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Showing posts with label Rude Conversations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rude Conversations. Show all posts

Monday, January 21, 2013

How Do you Stop Random Shootings Up North?

By overcoming Southern Culture...of course.

REP. RANGEL (D-NY): New York is different and more progressive than a lot of areas in other states, and some of the Southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome.

Hey Chuck...we shoot Ducks, Deer, Turkey and people we know. We are not shooting up your malls, your movie theaters and we sure as hell aren't shooting little kids.

You people are different alright.

One of the very first school shootings, back in the mid-90s, was here in Jackson. It was stopped by an assistant principal with a that he may or my not have been authorized to carry. Around this time, there was another schooting in Arkansas. Since then, in Mississippi and the surounding states there have been zero.

We don't do random killings in The Deep South. There are too many people we know that need killin' to go on targetless shooting sprees.

We don't, as general rule, do serial killers either. We are violent. Our murder rates have always been as relatively high as our suicide rates have been relatively low. We have some horrific killings...a man kidnaps his family and kills them because his wife left him, a man kills his brother's family over property, a black man that has been in the employ of a notorious White Supremacist (transplanted Yankee by the way) burns the whitey's trailer down...with him in it.

We are not innocent people. There's a kind of code that governs most violence. It's been noted. Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals is last piece that comes to my mind. He explained violence in the Black community as an inherited cultural trait picked up from white Southerners...who had brought it with them from Northern England.  To this point, how many black serial killers and spree shooters can you think of.

Then there's just plain crime...we have a lot of that too. We are, generally speaking rowdy, ungovernable, violent people but, when it comes to gunning down little children, we aren't your problem.

I know this has the potential to get as rude as rude talk can be. I have always tried keep this place open for various ideas...if you want to go off on guns GO OFF. The only thing that will cause me to lose my manners is on issues of Southern Culture (sadly we've lost a reader over this...I let down my upbringing and forgot my duties as a host). Having said that, if you want to blame The South...go for it. It'll be a more rowdy conversation than usual but, please feel free to express yourself here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Caught Between a Moron and a Narcissist

Being the selfless employee that I am...I was out late last night. I didn't get home from the Coast 'til around 8 o'clock. Always thinking of the company. Rarely thinking of myself. I did that knowing that I would probably end up having to eat a meal from Mack Donald's...and so I did. That's dedication.

It did afford me the opportunity to drive in the dark. For all the time I spend in the car, most of it is done in sunshine. During the day, Magee is two miles of irritating stop lights and dingy strip night it's like driving up the trunk of a Christmas tree.

The Radio's different too. It's second string, non-league radio. Among other things, this means they'll take any caller they can get. It can be highly entertaining...or, it can be extremely irritating. Callers that are nervous  all the really get out is a lot of heavy breathing. Some don't call for a conversation but to state, and stick to, their point no matter what. The worst of all is when the host misreads what the caller has said. I get so frustrated listening to failed causes a kind of physical irritation in me.

Of course, sometimes it would be better if I didn't understand what was being said. Last night it was the Schnit show...Schhhyt. Some school up north has decided that along with the U.S. National Anthem  and the Pledge of Allegiance, to start the day, the children will also stand for the Black (or African-American) National Anthem. That's dumb...I think the U.S. National Anthem's dumb and they can take that fascists-one-nation-indivisible-my-ass Pledge of Allegiance and shove it where the sun don't shine but, adding the BNA to the mix is just begging for trouble.

For one thing, it sets the "colour-blind" into a tizzy. First it was the host...Schhhnyt, "I worrrk with alat of Ayficayn-Amyricayns...and they are Amyricayns just like me." Then the caller...distraught caller, will call her Bayrb, "I'm ah teaycher and thowse kids I teaych are mostly Ayyfican-Amyricayns but, I don't see a color. Thyyre just Amyricayns to me. Weyyre awwwlll Amyricayns."

No! Schhhhnyt and Bayrb...we are not all Amyyyyyricans. Certainly not in the all consuming glazed over sense that you two mean it. Black folks have had their own history and challenges that have shaped them, as a group, into something distinct. It's called an identity. A concept that is extremely confusing and frustrating for the Amyrricayn.

"Why wouldn't sambody wanna by an Amyricayn Walley?"

"Gosh Beave, I duh know. It's the best darn country that's ever been."

"Gee haveta swear? Now I gatta tell Mom."

Then, there seemed to be some hope. An older Black lady called and tried to explain the significance of the Song...Lift Every Voice and Sing...and why it matters so much to Black Folks.

"Well that's fyyne...if people want to be entertaaayyyned by the sang but..." At that point I turned the radio down so I could rant uninterrupted.

"Entertainment??? You has nothing to do with entertainment you is a part of who they are. It says something profound about their own history...about who they are as Black folks. It's not up to you, and your dumb as... to decide...blahaha bblaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."

Those that know me, and careful readers of the blog, will know that I am not merely jumping to the defense of Black identity. That this issue is a sensitive one because, I too, have an identity that separates me from the Amyyyricayns. One that I expect to be respected.

Right on cue....I cut the radio back up and there's an older Black gentlemen complaining that he had to sing Dixie as a kid in the South. It must have been Mississippi because he was making thinly veiled complaints about what's left of Confederate symbology at a major state university.

