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Don't Fuck The South
November 12, 2004 4:25 AM   Subscribe

Don't Fuck the South. Neal Pollack has resurfaced with a series of responses to the recent liberal backlash against red-state elitism: "I'd rather have a cup of coffee with my next-door neighbor every day for the rest of my life than share one "hazelnut latte" with you. He thinks I'm going to hell but helped me fix my lawnmower last weekend anyway."
posted by eustacescrubb (70 comments total)

 
Fuck/Don't Fuck the South is so last week. Get with the rest of the planet - 'Fuck America!'
;-)
posted by i_cola at 4:45 AM on November 12, 2004


Isn't it amazing how well the poor and middle classes can be manipulated to fighting amongst each other? I think the Onion put it best when they wrote "Nation's Poor Win Election for Nation's Rich."

What the hell? I'm just a liberal deep in the heart of blood red country. Yet, my neighbors are very similar to the neighbors I had back in the North. They just wear a different team jersey.

None of this is really about values or well-though positions. It's one side shounting "I've got spirit. Yes, I do. I've got spirit how about you!" and the other screaming back, "We will...We will...We will ROCK YOU!"
posted by ?! at 4:53 AM on November 12, 2004


Fuck Neal Pollack. Here's the real South.

Fucking indefensible bunch of fucking racists!
posted by nofundy at 5:23 AM on November 12, 2004


Boys, I've lived in Red states and I've lived in Blue states, and I'll tell ya, the Red states got better stores, cheaper rents, easier commutes, and nicer people. If you fly over Manhattan at night, you see millions of glowing lights down below, and behind each one of those glowing lights, is a Blue stater doing the exact same thing any Red stater is doing at that same moment: watching TV. The only difference is, that the Blue state Manhattan feller has paid a million dollars for his tv-watching space, and the Blue stater still has some discretionary income. Oh yeah, there's one other difference. The Blue staters have all the good-looking women. I'm sorry about that. But on the other hand, it's not like they were going to marry me anyway.
posted by Faze at 5:23 AM on November 12, 2004


This latest entry in the rantfest is unilluminating, but I was glad Pollack linked to letters home from US forces who died, which i hadn't read (and everyone should).
posted by Zurishaddai at 5:27 AM on November 12, 2004


He can't claim powered flight for the south. Them was Ohio boys what done it.

My state is homophobic but I love it. I love my red state home. </Heathers>
posted by putzface_dickman at 6:06 AM on November 12, 2004


There are nice people and a-holes all over the place, or so I found out through traveling over the summer, including very blue areas such as San Francisco and NYC. People were constantly helpful in SF. Then, for heaven's sakes, I had someone from Queens I'd only met a few hours before lead me, then a native southerner living in Alabama (now all the way over to Georgia) through Penn Station to find an ATM and a taxi. A Brooklyn woman took me over to Ground Zero, at her assistance. I was given on-the-house martinis one night, etc. The only stupid comment in NYC? "You mean, they have jazz fans in Alabama?" This heard at a major jazz club, from a band manager, who thought she was being amusing. Jesus, what a moron. No, there never any major jazz figures to come out of Alabama!

There are plenty of problems here in the South, and I'm not nearly as hopeful as I was about the state of things here as I was only a decade ago. But rural New York, California, Oregon, etc., all were as red as any place in the South. And the northern cities, at least, which went mostly blue everywhere, are as minority-heavy as any of the blue areas you see in the south - which are minority-heavy, no matter their rurality or urbanity. The fight is actually more complex than intellectual v. stupid. It also involves minority issues, questions of information (which are affected by decisions made by media elites based in blue states). The evangelical problem definitely has roots in the South, but why's it so powerful elsewhere? What do you do about that? Just write rants like this that, if heard enough, have the potential to alienate even more potential supporters?

Oh well. You have to give the Declaration back, meantime, if you agree with what was said. Jefferson more or less wrote it. Also, no dance or funk, 'cause James Brown still lives down here (that he's nuts is beside the point) and you who love that sort music owe him everything.
posted by raysmj at 6:18 AM on November 12, 2004


Use the marriage amendments as evidence of regional homophobia isn't particularly wise. After all, Oregon passed one easily last week, and California and Hawaii passed ones overwhelmingly a few years back. Frankly, I suspect that the people of every state would do the same if given the chance to vote on the issue, including such great-and-goods as New York and even Massachusetts.
posted by MattD at 6:21 AM on November 12, 2004


I liked that Neal Pollack character better when he was just pompous instead of preachy. Eggers should invent someone new for this type of stuff.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:41 AM on November 12, 2004


But I thought the south liked being fucked.

Doesn't this last election prove my point?
posted by mooncrow at 6:48 AM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]


Fuck Neal Pollack. Here's the real South.

Fucking indefensible bunch of fucking racists!


Okay, I'll try to explain this one, even though it is rather indefensible. I live in Alabama, and what happened is the neo-cons down here (backed by Roy Moore, we all remember him) decided that removing this language would also remove the jim-crow clause that specified that government did not have to provide equal education. Their 'rationale' was that if that was removed, then poorer countied could sue the state to get equal funding, and that was just too Democrat. They got all the fire-belly christians behind it, and as we all found out last Tuesday, they vote. So it wasn't a race issue on the surface, but...

(again, I am not defending this,but I also have my doubts this really was race based. IMHO they just want to keep the haves and the have nots in the status quo (granted many to most of the have nots are mostly African-American, but I dont really think that was the motivating factor). It's just not as simple as that link makes it sound [and it rarely is]).
posted by dig_duggler at 7:03 AM on November 12, 2004


Pretty much sums it up: The South is diverse. It's varied. And yes, it's ignorant in many ways.
posted by rushmc at 7:09 AM on November 12, 2004


The fight is actually more complex than intellectual v. stupid.

That fight doesn't even exist. The problem with: "liberal elitism" or "blue state elitism" is that it is a figment of the Republican imagination. It's used to spear good people like me, and I suspect a lot of good people here on MEFI. I'm a real American and I drink regular old coffee all the time. I don't think the times that I pick up a vendi Americano makes me un-American; it just makes me a straw man of the right.
posted by Bag Man at 7:17 AM on November 12, 2004


Neal Pollack should stick to satire. His attempt to go mano-a-mano with Ted Rall (who should, by the way, also stick to satire) was embarrassingly inept.
posted by soyjoy at 7:17 AM on November 12, 2004


rushmc: But the way to fight ignorance is not with more ignorance, which is exactly what that "fuck the south" article was doing. (I do think the author had satirical intentions, which didn't work. The response has been mind-numbingly stupid from many "progressives" however.)
posted by raysmj at 7:37 AM on November 12, 2004


I came to this conclusion a long time ago: There are millions of people in this world who will never, ever agree with you. Who can't even imagine the way you see things, and never will. So get used to it.
posted by fungible at 7:41 AM on November 12, 2004


It might be worth noting that Pollack had to flee Philadelphia because it was too insane.
posted by ph00dz at 7:41 AM on November 12, 2004


The thing about the South that irks me the most? The churches.

