the white man with their casino. These guys figured it out.
I'm from as far north as one can imagine. If you have to ask this question, you need to get out more.
By redneck, these bundles of intellectual lingerie seem to mean anyone without a college degree who can hang a door or lube his car.
Sure! It's the virtue of self-sufficiency, and of being left alone by those "who only want to help us".
Are rednecks still fighting the civil war?
That's the "War of Northern Aggression" to you...It's a Southern thing, you wouldn't understand unless you were American by birth, Southern by the grace of God!
(I also like to refer to myself as a liberal's worst nightmare: A redneck with a pickup, a library card, and a concealed carry permit. And why is it liberals and yankees get a wad in their panties over the stars and bars?)
I went to one NASCAR race out of curiosity - at Talledega. Judging from the license plates we saw, most rednecks live in Indiana.
Damn, I couldn't get past the idea of a crab boat with a 409. I want one!!!
Nah - you're still a full redneck, but now you can explain the social mores behind your class status.
I knew all that psychobabble I had to learn would come in handy.
I would have less of a problem with rednecks and certain other of my southern fellow citizens if they didn't have such a chip on their shoulder about us "damn Yankees," even those of us whose families weren't even IN this country in the 1860s.
Nope - it's not a war, per say - now it's more of a guerilla action. See, we sell homes on the Florida coast to the Yankees. Then the hurricanes come in and blow them down, and then we charge them to rebuild them. Then the hurricanes come in and blow them down, and then we charge them to rebuild them. Then the hurricanes come in and blow them down, and then we charge them to rebuild them.
We're also draining them economically by selling them "family heirlooms." I can bury a #7 frying pan in the backyard for six months, then sell it for three times what I paid for it at Walmart. I've learned that if I take a piece of fifty cent yard sale junk, paint it speckle blue and white, I can sell it for twenty dollars, because it's "country."
See, we've learned that the North had a fairly good economy behind them during the War of Northern Aggression. We didn't surrender - nope - we just changed fronts...
Speaking of which, I've got some speckle blue and white cow manure that just finished drying - I'll give you a deal on it before I take it to market...
Go rednecks, lets bring some pickups into DC.
I especially laughed when in a fit of forgetfullness, Fred attacked the stereotypical occupation of the female redneck: The beautician. Other than that it was the same rehashed "Country folk are better than city people" trash that pops up from time to time.
My sociology professor would be impressed that I actually paid attention in class. She thought I was in there as a troublemaker. But then again, she brought it on herself when she said, "I don't want to be the only one talking in here - if you disagree with something I say, then say so."
I disagreed with a lot of what she said. But I have to give her some credit - she was pro-death penalty.
I can slaughter animals, ride horses and play guitar. A five mile hike is a good way to spend a Sunday morning and three days in the woods is a vacation for me and my friends.
If you think you have to be from south of Baltimore to be self-sufficient you've displayed enough ignorance for one day.
I'm a redneck, it's a redneck nation
"I don't want to be the only one talking in here - if you disagree with something I say, then say so."
It's a Southern thing..you wouldn't understand. J/K
There are plenty of "Yankee rednecks".
I have friends in western upstate NY that are as hardy and self-sufficient as any southerner ever born.
I'd bet you live somewhere *outside* of the cities of New England.
That would really classify you as more of a "mountain man" then redneck but it's all semantics, anyway....:)
It's really more of an "urban" vs. "rural" issue.
"Redneck" is just a handy, convenient label....:)
Case in point;
My ex was born 2 miles north of the Mason-Dixon but grew up [barely] suburban in western MD.
If disaster had struck, he wouldn't have survived a week.
He was literally helpless in "rough" conditions.
My husband grew up in extremely citified Federal Hill, Providence RI.
He's lived everywhere and learned all he knows on his own.
If disaster struck, his only setback would be getting gas for a generator to run his welder and there's nothing he -can't- do, build, make or fix.
No matter what comes, he'll take care of it and me.
I also can hunt, fish, split wood, grow food, etc and between us, we'd do just fine.
Self-sufficiency is *not* the sole property of any geographic location.
"Redneck" is a state of mind....:)
Great stuff - thanks.
I urge all you you to read Fred's list of articles.
Country people are the best. Call them rednecks if you want, it's becoming a compliment. They are the folks that make the red states red.
OTOH, there are plenty of rural "rednecks" that live in drunken squalor and would just as soon shoot you or steal from you as look at you, they are pretty much indistinguishable from inner city thugs.
fred can be very witty.
LOL! We also sell swampland (Own a piece of Florida!), and sell them t-shirts, stuffed baby gators, and pink lawn jockeys to take back home.
Yep; they're passing them out when you log in with your first cup of coffee in the morning. I've noticed lately that more and more are lining up for them every day.
You know that ain't a half bad idea. we've got enough of 'em rummaging around at yard sales and the flea markets here in NC looking for that 'country look' somebody could make a good little bit
Ain't it the truth?
Southern by the grace of God, I used to be a college instructor, of English, nonetheless, but I can make bread from scratch, spin and weave, knit things the way people did in the 1700s, make fire from flint and steel, sew servicable clothes with no sewing machine or patterns, the way they used to, tell you about the world's great literature, discuss something of cosmology, and reassemble just about anything I can take apart, including a large part of my car.
I will always say y'all, and am just as likely to say, "He ain't got none," while discussing the fine points of why Tarleton deserved to get his butt kicked, or how you can sing most of Emily Dickenson's poetry to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas...while crocheting a doily at the same time.
I don't know what this makes me. Confused?
There is truth in what you post.
"I would have less of a problem with rednecks and certain other of my southern fellow citizens if they didn't have such a chip on their shoulder...."
I think we got us a sow here........
Hey Jasper - it is a great song. The boys came back with a rockin' album. Grits and Gravy - good Southern Rock by Great Americans.
HEHEHE!! LONG LIVE REDNECKS!
A true Hoosier redneck is more likely to be found at their favorite dirt track on Saturday night holding the stub to a $10 ticket, a can of Bud and dodging dirt clods flying on the rear tire of a Sprint car than in the grandstands of Talledega with a $75-$100 ticket and a $7.50 beer.
I'll trust your judgment on this. I must have been seeing the fake Hoosier rednecks.
Yep, they sure did. I hear that Skynyrd is due to release a new album next year.
In the mean time, The VanZants (Donny and Johnny) just released a new country album called "Get Right With The Man". There's a whole lotta truth in this one.
If you 'puter is wired for sound, go to the site below, click on 'MUSIC' and take a listen to the samples.