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reacting and over reacting

In the course of one day, Acidman called accused me of slander and called me a bigot.

He compared me to Bill Clinton and inferred that I said southerners are idiots and unintelligent.

This was the entire post he referred to:

In case you were wondering where to shop for Trent Lott's Christmas present.

Oh, damn. Too late! Two shopping malls in Huntsville have evicted a vendor selling Dixie Outfitters merchandise, which combines images of the Confederate Battle Flag with trucks, wildlife and dogs.

Mac says " their supplier also sells a shirt depicting 'blacks picking cotton and the slogan, "Land of Cotton."'

But Terry Bagwell, owner of the offending kiosks, said Dixie Hot Stuff, the supplier, carries 600 different different prints for their shirts and "Most is dogs and puppies and fish and deer."

I bet they is.

Acidman said:

Oh, yeah. That "I bet they is" comment chapped my ass, too. I'll admit that we have a different way of talking down South. It's called the "vernacular" in intellectual terms, and it means that we have lots of idioms and phrases that sound peculiar to the untrained ear....

I don't see anything foolish or ignorant about it. I have a degree in English Literature and certificates for Business Writing classes that I have attended. And ain't I proud of ever one of them suckers? Betchooass I am. Just because we talk funny don't mean we're all idjits down heah, heah?..

We're Southern and therefore we're ALL pining away for the good old days of segregation, lynchings and separate water fountains.

Nobody but a professional liar such as Clinton or a complete ignoramus could say such a thing with a straight face. When I read Michele's post, I felt that same wink, wink, nod, nod crap being passed off as conventional wisdom again. Yeah. WE KNOW about the South.

I don't see where I stated that only southerners say things like "they is." I don't see where I implied that southerners are idiots. Nor do I see where I implied all southerners pine for segratations or are racists. And I still don't see how this makes me a bigoted Yankee.

Like I told Acidman in his comment, If I got my panties in a bunch every time someone made fun of the way Long Islanders talked, I'd have a wedgie 24 hours a day.

Maybe I do need to apologize for that post. Did anyone else read into it what Acidman did? Did I come off as a bigot? Did you construe from my words that I think all southerners are idiots who can't speak? Am I a bigot?

Please, share with me, because I can't see it.

Just for the record, I really like and admire Acidman. But sometimes I just want to kick him in the balls.

Comments

I see some gentle ribbing is all. But I do understand why Acidman would get a little irritated. Southerners are one of the last groups that it is still okay to make fun of and feel superior to. Try saying "I bet they is" in reference to a black vendor and see how much heat comes down. For that matter, look at the holy wrath that descended on Ronald Reagan for using the term "welfare queen", and compare it to how often one hears the term "trailer trash". That kind of stuff is all over TV, and is not generally meant as good natured. Hell, it even bugs me, and I live in California.

I didn't see a generalization in there. You were commenting on Dixie Outfitters and their stupid, racist merchandise. If I here any more crap about how fighting to preserve slavery (sorry, I meant for states' rights...to preserve slavery) is "our Southern Heritage," I'm gonna scream!

Of course, what do I know? I'm a Yankee from Maine. We're all lobstah-fishin', tater-pickin' Red Sox fans. Ayuh.

Three words: Little Round Top.

No, the problem isn't that Southerners feel put upon because it's still ok to make fun of the way they talk.

The problem is most Southerners are thick-skinned enough about it not to give a damn. Whereas most parts of the country have embraced the phony-PC doctrine that sticks and stones may break my bones but harsh words are worth more money in a lawsuit. So the problem Acidman is having is not that you were demonstrating bigotry (which in a sort of vague way any joke at anyone's expense is, but beyond that it wasn't), but that his fellow Southerners just don't feel insulted enough by what some Yankee says about the way they talk to give you pause before you poke fun at them.

Besides, I'm from the Pacific Northwest (yes, home of Patty Murray and Jim McDermott. I don't remember Murray talking about coddling terrorists when she ran on Clinton's coattails in '96, but I don't think she'll do so well after that nonsense.) and we don't have an accent. (hehe) So we make fun of all of y'all. Acidman is wrong that his is unique among regional dialects in being fair game:

California--not one but 2 different regions...Berkeley (like, wow, man) and the Valley (like, fer sure, you know)
Texas (well, we don't make fun of Texas because we think they all drive pickup trucks with big gun racks and we're fundamentally cowards.)
The South (you covered this one already)
Minnesota (aka southern Canada, eh?)
Michigan's UP (for those folks who think Minnesota doesn't sound Canadian enough)
Joisey (nuff said)
Nu Yawk (ditto)
Bahstan (et cetera)

Have I offended everyone yet? Maybe I need my own blog. :)

(for the humor impaired...oh, go get a clue.)

Is it just me, or are people getting meaner and more vicious as the holiday season reaches a peak?

This ought to be fun to watch.

Fuck you bitch you think your smart to talk about us .........