I admit the church names in the Appalachians can be pretty amusing. Names like "The Holy Finger of God" or The Blazing Sword of Jesus Christ, Savior."

But it gets a bit disheartening to note that every new building going up is either a bank or a church. Here in the suburbs outside of Raleigh, whole blocks are sometimes taken up with churches. Within a 5 minute walk of my house there are 6 churches, including two storefronts and a Lions Club Meeting Hall which is rented out by a church every Thursday night.

Sometimes I look at all the building and all the re-building (improvements) and wonder couldn't that money be spent in a better way? That massive Baptist church, one of at least 20 Baptist churches within a 10 minute drive, is adding on a massive meeting hall and I just wonder how much of their money is being spent on charitable work? How much money are they spending on the homeless and how much are they spending on installing a bigger air conditioning system.

When they erect a brand new Baptist church two minutes away from another Baptist church, because one is the "Bethal Baptist" and one is the "First Baptist" I just can't stop myself from thinking how much more Christian it would have been for the two congregations to meet together and toss some of that building fund to the emergency Heating Fund established by the county to help heat the homes of the elderly and handicapped.

In the "more depressing news out of the south:
The Governor of Tennessee is cutting Medi-caid.

TennCare provides health care coverage for the poor, uninsured and disabled, covering 1.3 million Tennesseans, or about 22 percent of the state population. If TennCare is eliminated, some 430,000 of them would be dropped, largely families of the working poor and those whose ailments make them uninsurable. The remaining 900,000 or so would continue to get coverage under basic Medicaid.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:21 AM on November 12, 2004


What is it with the anti-Latteism, anyway? The Latte is like the evolution of coffee. Coffee is completely inedible in comparison. That's pretty symbolic of the south, IMO - they're willing to stand by an inferior drink because it vaguely represents "American values" ;)
posted by abcde at 8:49 AM on November 12, 2004


In the "more depressing news out of the south: The Governor of Tennessee is cutting Medi-caid.

Technically, he's cutting the Medicaid replacement program and going back to Medicaid. But it still sucks, yeah.

And just for the record, I live in a small, rural, predominantly evangelical Christian county in Tennessee, and we still had a majority vote for Kerry. So get off my back, haters.
posted by ChrisTN at 8:55 AM on November 12, 2004


Sometimes I look at all the building and all the re-building (improvements) and wonder couldn't that money be spent in a better way?

1. save up some money
2. spend it in a better way

you can't force churches not to expand.
posted by glenwood at 9:06 AM on November 12, 2004


The problem with: "liberal elitism" or "blue state elitism" is that it is a figment of the Republican imagination.

dude, do you read this site?
posted by andrew cooke at 9:06 AM on November 12, 2004


It's not the south, and it's not the evangelicals. It's the rich.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:17 AM on November 12, 2004


What is it with the anti-Latteism, anyway? The Latte is like the evolution of coffee.

not to be all snobby or anything, but espresso has been around much longer than starbucks. It's not evolution, it's just marketing. The anti-latte thing is not directed toward the coffee, it's directed toward people who consider it hip/ sophisticated to drink lattes (and hence would frown on a plebe coffee drinker - even if they drink lattes mostly made of milk, like the ones at starbucks, and you're drinking a proper americano that really has kick. not to sound like I think I'm more hip/sophisticated for that - i don't, promise).
posted by mdn at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2004


(before someone jumps on it, I know a latte is technically mostly milk in terms of volume; I meant in terms of taste)
posted by mdn at 9:30 AM on November 12, 2004


That fight doesn't even exist. The problem with: "liberal elitism" or "blue state elitism" is that it is a figment of the Republican imagination.

I just wanted everyone to read that again.

Don't let them play you.
posted by majcher at 9:46 AM on November 12, 2004


you can't force churches not to expand.

Maybe these wink-wink, nudge-nudge electioneering institutions wouldn't be expanding if they had to use some of that money to... oh... I dunno.. PAY TAXES?

I know, I know, that's a discussion for another time...
posted by soyjoy at 9:50 AM on November 12, 2004


What monju_bosatsu said.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:02 AM on November 12, 2004


I'm from the South and I escaped (for the second time) not too long ago and moved to Chicago. I've hunted, dated Bob Jones girls and done all manner of frightening red neck things that send my big city friends scurrying away from me. I took Hunter's Ed in High School for Christsakes... it was required.

It's true - the South lost the Civil War & the civil rights struggle but we won the battle of ideas.

Quick, what's the fasting growing "sport" in America? Answer: NASCAR -- There are more NASCAR tracks north of the Mason-Dixon and West of the Mississippi than there are in the South.

Where do you shop when you need a new mud flaps, pampers and cigs all at an everyday low price? Wal*Mart. -- Ditto, there are more Wal*Marts outside of the South than in it. Chances are that case of oil, box of ammo and deluxe "paper plate holders" you've been wanting are just a short drive away.

Hell, just turn the TV on any night of the week. What's the most popular form of entertainment? Whatever the majority of people are willing to watch - which means it's crap reality television.

Fox News isn't some diabolical scheme to transform Americans into malicious, small minded red state idiots - that market was already there - they are just trying to get a piece (and doing a damn good job.)

People like Bush because he really is one of us. And sure, we realize that Bush has been rich all his life and shucked his military duty and dodged the war. But who doesn't have that boozing, lazy red neck cousin who straightened up and flew right after finding Jesus? Bush isn't faking it - he legitimately is a doofus and we love him for it. He makes us proud to be shallow, dumb Americans. You say he doesn't read the newspaper. Cool! Most Americans don't read period - let alone the newspaper.

Show me a mid-town woman in a pen striped business suit climbing into her gigantic SUV and I'll show you a back line cook at the Sizzler who drives something just as large and intimidating. Who started the trend? Who co-opted it?

Everywhere you go the culture of Southern ignorance has spread - you can talk about succession, you can talk about moving to Canada but you can only run so far before it catches up with you.

I've spent my entire adult life trying to fight it. I live in a tiny studio in a ritzy neighborhood and pay more in rent that my friends’ back home pay for their home mortgage... my building has a fucking elevator - a feature that would entirely freak out people I went to high school with. But there are still confederate flag t-shirts in my dresser and Pabst in my fridge. And all around me there are sketchy ass rednecks who may talk like big city people, but still go home every night and flip the TV on as soon as they walk in the door. I sit in meetings with people in shirts and ties who don't read the paper or books and whose musical tastes don't extend beyond their ring tone. And they can't fathom... not even for a second why anyone would NOT vote for Bush... they don't even want to talk about it.

We live in a Redneck Nation. And I have no solution for it.
posted by wfrgms at 10:04 AM on November 12, 2004


Neal Pollack is a twit. Plenty of Mefites have given better arguments to not fuck the [red states]--not that I agree mind you; but the arguments are themselves good. To write "He thinks I'm going to hell but helped me fix my lawnmower last weekend anyway. He's a gentleman who just happens to think gay people are the devil incarnate," is just lame though. I mean, I'm sure [insert random dictator here] loved his mother, but that doesn't overcome the disgusting things he did. And helping to fix your straight, white neighbor's lawnmower doesn't make it okay to think people are evil based on who they fuck.
posted by dame at 10:31 AM on November 12, 2004


Sounds more like people are being played by campaigners who use cultural signifiers of minor importance to obfuscate actual issues based on cosmetic identification.

I can only speak for myself, but I prefer dunkin' donuts coffee to lattes, beer to chardonnay, war movies to art films, jeans to armani, Hank Williams to Natalie Merchant and so on...

...and I still voted for Kerry.

And I'm sure plenty of sushi-eating latte-drinkers voted for Bush, especially ones high up in corporations. Either we all gotta get past stupid high school clique BS or we gotta beat Bushco at his own game and show him up as the faux-Bubba he is.
posted by jonmc at 11:01 AM on November 12, 2004


dame: What are you talking about? What, only southern states voted in favor of a gay marriage ban? I'm in Georgia, and I voted against a ban. My county was blue too, and there are churches all over the place - including ones filled with black people who also build tons of churches and voted for Kerry (and whose signs have things on them like, "1 800 YES LORD"). And some of those particular Kerry voters are not very well educated OR drinking lattes all the time. They liked baked spaghetti and cornbreak and strawberry cake so rich it'll rot a tooth in a week, though.
posted by raysmj at 11:13 AM on November 12, 2004


baked spaghetti and cornbreak and strawberry cake so rich it'll rot a tooth in a week

Oh sure, we're trying to get a good hate-on for the South and you gotta bust it all up by bringing in the food, our secret weakness.

Damn the south and it's addictive comfort food!

(joking, please don't hit...)
posted by lumpenprole at 11:19 AM on November 12, 2004


"He thinks I'm going to hell but helped me fix my lawnmower last weekend anyway. He's a gentleman who just happens to think gay people are the devil incarnate," is just lame though. I mean, I'm sure [insert random dictator here] loved his mother, but that doesn't overcome the disgusting things he did. And helping to fix your straight, white neighbor's lawnmower doesn't make it okay to think people are evil based on who they fuck.

What Neal may be saying, rather than that his neighbor is the paragon of virtue, is that most people tend to be interesting mixtures of good and evil. But furthermore, this particular neighbor seems to be quite willing to be of service even people who he thinks may in fact be in for a hot time in the afterlife. And this is a bad thing?

Or is it bad that he has a sexual moral code and, like you, isn't afraid to tell people what he thinks aboout the consequences of not following it?
posted by weston at 11:27 AM on November 12, 2004


Not just the food, the music...the other reason we can't live without the south, no blues, country, jazz, soul or rock-and-roll without the folks from dixie. All we'd have left is crooners and polka.
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on November 12, 2004


Raysmj: The quote is from the second linked Pollack dropping. He writes: "Pal, I'd rather have a cup of coffee with my next-door neighbor every day for the rest of my life than share one 'hazelnut latte' with you. He thinks I'm going to hell but helped me fix my lawnmower last weekend anyway. He's a gentleman who just happens to think gay people are the devil incarnate. But at least he doesn't want to turn Manhattan into one big artists' colony. We all have our flaws."

And my point is that is lame. You cannot be a gentleman and "think gay people are the devil incarnate." Those are mutually exclusive. Which makes Neal Pollack a twit. As for the wider argument, I think we should have let the South go when we had the chance because I think everyone would have been happier, but I've seen good arguments against that opinion here on Mefi (notably from KirkJobSluder and jonmc). Pollack's "argument," though, is crap.

On preview: Weston, as far as I'm concerned, thinking that gay people are the devil is just as morally reprehensible as mowing down a gang of five-year-olds or gang-raping nuns. Well, that's overstating it a bit, but I don't think it's okay, and I don't think it is any better to hang out with people like that than it is to hang out with Klansmen. Even if they fix your lawnmower.

He has a right to his opinion--as does everyone, obviously--but I have a right to think holding it makes him a bad person, no matter what. (Not evil or hell-bound, though because I don't believe in those things.)
posted by dame at 11:44 AM on November 12, 2004 [1 favorite]


dame: Plenty of Mefites have given better arguments to not fuck the [red states]--not that I agree mind you; but the arguments are themselves good.

So far, what I've seen is the "fuck the south" crowd have no argument whatsoever. They have a lot of piss and vinegar, they have a heck of a lot of bigotry. But they have no argument. They also have no sense of history in that Clinton managed to carry many of those red states. No sense of what is going in in the ground in that Democrats did win key victories in those red states. No sense of strategy in that they are willing to piss away 2006 by taking a big dump on legislative districts and Senate races that are entirely winable.

No, all I see from the "fuck the south" crowd is that the Republican party is right about at least one thing. The Democrats are breeding grounds for their own flavor of bigotry and intolerance.

There is no point in presenting an argument to a person who does not see my neigbors when they vote for Kerry, are gay, or speak Spanish. I mean, what possible agument can one make agianst this?

We hold our noses as we fly over you. We are sickened by the way you treat people that are different from you. The rest of the world despises America, and we don't want to be lumped in with you anymore.

That is, it is all nice and good to practice tolerance, except when your are talking about someone who lives in the wrong zip code, perhaps talks with a different accent, and likes different sports from you.

And helping to fix your straight, white neighbor's lawnmower doesn't make it okay to think people are evil based on who they fuck.

And this is as opposed to thinking people are evil based on their zip code of residence?

I think that MattD brings up a good point. Cali-fucking-fornia passed a gay marriage ban. And yet, gay marriage is a "regional issue." Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee that at least for this generation, gay marriage is going to be a tough sell in any state where it gets on the ballot. A supermajority approves limited civil unions, a supermajority disapproves of marriage. I've spent a large chunk of the last 15 years working on students to see gay and lesbians as worthy of not having their face smashed in with bricks. I don't expect to see full legal equality this decade.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:48 AM on November 12, 2004


God, KJS, I fucking say that you make good arguments, ones worth listening to even when I disagree, and you just come out with this shit.

