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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sometimes Wisdom Comes from Unexpected Places


Not long ago, my son Ryan, who’s 18, and I were having a bonding session involving cigars and watching Larry the Cable Guy.

Now, if you’ve not seen Larry, or if you’ve seen him only in the company of Jeff Foxworthy and a couple of other “southern” comics, Larry may set you back on your heels when you catch his solo stand-up performance. He’s a bit sharp and crusty in his humor, but he certainly is entertaining, once you accept his perspective.

Larry treated us to some “red-neck” humor. But the term “red-neck” is a loaded term, and it will take your eye off the ball if you let it.

Larry said, among other profound things: “If guns kill people, then I can blame misspelled words on my pencil.”

Ol’ Larry nailed it. The so-called “rednecks” get a bum rap, not that some who are so identified aren’t truly obnoxious. But the term is broadly applied, and frequently it is used to demean people who don’t deserve such treatment. Like Larry, and, like a whole lot of Americans who don’t fit the elitist view of what Americans should be.

Just like every other sub-group in America, “rednecks” have their good points as well as their bad ones. They’ve been ridiculed in redneck jokes for years.

I recently got the same basic email about rednecks from two friends. One of them started out this way: “If I had to stand before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I'd choose half a dozen or so rednecks to back me up.” That says a lot, all by itself. But the rest of the message says even more about the type of people who are branded “rednecks.” These people represent a culture that values home, family, country and God, and that isn’t bad.

You might be a redneck if:

· It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God."

· You've never protested about seeing the Ten Commandments posted in public places.

· You still say "Christmas" instead of "Winter Festival."

· You bow your head when someone prays.

· You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

· You treat Viet Nam vets with great respect, and always have.

· You've never burned an American flag.

· You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

· You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.

· You'd give your last dollar to a friend.

A few more from Straight Face Test:
  • You might be a redneck if "Christmas" is not a four-letter word to you.
  • You might be a redneck if you actually know where Muskogee is.
  • You might be a redneck if you respect older people and value their lives.

2 comments:

Kenna Amos said...

Jim,

Terrific post. But, then, I'm just an old redneck--literally and figuratively--as well as one those Christian jihadist, American Taliban, ignorant, hillbilly, hick red-state fools.

But, seriously, what I find laughable about how we Southerners get pummeled by others and called such things, particularly rednecks, is what people are like elsewhere.

I've lived in the Northeast, including New England, the Rocky Mountains and the Mid-Atlantic.

I'll take these old rednecks any day.

BTW: I've got some other "You might be a redneck if..."

You might be a redneck is "Christmas" is not a four-letter word to you.

You might be a redneck if you actually know where Muskogee is.

You might be a redneck if you respect older people and value their lives.

Best regards. And "Merry New Year" and "Happy Christmas"!

Mr. Middle America said...

http://www.mrmiddleamerica.com/2004/06/occupation-education-and-income-and.html

Check out the above link... it leads you to the post I made on the "redneck" terminology....

You will see my perspective on it... quite decisively.

Great post! Thanks!