I was born, and have lived, in the South all my life. Since I was very young, I’ve seen the changes occur over time that have impacted how people interact, behave and communicate. A lot of that is along racial lines of course, but with the increased transience of everyone these days, the line is blurred now. The economic demographic has overlapped the racial demographic in a cross pattern. Rich, middle class, struggling and poor. Yes, I count four distinct classes, regardless of what the official experts insist.
One of the most common sentiments I see and hear along the struggling and poor side of the white demographic is the clinging onto southern traditions. Or what they think are southern traditions: most of them don’t “live” on hog jowls, grits and scrapple anymore. They live on Hardees, Red Bull, Budweiser and Bar-B-Que chicken wings. I haven’t seen anyone in Virginia walking around eating a pickled pig’s foot since I was six or seven years old. I’m 45 now. But the age-old Confederate flag symbols lives on. The Confederat solder hats live on. The Jack Daniels/Southern Comfort mindset lives on. Lynyrd Skynyrd lives on as well. And the most humorous artifact in existence remains alive and well: the bumper sticker that says “The South Will Rise Again”.
Normally, I just shake my head and move on. But while cutting the lawn and meditating (something I do a lot together) I wondered: just what if the South were to secede and “rise” again? What would that look like?
What would this new “country” be like?
The national anthem: Free Bird
The national bird: A middle finger
The Pledge of Allegiance: The fine print on the Budweiser can, or “Git ‘er Done!”
Sports: Fishing, Golf, Hunting, Boat Racing, NASCAR, Grilling, Bingo, Square Dancing (maybe)
(they wouldn’t have a winning baseball, football, basketball, swimming, or hockey team)
Cable channels: Hunting Channel, Fishing Channel, Boating channel, NASCAR channel, Comedy Central (all Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engval 24x7), Cooking Channel (for the wives)
Daily Nutrition Guidelines: 10,000 calories. 500 grams of saturated fat, 500 grams of sugar, 5000 mg of caffeine, a box of fiber pills and a carton of cigarettes.
No Universities: No time for that egghead sissy stuff. We got work and hunting and fishing to do.
No sports cars: Only Trucks allowed. 4x4 Diesels with lift kits, step rails and fog lights. Shotgun rack is mandatory. Power winch and fishing pole tubes optional.
School uniforms: Flannel shirts with the sleevs cut off. Torn jeans. Case or John Deere baseball cap. Same for girls, but they can cut their jeans to pretend to be Daisy Duke. Hiking or Steel-Toe boots.
Theaters would show Larry the Cable Guy, Die Hard, Rocky, or Steven Segal movies only. On weeknights they would show girly movies like Steel Magnolias, the Lake House or My Sister’s Keeper.
Libraries would only keep books on Larry the Cable Guy, Hunting, Fishing, Boating or NASCAR. Maybe a women’s section with sewing, cooking and how to be a pregnant wife.
Average life expectancy: Men = 40. Women-folk = 50 (high fat diet, Red Bull, Mountain Dew, and cigarettes)
Just imagine how hefty the electric carts at Wal-Mart would have to be in order to haul these fat slobs around? They would need a hybrid engine with a turbo-charged 427ci, DOHC V-8 and a 500 foot power cable, because the number of batteries that would require would involve so much Lead they couldn’t physically move. Crawling at 5mph up and down the aisles with a can of Red Bull in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Grabbing Enquirer magazines, boss bottles of Pepsi, Fried Pork Rinds, and cases of Bud Lite on the way to the front checkout.
Tatoos will only be allowed if they are of a brand name or ensignia for a well-known truck maker, Budweiser, Coors, Miller, or some other shitty watered-down American beer-ish product, a hunting and fishing supplier, a sports team (see above), “Momma”, or “Git ‘er Done!” No tramp stamps or butterflies allowed.
Outlawed thangs: Vegans, Homosexuals, Cats, Jews, Arabs, Blacks (except for Tiger Woods and Bryant Gumble), Liberals, the Dixie Chicks, Poodles and Shitzus, Rap Music, Rock Music, New Age Music, small sporty cars, Health Food, Tennis, Roller-Blades, and other forms of expression that might threaten a pseudo-macho redneck lifestyle. Boys will always be named Butch, Jake, Bill, Hank, Bubba or Skeeter. Girls will always be named Daisy, Betty, Suzy, Sally or Barbara. No boys with girly names and no girls with boy-ish names allowed.
Conclusion – With all that said, and thinking about the constraints such a territory would endure (oil, lumber, livestock, textile manufacturing, foreign relations, national defense, intelligence… ho ho ho… and so on) I would expect this “nation” to implode into complete chaos and disarray within a few years. If the South did rise again, I would move out of Virginia most likely. But I don’t think I have to worry about that anytime soon.