No, all I see from the "fuck the south" crowd is that the Republican party is right about at least one thing. The Democrats are breeding grounds for their own flavor of bigotry and intolerance.

Yes, if it is bigotry to dislike people who think who someone else fucks is their business, then I'm a big bigot. Is the firing squad ready yet? (NB: I'm hardly a fan of the Democrats or Clinton, so make sure it's a bipartisan squad.)

There is no point in presenting an argument to a person who does not see my neigbors when they vote for Kerry, are gay, or speak Spanish. I mean, what possible agument can one make agianst this?

It isn't that I don't "see" them--the Electoral College doesn't "see" them because they are outnumbered. That's pretty much my only interest in it. Otherwise, it doesn't affect my life, so I don't care.

But really, at this point you have decided I am the representative of all that is evil and wrong to you, and you are so wedded to the idea of yourself as overlooked red-state saint of tolerance, that you don't seem to be able to actually consider what I say anymore. So until you are capable of treating me like someone to argue with as opposed to someone to project and then yell at, I'm not going to reply to you.
posted by dame at 12:07 PM on November 12, 2004


reply further
posted by dame at 12:08 PM on November 12, 2004


I really hate the fuck the south argument because new york is so fucked up as it is. Here we are trying to pretend we're like Canada, or even more ludicrous, continental Europe, when we have 35,000 cops who carry guns patroling our neighborhood, a death penalty, Rikers, extreme poverty, and a dying public transportation system. Gay people had to stage a riot in order to be allowed to go to clubs - there were enough of them, so it worked ok, and now they're allowed to hold hands in some areas, but it's only in some areas.

I mean - we liberal enlightened new yorkers are responsible for all of this. We elected a mayor that brought the RNC here. How much different are we? Are we different at all? Why don't we fix our own backyard before we start insulting other people.
posted by goneill at 12:39 PM on November 12, 2004


I prefer dunkin' donuts coffee to lattes, beer to chardonnay, war movies to art films, jeans to armani, Hank Williams to Natalie Merchant

i call and raise. i prefer gas-station coffee, malt liquor, porn movies, "dollar pants," and Britney Spears to either one of those no-talent hacks. and i voted for Leonard Peltier. what's it all mean?

don't believe the hype. once "moral values" wasn't given as an possible answer, polls indicate that the presidential vote was based on Iraq and the economy (taxes), and the hawk-rich coalition won the election by again promising tax cuts without spending cuts plus a continuing desire in the heartland (which wasn't attacked, of course) to kill some Arabs b/c of 9/11. what if Pollack's neighbor was a friendly lawnmower guy who thought all Arab-Americans should be interned?

at least for this generation, gay marriage is going to be a tough sell in any state where it gets on the ballot

speak for your own generation, grandpa. i think we could do it in 5-10 years in California (depending on the right old people (the voters) dying in large enough numbers. damn modern health care!).

the South may have introduced some decent food and music, but how much of that is because that's where all the Africans ended up. as slaves. aside from soul food, Southern cuisine kinda sux. chicken-fried chicken?

also, we don't need them in our country to enjoy their food and music. i mean, i wouldn't want to adopt the Chinese government's treatment of political prisoners, but i still eat chinese food.

i think the guy who proposed 7-8 major states in the U.S. was right on (unless i dreamt that part). we need larger states (and independent counties within them) to counteract the general inflexibility of the federal government. states were designed to function partially as political experiments, and that isn't happening as much as it should.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2004


i call and raise. i prefer gas-station coffee, malt liquor, porn movies, "dollar pants," and Britney Spears to either one of those no-talent hacks. and i voted for Leonard Peltier. what's it all mean?

Hank, SR, you blasphemer.

Otherwise what you said was kind of my point. A lot of people are tryting to frame our current political situation as a clash of morals, personalities or aesthetics, instead of what it is: a clash of policies. The rest of that stuff just chums the waters.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on November 12, 2004


You cannot be a gentleman and "think gay people are the devil incarnate." Those are mutually exclusive.

I think the concept Pollack was trying to convey, something many people on MeFi don't seem to understand, is neighborliness. Neighborliness goes unappreciated by many, but I think the loss of it is one of the reasons corporations have such control over our lives.
The idea that someone has to agree with you on a controversial issue in order for that person to be considered good is one of the symptoms of bigotry.
I don't believe there's any more of a "liberal elite" than there is of a conservative one - I think both exist a little in each camp - but for some reason, the elitists and jerks who I agree with politically sadden me more than the ones on the other side. Perhaps that's because I expect better of people who share my politics.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:02 PM on November 12, 2004


dame: On preview: Weston, as far as I'm concerned, thinking that gay people are the devil is just as morally reprehensible as mowing down a gang of five-year-olds or gang-raping nuns. Well, that's overstating it a bit, but I don't think it's okay, and I don't think it is any better to hang out with people like that than it is to hang out with Klansmen. Even if they fix your lawnmower.

Just step back and think for little bit. To start with, you are taking Pollack out of context. His conservative neighbor is being contrasted against a different kind of bigot. Pollack can at least have a civil conversation with his neighbor, it is currently impossible to have a civil conversation with most of the bigots of region and class.

The other side of the story is that you don't change attitudes by refusing to take bus trips through regions. You don't change attitudes by flying over while holding your nose. The way in which you change attitudes is through the types of interpersonal contacts the Pollack is engaging in. This is a form of social activism that has been useful and effective for over 2000 years now. I would say that it is a very "Christian" form of social activism, if it weren't for the fact that it also works for other forms of activism. One word for it is "gentle persuasion", you live a good life making friends with your neighbors while simultaneously not hiding who you are, or what politics you favor. You learn to "agree to disagree." If you take a look at just about all of the social change research that has been done over the last 40 years, this practice not only seems to be effective over long periods of time, but it is absolutely necessary.

Pardon me if I see a huge difference between the "don't ask don't tell" attitudes that seem to be pervasive in regards to homosexuality, and actual anti-gay violence. In my experience, there are very few heterosexual people who are not homophobic to some degree. Most heterosexual people seem to have some hangups about gay relationships, but are quite willing to live and let live, as long as they are not asked to be overjoyed or endorse gay relationships. I also see a huge difference between whites who are not entirely comfrotable around non-whites (quite possibly a majority) and the Klan that advocates a return to segregation.

Yes, if it is bigotry to dislike people who think who someone else fucks is their business, then I'm a big bigot. Is the firing squad ready yet? (NB: I'm hardly a fan of the Democrats or Clinton, so make sure it's a bipartisan squad.)

