One of the things that most disappoints me about living in Malone is the lack of a true “cultural” outlet. We don’t have a playhouse, or a local theater group, we don’t have a “historical district”, we don’t have a book club (or even a book *store*), we don’t even have a fucking movie theater. There is no museum or art gallery, or a place to have a concert, unless it’s outside on the grass at the “Arsenal Green”. And then, the band better fit in the gazebo.
There is nothing to bring the community together in a community event or gathering – nothing that binds the people together in a friendly, group setting. Nothing uplifting, anyway. Nothing that would engender pride or accomplishment.
No, what these people celebrate together every year, the thing that they look forward to with great anticipation and glee is – The Redneck Games.
Now, this bothers me on several levels. Not the least of which is the fact that we are actually sponsoring, as a town, something so fucking stupid. But even more so is that we are sponsoring something so far afield from what this place actually is. Rednecks? In this town? Where? There’s no fucking Rednecks here! Let’s look for just a moment at the actual definition of “redneck”.
OK, we’ve got the “poor, white” person in spades, but “Southern United States”? I suppose the fact that we are approximately 5 miles from the Canadian border has escaped the fucking notice of anyone in Malone declaring themselves to be a redneck.
OK – let’s see how Answers.com defines a redneck:
n. Offensive Slang.
- Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural
laboring class, especially in the southern United States
OK – white and rural – we could probably get away with that – but notice the next word – “LABORING“. Now, a redneck, by definition, has a ———-wait for it ———— RED NECK. And to paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy – “You might be a redneck if……You
have a fucking RED NECK!” You know how to get a RED NECK? Well, it’s not by sitting on the porch waiting for the mailman to bring your welfare check!! It’s by fucking WORKING – Yes – WORKING – in the SUN – that’s how you get a RED NECK. These fucking people *ASPIRE* to be Rednecks. They aren’t rednecks any more than I’m the next winning designer on Project Runway because I sew a little.
Give me a fucking break.
Yet, every year, these people sit around getting giddy over the fact that the Redneck Games are coming to town, and they can get out their rebel flag t-shirt and their Dale Earnhardt hats and go bob for pig’s feet, delighted with the fact that they get to be proud of “who they are” for the weekend. Of course, it’s a hollow pride, since they aren’t
rednecks, and co-opting the designation still doesn’t make them Rednecks. But no one is bringing the “Hick” games to town, because it wouldn’t be very entertaining to have to actually pay an admission charge to see your neighbors do what they do best – maximize their government benefits.
Which is really amazing, because the same people who can’t work all year due to their “serious back condition”, and need to collect disability because of their poor health, will all go out and sweat their asses off flinging cow patty’s and competing in events like the “Redneck
Tire Change” and the “Redneck Toilet Flush”. Amazing how well their fucking backs are and how good their health is this one weekend out of the year. And I say if you can fling a cow patty 150 fucking feet, why can’t you sling a fucking spatula at McDonald’s?
I think someone needs to sit down and explain to these people that just because you *claim* to be something, that doesn’t automatically make you something. These people are hicks, no more, no less, and being able to quote an entire Jeff Foxworthy routine, or claiming “Larry The Cable Guy” as your own personal hero, or taking part in some stupid local John Deere tractor dealership sponsored annual “Redneck Games”, doesn’t make you a Redneck any more than celebrating Kwanzaa would make me a proud black sister.
I hate the Redneck Games. I hate the co-opting of a culture by another culture because they think it somehow “elevates” them. I hate hicks thinking that it’s “OK to be a hick” because someone sets up a tractor race course once a year in an empty field and tells them “It’s OK to be you, you dumb fucking hick – give me your money.”
Yet we don’t have a fucking bookstore. Is it any fucking wonder?