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The Redneck Manifesto

The Redneck Manifesto

4.8 4
by Jim Goad, Leslie Phillips (Designed by)

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Culture maverick Jim Goad presents a thoroughly reasoned, darkly funny, and rampagingly angry defense of America's most maligned social group -- the cultural clan variously referred to as rednecks, hillbillies, white trash, crackers, and trailer trash. As The Redneck Manifesto boldly points out and brilliantly demonstrates, America's dirty little secret isn't


Culture maverick Jim Goad presents a thoroughly reasoned, darkly funny, and rampagingly angry defense of America's most maligned social group -- the cultural clan variously referred to as rednecks, hillbillies, white trash, crackers, and trailer trash. As The Redneck Manifesto boldly points out and brilliantly demonstrates, America's dirty little secret isn't racism but classism. While pouncing incessantly on racial themes, most major media are silent about America's widening class rifts, a problem that negatively affects more people of all colors than does racism. With an unmatched ability for rubbing salt in cultural wounds, Jim Goad deftly dismantles most popular American notions about race and culture and takes a sledgehammer to our delicate glass-blown popular conceptions of government, religion, media, and history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Rod Dreher Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel A furious, profane, smart and hilariously smart-aleck defense of working-class white culture.

Crib Magazine In another life, this book was a U-Haul packed to the gills with manure and TNT, left idling near a major government building, or a Smokecraft beef jerky-sponsored monster truck revved and ready to roll over the stuccoed suburban palace where Jeff Foxworthy sleeps.

PDXS A funny, engagingly written polemic....Goad should be congratulated and thanked for cutting through the numerous taboos that prevent an honest discussion of race in this country.

Ethan G. Machado Our Town Dares to rewrite American history, take on government greed and lambaste white liberals....Goad's eight-cylinder prose intentionally rattles the reader, driving home a message that challenges the conventional wisdom of many a Honda Accord owner.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From its coruscating opening sentence, this broadside by the publisher of ANSWER Me! magazine in Portland, Ore., presents a number of home truths that will provoke controversy, if not riots in the streets. Now that it is infra dig to target African Americans, Native Americans and all immigrants, the only scapegoats left, notes Goad, are rednecks, aka hillbillies and hicks. But they, too, he points out, are members of the underclass and hence victims. Turning to history, Goad shows that they have been exploited as Egyptian and Roman slaves, medieval serfs, indentured servants in the American and Australian colonies, child laborers in mines and factoriesthe very people whose labor created the rich and powerful. Goad's manifesto, however, is not a call to class warfare, but a call to awareness of the fact that class warfare has been waged for millennia, conducted exclusively by the upper class against the underclass, who have almost invariably surrendered supinely. And, he shows, the underclass still gives more voice to issues like racism and crime while the distribution of the world's goods becomes ever more inequitable. Goad, writing at the top of his voice, merits a listen. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
An often reactionary diatribe on reverse discrimination by the editor of the 'zine Answer Me!, redeemed in large part by its author's phenomenal sense of humor.

Goad disavows both the political right and left, but he's most likely to be tagged as a conservative. He's most lucid when characterizing the centuries-old race struggle in our country as a smokescreen for what should really be a class struggle. The poor have been enslaved, persecuted, and exploited by the upper class regardless of skin color, Goad maintains. That words like "redneck" and "white trash" are deemed acceptable while the "N-word" is not is proof that as Americans, by and large, we have been duped by rich folks into playing the race card. The author is at his best when using humor to elucidate a point, as when he argues that both black slaves and some disenfranchised whites were cheated and lied to by society in the same manner. Ex-slaves were offered 40 acres and a mule (which they never saw); whites in 18th- century America who had been bonded servants (in effect, white slaves) were promised "two suits, an ax, and two hoes." The hoes, "we are to presume, were gardening tools instead of prostitutes, unless `weeding' and `grubbing' were sexual euphemisms in colonial America." Goad's astute command of history and his sharp wit make for a volatile combination, and one that could be misread. A truly bigoted reader may take Goad's remarks about Lincoln not really intending to free the slaves, or about there being other Holocausts besides the Jewish one, out of context and use them to buttress their racism or anti-Semitism—views that Goad clearly does not sympathize with.