But, you are not talking about "people who think that...." You are talking about the South, you are talking about "Red States" (never mind that red states just elected three out homosexual candidates to office this election.) If we were talking about "people who think that..." we would be in a large agreement. Instead, you have to defend something that I find to be largely indefensible looking at demographics, that this is a regional issue.

The way I feel right now is that if I were to walk up to you as a stranger and introduced myself as a lifelong resident of a red state, that you would leap to a large number of negative assumptions about my politics based on my zip code, and that is a form of prejudice and bigotry.

It isn't that I don't "see" them--the Electoral College doesn't "see" them because they are outnumbered. That's pretty much my only interest in it. Otherwise, it doesn't affect my life, so I don't care.

You see, I don't have the luxury of thinking that way, and I've become convinced that the EC is a bad thing because it disenfranchises voters who may be local minorities, but still have a stake in the campaign. The congressional races of 2004 were just as critically important as the presidential race. The congressional roces of 2006 will also be critically important. As I said earlier, the regionalist bigots here would piss away congressional races in 2006 for the sake of venting their spleen. I don't think that's an acceptable practice. If you want for gay-positive people to make policy, you need to win congressional battles in the red states you distain.

But really, at this point you have decided I am the representative of all that is evil and wrong to you, and you are so wedded to the idea of yourself as overlooked red-state saint of tolerance, that you don't seem to be able to actually consider what I say anymore. So until you are capable of treating me like someone to argue with as opposed to someone to project and then yell at, I'm not going to reply to you.

I certianly think you are a very nice person. However, I think that you are highly misguided and problematic in the ways in which your are talking about the world outside of your little echo chamber. You don't seem to have a clue about what the rest of America looks like, and from what I can tell, you don't even care.

And as for yelling, well, for the past week I've been the target of cultural consevatives who hate me because I'm a left-wing vegan pro-gay atheist voter. But worst of all, I'm the target from the other end from a large number of my fellow lefties who hate me for my zip code. I'm used to getting it from my enemies, but getting it from my allies who previously claim to be above such prejudice and intolerance hurts. So I'm not in the mood to be all nice and cuddly cuddly right now. I'm not in the mood to let the prejudice and bigotry I'm hearing from my so-called allies slip right on by while I patiently explain yet again that American politics is not as black and white or red and blue as is claimed.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:07 PM on November 12, 2004


That is, it is all nice and good to practice tolerance, except when your are talking about someone who lives in the wrong zip code, perhaps talks with a different accent, and likes different sports from you.

This is what I would say about those in "red states." Expect that those in "red states" talk about love and tolerance in church and then go vote for polices that hurt gay, Jews, blacks, Hispanics and immigrants. People are judged by what they do. If "red state" people don't like their rap they should not support policies that are intolerant, they should not fire people (or physically assault people or destroy person property) for having differing political views or supporting John Kerry, they should not choose a president that tries to steal our civil liberties, they should not choose a president who is hell bent on shoving this own version of religion down the trough of each and every American (even those who choose not to practice religion at all) and they should not try to make their religion law or force others to practice or believe in it unwillingly. Their greatest crime is not intolerance or hate, but falling to see their own inability to relate people in "blue states" and failing to bridge the between the divide. Instead, they shit all over the people who have historically reached out to others, including them, and brand them with the worst of their own traits.

At the end of the day it's the "red states" that have invented this blue state elitism stereotype so they won't feel so bad about being hateful, ignorant and closed to all ideas that are not their own. They are guilty of ever single sin that they accuse me (an others like me) of, expect one can see their guilt in their political and social choices, and most importantly, in their action toward others.

P.S. Some of them voted for Clinton because he was good enough of a candidate to make them look past their hate, if only for a brief moment, and show them how the Republicans have fucked them for so long and that he and the Democrats offered a better way.
posted by Bag Man at 1:30 PM on November 12, 2004


... But the bad feeling of Red State America toward the Blue is just as often expressed as contempt, moral denunciation or simple rage. To the extent that one hears Blue Staters dissing Red Staters as holy-rolling trailer park denizens, the Red staters routinely portray their fellow countrymen as corrupt, deviant, rootless perverts who express their flipflopper-dom by oscillating between being limp-wristed whiners on the one hand and signing up to work for Osama bin Laden as terrorist fifth-columnists on the other. ...--from TalkingPointsMemo
posted by amberglow at 1:34 PM on November 12, 2004


mdn: I knew someone would say lattes aren't new, but their popularity in the English-speaking world is more ro less a 90's invention, even if they're a commercialized version (like normal commercial coffee is pure and delicious either ;) )
posted by abcde at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2004


eustancescrubb: I don't believe there's any more of a "liberal elite" than there is of a conservative one - I think both exist a little in each camp - but for some reason, the elitists and jerks who I agree with politically sadden me more than the ones on the other side. Perhaps that's because I expect better of people who share my politics.

An interesting experience:

Put a vegan in a room with a hunter. Nothing will happen.

Put a vegan who bought an entirely new wardrobe in a room with a vegan who is wearing out her old leather goods in a room together, and the fur will fly.

But I don't think that is what is happening here. What I see happening is that the EC combined with the red/blue maps brings out petty regionalist prejudices.

Bag Man: ...those...those...they...they... their...their...they...they.

Prime example of bigotry in action. Of course, Indiana = Colorado = South Carolina = Bush Voter.

Assigning group responsibility to a population that shares a relatively trivial characteristic (in this discussion, living in a state that delivered at least one more vote to Bush than to Kerry) is one of the defining traits of bigotry.

amberglow: The entire linked article is based on a false premise of a demographic unity among "red states." This falls apart when you look at the actual demographics of who voted where.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:54 PM on November 12, 2004


why are people so quick to buy in to the "red state vs blue state" mentality? don't you people know your logical fallacies? it's the fallacy of composition, damn it!
posted by joedan at 2:00 PM on November 12, 2004


And oh wow, looking a bit deeper into amberglow's linked article, it is clear that he/she is cherry-picking out the quotes that support his/her tu quoque justification. Flanking amberglow's quote:

You can define it in a variety of ways. I’d say it’s based in modernity and tolerance. But once you see it in that light, is it simply a matter of the Blue States having an attitude of condescension toward the Red ones? The country has become sufficiently divided that there is a good deal of mistrust and animosity on both sides. And I think it is fair to say that that ill-will on the part of the Blue state America does sometimes express itself as condescension.

All joking aside, I don't think either side in the Blue-State/Red-State face off has a monopoly on unkind views of the other, though given the 51%-48% it is a more pressing concern for those on the Blue parts of the map.

So here we have even in an op-ed that engages in (by its own admission) painting with a broad brush and a basic fallacy in putting too much weight on what is a horrible insturment for guaging political attitudes, an admission that there is quite a bit of "unkind" stereotyping going on.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:10 PM on November 12, 2004


He has a right to his opinion--as does everyone, obviously--but I have a right to think holding it makes him a bad person, no matter what. (Not evil or hell-bound, though because I don't believe in those things.)