"Oh gayd...OH GAYD...No I can't believe that...OH had to sing Dixie..OH GAYD. That's wrang...that wrang. I wouldn't staynd for that eitha. OH GAYD Dixie? OH GAYD."

Then even worse..."The Sowthh has chaynged alat since those dayys."

Stop right there moron....listen carefully, write it down, take a picture and hide it in a hole, our reverence for our ancestors and the sacrifices they made defending our home from the likes of you and Bayrb has not ceased or diminished one iota. Don't think for one second that  because people like you and Bayrb have managed to stop the Ole Miss band playing From Dixie With Love or, that because some other Amyyricayn has gotten Confederate Battle flags removed from the stadium, that we have budged an inch on the issue of our identity. You and Bayrb can go pound sand then ride of on a tandem bike.

As for the caller....I don't think you or anybody else should have to sing or stand for anything...not Dixie, not God Bless Amyyrica, or Happy Birthday but, NOT everything is about your skin colour! Ole Miss, for instance, has a profound connection to the Confederacy...100%, that's everybody, casualty rate for the Mississippi GrEys from Ole Miss during the war. The town of Oxford was burnt to the ground by Yankees. The importance of the Confederacy at Ole Miss, and throughout The South, is not something that was invented just to spite you.

RRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHH Calgon take me away for the love of kittens...TAKE ME AWAY!!!!

Besides, the most serious, and yet stupid, differences that separate black and white Southerners have their roots in the Occupation...euphemistically called Reconstruction by the Amyricayns.

Everybody was pissin' me off last night :)...and it was with great relief that I pulled into the drive.

Listen to the's gorgeous. If you're gonna stand for something it might as well be Ray Charles.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Old South Religion

Since we've recently busted the bounds of polite conversation with a Sonic Boom might as well enjoy the ride...try and steer what is almost certainly a rudderless craft.

Actually I'm not offering you a sermon at all. I found something yesterday while doing my usual Friday reading at "work." Sometimes I'll bounce from one band to another on Wikepedia, other days I'll read the old out of copy-right Imperial memoirs on google books...and others I'll root around the Southern Partizan archives.

Yesterday's choice was made for me after Ronnie's comment about Puritanism. I mentioned to him Clyde Wilson's "The Yankee Problem in America"...having thought of it, I wanted to read it again and....

Y'all can find that essay here...

Keep in mind there is a heavy irony at work in this piece. For some, the title would make that obvious...for others probably not. He is writing about the Yankee the same way Southerners and The South are usally written about. So, if you're not a Southroner and you find yourself put off by the opening paragraph...that's kinda the point.

Suzanne Mary-Grant, a British historian, who along with Pete J. Parish edited the collection Legacy of Disunion, covers this very issue in her contribution to the book "The Charter of its Birth Right: The Civil War and American Nationalism". She quotes an editorial from a Northern paper that explained "There is one, and only one, sure policy for the immediate future...The North must become the absolute dictator of the Republic until the spirit of the North shall become the spirit of the whole country." There's also a letter from Henry Adams to his brother, expressing his conviction that it was up to him and "his generation" to bring the country "back to it's true course." That course being, of course, the one guided by the "New England element."

(one of the most Southern moments ever put to film...Hader's from borderline Oklahoma...McBride is straight outta Statesboro Georgia)

Anyway...the highlight yesterday was the The Real Old Time Religion by the late A. J. Conyers.

The essay looks at Puritanism, Fundamentalism, and Pantheism in US religious history and how The South has responded to these ideas.

It was a moment that not only reminded me of the reality of ideas but, also, of how much genuine pleasure they can bring. A moment where things you know to be true, ineffable things that you feel to be true, and things you hadn't pondered are brought together to explain a phenomenon in a way that immediately seems obvious. For instance, it gave me a better understanding of why we have found such a comfortable home in the Anglican Church, very comfortable, and not in the Baptist church where I was raised.

The section on nominalism and the tendencies of literal minded people gave me a real chuckle. This is something that comes up a lot around here because my in-laws, and some very good friends, are from the Mid-West where there is a tendency there toward literal mindedness.

I'm reminded of my Father-in-law, who is an outstanding man and one that I love, pulling me aside one day and letting me know that whenever I said I was "going out to check the weather" that he knew I was really going out to smoke. Busted. :)

I can imagine Jesus trying to tell someone to get the beam out of his own eye in Columbus Ohio...
"Now look here Jesus. In order for a board to be a beam it must A x B in width and C in length...the circumference of my head is only....hahahha.

(Not surprisingly these people are very good at inventing and building Father-in-Law is probably a world-class stone mason)

I was told point blank in Connecticut that Southerners are two faced...they never say what they really mean.

You don't have to be engaged with our disputes to enjoy it though. You certainly don't have to be a Christian or religious to get something out of it (though I do hope and look forward to hearing from some of our Christians on this one). There's plenty for anybody who's curious about religion in these United States or just a general interest in ideas and why they appeal. I think you can probably find yourself in one of these categories...and certainly some of our recent troubles :) can be put into a different perspective. And, I think, some of the difficulty that can be had in trying to communicate with one another what we actually mean.

Besides all that Mary Flannery O'Connor makes an appearance...


What more could you want?

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