Redneck Teeth For Sale
Posted on 11.22.14 by Danny Glover @ 6:48 pm

This ad from an 1852 issue of the Wheeling newspaper certainly doesn’t help refute a familiar redneck stereotype about West Virginians.

It’s my first find from the online archive of old newspapers available at the Library of Congress. I foresee many hours of historical reading in my future.


Filed under: History and Media and Redneck Humor and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

How To Lead Drunken College Students
Posted on 11.21.14 by Danny Glover @ 3:40 pm

West Virginia University has an excellent leader in E. Gordon Gee. He’s currently only on tap to fill the job for a couple of years, but he’s showing himself to be just the kind of administrator the university needs in a challenging time.

I was skeptical earlier this year of WVU’s decision to bring him back to a job he held early in his career. It seemed like WVU was looking backward instead of forward. Gee also has a history of running his mouth in ways that reflect poorly on him and the schools he has led.

But Gee has won me over. He still has the fun-loving character of a young man, as evidenced by his tweet when ESPN’s College Game Day visited Morgantown, W.Va., in October.

Yet he has exercised the kind of wisdom that only comes with age — and perhaps from having learned from his own mistakes. Gee understands that, in the words of King Solomon, there is “a time to tear apart and a time to sew together, a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

His statement today, issued after a WVU student’s recent death in an alcohol-related incident at a fraternity, is an excellent example. I like this message in particular:
(more…)


Filed under: Education and News & Politics and People and West Virginia
Comments: None

The National Firearms Anthem
Posted on 10.24.14 by Danny Glover @ 12:01 am

This here is real redneck talent:


Filed under: Hunting & Guns and Music and Video
Comments: None

The Enlightened OECD vs. Redneck America
Posted on 10.07.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:54 pm

Hey, West Virginia is movin’ up in the world. The Mountain State bested not only Mississippi but also Alabama and Arkansas on a list of worst places to live based on factors such as health, education, jobs, technology and the environment.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development assigned the ratings. West Virginia scored a 52.2 out of 100 overall, putting it fourth from the bottom. Courtesy of a redneck-hating writer at The Washington Post, here’s the breakdown by category and on a 1-10 scale:

  • Politically engaged: 1.3 (50th)
  • Health: 1.8 (48th)
  • Safety: 4.5 (22nd place)
  • Job opportunities: 5.8 (45th)
  • High-speed Internet: 6 (43rd)
  • Clean environment: 6.6 (39th, tied with Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri)
  • Earn a living: 7.6 (43rd, tied with New Mexico and South Carolina)
  • Best educated: 8.6 (39th, tied with North Carolina and Tennessee)
  • Finding a home: 10 (one of 15 states with the top score)

That last one is the only bright spot for we hillbillies, but of course, we could have told you our state is a perfect 10 for places to call home. Now ask any of us whether we care what the elitist snobs at the OECD and the Post think of our state.

All of their brains put together are incapable of comprehending the intangible factors that make the redneck region of America, and especially West Virginia, the best place to live.


Filed under: Business and Culture and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and Technology and West Virginia
Comments: None

Redneck Marketing
Posted on 09.07.14 by Danny Glover @ 11:07 pm

This sales pitch is on display along Route 7 in West Virginia, a few miles from my home.

Who needs a billboard and fancy graphics when you can keep it simple on the side of a shed? I guess the lease attempt was a bust.


Filed under: Just For Laughs and Photography and Redneck Humor and West Virginia
Comments: None

Ryan Reilly’s Rubber Bullets
Posted on 08.17.14 by Danny Glover @ 3:43 pm

After watching a contentious election season back in 2008, I thought bloggers across the political spectrum might like to blow off some steam, so I tried to organize a friendly but potentially painful round of paintball for bloggers in the Washington, D.C., area. Here’s how I pitched it:

I have this crazy idea for bringing together bloggers of all colors — red, blue and purple — after this tension-filled partisan election season: Give them guns and let them shoot paint at each other!

Don’t like conservatives? Paint ‘em blue. Can’t stand liberals? Paint ‘em red. Just wish everyone would get along? Paint ‘em all purple. Add a mainstream media team with green paintballs (it’s all about the money in the MSM), and it could get really fun!

The response to the invitation was telling. Some conservatives bloggers expressed interest in the idea right away, but there were no takers on the left.

The most amusing feedback came from a liberal journalist who said he wasn’t interested because “I hate violence, even the sublimated kind.” That’s the psychobabble way of saying paintballers don’t just wanna have fun. They’re really expressing a desire to engage in bad behavior “by changing it into a form that is socially acceptable.”

