"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Redneck Redneck Redneck Redneck

During this US election cycle we are hearing a lot from the pundits and candidates about "heartland voters," and "white working class voters."

What they are talking about are rednecks. But in their political correctness, media types cannot bring themselves to utter the word "redneck." So I'll say it for them: redneck-redneck-redneck-redneck.

We come in one size: extra large. We are sometimes insolent and often quick to fight. We love competitive spectacle such as NASCAR and paintball, and believe gun ownership is the eleventh commandment.

We fry things nobody ever considered friable - things like cupcakes, banana sandwiches and batter dipped artificial cheese…even pickles.

Joe Bageant, at the BBC website. Joe is the author of Deerhunting with Jesus, a look at the white working class' politics and Scots-Irish values.

Although, I vote for "fryable" as a spelling for things that can be fried.


lori said...

The great beery masses. Saw a review somewhere. I have to read this book.

Zen of Writing said...

I went to his website and read a couple of the essays there. I don't know if I could stand a whole hectoring book, viz:

"So why do we even bother with the pretense of a two-party system? Virgil, pouring himself another short one into a blue plastic cup: 'Well, it gives the Republicans a chance to get elected from time to time. Otherwise nobody would vote for 'em these days, and they damned well know it. But people gets tired of the likes of Bill Clinton and his side action, and Al Gore and John Kerry and their snottiness, so they vote for a Republican because mostly the Democrats has become slick little shit-asses.' According to Virgil, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter were the only Democrats in the last half century who weren't.) 'Then a few years later all our asses is in a sling after the Republicans has robbed the little feller and give it all to the rich. So they go back to the Democrats to get some welfare or unemployment or some kind of relief like they got from Roosevelt and Johnson. The little man has got to have some relief time to time. Back and forth. Back and forth.' When it comes to political analysis, Virgil keeps it simple and on the mark."

Bageant has a catchy turn of phrase now and then, but he sounds like a bitter ranting old baby boomer to me. Just who he is talking to, moreover? Who is reading his book?

Just wondering.