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Anti-Southernism: The Dating Edition! April 13, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Culture, Rants, Religion.
Tags: , ,

Y’know, children, I’ve often said that the Internet is nothing more than an assemblage of potential idiots. Because the Internet is so vast and so full of nooks and crannies, there are many, many places where brainless morons can congregate and commiserate on their collective stupidity. Also, because the supposed anonymity of the Web can foster even more foolishness, allegedly “smart” people can occasionally write some damnable foolishness. Even worse, bastions of so-called “liberal” thinking can usually harbor the worst kinds of idiocy. Case in point: an “article” by a “Maggie Flynn” about dating as an agnostic while living in Nashville. But before I get to Flynn’s anti-southernist piece, I want to remind y’all about something I wrote previously:

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.

There’s a reason I wrote that, and sadly, Flynn’s piece seems to fit everything I wrote to a T. Flynn’s essay is about her dating woes when she lived in Nashville. See, Maggie Flynn is an enlightened agnostic who hails from Michigan (you know, that wonderful land of opportunity and great sense) and spent some time in Nashville, Tennessee. Now, when I was told that an agnostic had written about dating in Nashville, I thought it would be a thoughtful piece that highlights the problems inherent in finding a compatible mate when one’s religious beliefs are outside a particular mainstream. Instead, the piece is a holier-than-the-South bit of drivel better suited for someone’s self-indulgent blog–why bore others needlessly?

Anyway, Flynn begins by recounting some dating disasters. Well, hell, who hasn’t had a dating disaster? I bet people living in New York City (aka Liberal Utopia) have some dating hell stories—aw, who’m I kidding? Nobody in NYC has ever had to deal with any kind of prejudice whatsoever. Ok, anyway, Flynn bores everyone with her phenomenally disastrous dates, and then proceeds to blame those phenomenally disastrous dates on Nashville itself, as though the city was somehow responsible for her dating mishaps. She then begins enumerating the horrible, horrible things that the City of Nashville had done that kept her from getting laid on a regular basis:
* Nashville has too many churches!
* Some people who went to church were hypocrites!
* Her job at an Evangelical publishing house subjected her to undue conversation about—oh, my I can’t even type this—church!

It’s this last point that really wobbles the mind. Read this bit of foolishness:

God even invaded my professional life. To supplement my paycheck from AmeriCorps, I took a job in the children’s division for one of the biggest names in Christian publishing, proofreading evangelical teen series and creationist-themed picture books with names like “God Said It and Bang! It Happened.” No one there questioned me about my religious beliefs — my colleagues operated on the assumption that the whole office was Christian.

You mean to tell me that people working at an Evangelical publishing house would dare assume that their co-workers were Christian? Well, spank my ass and call me Charlie! Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me that you’d expect teammates on a football team to be fans of the game! My stars and garters, I don’t know how Flynn mustered the courage to get up in the morning, so oppressed was she!

True to form, Flynn informs the reader that she has since fled (her word, not mine) to Los Angeles. Aren’t you happy for her? Now she’s in Utopia, a place where no one assumes that she subscribes to any particular brand of woo. Oh, it’s perfectly perfect in its perfection. Why, it’s so perfect in Utopia, that she’s even open to the idea of a higher power! If only the horrible city of Nashville had allowed her the freedom to work at Christian publishing houses without assuming that she too was a Christian, maybe she wouldn’t have been such an agnostic! Our dear Flynn writes

In this permissive environment, I’ve actually become more open to the idea of a higher power. Sometimes, as I’m falling asleep, I’m even moved to say a prayer of thanks for my kind and supportive fiancé, our funny French bulldogs and our great community of friends. To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I still wonder where, exactly, my prayer will go. I largely assume my thriving the past few years can be attributed to good decisions and a measure of luck. But maybe the path I’m on has less to do with my personal choices than I think. It’s possible that I was preordained to move to Nashville, feel alienated and flee to a city where I fit. Here in L.A., I feel like I’ve been saved, even if I haven’t.

What a smug load of bollocks. This is precisely the kind of bullshit I was referring to in my previous post on anti-southernism. She claims that she felt alienated. Did she even bother seeking out any nontheist/atheist/agnostic groups? If she’d had an ounce of sense, she could have gotten on the Google and found some atheist groups in the city. I’m pretty fucking certain that there was a Unitarian Universalist church in the city—but no, this smug fool blathers on about going to a Nazarene church. She makes the city her dating scapegoat—even though she concedes that she a) made friends with people who weren’t dangerously in love with Jesus and b) dated a guy who wasn’t double-dating with the Lord. But no, she doesn’t realize that it was probably a matter of giving the city time. No, it wasn’t that, nor could it be that you always have to go through a bunch of frogs before you get to the prince. No, it clearly had to be Nashville’s fault for having more churches than she was comfortable with.

You know what, Maggie Flynn? You go on and enjoy living in LaLa land. I hope you and your fiance are enjoying all your sunny easy liberalism, ’cause we’re getting along just fine with one less smug fraktard fairweather liberal here in the South.



1. Sara - April 21, 2011

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