I decided to write this diary after a post
I made on another diary.
I've been to fuck the south.com, and I know all the arguments about rural voters going against their own self-interest. But the judgmental holier than thou attitude Democrats have towards the South makes me want to cry, because if you understood the South at all........(drifts off into furious rage)
I am strongly of the opinion that the South holds just as low an opinion of the North, but is too polite to point it out to sneering city liberals who love to tell us how backwards our culture is. And keep in mind, I'm a big fat liberal. Officially. But I will defend the South to the teeth, and if you had any idea of the life and beauty and culture there is in the rural South, you would understand. Its not the South's attitude problem.
Much more on the flip
Now I come to this with an interesting background. I now live in Arlington, and I grew up in Northern Virginia (which for those who don't know is DC suburbs and DC attitude). I am the definition of a beltway brat, and I was very condescending of the rest of the state until I went to college all over it, and let me say, honestly, that I never really loved the state I lived in until I lived in the rest of it. There is so much LIFE down there that you just miss out on by looking at the surface.
Have you ever been to a real bluegrass jam? I mean, with about six guys who randomly show up with fiddles, a bass, and banjos and just start throwing down. Have you ever seen an old man with a beard, missing teeth and over-alls sing Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice with that banjo? Its a sight to see.
Do you know how to make sausage gravy? or know the difference between Carolina BBQ and Tennesee style? (one is pulled pork like you traditionally think, the other uses a vinegar base). Do you know how you take your waffle house hashbrowns? (I like them smothered, covered, scattered, and loaded with ketchup)
Have you ever driven on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or rt. 64 over Afton when the fog is bad? Have you ever just gone driving for hours just to drive around the country and see it, maybe eventually ending up at the rope swing for a day well spent.
Have you ever discussed life, the universe, and everything under so many stars you don't know where they all came from? Have you ever read the Romantics on an old plantation? Or learned the principles of thermodynamics by making Drunken Chicken?
Has your car ever broken down on a back-road? Because in Appalachia, they will drive you 100 miles out of their way to see a mechanic who, I swear to god, will fix it for $100 and tow it for free. And it's three a.m. when this happens, he'll make sure you have a place to spend the night and pick you up the next day, because that's what people do for each other.
Have you ever gone off-roading? Or camped on a farm field? Have you ever worked on a farm until you couldn't stand up, then snuck into the house and read Plato in the loft?
Have you ever been to the Pink Flamingo (near Covington) where they serve the best chicken wings I have ever had and the waitress calls you sugar no matter your age, sex, ethnicity or orientation? Have you ever been in a place where people smile every time they see you and you say hello to someone on the street whether you know them or not?
Do you know your local Congressman by first name? Do you know where he lives? Do you refer to shops down the street as "Mary's place" as opposed to the dress shop?
Do you know which chicken lay the eggs you eat? Do you understand how frustrating it is for people to complain about a lack of oil and energy crisis when its not the red parts of the state that are driving Expeditions?
I know why you think they're backwards, but they are the most honest, hardworking, warm people I have ever met. And when city folk talk shit, they hear it, and they don't understand, because honestly, they don't understand why anyone would want to live in a traffic-congested, stark, nature-less and neighbor-less place like that anyway, and it really ticks them off that Northern Virginia thinks its so great and that the rest of the state is dying to be like it.
One time, I was talking with a friend of mine whose father happened to be a Republican State Senator from Southern Appalachia (would be called by this site a wingnut despite the fact that he's a good man and is great at cutting through the bullshit that is politics. Plus, has a wicked sense of humor). I was about to move back North and he was offering his condolences.
Him: "I just can't understand how you...or anyone...can grow up there. I mean, it must be awful. How can anybody LIVE there?"
I responded: "Oh, well, there are things to do."
Him: "Yeah, but, all the traffic, and the cement and the buildings and people being assholes. I mean, its nice to visit...I just...I just couldn't DO it."
Me: "Well, its where I grew up. You get used to it."
And then consider this, another friend of mine from Madison was fuming mad for three months because they put a Sheetz in his hometown along Rte. 29, meaning that there would have to be a second stoplight. Being more like the Northeast or the suburbs, urban sprawl and the like, that is the nightmare of any rural community. So telling this community how nice it is to be in the sprawl or the city, how much better life is, is not an effective argument. Because they do not want to live there. And thank god that they don't.