Anti-Southernism August 6, 2010Posted by Skippy in Culture, Rants.
Tags: idiots, regionalism, The South
As is my sad wont, I DVR’d the latest in the Real Housewives plague. This iteration finds us in DC, following the shallow, vapid, sordid lives of several moronic imbeciles and their particular quest for fame. One of the “wives,” Catherine (Cat) Ommanney is a transplant from Britain, complete with the fakest “upperclass” accent this side of Hyacinth Bucket.
Fig. 1: It’s pronounced “Bouquet”!
Her husband is a photographer for the White House or something like that. I was only half paying attention, until, in a scene with him and his British family, he was talking about traveling with V.P. Joe Biden through North Carolina. He laughed derisively and talked about N.C. in such derogatory terms, he actually (I shit you not) said it was like being in “Deliverance” and he was sure he was going to hear someone playing a banjo.
Well, no more “Real Housewives of DC” for me. I’ve got better things to do than to watch some jumped-up morons act like anything outside the DC Beltway is hicksville. Which brings me to today’s rant: I am sick of idiots proclaiming that the South is some kind of monolithic, backward backwater. Now, a post about “anti-southernism” might, at this point, try to mount a defense of the South and point to the many fine institutions of higher learning, or the many famous entertainers who have come from the South, or the many urban centers in the South that offer a vibrant culture. I could write at length about the “New South” and talk about Atlanta, Nashville, or Charlotte.
I’m not going to do that, because that’s arguing on the anti-southernist’s terms—you see, the anti-southernist is so sure of the moral/cultural superiority of his/her particular region (especially if they’re not from said region and have moved there in search of a hipster douche lifestyle, complete with arugula, free-range everything and hybrid, world-saving Birkenstocks) that really, nothing you or I would or could say would sway them. In fact, to argue about the merits of the South is, in a way, a tacit acceptance of the assertion of the anti-southernist’s views. To that I say, bullshit.
Like I said, I’ve lived in a lot of places and there’s one thing that places like Western Massachusetts, mid-Michigan, Northeastern Oklahoma and the mid-South have in common: they’re full of idiots. When I visited NYC and LA, I realized that they are one and the same…for they are cities that are up to their eyeballs in idiots. Take California for example. That state has an insane concentration of morons who dabble in such shit as soul coaching or ruining food. New York…well, NYC is also ass to elbows in idiots. Plus, the city stinks. Seriously. Yeah, it’s the “cultural center” of the U.S., but I’m much happier living in a place where the air isn’t so foul you can taste the stank of a million people in dire need of a shower and Old Spice.
See, the stock-in-trade of the anti southernist is that the South is full of moronic imbeciles who are racist, homophobic, dangerously in love with Jesus, etc. The haughty assumption of the anti-southernist is that their particular region is totally free of moronic imbeciles who are racist, homophobic, dangerously in love with Jesus, etc. The South—at least, the “South” as imagined by the anti-southernist is nothing more than a scapegoat, a featureless mannequin upon which the “superior” jackass from another region can festoon every negative, ugly American characteristic.
Fig. 3: What people from the Utopia States of America think Southerners look like.
What’s more annoying about anti-southernism is that, outside the South, it’s a perfectly acceptable prejudice. As a friend of mine puts it, “It’s the last acceptable prejudice.” While state governments might openly discriminate against gays and lesbians, it’s still considered bad form to openly mock homosexuals or create parodies that are derogatory and hurtful. However, making fun of “The South” is the stock in trade of many a self-satisfied, smug jackass who thinks that being from anyplace designated “the South” is an inconceivable horror.
Fig. 4: Imagine if this sign said “Southerners Die, God Laughs.”
The anti-southernism takes on batshit annoying proportions if someone from the Utopia known as California has been relocated to “The South.” They tend to remind me of my 9th grade German teacher who, despite having escaped from the Nazis, would say that everything in Germany was better. We would all go, “Really? How’d that little thing called ‘World War II’ work out for you?” A person from Utopia will tut-tut about how there isn’t a Trader Joe’s here or obsess about how overbearingly religious everyone in The South is and then I want to stab them with a spork and send them back to Utopifornia.
Fig. 5: UTOPIA!