This is what it boils down to, and I happen to think you not only have a right but an obligation to think so.

For the tenth time, tolerance does not equal approval.
posted by rushmc at 2:18 PM on November 12, 2004


Bag Man: ...those...those...they...they... their...their...they...they.

Prime example of bigotry in action. Of course, Indiana = Colorado = South Carolina = Bush Voter.

Assigning group responsibility to a population that shares a relatively trivial characteristic (in this discussion, living in a state that delivered at least one more vote to Bush than to Kerry) is one of the defining traits of bigotry.


KirkJobSluder,


My post, highlighted, by my use of quotes was more about people’s attitudes that their zip code…"they" = those that believe in a thing, not those that live in a place or zip code.

If you noticed I put quotes around the term red state. It looked a lot like this: "red state." I did this to stress that fact that I don't buy into those that live in "red states" as a monolithic force. I was referring to those who assail people in the "blue states" and then turn around and are closed minded and support polices of indolence and exclusion. Yes, these policies come out of many states, but the attitudes I describe above seem to be coming out of more "red states" with more fervor.

I know, and am friends with, Evangelicals in my "blue state," but my Evangelical friend’s views are out of the mainstream here. In many "red states" his view would not be out of the mainstream judging by the the trends of those states and the policies they enact. I judge people by their action, not their zip code (but you seem to have done with me).

As you do, or at least as claim do, I do openly talk with those who differ from me all the time. With my Evangelical friend and my Dad (among others) I have largely learned to agree to disagree via the talking method you posted about.

Before you attack me, at least understand my point. I constantly offer olive branches and open lines of talk to those who disagree with me. However, you confirm what I was talking about when you branded me a "Prime example of bigotry" by seeming not even reading what I wrote or bothering too try to understand the subtle points I was making.

I feel most Americas are "purple people", as I am. Most people hold some views considered "conservative" and some views considered "moderate" and some views considered "liberal." However, through collective thinking some states follow certain polices and vote for certain parties (some states more than others).

I was not painting every person in a "red state" with the same brush, but the laws in a particular place, its views and its attitudes are shaped by the people who live there. If for example, 71% of Utah votes went for Bush and 86% in Mississippi voted to ban gay marriage; that does say thing, at least about the collective attitude of many of the citizens of those states. While we are one American, people believe in many different things. That's way I largely believe as my new Senator Obama does, there is one America (not a red and blue America) with many people in many places that need to reach to me, as I do to them.
posted by Bag Man at 2:36 PM on November 12, 2004


Bag Man: In which case, my apologies. I misread your post.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:41 PM on November 12, 2004


No, all I see from the "fuck the south" crowd is that the Republican party is right about at least one thing. The Democrats are breeding grounds for their own flavor of bigotry and intolerance.

So far, what I've seen is the "fuck the south" crowd have no argument whatsoever. They have a lot of piss and vinegar, they have a heck of a lot of bigotry. But they have no argument.

Both great points. I've always said on metafilter, and will continue to, that people point to the south simply to ignore their own problems. It's easy, simple, and yes, the south sometimes makes it too easy.

But people like rushmc are hypocrites, and would fit in perfectly with the exact mindset they ignorantly place on all southerners with sweeping generalizations. My one comforting thought is that they are the extreme and ignored by the fast majority.
posted by justgary at 2:46 PM on November 12, 2004


I feel most Americas are "purple people", as I am.

Uh-oh, this must be the governments secret weapon.
posted by jonmc at 2:47 PM on November 12, 2004


Isn't Neal Pollack dead yet? Also, he lives in bright-blue Austin, doesn't he? So why is he pontificating about the wonders of red-state America, exactly? If he likes it so much in red country, why the FUCK doesn't he live there his own damned self?

And jonmc beat me to the punch. Superb.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:58 PM on November 12, 2004


Well then, there's the KJS I was talking about--the one with good points with which I happen to disagree. I want to address most of them, so please forgive me for length.

To start with, you are taking Pollack out of context. His conservative neighbor is being contrasted against a different kind of bigot. Pollack can at least have a civil conversation with his neighbor

But to me that doesn't matter. He is trying to say his bigot is better because he can have a civil conversation; well his bigot is still coming from an awful place, so civil conversation ability is irrelevant.

The other side of the story is that . . . [t]he way in which you change attitudes is through the types of interpersonal contacts the Pollack is engaging in. . . . One word for it is "gentle persuasion", you live a good life making friends with your neighbors while simultaneously not hiding who you are, or what politics you favor. You learn to "agree to disagree.". . . it is absolutely necessary.

I'm just not a gentle persuasion kind of girl, my friend. I'm glad that's what you attempt--I have my doubts about Neal Pollack; I suspect he's just an ass who is taking this position because it's "different"--because from other things you have written, it seems you are making a very definite mission. Jeebus knows, I hope you are successful. But I've chosen my conscience over convincing Neanderthals to stop being ass-monkeys.

Partly this is because I am of the opinion that just as important is working to broaden the spectrum of ideas. That is, many people like to think of themselves as moderates and they think that means they just pick the middle of the idea spectrum. As the nation has moved to the right in terms of broadly acceptable ideas, "moderation" has moved to the right. So I would rather focus my efforts on making uber-left ideas as loud and pervasive as uber-right ideas, while making it unacceptable to hold uber-right ideas, thereby shifting the spectrum. (I do a lot of real work on this when I'm not shooting my mouth off here.) Maybe this theory is just a salve to selfishness; I haven't really decided yet. But if it isn't, it's what I can do. "Gentle persuasion" is too icky for me. I can't pretend to respect people whose ideas I find abhorrent. This may be a failing. I don't think so, but I don't know.

Pardon me if I see a huge difference . . . [I am responding to the whole para., but don't need to repaste it.]

Well I don't. And maybe that's why you can go for "gentle persuasion," while to me that reeks of capitulation. The psychic effects of constantly defending who are to people are really sucky. It's tiresome. Even if you just remind yourself that those fuckers who think you are gross or the devil or whatever are idiots, it's tiresome spending your entire life that way. And it's shitty to cause someone to feel that way. Because it does hurt, if just a little. And if all those heteros and whites are so damn unconfortable, maybe they ought to redirect the time they spend worrying about other people's lives and refocus it on themselves.