But, of course, ideas that have value are also often dangerous. While Goad's defense (and overview) of redneck culture past and present is sure to infuriate the liberal reader, he is also likely to make that same reader laugh ruefully, and often.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Touchstone Edition
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5.50(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 1, White Niggers Have Feelings Too

Being white trash is akin to cult membership in that you don't realize what's happening until you get away from it. The neighborhood of my youth seemed perfectly normal...until I left it. Just like all other rednecks, I gathered my belongings into a red-and-white checkered tablecloth, tied it to the end of a stick, and set off for the big city. After being called white trash — what was it? — sixteen or seventeen thousand times, I started to think that the city slickers might be onto something. It was gradually painful, yet eventually glorious, for me to admit they were right: I come from a class of economically disadvantaged white people. But I'm not asking for food stamps. I don't even want forty acres and a mule. A little sympathy for the redneck would be nice, though. Otherwise, my mutant hillbilly brethren and I will have to kill you.

Like Marie and Donny Osmond, I'm a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll. I'm equal parts city slime and country vermin. My mother was urban Philly garbage; my father was rural Vermont scum. Together they fled to a concrete dogpatch five miles outside the City of Brotherly Love to live the halfbaked consumerist dreams of post-World War II suburban trash. I am the direct product of miscegenated, cross-pollinated trash.

In block after block of brick tract housing, a Levittown-style Lego bummer, our neighborhood was a repository of working-class ruffneckism. The cheap houses, featuring basement dens proudly paneled in grade plywood, always smelled like methane and rotted fruit. Toenail clippings and balled-up boogers lurked beneath the sofas. The men were very hairy and dumb, while the women were somewhat hairy and dumb. I remember portly men in grass-stained T-shirts fistfighting on their front lawns. I recall Christmas trees being knocked over as drunken families slugged it out. My eyes get all misty as I think of gum-snapping teenage girls who wrote phone numbers on the kitchen wall and hoped for some speed-dealing biker to give them a gold-plated ring, a one-bedroom apartment, and a litter of babies.

Genetically, my neighborhood was evenly split between wops and micks, with nary another ethnicity apparent for miles. You were either a freckle-faced jig-dancer such as myself or an olive-hued dago. The Irishmen on our block did little to dispel the stereotype that their breed was a besotted lot of pugnosed fuckups. Snarling Popeye characters were everywhere. A shillelagh-wielding passer of cirrhosisravaged leprechauns in brown work pants, shiny black shoes, and white socks. A rarely tilled potato field of unschooled, flinty-eyed, barbershop-smelling, alcoholic human shamrocks. Although my mother's ethnic canvas was also speckled with British and Scottish, and my father was a ragged quilt of Dublin, London, and Quebec, in our neighborhood we were considered Irish. Therefore, we drank and stayed angry.

It was the Italians and their bleedingly gaudy manifestations of papism that gave our neighborhood the tang of city-tenement trash. The Italian families I knew tried to mask their just-off-the-boat, low-dog social status with tinsel mountains of store-bought glitz. Walking into one of their homes was like strolling into the Liberace Museum. Beveled ceiling mirrors. Chintzy statues of naked, laurel-crowned water boys. Clear plastic slipcovers and golden shag carpeting. Sunday-afternoon dinners at friends' houses with thin, sugary spaghetti sauce and a hot, air-conditioner-exhaust cloud of Roman sexual guilt. Rotund, pathetic Pagliaccis. Always a scarf-swaddled, half-deaf grandmother wearing thick stockings that led down to swollen, old-world ankles. Impossible virginity and a thinly disguised fürer in the Pope. They'd revel in the bloodlust of full-color, ultragory antiabortion tracts our church distributed in the vestibule outside Sunday Mass. The Italians seemed otherworldly and much more theatrical than the Irish.

They seemed almost black. And for no other apparent reason than the fact that we reached America's shores first, we considered ourselves eugenically superior to them. The dagos were our niggers.

Trash starts at home, and my aesthetic soup bowl has always been smothered with a fat ketchup splotch of white-trash flavoring. This is thanks mainly to the cultural tutelage of my older brother. Back in the mid-sixties, he trained me to keep my bowels awash in lard-soaked, hot pepper-spiked Philly junk food. I ate smashed-'n'-burnt scrapple and learned to mangle my diction. I gobbled hoagies crammed with deadly lunch meats and strained to fart on cue. My brother took me to the drag races, tripped me to the flesh-melting gore of DC Comics, and made sure I knew all the words to "Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts."

One summer night in 1965, a year or so before the government sent him to Vietnam with a gun, he let me tag along for a triple feature of slasher flicks at the local drive-in. Thirty years later, I still remember those films. The first, Color Me Blood Red, was about a psychotic painter who killed women and used their blood to match his desired crimson tint. The last movie on the bill, Blood Feast, concerned an Egyptian caterer who extracted human body parts from mostly live subjects to prepare a feast for the goddess Ishtar. Strong stuff for a four-year-old's eyes, but really not much worse than what my father was doing to my mother and older siblings at home.

Consanguinely sandwiched between Color Me Blood Red and Blood Feast was the redneck-revenge epic Two Thousand Maniacs! The film is set in the mythical Southern town of Pleasant Valley (pop. 2,000), said to have been decimated by conquering Union soldiers in 1865. A hundred years later, the massacred villagers resurrect themselves and capture six Yankees as sacrificial offerings for their centennial celebration. While the Yankees mutter in their hotel rooms about the mysterious hospitality of Pleasant Valley's "backwoods Daniel Boone" and "overblown Daisy Mae" denizens, a britches-clad hayseed named Rufus rhapsodizes about how "classy" one of the female Northerners had behaved earlier. "By tonight, all that class is gonna be drained out of her, Lester," he drools to his sidekick. Sure enough, the woman's arm is axed clean off of her body that afternoon...and barbecued at a banjo-pluckin' hootenanny later that night. Her boyfriend's limbs are fastened with rope to four horses, who rip his bean-pole frame in four directions. The next day, another Yankee woman is crushed under a massive boulder called "Teeterin' Rock." Her beau is forced into an open barrel spiked on the inside with nails and then rolled down a hill, puncturing him to death. As I stared at the giant, bloody screen and all the hooting redneck caricatures, I said to my brother, "They remind me of the people where Grammy lives."

I was referring to Grammy Goad, our paternal grandmother, who looked and dressed almost identically to Granny Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies. Grammy lived and died in Windsor, Vermont, my direct connection to country trash. The people of Windsor also reminded me of the characters on Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, or any of the other Cracker Comedies from the sixties. But economic pressures simmered behind the laugh track. Since Grandpa Goad, the town drunk, abandoned Grammy with four boys to feed, she made money by cooking for lumberjacks. Thoughts of her peanut-butter fudge, salt pork, jelly biscuits, and "yeller" gravy still make my saw-toothed mouth water. I'll probably never taste cooking like that again, for there will never be white people like that again.

Our family would typically spend a chunk of every summer up in Vermont, either at Grammy's, Aunt Berle's, or Uncle Junie's. Are THOSE names redneck enough for ye? We'd sleep as snug as tater bugs in splintery old shacks with rusted screen doors. Clean, wood-redolent air contrasted nicely with Philly's gag-spew. A rotted covered bridge spanned the Connecticut River, over to New Hampshire's sinsemilla-green hills. While my uncle was off slaving at the local Goodyear factory, we Goad kids would chase stray dogs or hunt tadpoles. Sometimes, Vermont was nearly perfect. Its loggers and earthworm salesmen were the friendliest and most honest people I've ever met. They never learned to be ashamed of what they were.

I wasn't so fortunate. I don't remember being explicitly instructed, but I somehow sensed that I wasn't supposed to be proud of my yokel kin in Vermont. This instinctual shame perhaps first saw blossom when I began attending grade school. The local Cadholic youth indoctrination camp, Holy Cross Elementary School, sat at the crossroads between the blue-collar/redneck Clifton Heights and whitecollar/whitebread Springfield. I was from Clifton Heights. Springfield had a country club with a golf course; Clifton Heights had corner bars with dartboards. The men in Springfield drank cocktails; the men in Clifton drank their lives away. Springfield had college deferments; Clifton had Vietnam casualties. Springfield was happy, orderly, and quiet; Clifton was loud, sloppy, and miserable. The men in Springfield were allowed to fuck up a hundred times; the men in Clifton, only once. When you turned twenty in Springfield, life was only beginning; that's when life ended in Clifton.

The Springfield boys would scoff at Clifton as if it were Harlem, and their class-based condescension initially surprised me. I spent my early youth thinking I lived in the center of the universe, only to realize it was the other side of the tracks. I had grown cozily accustomed to a two-tiered social hierarchy — the omnipotent working Irish and the skeevy working Italians — only to learn that I was someone else's nigger.