It’s that kind of elitist ignorance of redneck culture that leads to embarrassing incidents like this:

That’s right, a Huffington Post reporter whose beat is to cover the police can’t tell the difference between earplugs like my wife wears to drown out my snoring and the rubber bullets that officers regularly use for riot control.

He rightly became the subject of ridicule on Twitter, where readers sarcastically asked him to confirm the identity of other weapons:
(more…)


Filed under: Hunting & Guns and Media and News & Politics and Photography and Rednecks and Social Media
Comments: None

Busted For Being A Good Driver
Posted on 08.05.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:09 pm

A few weeks ago, a policeman in my home town pulled me over for speeding. He graciously gave me a warning after telling me I had five points on my license and he didn’t want to ding me again.

I appreciated him giving me a break, but his contention that I had a bad driving record bothered me. I haven’t been ticketed in two decades, and the points I had on my license back then (some for speeding and the rest for causing an accident when I made a blind left turn) should have been expunged long ago.

I finally remembered to call the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles today to explore the disconnect between what I knew to be true and what the officer in the speed trap told me. The answer: I have five “safe points” on my license, which the Old Dominion issues each year you go without any traffic infractions. You can’t accumulate any more than five safe points, so in the state of Virginia’s eyes, I’m currently a perfect driver.

Someone needs to alert small-town cops in West Virginia who like to lurk just inside their town borders to bust unsuspecting drivers right after they cross into lower speed zones. I realize that each state handles licensing differently, but it disturbs me that the officer who stopped me couldn’t tell the difference between a driver with a good record and a bad one when he searched the database.

That kind of ignorance could easily fuel an abuse of authority in the wrong circumstances. I’m actually surprised the officer didn’t ticket me once he found out I had what he thought were bad points on my license because before he searched, I told him I hadn’t been ticketed in 20 years. Had I been in his shoes, I might have pegged me as a liar.

In this case, the points worked in my favor. The officer was in a generous mood and gave me a warning because he didn’t want to make life miserable for a presumably nice guy like me. If my record had been blank, he might have decided I could afford a few points — and a fine that would help bolster the department budget.

I suppose I should be grateful and just shut my virtual mouth. But I can’t help but wonder how a policeman in a bad mood or on a power trip could use bad information as an excuse for unjust punishment. Ignorance is a dangerous thing in law enforcement.


Filed under: Government and West Virginia
Comments: 16 Comments

Married In A Barn
Posted on 08.04.14 by Danny Glover @ 9:24 pm

There’s a bit of role reversal happening in the heartland of America. Enlightened city dwellers have discovered all that is right with the country and want a taste of it, but the rednecks who live there want none of their trendy attention.

The rednecks are so determined to keep the interlopers out that they’re turning on their own. Many people gravitate toward rural lives in part because they don’t want nib-nose neighbors setting limits on what they do with their own property. Now the folks down the road are the busybodies.

Ironically, all this conflict revolves around what should be one of the happiest events in life — a couple’s wedding. Here are excerpts from a New York Times piece about barn weddings:

For legions of young couples, there is no wedding venue more desirable than a barn in the country, with its unfussy vibe, picturesque setting and rural authenticity. For neighbors of the wedding barns, it is a summer-long agony.

… In rural areas across the country, residents have protested that some barn owners flout zoning rules requiring that they operate only as agricultural enterprises. Unlike other businesses, the barns are often not inspected to ensure that they are up to code, and many lack proper sanitation, fire doors and sprinklers, accommodations for people with disabilities and licenses to serve liquor.

I find the hullabaloo all rather amusing. Odds are good that at least some of the people who can afford to pay thousands of dollars for a barn wedding are among the ranks of elitists who look down their noses at the rubes who call flyover country home.

My favorite part of the story is this: “Grooms and brides say the barns are part of a cultural shift away from traditional weddings. At a typical barn wedding, formal china and glassware are out, in favor of carefully mismatched plates and Mason jars for sipping cocktails. Guests nibble casual fare like grilled corn on the cob and barbecued pork. If the weather cooperates, the evening often ends with people gathering around a bonfire and toasting s’mores under the stars.”

It reminds me of a 1986 hit by Huey Lewis & the News but with a redneck twist: It’s hip to be hick. Just beware that don’t stay long enough to get country cooties all over you.


Filed under: Culture and Human Interest and Rednecks
Comments: None

Revenge Of The Phony Nerds
Posted on 07.30.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:38 pm

I remember the ancient time — back in my high school years — when nerds became the heroes of Hollywood plot lines. Movies and television shows celebrated the geeks who were scorned by the jocks, cheerleaders and other cool kids.

This helps explain why so many people embrace the “nerd” label these days. But as Charles Cooke explains at National Review Online, today’s nerd are pretenders. They have corrupted the word for political purposes, and they are the anti-type of Hollywood’s heroic dweebs, plagued by the very air of superiority the nerds in cinema resisted.

And who are the targets of their bigotry? Rednecks, of course. As Cooke says:

“Nerd” has become a calling a card — a means of conveying membership of one group and denying affiliation with another. The movement’s king, Neil deGrasse Tyson, has formal scientific training, certainly, as do the handful of others who have become celebrated by the crowd. He is a smart man who has done some important work in popularizing science. But this is not why he is useful. Instead, he is useful because he can be deployed as a cudgel and an emblem in political argument — pointed to as the sort of person who wouldn’t vote for Ted Cruz.

“Ignorance,” a popular Tyson meme holds, “is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.” This rather unspecific message is a call to arms, aimed at those who believe wholeheartedly they are included in the elect “we.” Thus do we see unexceptional liberal-arts students lecturing other people about things they don’t understand themselves and terming the dissenters “flat-earthers.” Thus do we see people who have never in their lives read a single academic paper clinging to the mantle of “science” as might Albert Einstein. Thus do we see residents of Brooklyn who are unable to tell you at what temperature water boils rolling their eyes at Bjørn Lomborg or Roger Pielke Jr. because he disagrees with Harry Reid on climate change.

Really, the only thing in these people’s lives that is peer-reviewed are their opinions. Don’t have a Reddit account? Believe in God? Skeptical about the threat of overpopulation? Who are you, Sarah Palin?

I was fortunate to find a happy medium in my youth. I was a “band baby” for two of my four years at Paden City High School and a “football animal” for one. I was never quite talented enough to get much playing time in any of the official school sports I tried, but I also wasn’t among the last people picked when I joined my peers for backyard football, pickup basketball and the like. I ranked among the top 10 percent of my small class but also opted to study to be an electrician at a vocational school rather than take college prep classes my junior and senior years.

I was part nerd and part jock. I enjoyed intellectual pursuits yet also appreciated the folksy wisdom of those who were educated at the University of Hard Knocks. In other words, I was — and am — an enlightened redneck. And that’s the worst nightmare of the Neil deGrasse Tysons of the world.


Filed under: Culture and Education and Entertainment and Hatin' On Rednecks and Movies and People and Rednecks and Sports and West Virginia
Comments: None

The Sistersville Ferry
Posted on 07.07.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:21 pm

As a Paden City Wildcat from the glorious 1980s, I’ll be the first to tell you that the next stop south of my hometown along the West Virginia side of the Ohio River isn’t good for much.

Sure, Sistersville bred an entire generation of talented small-school athletes in its sports heyday. It also has a storied industrial history. Sistersville was an oil boom town in the late 18th century, a development that made the Wells Inn famous to this day.

But other than that …

OK, Sistersville has more going for it historically than I’ll ever be able to admit in light of the rivalry that divided our towns during my youth. It’s even making national news these days for one feature that has been there for nearly two centuries — the Sistersville Ferry that carries people, cars and even semi-tractors across the river to Fly, Ohio.

The ferry has fallen on hard times of late, losing passengers and struggling to meet its annual budget, but it’s still running. The Parkersburg News and Sentinel originally published the story in West Virginia, but the Associated Press distributed it nationally last week:

Tyler is the only county in West Virginia on the Ohio River where there is no bridge spanning the river. Besides the ferry, drivers have the option of a 36-mile round trip to cross the Hi Carpenter Bridge linking St. Marys and Newport or a 28-mile trek to cross at New Martinsville, Peters said.

Bill Schleier, who is captain of the ferry along with Herman Hause, said vehicle usage has ranged from 58 to 100 a day.

In years past, “those would be considered pretty poor days,” said Schleier, who’s worked on the ferry four years, two as a deckhand and two as a captain. “One hundred fifty, 200 was not unusual.”

The takeaway for me: It’s time for us to introduce our children to the Sistersville Ferry before it disappears altogether. We usually cross at the St. Mary’s bridge when we’re at my parents’ house and head south to visit friends in Marietta, Ohio. Next time we’ll pay $5 to ride the Ohio’s waves.


Filed under: History and News & Politics and West Virginia
Comments: None

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