The way I feel right now is that if I were to walk up to you as a stranger and introduced myself as a lifelong resident of a red state, that you would leap to a large number of negative assumptions about my politics based on my zip code

I'm sorry you have that impression--I wouldn't. But this isn't about individuals. It's about who picks the people who govern my country, and that's regional. (Also, most Congressional races are noncompetitive.) Honestly, I'd rather break in two, give people a year to pick which country they want to live in, then seal the borders and never look back. That way, I would never have to hear another word about how I'm not a real American and all the people who think I'm a degenerate wouldn't have to take my opinion into account. We'd all be a lot happier.

You don't seem to have a clue about what the rest of America looks like, and from what I can tell, you don't even care.

Dude, I grew up in Orange County, California, with all the crazy evangelicals and strip-mall horror that entails. (The town I grew up in has been so poorly overdeveloped, that "where I'm from" might as well not exist anymore.) I've lived in New England and still go up there quite a bit. I've visited the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. And except for in New England, I wasn't welcome. And that was okay, because I wasn't so enamored myself. But I'm just not going to convince the majority of the country that the way they live and the way they treat people who aren't like them is fucked. So I've settled for leaving them alone, and hoping they would leave me be. I cannot spend my entire life being miserable and begging favors from those who seem bent on their own destruction. Instead I'd like to tend a little plot that is the closest I can get to what I want and do the work I can do. Beyond that, I'm not masochistic enough to care.

I'm the target from the other end from a large number of my fellow lefties who hate me for my zip code.

I don't dislike you. I dislike your neighbors, who outnubered you this time. There is a certain nobility in staying to fight. That's respectable. And if I get my little dream of secession, I hope you and your good neighbors move to the same country I pick.
posted by dame at 3:37 PM on November 12, 2004


Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man

He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town


Well, he's got him a house on the hill
He plays country records till you've had your fill
He's a fireman's friend he's an all night DJ
But he sure does think different from the records he plays


He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town


Well, he don't like the young folks I know
He told me one night on his radio show
He's got him a medal he won in the War
It weighs five-hundred pounds and it sleeps on his floor


He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town


He's been like a father to me
He's the only DJ you can hear after three
I'm an all night musician in a rock and roll band
And why he don't like me I can't understand


He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town
When summer rolls around
He'll be lucky if he's not in town

Lest you think I'm hating, this song was written by a southerner who was one of the best damn musicians this country has ever produced. It's more of a critque of a certain type of southerner than a critique of all people from the south.
posted by echolalia67 at 4:27 PM on November 12, 2004


I propose that "Red State" be discarded in favor of "Red State of Mind". After all, it's pretty clear that geography does not necessarily dictate political outlook. Ignorant, backwards people are everywhere and it's too easy to project guilt on an area of the country due to some historical association. I've met plenty of racist pseudo-rednecks growing up in San Francisco - believe me, the neighborhood I grew up in was thick with them (hello Sunset District!). They think homosexuality is repugnant, immigrants are ruining everything, and that the commies have taken over the city. I'm pretty sure that the old neighborhood went red in this past election. It's not like you cross the country line and automatically become a liberal.
posted by echolalia67 at 4:54 PM on November 12, 2004


And if all those heteros and whites are so damn unconfortable, maybe they ought to redirect the time they spend worrying about other people's lives and refocus it on themselves.
Completely.

People can talk about condencension/insults/ignorance/hatred/etc on one side or another, but the fact remains that one side and one side alone is trying to impose their views on the whole country, and make those views our laws.
posted by amberglow at 5:00 PM on November 12, 2004


I would rather have coffee every day with Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, and Jerry Lewis than spend a nanosecond in the company of the hateful, self-important Neal Pollack.

My only hope is that his neighbor boobytrapped his lawnmower under the guise of fixing it. Even if the neighbor was bigotedly trying to rid the world of one more pointy-headed liberal Jewboy, he would still have been doing us all a great service.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:23 PM on November 12, 2004


The "blue" state of mind as I see it basically holds that because blues are richer* and better educated than reds, as a rule, that they must be both better and more entitled to set public policy.

The wrongness of that attitude can be seen when one applies, say, to races, when whites are as a rule far richer and better educated than non-Asian people of color, yet (most would hold) aren't therefore morally superior or entitled to exclude people of color from policy making.
posted by MattD at 6:18 PM on November 12, 2004


Dame: But to me that doesn't matter. He is trying to say his bigot is better because he can have a civil conversation; well his bigot is still coming from an awful place, so civil conversation ability is irrelevant.

But here is the thing. You are a bigot. Your petty regionalism, and your snobbery is no more benign a prejudice than his homophobia. And yet, we continuing to have a conversation. I can't say, "well, homophobia is bad, and regionalism is good" that would be dishonest. Both the bigot who hates queers and the bigots who hold their nose when they cross flyover country are coming from an awful place in my mind.

Maybe this theory is just a salve to selfishness; I haven't really decided yet. But if it isn't, it's what I can do. "Gentle persuasion" is too icky for me. I can't pretend to respect people whose ideas I find abhorrent. This may be a failing. I don't think so, but I don't know.

Well. That's a tough one. By all means, I'm a pie in the sky peacemaker from a long tradition of peacemakers. I don't think you can change anything without some form of cultural dialog. And if you engaged in a dialog with these people, you would find that their attitudes are changing over time. 40 years ago, I would be given hormone and shock therapy. Now, the standard seems to be "live and let live." I may never convince Donny (a fairly typical working class guy) that gay relationships are the same as straight relationships, but I know that he's going to mind his own business and keep his opinions to himself.

Part of it may be a difference in perspective. You seem to be making the claim that heterosexism not a factor in NYC. I read the NY papers and think "bullshit." Heterosexism is not something that can be wished away with a few court cases. Meanwhile, there are gay friendly places, "colonies" if you want to use that metaphor, throughout the United States. I'm not willing to give up on those just to satisfy your separatism.

And I can certainly understand separatism. I grew my intellectual teeth studying Utopian Separitist colonies throughout the U.S.. I think that separatism might be a really good thing for people wanting an echo chamber of their own.

I'm sorry you have that impression--I wouldn't. But this isn't about individuals. It's about who picks the people who govern my country, and that's regional.

There has been more than enough evidence posted in the last week to reveal that the regional argument is a myth. A better way of looking at it is an urban/rural divide, but that has not stopped you from throwing out cluster bombs of intellectual shit about the people and places that I love, without a care who gets splattered.

Honestly, I'd rather break in two, give people a year to pick which country they want to live in, then seal the borders and never look back. That way, I would never have to hear another word about how I'm not a real American and all the people who think I'm a degenerate wouldn't have to take my opinion into account. We'd all be a lot happier.

You see. I look at this and think that you are fucking batshit crazy. You are talking about an atrocity of Stalinist proportions. When has this ever been successful? India and Pakistan are involved in an ongoing cold war of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Politically forced migration and relocation has led to the demographics that makes Israel/Palestine a powderkeg. You keep saying that it is about not imposing your will on everybody else, but you propose an insane idea for partition that won't solve much of the problems because they don't split neatly along state lines.