Go to hell

Sheeit. Everbody gits o-ffended when y'all say pert near ennythang these days.

Lahk I lahks to say, "The only thing I'm intolerant of is intolerance."

We've become a society of namby-pamby poofters that can't weather the slightest slight to our supposed dignities. So whaddaya do, clam up and never say nuthin' so nobody ever ever ever gits offended? I think not.

Somehow, society has to renounce its pooftership and allow the occasional new or different point of view. Personally, I'd like to hear what a person really thinks--not what society thinks he or she should espouse. I want to know what kind of person I'm really dealing with.

Don't apologize or feel bad Michele. You said what you wanted to say and that's the way it should be. Be your very own beacon of honesty, truthfulness and integrity. <humor>(But don't ever pick on somebody with the name "Hank" cuz then I'll have to get all medieval on yer ass!)</humor>

Huh. Well, I grew up in the borderline South, and I make jokes about the way my accent pops up when my mother calls... "far tar" and all that. And when I was a kid, some good ol' boys lynched a local black for for not stepping off the sidewalk to let two white women pass; it happened, but I wasn't responsible for it and I'll be damned if I'll plead guilty to the charge, just because of my accent.

I wasn't offended. I saw "Most is dogs and puppies and fish and deer" mocked by "I bet they is", and I laughed. If Acidman felt like putting himself in your sights, that's his problem.

Michele...

love ya...

we down here in the south could care less about what folk up north think or say... so they make fun of the way we talk and they think we are bigots, that we are ignorant and all that other shit...

so what?

we pay less in taxes... we get more sunshine... our women are better looking and our men are more polite...

So, if you like, the offer I made a few weeks ago still stands... if you want to move here to the Ozarks, I will get Rita to see if she can work out an exemption to that "marring your cousin" thing and you too can be a southerner... she got me an exemption, but we had to get married on Staten Island by a Rabbi. You should fit through the same loophole.

In eight to ten years I'll bet we can cut your speech down to ten words a minute...

I'm a New Yorker, Mike. My speed does not go less than 60 words per minute.

But I may take you up on that Ozark offer some day.

I was born and raised in the mountains of South Carolina, so any implication you made in regards to the per capita stupidity of the region quite naturally sailed straight over my head, but it was almost certainly grossly underestimated, as well.
As a resident if the area, let me say two things:
1) The Dukes of Hazard was a documentary; it wasn't cancelled, the grant money ran out.
2) There are several houses in the area that only added the American Flag to their flag-pole after 9/11...and at least two that I pass on the way to work fly it Under the Confederate flag.
So no need to apologize...If morons could fly, the sky down here would be pitch black, 24/7.

However, as to something else you said, I thought the 24 hour wedgie was the reason for the way Long Islanders talk.:-)

That's "resident OF the area".

I caint spellcheck fer' shit.

Michele - It's very disconcerting for two of my favorite people to be at odds. If you were my children, I'd simply make you kiss and make up. But since that's not the case, I'm hoping you and the A-man will accept this oil I'm pouring on the water. (Indigo pours large bottle of virgin olive oil over keyboard)

Oil? Oil? NO BLOOD FOR OOOOOIIILLLLL!!!!

Whoops, thought this was Indymedia...

Well, he's a overreaching a bit if he DID get offended. Because if he did, then I have one thing to say to him:

"You can dish it out, but you can't take it."

Funny how it always feels a little different when you're not the one spouting the vitriole, isn't it.

It's called perspective. And I saw nothing wrong with your post. Specifically, the "I bet they is" comment I attributed to you making fun of the GUY, not a group of people, just one itinerant guy.

But that's just me.

i love both your blogs, read them each day and also hate to see this, but a couple of thoughts came to mind. i'm a southerner living overseas, and have been reading about the trent lott/strom thurmond/southerners as racists from a distance, so may not have a real feel for the way things are in the states. however, it kind of comes down to the situation where we can criticize our own, but when an outsider does it, we close ranks and it becomes you against us. i've also felt that different events and people have tried to take away our pride in being southern because of the ugliness in the past. there's a lot to be proud of, and i'm proud to be southern. when i read trent lott's comments, all i could think was 'here we go again!'. maybe i'm reading too much into this, but hate to see the division. jmho.

Just another one who can dish it out but can't take it. A simple review of Acidman shows that slander is his SOP.
ie.
"If you're Southern, read it and be proud. If you're a Yankee, read it TWICE, if you can keep your northern head out of your ass that long." Oct , 2002

He obviously just likes to group all northerners together and hate them all.

I grew up military and lived all over, and found assholes in each place. There are plenty like acidman in the south who feel some sort of inferiority that must be relieved by putting down the north (at every chance) and elevating the "South" to some sort of religion. While many northerner may jokingly refer to the south (or any other region) it isn't usually done with the hatred shown by southerners.

If Acidman is an example the the fine, polite, southern gentleman so praised by many, I'll take some Maine hospitality any day.

But there I go grouping people too.

The best neighbors I ever had (10 years) were retired NY'ers from Long Island. They had a plate on their car that said "Yankee Born -- Southern By The Grace Of God". Michele, you'd find plenty of kindred spirits in the South and any one of us would be happy to tell you "Ya'll come now, ya heah?".

I was going to say that people make fun of my area of the country all the time, but Steve beat me to it. I'm a Cheesehead (and proud of it thankyouverymuch!) and we are made fun of all the time. Anyone seen Fargo? Intelligent people know that it's an exageration! OK, there are a few people who really do talk like that. We make fun of them too! We call them "yaderhey's" as in... ya der doncha know den, hey.

Relax everyone!

I thought the "I bet they is" comment was directed at the idiots selling those shirts, not the south in general. Selling crap like that is very deserving of a nasty comment.

As a born-and-mostly-raised in the South blogger, I didn't take any offense to what you said and, actually, thought it was pretty damn funny. I saw it as an attack on the attitudes and intelligence of Dixie Outfitters rather than all of the South - even though you did appeal to a stereotype to do it. I also believe that stereotypes exist for a reason - they have an element of truth to them.

For instance, since moving to Colorado, no one has asked my English wife where she learned to "speak English so good." However, four people did in a two year stretch in Montgomery, Alabama (not rural at all). Take it for what it's worth.

I'm just glad that Michele "speaks English so good" or I'd have to read elsewhere.

No, I don't know that I would read all that stuff into "I bet they is"... besides, its FUN to talk southern, but, in a more inventive manner than the theatric/comedy version is to have whoever is supposed to be stupid speak wih a sourthern accent. There are very few places, except say NPR or This American Life or PBS where a northerner can head a southern voice attached to intelligent words. I'm sure it happens all the time, ie, they hear intelligent people speaking with a southern accent. Not having a southern accent, on the other hand, is supposed to be a prima facie case that the speaker is intelligent and is not speaking bullshit... of course that too, is total bullshit... we get THE dumbest things said with a fine speaking voice.
Yeah, when a northerner wants to play dumb, he puts on Forest Gump sounds... that's offensive.
Ah, but donning a souther accent and speaking to a lady, assuming the role of a fine gentleman, speaking of a fine dinner or a plesant evening out, indeed, speaking to another who is rude and informing him of his transgressions without inviting an all out rumble can best be done with a fine southern voice. Twice blessed, it soothes the speaker and the soul whose ear it falls upon. Travelling in the south, the accent is the sweet sound of welcome, a slow unhurried promise of kindness and service. Its probably no accident, that our speech creates our demeanor as well as reflects it.

I remember, back in high school, getting a kick out of the results of pouring acid into sugar.
Never thought I'd see the startling effect in real life.

I hadn't planned to comment on this, but when I dropped by Acidman's website (I've never visited it before), the first thing I see is this:

What's a Mexican's favorite Christmas carol?

"The police nabbed me, dad!"

As a white woman living in Texas (which some people consider the south) married to an hispanic man, I find his post MUCH more offensive than yours. While you were making fun of Terry Bagwell, he's insulting an entire race of people and that just pisses me off.

'Southerner as bigot' is not as innocent as many other casually bigotted statements, because charges of racism absolutely can and does destroy careers, friendships and reputations. Recall that Lott lost one of the most powerful political positions on earth due to a few sentences that were possibly misinterpeted.

THAT is why even causal 'southerner as racist' is much more insidious than many other forms of bigotry... That and the fact that this stereotype is widespread, and perfectly OK to say in polite (non-southern) company.

If anything, Acidman would have been justified in ripping you an even bigger one than he did... but in general people in the south grow up being USED to the bigotry, and don't react even in the face of what would be racial arson if directed at a black man.

Steve Sandvik posted:
>Have I offended everyone yet?

I must admit to feeling slightly ruffled, not by the content of the post but by the omission of the fair city of Bawlmer, Merlin from the list of places where folks talk funny speak with a rich culturally unique pattern.

This city, for all the griping I do about it, combines the finest mixture of Northern efficiency and Southern hospitality. The local dialect, Bawlmerese, may sound ignernt but it ain't, Hon.

i thought it was hilarious.

but, then, i think "Fuck you bitch you think your smart to talk about us ........." is pretty hilarious, too. talk about proving a point.

You're all dicks.

... and Janes

but seriously, folks, Pittsburghese is one helluva dialect, we not only pronounce words differently, like dahntahn for downtown 'n'at, worsh for wash, we make shit up, like gumbands and buggies (rubber bands and shopping carts, for the uninitiated). the worst are the yinzers, I refuse to say 'yins' when I mean you.

ridiculous. There are um. . . offensive people in every part of the US. You can find something to mock and ridicule about every region of the US.

I didn't find your post offensive at all. I am laughing.