Saturday, December 8, 2012

I’m glad I grew up in the North. Hey, my Mom could have lived anywhere when I decided to pop out of her. I never thought it would have mattered where I had my upbringing until recently. Even in the 90’s when Jeff Foxworthy did his famous comedy routine of “How to tell if you are a Redneck” didn’t make me notice until I watched some of those weird stations on my cable TV. There I got lots of lessons of how to be a Redneck.
Jeff was my first teacher when he said, “If you have ever taken a beer to a job interview, you may be a Redneck.” Or, “ If you can burp and say your name at the same time, you may be a Redneck.” Now, cable TV has gotten into the joke. If your cable TV station is profiting on telling everyone how backward you are, you may be a Redneck. For some reason cable TV have become obsessed with Rednecks. Jeff Foxworthy was just way before his times on the matter.
What are Rednecks anyway? Well I can literally get a red neck swimming in the summer or when working in the garden from a painful sunburn. No, this apparently is a type of human species. Like the dolphins or whales. These Rednecks are typically lower middle class white southerners. I have proof to back up that statement. The last few years have brought us quite a video study guide on the subject.
There is a show called “Redneck Rehab “ Where each week a former redneck is confronted by friends and family members that believe he or she should return to their country roots. Really? I always thought the word rehab had something to do with getting folks off drugs and booze. Did I just say folks too? I hope Mom wasn’t in the south while pregnant.
I saw “My Big Redneck Wedding” where I just couldn’t help staring at that big wife of his. It is a reality television series airing on CMT hosted and narrated by actor and comedian Tom Arnold. It documents down-home country couples as they prepare to take a trip down the aisles of matrimony. It is so popular that it is in it’s 4th season. How long is this Wedding?
Flip again to the National Geographic Channel and see, “Rocket City Rednecks.” It is an American television show that focuses on engineering, set in Huntsville, Alabama. The show features Travis Taylor, an aerospace engineer from Huntsville, three of his relatives, and his best friend. These people are a heck of a lot smarter than people may think. Travis is a research scientist with the Department of Defense who holds five advanced degrees, the crew spends weekends mixing a little of hillbilly ingenuity with advanced engineering and physics. They kind of put a fun twist on two subjects that most kids shy against learning.
How about “Hillbilly Hand Fishing” on Animal Planet which is a show about Noodling, the sport of fishing for catfish using only bare hands and feet. Sure, I really want to go into unclear water and have giant catfish swimming around my legs and then shove my fist up his mouth with hungry teeth. NOT. But they really make it look like a fun thing to do.
Follow that show with “Swamp People” on the History Channel. The show follows the day-to-day activities for several Cajuns living in the Atchafalaya River Basin swamp in Louisiana, USA who hunt American alligators for a living. One of these guys could be a redneck named Beau too that some redneck girl can fall in love with.
Then go back to CMT and watch “Redneck Island.” where the webpage for this show is not shy about the kind of people they want:
Do you have what it takes to win $100,000 on REDNECK ISLAND?
This is your chance to have host STEVE AUSTIN put you through the paces...
Do you love Country Music and NASCAR?
Is beer your beverage of choice?
Is your second car a four-wheeler covered in mud?
Is your closet full of camouflage clothing?
Is there an 8-point hanging above your fireplace and a gun rack in your truck?
If you are proud of your redneck roots and winning $100,000 will have you whistling Dixie, then this is the show for you.”
There is also “Duck Dynasty”, “Lady Hoggers“, “Bayou Billionaires” and “Moon Shiners” that I won’t even describe. Go watch them for yourselves. The list seems to go on and on now. The biggest hit is “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ that features a family in rural Georgia. TLC films this family bobbing for pigs feet, passing gas on camera and exploiting a young girl. The family who does speak English are sub-titled. They have a lot of fun but have incorporated catch phrases like “you better REDNECK-OGNIZS”
All I know is that a lot of people are making a lot of money from all these shows or they wouldn’t be on TV. I do feel sad that the channels like National Geographic, Animal Planet and The Learning channel had to stoop down to airing this nonsense to keep their revenues piling in. I would rather learn about other stuff frankly. Now what is that little girl doing now? Got to go and watch some TV. Ssush! Don’t tell anybody.

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