by Michel Lowe
Recently I was corresponding with a friend about a local story here in the Washington Area. The Wash Post printed, on the first page of the Metro section, a story entitled “Jury clears Fairfax dog walker in unscooped poop case.” That’s right, the Fairfax County court system impaneled a 12-person jury and wasted a day to hear a case about dog poo. Makes you glad you don’t pay taxes to Fairfax County!
Executive Summary Two sisters lived next door to a woman who tends a friend’s small dog, one of those yappy little rag mop doggies. The neighbors have been feuding for years, harassing each other, calling cops over “vandalism,” that sort of thing. It all reached the boiling point when the sisters ratted out their neighbor for not scooping up after little poopsy. The courtroom was thick with the sisters’ hatred of the neighbor according to the report in the paper. When the jury weighed the evidence they exonerated the dog walker.
So my friend observes that he thought only Iowans were so immature, to which I responded Southerners are both immature and hateful. I spent my first 30 years in St. Louis, another 25 in northern Virginia, and I’m back in St. Louis. My parents and theirs were from southern Missouri so I am steeped in southern culture. And in case you didn’t know it, St. Louis is not a Midwestern city, it is a Southern city. Not so southern as Burmingham, more like Memphis or Louisville. You want Midwest, go to Kansas City. Or Iowa.
One of the things the South does best is to hate and our hatred runs deep and pure. We have hate a-plenty; we produce some of the world’s best hate; our cup runneth over with hate.
Some of the Things We Hate We hate the North, New York, California, anyone who is not like us, unions, bosses, Catholics, the rich, the poor, Jews, American foreigners – anyone not born and raised in my home town – foreign foreigners, Asians, Mexicans (in the South all Latins are Mexicans), dopers, gropers, cops and robbers. We hate learning, we hate the learned, we hate Muslims, we hate Protestants who aren’t Baptists and Baptists who aren’t SOUTHERN Baptists. We hate African Americans. We hate ourselves: for being dumb, for names like “Billy Bob,” for the wink-and-a-nudge Jim Crow who ignorantly waves his Stars and Bars and calls it heritage, and for lacking the courage to call stupid when we see it, for failing to denounce institutionalized racism when we’re swimming in it, for the intellectual dishonesty to accept second-best as good enough. Excluding SOUTH Africa under apartheid, we set the gold standard for hate.
There’s no monopoly on hate: the Middle East hates the developed world, Giants fans hate the Cowboys, Poles hate Russians, Tibetans hate the Chinese. Most of the world hates America. But in the American South, hate is like mother’s milk and babes learn it at mammy’s pap.
Take the relatively benign sports hate. Nobody is hated, at least in DC, more than Duke, especially their goddamn basketball team. The U of Maryland administrators a few years ago had to ban a particular cheer the Terps fans used when playing the Blue Devils at College Park. The arena shook with cheering Maryland fans chanting, “Fuck Duke! Fuck Duke! Fuck Duke!” They even made sweatshirts and tees with that heart felt slogan.
The South is both immature and hateful. Mix in a dollop of stupidity and you’ve got the complete explanation for:
- Guns in church
- Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels
- The Dukes of Hazzard
- Jerry Falwell
- His love child, Pat Robertson
- Squeal like a pig!
- Lester Maddox, Karl Rove, Bull Connor, Dubya, Lee Atwater, George Wallace, and Hee-Haw
- Branson (Missouri not Richard)
- Rick Perry
I could go on, but you get the point. Speaking of the South, I attended a networking class recently and the instructor told a story about when he was teaching BGP in Chicago. BGP is the glue that binds the Internet together, allows your local ISP to exchange IP addresses with its neighbors and so on. The entire Internet is one big BGP network. [You’re welcome for that little peek behind the curtain.] So the thing is, there are millions of IP networks in the Internet and to manage all that traffic coppery requires some organization. One of the ways the carriers and large enterprises organize their BGP networks is by grouping routers together into what are called BGP federations and BGP confederations. So the instructor asked the class, “Can anyone tell me the difference between a federation and a confederation?” And a Southern voice from the back of the room says, “One of them shall rise again!”