‘All About Dat Beard’
Posted on 12.25.16 by Danny Glover @ 5:28 pm

A Facebook friend shared a music video parody called “All About Dat Beard” in my news feed today. Posting it here seems like a good follow-up to my decision to don beard ornaments last night. Merry Christmas to all you fellow long-bearded men — and to your “better halves” who hate your facial hair!

Filed under: Culture and Just For Laughs and Music and Redneck Humor and Redneck Music and Redneck Musical Interlude and Video
Comments: None

A W.Va. Redneck’s Journey To Enlightenment
Posted on 07.12.15 by Danny Glover @ 5:12 pm

Kaitlen Whitt is about as enlightened as they come from an intellectual perspective. She has a degree in English and taught the language in Bulgaria while on a prestigious Fulbright scholarship. She has traveled to more than 40 countries. She has contributed to the Traveling 219 multimedia project and Allegheny Mountain Radio. And she makes and sells jewelry.

But Whitt hasn’t always been proud of her redneck roots in West Virginia. By her own admission, she saw it as “a dumping ground full of uncultured, uneducated, unfriendly, and uncouth people” and wanted to “rise above a home that I understood as a prison.”

Thankfully, her success at escaping the state and packing a lifetime of adventures into a few short years has given her fresh perspective. Whether she realizes it yet or not, Whitt’s journey to true enlightenment helped her see that being redneck isn’t so bad after all.

Here’s an excerpt from her “love letter to West Virginia” documenting that journey:

The moment I was outside of West Virginia or in a group of people who were not Appalachian, I was transformed into an oddity. People would tell me how cute my accent was and ask me to say the same word over and over. One of my Bulgarian students asked if people in West Virginia were cannibals like in “Wrong Turn.” A man who was chatting me up in a bus station in Bucharest asked me where I was from and when I told him, he said, “Oh, you mean where everybody marries their cousin?”

People would use the word “redneck” as an umbrella term to imply either ignorance or bigotry and then turn to me and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t mean you.” Once a concierge in Sweden even commented on how impressive it was that I still had all my teeth considering I was from, “the American South.”

I had known that these stereotypes were out there, but I had always assumed that people outside of West Virginia understood that they were exaggerated. Everything that Irene had said about being proud to be from Appalachia, from West Virginia, flooded back, and I began to see my heritage as more of an identity than a secret burden. So I took off my mask and stopped justifying myself as an exception from the stereotypical West Virginian, and instead, I just understood myself as someone who was from West Virginia.

I’ve always been proud to be from West Virginia, and the stereotypes about it simply reinforce my love of it. In that sense I don’t get why Whitt once seemed to resent her roots. But she is now an eloquent spokeswoman for the place we both consider home. I’m glad to have her in the enlightened redneck fold.

Filed under: Entertainment and Hatin' On Rednecks and Media and People and Redneck Humor and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: 1 Comment

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

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
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A Hillbilly Grammar Lesson, By Jim Comstock
Posted on 06.19.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:34 pm

I have this tendency to become obsessed with unusual characters, both fictional and real. Two that come to mind readily: Bartleby, the scrivener of Herman Melville fame, and John Randolph of Roanoke, an oddball politician from America’s early days whose named resurfaced in the news again just this month.

These days I’m obsessed with Jim Comstock, a “country editor” best known for his “weakly” newspaper, The West Virginia Hillbilly. I remember reading the Hillbilly occasionally as a child, and over the past few years, I’ve dreamed of finding a way to resurrect it online for digital posterity. His legacy deserves more attention than it gets deep in the bowels of a few libraries in the Mountain State.

My periodic but passing interest in “Mr. West Virginia” became a fascination a few weeks ago. That enthusiasm has manifested itself in a fairly successful quest to compile a personal collection of Comstock’s writing.

I now own three signed copies of his books — “The Best of Hillbilly” compilation of his newspaper musings, his autobiography “7 Decades,” and “Pa and Ma and Mister Kennedy.” And just today my wife snagged a small collection of the Hillbilly for me, thanks to an ad I placed in a circular back home. I’m still on the lookout for a good deal on the 50-book set of the “West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia” that Comstock authored.

All of that is context for the real point of this post, which is a nugget I just found in “Pa and Ma and Mister Kennedy.” It’s a hillbilly grammar lesson from the Pa in the book:

“Son, if somebody knocks on that door and you say’s who’s there and the person knocking said ‘It is I,’ just shoot through the door because chances are it is either a social worker, a magazine writer, or a man from Harvard, and they are paid for. No court in West Virginia would convict you.”

Comstock’s books are full of zingers like that, and you’ll probably read more of them here in the future.

In fact, I’ll be writing much more about him down the road. I’m obsessed enough that I recently interviewed Comstock’s son Jay by telephone, and next week I’ll be talking to one of the journalists who worked for Jim Comstock decades ago. If I can’t resurrect the Hillbilly, which actually might annoy Comstock in the after life because in his eyes I’m a “chickened-out West Virginian,” the least I can do is tell Comstock’s story on a blog that he helped inspire.

Filed under: Grammar and History and Just For Laughs and Media and People and Redneck Humor and West Virginia
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How To Fry A Turkey (Not Like Uncle Si)
Posted on 11.28.13 by Danny Glover @ 10:16 am

My wife remembers with much amusement the first time my Mom and I fried a turkey for Thanksgiving. Mom had done so much research into the safety hazards of the cooking technique that both of us were terrified of catching the house or ourselves on fire.

