Elite America’s Irrational Fear Of Rednecks
Posted on 01.13.17 by Danny Glover @ 8:01 pm

Some Americans are so irrational that they fear fellow humans just because they work in blue-collar jobs or like the National Rifle Association. People who don’t think the way they do, embrace the causes they hold dear or even eat at the fancy restaurants they like are “white trash” worthy of scorn.

USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds shared a few recent anecdotes and quotes to illustrate this phobia, all of them in response to the election of Donald Trump as president:

Ned Resnikoff, a “senior editor” at the liberal website ThinkProgress, wrote on Facebook that he’d called a plumber to fix a clogged drain. … “He was a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional. But he was also a middle-aged white man with a Southern accent who seemed unperturbed by this week’s news.”

This created fear: “While I had him in the apartment, I couldn’t stop thinking about whether he had voted for Trump, whether he knew my last name is Jewish, and how that knowledge might change the interaction we were having inside my own home.” When it was all over, Resnikoff reported that he was “rattled” at the thought that a Trump supporter might have been in his home. “I couldn’t shake the sense of potential danger.”

… [A]nother piece on reacting to the election, by Tim Kreider in The Week, is titled “I love America. It’s Americans I hate.” Writes Kreider, “The public is a swarm of hostile morons, I told her. You don’t need to make them understand you; you just need to defeat them, or wait for them die. … A vote for Trump is kind of like a murder.”

… [I]n a notorious Yale Law Journal article, feminist law professor Wendy Brown wrote about an experience in which, after a wilderness hike, she returned to her car to find it wouldn’t start. A man in an NRA hat spent a couple of hours helping her get it going, but rather than display appreciation for this act of unselfishness, Brown wrote that she was lucky she had friends along, as a guy like that was probably a rapist.

As Reynolds notes, this kind of class bigotry isn’t new in America. It’s actually older than the country, as documented in great detail last year by historian Nancy Isenberg in the book “White Trash.” It is a dry read at times, but the stories in it are remarkable, in part because they stretch over hundreds of years.

The current angst among America’s elite shows that nothing has changed. Ironically, this new wave of narrow-mindedness started with the political ascension of a billionaire celebrity named Trump.

Filed under: Books and Culture and Hatin' On Rednecks and History and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
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David McCullough Likes My Redneck Beard!
Posted on 09.04.15 by Danny Glover @ 2:59 pm

Normally I’d say the highlight of my day yesterday was meeting historian David McCullough, whose latest book “The Wright Brothers” brought him to Federal Aviation Administration headquarters. But the highlight actually was what he said when we met: “Great beard. Whoa.”

Filed under: Aviation and Books and History and People and Photography and Rednecks
Comments: 1 Comment

Why We Home-School, Lesson #50
Posted on 02.02.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:48 pm

We believe imagination is a part of education and don’t like to see it quashed like this:

Tolkien’s one ring won’t be used to rule the playground anytime soon. A 9-year-old in Texas was suspended after Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the boy, Aiden Steward, told a classmate he could make him “disappear” with a ring forged in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom, the Odessa American reported.

The Stewards had just watched “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” days earlier and Aiden was just using his imagination to reenact some of his favorite scenes on the playground.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)

Filed under: Books and Movies and Why We Home-School
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America Doesn’t Need ‘Government Bullies’
Posted on 09.13.12 by Danny Glover @ 4:41 pm

I have never voted for Rep. Ron Paul for president and can’t vote for his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, because he’s not from my state. But philosophically, I’m a fan of both. Listen to Sen. Paul decry the era of “Government Bullies“, the title of his new book, and you may become a fan, too.

He talked about the book on “Fox & Friends” this week:

Paul is a good spokesman for the Leave Us Alone Coalition so clearly defined by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform in his 2009 book.

Filed under: Books and Government and Media and News & Politics and People and Video
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The Anti-Santorum BuzzFeed
Posted on 02.22.12 by Danny Glover @ 1:23 am

Go to the BuzzFeed Politics page and behold an orchestrated media feeding frenzy in progress. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is the target. He has been rising in the polls, and BuzzFeed won’t allow it.

Three of the current top five pieces on the site are attacks on Santorum, and the hit pieces continue as you scroll further down the site or look at the “Most Viral in Politics” sidebar. Here are the headlines:

And then there’s the piece lamenting the fact that no matter how many presumably outrageous Santorum quotes BuzzFeed and other publications unearth, the new frontrunner is “gaffe-proof.”