There is a simple solution to the red state/blue state problem. Get rid of the EC. Go to a popular vote system for selecting the president. Then, this whole argument that you can paint states with broad brushes based on the fact that one presidential candidate got one more vote than another vanishes. Then, it would be glaringly obvious that you have allies in St. Louis, Louisville, Gary, Memphis, Austin, Charlotte, Miami, Dever, and a hundred of other places throughout the United States (likewise, you can no longer ignore the 3 million Bush voters in your back yard.)

Think about it. All of this red state/blue state hoopla is based on a map that is bad by even USA Today standards. There is so much wrong with the red state/blue state maps in terms of understanding what is going on in the United States that they should be dismissed as a horrible insturment. Your entire argument is based on a fallacy that can't be supported by available evidence.

Dude, I grew up in Orange County, California, with all the crazy evangelicals and strip-mall horror that entails. (The town I grew up in has been so poorly overdeveloped, that "where I'm from" might as well not exist anymore.)

Orange Co., != St. Louis, != Gary, != Memphis, != Austin, != etc. etc. etc...

It's funny. I've been all over the United States, including several major cities, and I can recognize them as being filled with a lot of diverse types of people with different politics. I've visited dozens of small communities and I've found all of them to be a little bit different. Why is it, that I as an inbred hintelands hick can see your community as having huge variety, but you can't look at my community and see anything other than a set of stereotypes?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:07 PM on November 12, 2004


amberglow: People can talk about condencension/insults/ignorance/hatred/etc on one side or another, but the fact remains that one side and one side alone is trying to impose their views on the whole country, and make those views our laws.

I can understand (but don't necessarily agree with) hating someone of a particular political ideology. The problem I see here is adopting a framing of this issue as being between red states and blue states. This framing benefits conservatives who have the most to gain from claiming that liberals are isolated in a few cities and out of touch with the rest of the country.

I think that if the Democrats start pandering to regionalists, that they are going to get further plastered in 2006 when they have an opportunity to pull a "contract with America." Personally, I want to see Democrats take back my congressional district that was lost by 1000 votes. I think that it is not enough to run for the presidency in 2008. I think that the Dems need to take back the house and/or senate by then.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:32 PM on November 12, 2004


So, supposedly, 1/3 New Yorkers voted for Bush. Wouldn't it be better for dame to worry about them, than to throw clusterbombs of flaming bigoted poo without caring whether she hits alies or enemies?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:44 PM on November 12, 2004


KJS, I'm with you. Wasting time on creating imaginary categories of people you hate does nothing to reach out to people, educate them about your civic goals and strategies, and change as many minds as possible at the polls.

Yes, there are arrant assholes in the world. There is someone out there right now who wants to kill every one of us because of some prejudice they hold--there are people who want to kill me because I'm white, because I'm a woman, because I'm an American, because I eat meat and wear fur--you name it! And there are people in the world who want to deprive me of lots of my rights, too.

And there are other people whom even more people want to kill or deprive of their rights because they're black/gay/Asian/poor/Muslim/Hindu/Jewish/Basque/Tamil/Sinhalese/single mothers/Latino/Sunni/Shi'ia/Ba'hai/etc., etc., etc. Those people are wrong and hateful and bad.

Wallowing in hatred of them is self-indulgent and a pretty shameful waste of time, though, when there is so much to be done. In my opinion.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:45 PM on November 12, 2004


Yeah, southern food sucks, which is why, say, when traveling through Canada, you see "deep south barbecue" and "creole" food places alongside Thai and other restaurants. (Granted, you also see "California cuisine" in some places too and even in the South, but "deep south" and "creole" are about the major variety of American food recognized by anyone from outside the nation's borders as being a distinctive type of food.) And barbecue and southern comfort or "soul" food were not the products of black or white, necessarily, but products of poverty. Cornbread, frieds foods, all that, are poor people's foods and were common to both black and white. You can look it up. Blues is almost totally southern black in its origins, yes, but .. well, it's all you damned white people from mostly everywhere else who had to make it the most hackeneyed genre -- in its current incarnation - around.

If you want to talk Stax/Muscle Shoals v. Motown, that's a different story. And there is a notable country influence, however buried, in both of the former sounds.

And does this mean that we get to see Michigan hipsters stop recording with country legends? Because, y'know, country is so damned white and nothing ever decent was produced by southern white people?
posted by raysmj at 7:59 PM on November 12, 2004


But people like rushmc are hypocrites, and would fit in perfectly with the exact mindset they ignorantly place on all southerners with sweeping generalizations.

You are so funny. First of all, that's not at all what I'm saying, if you were paying attention, and secondly, I lived in the South for 19 years and know the region very well, its strengths and its weaknesses. Stick to discussing the issues rather than making ignorant personal attacks and you'll look less foolish.
posted by rushmc at 8:42 PM on November 12, 2004


I'd rather be silly than a bigot anyday rush.

Pretty much sums it up: The South is diverse. It's varied. And yes, it's ignorant in many ways.
posted by rushmc


I know you like to spin the definition of bigot, doesn't matter, you can't escape your history. In regards to the south and religion you couldn't be a better example. With sweeping generalizations you condemn the south to be ignorant (I won't even bother with your views on religion). As if the south is one caricature with no deviations. Not only a simplistic view, but a wrong one, and one I'm sure you wouldn't dare say about black people, or muslims.

I'm not sure why you even deny it.

I lived in the South for 19 years and know the region very well, its strengths and its weaknesses.

Weak defense. Sounds like a racist who denies it because he has 'a black friend'. Because you lived in the south you can label everyone who lives there? Nonsense.

Stick to discussing the issues rather than making ignorant personal attacks

You try to get over my personal attack (please, you write that hateful crap, I don't make it up) and I'll try to ignore everytime you insult me. (insult the group, I'm part of the group...)

also, we don't need them in our country to enjoy their food and music.

About as redneck a statement as can be made. So funny in its unawareness its almost sad.
posted by justgary at 4:28 PM on November 15, 2004


You are so funny. First of all, that's not at all what I'm saying, if you were paying attention, and secondly, I lived in the South for 19 years and know the region very well, its strengths and its weaknesses. Stick to driscussing (sic) the issues rather than making ignorant personal attacks and you'll look less foolish

You seem to have missed the point. The so called "red state" people claim that they are all about love, tolerance and benevolence and the "blue state" people are hateful and ignorant. However, having this attitude a lone smacks of ignorance, elitism and a complete failure to live by their claimed values. See?
posted by Bag Man at 11:53 AM on November 18, 2004


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