We placed the fryer on the very outer edge of the concrete patio in our backyard to put as much distance as possible between the fryer and our house. We stretched the gas line that runs between the propane tank and the burner as far as it would go and then stood as far away as our arms would reach to light the flame. When it came time to lower the turkey into the boiling vat of oil, we would have used a 10-foot pole if we had one, just to ensure our safety.

We were quite the spectacle as my wife watched from the kitchen window.

But hey, at least we didn’t end up like Si Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame in this warning video from State Farm:

Be careful out there this Thanksgiving, all you enlightened rednecks with deep fryers!

Filed under: Advertising and Family and Food and Holidays and Redneck Humor and Video
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Si Robertson’s Redneck Swag
Posted on 04.08.13 by Danny Glover @ 8:35 pm

Nothing says enlightened redneck like a long-haired, scraggy-bearded Louisiana man missing a front tooth and sporting fancy duds over his camo. Yep, I’m talking about Si Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame, starring in a promo video dubbed “Redneck Swag”:

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and Hunting & Guns and People and Redneck Humor and Rednecks and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

Time For A ‘Redneck Intervention’?
Posted on 07.26.12 by Danny Glover @ 10:44 am

Yesterday a casting director submitted the comment below on an older blog post, with a note that said: “Pay for everyone involved. Including referrals. Love to hear from you.”

Do you have a family member who is embarrassed of his or her “redneck roots?” Have they lost their backwoods charm because of the demands of the big city? Have they traded in their camouflage gear for a suit and tie? Would you like to reconnect with your distant family member and have them come home for a SURPRISE fun-filled redneck family reunion?

The producers of CMT’s “My Big Redneck Wedding” and “My Big Redneck Vacation” bring you an exciting new show, “Redneck Intervention.” Tom Arnold will reunite your family with a big-city relative for a family reunion they’ll NEVER forget! If you’re an outgoing, proud, All-American redneck family, then we want to hear from you!

I thought twice about even calling attention to the query because the premise of all of CMT’s redneck shows run contrary to the theme of this blog. They find the most bizarre people on the planet to perpetuate myths about rednecks that date back to the “yellow journalism” surrounding the Hatfields and McCoys feud.

But the storyline of “Redneck Intervention” does have something loosely in common with this blog. The main characters in the future show — people who “lost their backwoods charm because of the demands of the big city” and “traded in their camouflage gear for a suit and tie” — could be enlightened rednecks.

CMT wants to make a reality show as sensational as possible to win ratings and generate revenue, so the casting director obviously is in search of former rednecks who now look down their noses at family. (Think of Reese Witherspoon’s character in the early stages of the movie “Sweet Home Alabama.”) But big-city life certainly has enlightened this redneck.

The difference is that I am not embarrassed of my redneck roots. I cherish and embrace them. They make me who I am, whether I live in small-town West Virginia (24 years) or urban Northern Virginia (21 years now). And I am a better person because I am both “redneck” and “enlightened” in the good sense of both words.

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and Family and History and People and Redneck Humor and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

Redneck Repair In The D.C. Subway
Posted on 02.28.12 by Danny Glover @ 7:50 pm

When things break in the D.C. subway system, the world’s brightest engineers gather in a room to brainstorm the best solution. And when all their genius ideas fail, they resort to the most reliable redneck repair — duct tape!

This photo is from the Metro Center station, the hub of the entire subway system. I also saw another duct-tape repair in another station.

Filed under: D.C. Commuter Diary and Government and Just For Laughs and Photography and Redneck Humor
Comments: None

Pinterest For Rednecks
Posted on 12.23.11 by Danny Glover @ 3:14 pm

Pinterest is the latest social media craze, and as someone who makes his living in the digital marketing world, I’ve been meaning to try it for awhile. I requested an invite to join Pinterest a few days ago and received it this morning. That’s when the inspiration hit me to create a “Redneck Humor” board.

But first a bit about Pinterest: As the name implies, the site is a place where you “pin” pictures of the people, places and things that “interest” you. But this virtual pinboard also has a social aspect to it. After you pin photos to your topical boards, other people can “like” them, “repin” them to their own Pinterest boards or comment on the photos.

The network is especially popular with women, who use it to create collections of recipes, clothes and other items. But as I poked around the site today, I realized that it’s a great forum for creating photo essays and themed albums on topics that interest me, too — sports, politics, West Virginia and, of course, rednecks.

I decided to make my trial run on Pinterest a fun one by pinning photos from past “Redneck Humor” entries on this blog. (One potential benefit is new readers.) I also scoured the Internet for other photographic displays of redneck humor and pinned several of them to my board.

This photo album is a win-win for both you and for me. It makes it easier for rednecks who love to laugh at and with their kinfolk (in spirit, if not reality) to find “snapshots of happily uncultured American life” in one place. And It’s much easier and quicker for me to pin multiple photos to Pinterest than to blog about each photo individually.

When it comes to redneck humor, pictures tell the story far better than my words anyway.

So if you have not done so yet, click on over to my new Pinterest board and get your fill of redneck laughs. And if you’re so inclined, request your own invite to Pinterest and repin or like the photos that make you laugh the most.

Filed under: Blogging and Human Interest and Just For Laughs and Photography and Redneck Humor and Social Media
Comments: None

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