Yes, It’s That time Again…..
Posted by thedarwinexception on July 21, 2007
Saturday, the 21st of July, in the year 2007. That highest of Holy days in Malone – the Redneck Games come to town. Yes, it’s finally here, the day that Malone denigrates its citizens by calling them uneducated, barefoot, banjo strumming, ignorant, overall and Daisy Duke wearing hillbillies – but it’s ok to call them that, because, of course, it’s for the chilllllllllllldren.
It’s quite a community vision we have going in Malone. We have no industry, we have no businesses on Main Street, we have no bookstore or movie theater and we have no damned dog groomer, but instead of attracting new businesses by touting our educated, willing to work populace, instead of luring new industry with our beautiful surroundings and low housing costs, our community leaders decided to go another way – install 5 prisons and endorse the redneck games. That’ll make high tech industry look twice at what we have to offer, by God! Because really, when looking for a work force, what industry isn’t going to be impressed with a population that embraces a denigrating stereotype and is littered with recently released felons?
And yes, I know, the local community just *loves* the Redneck Games. But, when you take a step back and look at it, is it because the populace embraces the stereotype or is it because there’s nothing else *to* embrace? When you are dealing with a bunch of people who have no movie theater, no mall, and only last year got a Wal Mart in town, when someone brings something to town to break up the fucking boredom, do they go and enjoy it because they love what it stands for or do they go and enjoy it because there’s nothing else to fucking love?
I need to start a new “games” – the “Kill Puppies and Hate Children Games” and, you know, make it benefit the local Fire Department or Police Benevolent fund. If I have a bunch of food vendors and amusement park rides, and lots of flashing neon lights and a bunch of publicity in the paper and on the radio station, how many people do you think I could get to come and have a great fun filled family day? Would it matter that we would be known as the community that endorses “Hating Children and killing puppies?” or would the overall message be lost under the guise of “We’re helping the firemen and the police!” Would the attendance records mean that there are really that many people in town who endorse Hating Children and Killing puppies, or would it just reflect the number of people in town who are so fucking bored with nothing to do and no place to go and enjoy a day with their families that they would attend any event with flashing neon lights, a candy apple booth and a Ferris wheel?
It’s no secret that I hate the Redneck Games. I hate Ku Klux Klan rallies and cakewalks, too. I don’t like any celebrations that force a co-opt of a culture or slyly denigrate a group of people because it’s “fashionable” to do so. This town has jumped on too many “easy” bandwagons in the name of progress and revitalization only to find that in the end they prove to be nothing but poisonous for the community. The “easy” bandwagons have eventually backfired with their side issues of negativity and bad images, leaving this town in worse shape than before the bandwagon pulled into town. When you endorse things like prisons and Redneck Games, you have to also endorse the baggage they bring with them, and one of those suitcases is full of “negative image”. There are so many things in this town to celebrate with pride. Why do we not encourage tourism based on the positive qualities we have to offer? And why do our town leaders put so many eggs in the Flanagan Hotel basket? When it fails as a “Best Western” (which it surely will), what is the backup plan? Who are the people going to fill these Best Western hotel rooms? Why are they going to come to Malone? For the Redneck Games? Does an entire town celebrating a negative image really draw a crowd worthy of a whole nother Hotel in town?
It’s time to sweep this town clean of negative images. It’s time this town stands up and says “We aren’t rednecks, we aren’t hicks, we are a community of hardworking people who need jobs that pay enough to feed our families. We need choices in businesses and services, we need a downtown with actual businesses lining the street, not boarded up shops. We need alternatives for employment and leisure that don’t include celebrating a stereotypical, denigrating image. We need our children to be able to live here after they graduate and find work and housing. And we need a town government that will give that to us.” Anything short of demanding and receiving these things is accepting the negative image your town officials have blanketed you with, and personally, I think my neighbors deserve more. Even the crazy fucking lady next door.