The press dutifully transcribed all these remarks, but none of them raised a ruckus for more than a few hours. They’re just the latest in a long line of Santorum quotes — on homosexuality, on women’s roles, on contraception and abortion — that seem to have lost their capacity to shock. And though they’re still well to the right of public opinion, as reflected in polls, they’ve done nothing to hurt Santorum, whose campaign has attained an aura of momentum after winning three states in a row earlier this month. For Rick Santorum, there’s no such thing as a gaffe anymore.

Reading BuzzFeed these days is like reading transcriptions of the opposition research compiled by either his top GOP rival, Mitt Romney, or the Democratic National Committee — or both. I’ve rarely seen a presumably objective publication so transparently contemptuous of a candidate and so determined to drive a negative narrative about him or her.

But hey, BuzzFeed is driving traffic and generating buzz for itself. That’s all that matters in today’s “journalism,” right?

UPDATE: Rich Lowry of National Review explains what’s really stirring in the minds of journalists who keep trying to manufacture Santorum controversies.

Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.

Filed under: 1980s and Adoption and Books and Culture and Media and News & Politics and People
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‘Must Be Able To Work Indecently’
Posted on 10.19.11 by Danny Glover @ 1:14 pm

I know the economy is bad, but is it so bad that people would be willing to consider a job where one of the skills required is this:

Must be able to work indecently, with minimal direct supervision.

I can see why someone who is willing to work indecently wouldn’t want much direct supervision. The job also requires “overnight travel” and a willingness to “embrace diversity.”

One laughable error in word choice makes the ad sound like something from an adult publication, but it’s actually a listing for … a food-safety specialist in Northern Virginia/Maryland. No pole-dancing required.

My guess is that the ad meant to say the employee “must be able to work independently.” Instead, we see what happens when all of the copy editors are downsized.

Filed under: 1980s and Adoption and Books and Business and Grammar and Just For Laughs and Media
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America’s Spiritual Heyday
Posted on 04.16.10 by Danny Glover @ 2:21 pm

Like most of America’s official recognitions of God, the National Day of Prayer now at the center of a legal dispute is rooted in the spiritual heyday of the post-World War II era. The day was first celebrated in 1952.

I revisited the history of such “ceremonial deism” (the Supreme Court’s term) in my 1999 “Congress Back Then” column for IntellectualCapital.com, and I am reprinting it here to offer some context for the current debate about the National Day of Prayer.

Congress Back Then: America’s Spiritual Heyday
July 29, 1999
By K. Daniel Glover

Earlier this year, policymakers, pundits and people on the street reopened a uniquely American (and seemingly infinite) debate. In the wake of another incident of school violence, this time a mass murder at a high school in Littleton, Colo., they pondered a familiar question: Just how far should our nation go in trying to maintain a clear separation between church and state?

Congress debated the question in mid-June and decided that perhaps we had gone too far. More specifically, House lawmakers saw a need for a greater religious presence in the public schools, so they cast a series of votes designed to give new spiritual direction to the nation’s youth. The most-publicized decision: They sanctioned the posting of the Bible’s Ten Commandments on school walls.

The primarily symbolic votes topped the news of the week, not at all surprising in an era when Americans are sharply divided on the relationship between religion and government. But four decades back, the votes might have gone unnoticed, an unremarkable act at a time when Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, and made the phrase “In God We Trust” the national motto and a mandatory slogan on all U.S. coins and currency.

All of that religious posturing, and more, happened during the presidency of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and in the early days of a Cold War that most patriotic Americans apparently saw as a battle between Christian America and the godless, communist Soviet Union.

Filed under: Books and Culture and Entertainment and History and News & Politics and People and Religion
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A Redneck Boy And His Stuffed Tiger
Posted on 02.21.10 by Danny Glover @ 1:18 pm

I loved the comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes.” It’s the one strip I rushed to read in the daily newspaper, and I purchased several of the compilations creator Bill Watterson sold in book form.

I still remember the strip that hooked me as a Calvin fan for life. Calvin burped, prompting the typical adult reply from his mother: “Calvin! What do we say after that?” Here’s how the conversation went next:

Calvin: Must be a barge coming through!
Mom: WHAT do you say?!
Calvin: That sure tasted better going down than coming up!
Mom: Three strikes and you’re history, kiddo.
Calvin, sheepishly: Excuse me.

