Elitists are so determined to perpetuate their redneck myths that they spread lies on the Internet to deceive gullible people. If you’ve heard the yarn about the illiterate sorority girl from Alabama who believes President Obama was born in Kenya, you’ll know what I mean when you hear the real story.
The girl in the photo is Kim Stafford, and she’s not from Alabama. She grew up in Massachusetts and attends an liberal arts university in the western part of her home state. The school doesn’t even have a Greek system, and she’s a registered Democrat who plans to vote for Obama next week.
But the reason Stafford has become the subject of Internet ridicule is because people who don’t know any actual rednecks are so willing to believe the worst about those rubes from places like Alabama or West Virginia or even Pennsylvania.
I suspect that somewhere along the Internet chain, a liberal with a chip on his shoulder about the tea party movement decided to add fiction to Stafford’s satire. He or she added phony details about the photo to get other redneck haters riled, and voila, an Internet legend was born.
Stafford has tried to rebut the lies on her own blog, one with a vulgar phrase that captures the essence of redneck bigotry, but the Internet meme persists. People will believe what they want to believe about rednecks.
As for me, I’d rather be an enlightened rube than an uniformed dupe who clings to fables.
Filed under: Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and People and Photography and Rednecks and Technology and West Virginia
Bill Engvall rose to comedic fame on his “Here’s Your Sign” skit, which mocks people who lack the common sense to answer obvious questions before asking them out loud. “Donna the Deer Lady” was made for Engvall’s “stupid” signs.
Donna recently called into the morning show of Y94 in Fargo, N.D., to gripe about inconsiderate deer on major highways. Over a two-year span, she was involved in three car accidents involving deer. She is convinced that she can solve this problem for her and other drivers, but no one will take her seriously.
Her solution: Move the deer-crossing signs to rural areas and areas where traffic already moves slowly, such as in school-crossing zones. She reached that conclusion after realizing that every accident she had involving deer occurred soon after she saw a deer-crossing sign.
“My frustration is that Minnesota and North Dakota departments of Transportation would allow these deer-crossing signs to be in such high-traffic areas,” Donna the Deer Lady complained. “I mean, I’ve even seen them on the interstate! Why are we encouraging deer to cross at the interstate?”
The show hosts insist the call was real, or at least not a hoax perpetrated by them. They clearly were dumbfounded by Donna’s deer talk but (mostly) suppressed the urge to laugh out loud while she was on the line. “You seem to be under the misunderstanding that the deer are somehow attracted to the deer-crossing signs,” of host said.
“Well, yeah,” Donna replied, “the deer-crossing sign is there to allow the deer to know that’s where they need to cross.”
Here’s your sign, Donna!
Filed under: Entertainment and Just For Laughs and People and Wildlife
Burning couches to celebrate a momentous sports victory is funny in theory. That’s why West Virginia University fans are still laughing at the Sprint commercial several years ago that poked fun at the Mountaineers’ couch-burning tradition.
But in reality, couch-burning is no joke. It is riotous behavior that incites troublemakers and burdens the city governments who have to deploy police and safety personnel to control the fans. Morgantown, the home of WVU, is so fed up with the misbehaving students in the city that it may slap a financial penalty on them to help cover the costs of constant post-game parties.
The mayor aired the idea after WVU defeated Texas 48-45 and students literally set the streets of the city on fire in celebration. Worse, they threw rocks and bottles at police trying to keep the peace and picked fights with others in the streets. Similar troubles arose after WVU defeated Baylor 70-63.
I witnessed this kind of behavior firsthand as a WVU student and reporter for the local Dominion Post. WVU defeated Penn State 51-30 that year in a rare victory over Joe Paterno’s team. The victory was so sweet that students charged the field with 49 seconds left, and those last seconds of play had to be cancelled — an embarrassing display of unsportsmanlike conduct that was follow by more unruly behavior in the streets that night.
At that same time, WVU students were complaining of unfair, albeit unrelated, treatment at the hands of city officials. The confluence of events inspired me to write an op-ed that still seems relevant 14 years later as unruly Mountaineers are causing trouble in Morgantown. Here is what I wrote:
Filed under: Government and News & Politics and People and Sports and West Virginia
Sometimes when our children say something odd, I answer with a wisecrack from my youth: “What are you, a communist?” I get blank stares. Or in the case of our 7-year-old daughter today, an enthusiastic “yes” — until I told her being a communist is bad.
I guess you had to be there — for the Cold War, that is. That snark, a word that didn’t exist when I was a kid, just doesn’t carry the same punch without the Soviet Union as a mortal enemy.
Filed under: 1980s and Family and History
Jennifer Garner was a West Virginia girl before she was a famous actress, and she “waxed rhapsodic” about her home state during an appearance Conan O’Brien’s talk show.
“It’s one of the places that really has a sense of place about it. … When you’re there, you’re not anywhere else,” she said.
Garner proved her passion for all things West Virginia by rattling off a partial list of official state emblems — from the bird (cardinal), tree (sugar maple) and fish (brook trout) to the butterfly (monarch) and insect (honeybee). And then she sang a portion of one of three state songs, “West Virginia Hills.” (The other two are “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home” and “This Is My West Virginia.”)
Watch the whole segment:
Filed under: Entertainment and Video and West Virginia