Monday, February 07, 2005

The Journey Continues...
Continuing my quest to make heads or tails of the convoluted culture of the Southern United States, I've been the beneficiary of more input than I care to think about. Some of it has been simply a matter of learning new aspects of vernacular English. Others have been a complete eye opener. One subject that I continually return to though, and of which I learn ever more everyday, is that peculiar secies of human being known as the Southern Male. Now, if I hadn't already been convinced that a goodly number of these creatures were already a clear and present danger to the gene pool, I am even more concerned for the future of mankind. If I had to rank the good qualities of the majority of southern men, I would place them just after cancer and just before ebola. Not to insult ebola any, but I do have to call 'em as I see 'em. The more I try to look past the surface, I come up with...more surface. The caricature is apt in this case: ignorant, nose-picking, tobacco-chewing, inbred, NASCAR-watchin', roadkill eatin', beer swillin' ignoramus. And it's hard not to see it. It requires an effort at mind-control that I have not, as yet, mastered, to ignore it. It basically screams at you from the second you wake up until the moment yo finally close your eyes: these guys are dangerous. Not dangerous as in "mastermind0criminals waiting to disrupt the fabric of American society", but dangerous as in "how the FUCK did some of them manage to breed?" If it wasn't for the fact that most of the breeding process is purely instinctive and mecahnical, I doubt many of them would have gotten past the preliminaries. Removing a bra from the front, is extraordinarily complicated, I would gather, unlessone had a super-powerful truck and tow chains at one's disposal. Be that as it may, one must return to the opposite number of the Southern man, and place blame squarely on the Southern Woman. After all, they allow their men to be this way. Many of them find it attractive (and you can usually tell those from the first glance, and often, whiff). This, of course, is not to say that Southern Women have, in any case, bad taste, but that a certain subset within that group most certainly has NO taste. I get the distinct impression that most fo these dangerous men have been brought up on a steady diet of ego stroking, couretesy of Mama. They're treated like kings, their faults are merely chalked up to "being a man" and thy are otherwise allowed to get away with whatever they care to get away with. Perhaps if more Southern Woman took the opportunity to apply subtle pressure to their men, they might foment a revolution. Simply put: if they expected civilized, gentlemanly behavior, they might actually get it. For better or worse, some of the greatest social revolutions of the modern era were perpetrated by females: the taming of the West, the standardization and improvement in both the quality and availability of education, the demand that quality of life improve with each sucessive generation. Women wanted it and men, very often, went out and worked like sled dogs to make sure it happened. The same applies here. If a Southern Woman, of whom I know a goody-number of genuine superstars, wished to have men who were less self-centered, more concerned with being equals and perhaps genuinely more gentlemanly, they could have it. They could easily do it. The problem is that many aren't and when given a choice between making an effort and taking the route of least resistance, most men will opt for the easy path. I think some of these poor chaps can be saved (for what I have no clue), and an effort should be made. It's already happening, slowly, incrementally, as Yankee women invade the south in increasing numbers, and they won't take the chest-beating-I'm-the-goddamn-King-of-this-here-jungle bullshit. In 20 years, perhaps, the dyed-in-the-wool redneck will disappear, which has it's drawbacks I admit, but which would make a for a better society all around. The effort, however, will not be made by Jethro. If the mountain will not come to Ellie Mae, Ellie Mae will have to go to the mountain.

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