Classic! Calvin was a redneck through and through. So was his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who came to life in Calvin’s imagination and the strip. But their creator is an enlightened redneck.

Readers may have never thought about Watterson’s personal choices when they read the strip, but that strength of character echoed throughout his work. “Calvin and Hobbes” is complex, thoughtful and thought provoking. Calvin and Hobbes aren’t plastic and one-dimensional. …

[They are] a hyper-imaginative kid and his pet tiger who may or may not be real, depending on who’s looking at him. But that’s just the surface. That doesn’t really begin to explain Watterson’s unique storytelling device in which readers switch between the world as Calvin sees it — a fantastical place — and as adults see it — a cut ‘n’ dried conventional reality. You need to immerse yourself in “Calvin and Hobbes” to truly understand it. Sure, you could read one strip, get the gag and move on with your life, but you’d be missing out.

I sure do miss Watterson’s work, which ran for only a decade. So do millions of other fans.

Filed under: Books and Entertainment and Human Interest and Just For Laughs and Media and People and Redneck Humor
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Thinking Outside The Juice Box
Posted on 02.23.09 by Danny Glover @ 8:36 pm

Years ago, I had a boss who kept telling me to “think outside the box.” He could never explain in practice what he meant by the phrase, so I ultimately decided thinking outside the box meant working for someone other than him — and writing a column called “Inside The Box” because that’s where I think. Just call me a “boxist.”

My column, which ran in a local newspaper for a few months, was dedicated to the proposition that all thinkers are not created equally — and that those who think outside the box more often than not make foolish decisions. Thinking outside the box “has something to do with eating McPizza, drinking New Coke and dating the office intern,” I wrote in my first essay.

I was reminded of that column today when I read this blurb on the blog PRNewser:

Tropicana recently went ahead and changed its iconic “straw in the orange” packaging, but consumers are none too happy. After a plethora of complaints, notably via social media, the company has decided to forgo the new look (which cost Tropicana $35 million) and return to their original design.

So to recap, Tropicana blew $35 million for a new box when its customers loved the old box. That was an expensive way to learn that thinking outside the box — or doing something different just for the sake of being different — isn’t as enlightened as the “outsiders” would have you think.

Filed under: Books and Business and Outside The Box
Comments: 2 Comments

Critters In The Capital City
Posted on 02.05.09 by Danny Glover @ 10:04 pm

A decade ago, a trio of beavers decided to make Washington’s Tidal Basin their home and the capital city’s prized cherry trees their late-night snacks. The National Park Service had to remove the critters.

That real-life story inspired me to write a children’s book called “George Washington Beaver And The Cherry Tree.”

The book combines the factual with the fictional and the historical with the mythical to convey an important message about truth-telling. It’s also designed to encourage children to learn some of the great stories from American history.

The book is chock-full of intriguing characters and Beltway-like references that Washingtonian parents will appreciate, too. There is George Washington Beaver; Teddy Roosevelt Beaver, who talks softly but carries a big stick; J. Edgar Beaver, the notorious head of the FBBI; the evil weasels who impose a pondweed tax on the beavers; Dam Vernon and Capitol Dam; and the Select Committee on Beaver Intelligence.

I’m feeling the inspiration again. Today’s news about raccoons invading the White House grounds sounds like a good reason for me to assume my alter ego as Mister Critter, wannabe author of children’s books about American history.

A small band of masked intruders has broken into the secure White House grounds and has evaded capture by agents of the new Obama administration, officials said today.

The National Park Service is in pursuit of one very large raccoon and several medium-sized raccoons, who have been spotted roaming the grounds around the Executive Mansion and the West Wing, a spokesman said.

Can you think of anyone better to write such books than a long-time Washington journalist who owns the pen name Mister Critter and calls himself “The Enlightened Redneck”? If any publishers out there are reading this blog, give me a holler. Let’s talk.

And if anyone wants to read the legend of George Beaver, I sell an e-book version and companion e-coloring book for $9.99. It’s a fun way to teach your children and grandchildren the history behind America’s first president.

Write me at danny@enlightenedredneck.com to place an order.

Filed under: Books and Business and History and Human Interest and News & Politics and People
Comments: 1 Comment

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