Favorite

Putting meat on the table, and necks 

The point of this one is, now that the long political campaign and the election are over, there are no Ol' Moi opinions left in the old kit bag. I'm fresh out. Just don't care. Drained dry of scoff and chortle. Indifferent to issues and issuers, down to the minutiae of the public-sphere minutiae, down to the bedrock Huckabite ridiculi.

On account of this sudden opinion drouth, I've given over the space this week to some nonpartisan noncontroversial ratiocinations on the low-priority topics of putting meat on the holiday table and rednecks taking over TV.

• Another deer season underway with a record number of first-day kills. Not surprising since there's about as much sport in deer-hunting now as there is in shooting cows. Hard not to kill one with your car on the way in to your lease.

And turkeys getting nervous, especially those up around the Yellville Drop Zone and those who've seen the grisly background axe-murder in the Sarah Palin YouTube.

So much for the meat, and now for the necks.

• One TV season ape-dookeys on cop shows, another hospital dramas, another mob family sagas, or baseball and war miniseries, or sitcoms or Britcoms. Last season it was ghost hunters, nonfictional night stalkers of the green-lit paranormal. And this season has been laid claim to by rednecks.

You've got the duck dynasty, the swamp boys, the Bayou Billionaires, the Lady Hoggers, the Rocket City Rednecks, the Moonshiners, and Little Miss Redneck Honey Boo Boo. Now comes Redneck Island, where redneck-survivalist types compete for prizes that include a personalized outhouse, an ice chest full of cold beer, and a lifetime supply of lizard jerky. I don't know nothing about no lizard jerky but I could go for a new skinning knife or one of them classy antler chandeliers.

It's my theory that the TV programmers' 2012 fascination with neckery is rooted in all the news and trumped-up excitement that attended the Tea Party politicking leading up to the 2010 elections. I don't know that for a fact, though, or much of anything else about rednecks for a fact.

I don't even know what a redneck is. What qualifies you as one? What differentiates the authentic neck like Junior Samples from the obvious imposter neck like Larry the Cable Guy? Or the obviously genuine Jerry Lee neck from the obviously phony Mickey Gilley neck?

It's largely a subjective thing, a judgment call — like Justice Potter Stewart's description of pornography as something that's hard to define but you know it when you see it.

But you need to be stout or scrawny to be a redneck, although being neither doesn't disqualify you. The scrawny need to be of a scrawny type that used to be called wormy-looking, and the stout need to be of a certain porcine aspect that's rarely seen in this country outside of redneckery but that's common among Germans and Russians who derive from stolid peasant stock.

Real necks are obliged to sport appropriate headware, and you can't go wrong here with the giveaway company-logo ballcap, which you don't have to doff even for sex or funerals or when you get baptized but might want to for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance. You don't want a propeller beanie, a porkpie or Stetson, or even a cap that might lead someone to think you'd have truck with Michael Moore. Hatless you'll need either a close buzz or a full mane apparently heavily cootie-colonized.

Crooked teeth don't count against the aspirant neck, especially if they jut over a bashful chinny smile indicative of at least one prison term.

There's a distinctive redneck vocabulary, recognizable as such, but it isn't very large.

You don't necessarily have to have tattoos.

It should qualify you if at one time or another you had a new baby daughter and seriously mulled naming her Squirrelene.

Or if you've ever been boogered up something awful from having been run over by a combine.

Or if you have more than one house-pet cougar, and give them free run of the doublewide, and share their litterbox.

You don't have to have been to the Opry, or even like country music, but you have to admire or profess admiration for Patsy Cline and George Jones.

Texans would like to be rednecks, but they're 99 per cent too far west. That's because Redneck Country has distinct geographical limitations. And the western border of it runs from around Beaumont to Tulsa, and the northern border from Tulsa to Springfield, Mo., to Bowling Green, Ky., and on then to Richmond. The Carolinas don't have many rednecks, and I don't know why that is. South Carolinians especially strike me as just a bunch of angry little Tidewater pricks. Completely lacking in the typical redneck languor. Gamecocks — a perfect mascot for them.

But Georgia is almost 100 percent neck, even their African Americans, even Jane Fonda when she was there. Heirs of Jeeter Lester one and all. Florida has a lot of rednecks too, except metropolitan Yankee retirees can't be rednecks, and Jews can't, and singing cartoon rodents, crickets and dwarves can't.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Bob Lancaster

  • Nod to Bob

    A look back at the weird and wonderful world of Bob Lancaster.
    • Mar 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • Making it through

    Made it through another January, thank the Lord.
    • Feb 6, 2013
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Womack gets plucked by 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

    HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premiered last April, has consistently shown itself to be a Daily Show-level contender for the humor-news crown. Up for discussion on the show last night: the myriad ways major poultry producers exploit chicken farmers. Also featured in the video: Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, who gets plucked and roasted for placing a rider on the agriculture appropriations bill that forbids the USDA from enforcing already-written protections for the nation's poultry farmers.
  • Magazine obtains police report over Josh Duggar sexual molestation investigation; he admits past 'mistakes,' resigns Family Council job

    In Touch magazine reports that it has obtained a Springdale police report containing allegations of sexual misconduct against an unnamed teen that it says it has confirmed was Josh Duggar, a minor at the time and now a prominent lobbyist for the Family Research Council and a leading voice for legal discrimination against gay people.
  • State budget administrator Brandon Sharp fired; no reason given

    KATV reports that Brandon Sharp was fired Monday afternoon after four years as state budget administrator, a $101,000-a-year job in the Department of Finance and Administration.
  • KATV: Bill Walker's state agency approves grants to sister UPDATE

    KATV has dug up on questionable public dealings by a familiar figure — former state Sen. Bill Walker, who headed the state Career Education Department during the administration of Gov. Mike Beebe.
  • What's not to love about the Bentonville Film Festival? Walmart.

    The Bentonville Film Festival, launched this year by actress Geena Davis and held earlier this month from May 5-9, earned a number of largely positive notices from major outlets like the Huffington Post ("At the Bentonville Film Festival, Women Are Playing in the Major Leagues"), the L.A. Times ("Bentonville Film Festival pushes diversity message from year one") and the New York Times ("Bentonville, Ark., Hosts a Film Festival Without a Movie Theater"), most of them centering on its unique and vital agenda — promoting diversity and gender equality in filmmaking — and its celebrity cache (e.g. an acting workshop taught by Robert De Niro, a softball game led by Rosie O'Donnell, etc.).

Latest in Bob Lancaster

  • Lancaster retires

    Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.

    • Feb 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • Making it through

    Made it through another January, thank the Lord.
    • Feb 6, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  

Most Viewed

  • While I was away...

    I'm just back from two weeks out of the country. A couple of catchups.
  • Truth on Iraq

    Jeb Bush's still prospective race for president took a little nosedive when he bungled questions from friendly agents at Fox television about his brother's invasion of Iraq. If Fox News can foil a Republican so easily, people asked, could he be seriously considered for the party's nomination?
  • 'Proactive' policing

    On Monday, after six months of study, President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its 100-plus page final report.
  • NFL blows it

    The bombast and grandiosity of NFL football have always put me off. Fans too often treat ballgames as if they were wars between rival tribes or nation states; symbolic struggles between good and evil. As somebody who watches probably 150 major league baseball games a year, I find the hype alternately exhausting and ridiculous.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation