Monday, August 04, 2008

that's just offensive

Yesterday morning, I took M to the airport at 6am. He's in San Diego for the week. S is at my parents' house, so when I got home I had the whole house and the whole day to myself. It was great. I pulled weeds in the garden. I cleaned, and I mean really cleaned, my house. I fixed the TotLocks, thanks to D. I caught up on laundry. Then I parked my butt on the couch and read some magazines. Then I turned on the tube, and I got lost in a Law and Order marathon. It was great. Then I realized that I have a pretty sore throat, and I feel like I have a lot of congestion even though I don't. (Turns out M feels the exact same way out in CA, bummer.) So I decided that I should do nothing else at all for the remainder of the evening other than watching L&O.

Then, of course, when I was ready for bed, I was wide awake from all the TV, so I watched Cold Case, which I never do because that show makes me nuts. The case they were trying to solve was the murder of a country singer from Tennessee. It was one of the most horrifyingly grotesque and offensive depictions of the south ever captured on celluloid. It was really pretty comical, but awful at the same time. First of all, the dead guy's name was Truck Sugar. Really? Really. Truck. That was bad enough, but then they made poor Truck and his brother and his heroin-addicted steel guitar player sound like the biggest bunch of simpletons ever to walk the earth upright. At this point, I was totally offended, but I was totally caught up in the show and couldn't turn away from the train wreck.

Okay, so the Philly detectives realize that they are going to have to go to Nashville to interview Truck's old bandmates, and they have to draw straws to see who has the misfortune of going to Nashville. They then proceed to think of every redneck stereotype they can think of, and they laugh heartily at the poor suckers who have to head south. Lovely.

Then they get to Nashville, and the lady who greets them at the police station is Charlene, and she's got big hair and a big flirty smile and she sounds like she couldn't possibly have graduated from high school. She then introduces them to the sherriff. "Big Daddy." I nearly passed out from my brain's lack of oxygen during the "oh-no-they-didn't" gasp. The sherriff only answers to Big Daddy (I might have bought this if they were supposed to be in Bucksnort or Bell Buckle or some other piddly town, but not Nashville), and he calls all the women "Little Sister." Oh, and by the end "Little Sister" Charlene had slept with the big-city yankee male cop because apparently the allure of the big city and bright lights is too much for a simple southern girl to resist. Once again, bye-bye oxygen.

As the show continues, you're introduced to Truck's wife, Honey Sugar. That's right, first name Honey. Last name Sugar. Sounds like something you'd name a horse. Of course, she was a small town farm girl from east Tennessee and all she wanted to do was ride horses, so maybe it's appropriate.

It went on and on like this. Every time I though they were done painting this ridiculously inaccurate picture of my beloved home state, it would get worse. The places they ate, the way people spoke, all of it was horrible. Turns out, the heroin addict shot Truck because he was going to turn down a record deal that made him ditch his brother (who was mercifully not named Tractor) and lose his cowboy hat and change his sound from country (which he'd grown up listening to in his mama's kitchen) to pop.

It was just awful, and now I'm going to put it in a bubble and let it go. Then, I'm going to resume my Zicam routine in an attempt to fend off this sore throat.

Have a great Monday, peeps. I'm out.


Scarlet Lily said...

And THIS is why everyone in NY looks at B and I cross-eyed when we say we're moving to TN! And why my dad - bless his heart - didn't think that he and his wife could visit us once we move b/c "they don't treat inter-racial couples kindly down there" :)


feather nester said...

Aw, I'm sorry, hon. That does sound really crappy. Your telling of it was amusing, but I can only imagine how infuriating it must be.

Scarlet's right. You would turn against the entire North if you knew how people tend to view the South. Scarlet and I grew up VERY MUCH being taught that the South was one big joke, especially Texas, to be looked down upon and pitied and scorned. It's ironic that people make fun of the South with Civil War jokes and making fun of Southern pride and how the South still thinks of itself as separate from the North. Because the North does NOTHING but encourage that separation! I feel ashamed right now, actually, and rather snobby.

After living here for what is admittedly a short time, I promise all you fellow Yankees that I haven't met anyone named Truck or Sugar, seen very little big hair, and no one has called me Little Sister. The most stereotypically Southern behavior I have seen has been getting called "Miss FeatherNester" when being asked how old my "youngin'" is, which has been about the most endearing thing ever.

I love living here so far, and like Scarlet, we have had some family say that they won't come visit because of experiences they had 30 YEARS AGO in Tennessee. We Northerners should stop acting so superior and condescending; it's as closed-minded as the stereotypes we're accusing others of.

So there.

die Frau said...

Oh, dear. Let's hear it for breaking down barriers. Sigh.

I lived in VA for three years and did have a few encounters, including a large man who looked at me oddly when I walked by myself into the hardware store and one mother who said, "Yes, northerners must have no manners at all" because we don't say, "Yes, ma'am". However, I found most people lovely and they seemed OK with my Yankee ways. I also had to convince people when I lived in KY that I had never seen bluegrass or homemade liquor in a jar.

As long as we all continue to break down stereotypes where we can, I think that's the best we can do.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything. But I do have to add that I had never even heard of "The War of Northern Aggresion" until I lived in VA. ~Al