The redneck awakening

My hero and favorite author, Edward Abbey, sometimes referred to himself as a redneck philosopher. Abbey was born and raised in Appalachia, but lived most of his life in the Southwest. He was a Fulbright Scholar and attained a Master’s in Philosophy, examining the relationship between anarchy and morality. He did a post-graduate writing fellowship at Stanford and published over 30 books in his lifetime. Not bad for a hillbilly kid from rural Pennsyltucky.

Rednecks have a poor reputation in modern American society, and deservedly so. Stereotypically, rednecks are under-educated, insular, bigoted, xenophobic and narrow-minded. But that’s just the stereotype. Of course there are exceptions to every stereotype. It’s interesting to see what happens when the redneck rises above the stereotype.  Continue reading “The redneck awakening”

Never Forget

It’s 9/11 again. And along with it comes the chorus of pleas to “never forget” along with hashtags of “where were you?” But what does it mean to never forget? How could we possibly ever forget something so traumatic? I will never be able to erase those images, for the rest of my life. The repeated slow motion loop of a jumbo jet slamming into a building. The plumes of smoke and dust as first one, and then another tower collapses. How could we ever forget that? The horrific scenes of ash-gray dust blanketing everything like snow, of people running panicked down canyon-like avenues, chased by a growing spread of ash and smoke and dust like something from a horrible Michael Bay movie. How could we forget?  Continue reading “Never Forget”

Affording the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of

On a cold and wet December Saturday I find myself bored and flipping through television channels. There’s a channel called Destination America, which is part of the Discovery empire, and from its lineup it appears to specialize in a combination of shows that exploit the redneck lifestyle at one end, versus shows about the uber rich and their palatial mansions at the other. Because presumably everyone in America is either an inbred hillbilly or stinking rich. The spaces between are sprinkled with an inexplicably large number of shows about ghosts. Shows like Hillbilly Blood, Amish Haunting, Alien Mysteries, and When Ghosts Attack! An eclectic mix of all the worst parts of American culture. Their website says they are adding wrestling in 2015, thus fulfilling their mission of lowering the collective IQ of America. Thus is the sorry state of American television in 2014. Continue reading “Affording the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of”

You know what? F*#@ Columbus

Hooray, it’s time again to celebrate the man who got lost, washed ashore on a land that had already been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, claimed it for his financier, the King of Spain, enslaved its inhabitants, left behind smallpox and syphilis, never really figured out whether he was in Asia or not, and was such an inept and brutal governor that he was jailed by his King. Continue reading “You know what? F*#@ Columbus”