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Great rant by Fred Reed at Fred on Everything

Rednecks: The Virtues Thereof
Cornell As Evolutionary Miscalculation

There is a lot of snot and malice about rednecks on the internet. Most of it comes from such cornflowers and honeysuckles as college professors, other witless suburban nonentities, and assorted twits in cities. By 'redneck,' these bundles of intellectual lingerie seem to mean anyone without a college degree who can hang a door or lube his car.

One of them, some sort of biochemical rascal, figured that rednecks were examples of poor evolutionary fitness - compared, I guess, to him. Now, that's a stretch.

Tell you about rednecks. They're probably the only people in the whole country that ain't unfit. What used to be Davy Crockett's country today is full mostly of folk who can't do anything for themselves. They call someone else to fix the plumbing, shoot the burglar, gap their plugs, build their houses, get their kids off drugs. If the cat dies they need a pet-loss grief-management counselor. From a redneck's point of view, the United States is turning fast into people like those nasty white grubs that nekkid savages in New Guinea eat, only with legs.

I know the breed - rednecks, not grubs. I grew up with them, in King George County, Virginia, and in Athens, Alabama in 1957. Back then I thought I was Huck Finn. I may have been right. Certainly the evidence favored the proposition. I'd run through the woods like a Southern Mowgli with a slingshot and later got drunk with the country boys in high school and drove like three dam fools, buy one and get two free. We hunted, and crabbed in the Potomac, and such like. We called people from Massachusetts "Damyanks," or "targets."

Now, the people in KG were either farmers or fishermen. They could build a crab boat from scratch. Try it. What they were, really, was versatile. They'd snatch an old engine from a junkyard Chevy and rebuild it, convert it to marine, and mount it in the boat. They changed their own transmissions, replaced clutch plates, wired the barns they built. They could run a farm, keep old tractors going, blast a stump, raise hogs and slaughter them. They knew guns, and had them. They could hunt, shoot, and fish. They were tough, cut cordwood and split logs and dug foundations. If they wanted a wall, they laid the brick. If something broke, they fixed it.

Maybe they came up a little short on iambic pentameter. Didn't seem to hurt'em none.

And he goes on... These sentiments make me think of the great line by Robert A. Heinlein in his 1973 Book Time Enough for Love

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

1 Comment

Rednecks and Academicians probably have different views on 'Free Lunches' also.

'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' should be made into a movie.

TVW today had a report from (I think) the captain of the USS Abraham Lincoln during the tsunami relief effort. One brief point was particularly poignant. There was a landing strip that was blocked after a (non-US) cargo plane-water buffalo collision. The assorted on-site UN types spent 24 hours going 'Gosh, what now?', demanding help, and denying landings/takeoffs because of the wheelless plane smack in the middle of the runway.

The Navy flew around the site once, landed, and fixed the problem within 2 hours. Using entirely materials ON SITE. (Two forklifts, chains, wood). Well, _almost_ entirely on site. The can-do attitude was imported... in the form of a group of people that are stereotypically 'rednecks'.

I assume we got billed for the airplane too somehow.

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