While driving through Springfield in our bottlefly-green Chevy Impala, I remember Mom and Pop pointing at huge, razor-cut lawns and houses that seemed as big as Graceland. They mentioned that these were middle-class houses, and I wondered what class that made us. I wasn't really sure why other neighborhoods were more affluent than ours, only that they had somehow strayed from our flock. When my father did plumbing work for the owner of the bar where he drank, we drove out past Springfield onto a rolling estate. The place even had a private stream artificially stocked with sunfish. While my father scraped shit out of the bar owner's copper pipes, I swam in the backyard pool with the man's son. Up until that time, I didn't know that some people had pools in their backyards. We didn't even have a backyard, we had an alleyway.

While my father acted like Mussolini at home, he was an eager bellhop around his wealthy client. I remember seeing the bar owner pull out a two-inch-thick clump of bills and start peeling off individual notes for dad. My father just stared at the money in the man's hands. So deferential. Accordingly, I behaved with unusual politeness around my swimming playmate and didn't splash him once. I never acted that way around the kids in my neighborhood.

I slowly learned to disown my roots. Media images of white trash began to repel me. Country singer Porter Wagoner seemed to embody everything I was starting to hate about my white-trash posterity. Why, I'd leap through a hoop of flamin' turnips if Porter wasn't the ugliest human I'd ever seen. Standing there alongside impossible-breasted hillbilly belle Dolly Parton on his mid-seventies syndicated TV show, stiff and stiltlike in his rhinestone red peacock suit, wearing a gilded pompadour on a head thinner than a peanut, Porter Wagoner made me feel ashamed.

The last time my parents dragged me up to Vermont, it was the summer of '78, right before my senior year in high school. Since I had fully ingested the faux-nig blues of the Rolling Stones and the muddied politics of an FM-radio generation, my paternal kinfolks' skeetshooting, pond-paddlin' ways embarrassed me more than ever. For my "What I Did on Summer Vacation" speech in English class that fall, I lampooned the "Goad Clan," painting my Vermont relatives as crude hillbilly wolverines. It drew gales of snot-nosed guffaws from the mostly female class members, young poetic girls who all looked like Ben Franklin.

Class consciousness was becoming somewhat of a full-time obsession for me. I entered college a little too late to enjoy being white, and just in time to be blamed for what dead white people I'd never met had done. It didn't matter if my ancestors had installed plumbing in the pyramids — I was still the oppressor. I fit in with neither the preppy butterbuds nor the henna-haired spider-rockers, opting instead for the unconscious white-trash gesture of retro rockabilly. And no matter how much deodorant I wore, I still gave off eau de garbage blanc. My girlfriend of the time, whose father snagged a quartermil a year drawing blueprints at home, initially told me she thought I was some poseur from the suburbs. She, with her high-acreage home and summer classes in Paris, was indubitably punker than I. She encouraged me to read Ms. magazine and to acknowledge my role in her systematic oppression. At one point while we were shacked up together, she griped that she was tired of living "hand-to-mouth." I didn't know why she was complaining, for I had always lived that way. Then, when she had flown back to Pittsburgh to get more money from daddy, I drove a cab in the snow to earn my half of the rent.

For it wasn't until I started to WORK for a living that I realized being white trash wasn't something to be ashamed of...it was something to get angry about.

I hated my parents as people, but I've come to appreciate their social predicament and how it may have fed their bitterness. Both Mammy and Pappy used to browbeat me with Great Depression horror stories. My father — who loved to read — was forced to quit high school in order to help support his brothers and mother, selling chocolate milk to rock-quarry miners. My mother told of ceaseless weeks sipping thin gruel and wondering if she would starve. Both wore tattered clothes because of other folks' untethered speculative greed. These "other folks," as you might surmise, aren't the kind who are likely to be called "white trash." And then, as the Depression was ebbing, these same other folks sent my father into Germany with a rifle, offering his life to protect military-industrial interests beyond his comprehension.

For as long as I'd been alive, the old man worked eighty-hour weeks — forty wearing a hard hat under the harsh refinery flames of Gulf Oil, and forty as a plumber, allowing rich white families' shit and rust and termite spray to seep into his blistered redneck hands. To help meet the bills, my mother and sister worked as country-club waitresses, scooping up the half-chewed egg-salad sandwiches of wealthy white women. Although a crabby prick, my father was a reasonably bright man, seemingly suited to something better than plumbing or oil-rig work. Part of it, I can't help feeling, is because no one ever expected him to be anything better. As he realized he'd never get any further than shoveling shit or refining oil, he started acting like trash. He became a slave to booze and racetracks and cigarettes and coffee and stomach remedies and short, intermittent blasts of desperate violence.

The bacon-addled old coot died long before my 1987 Las Vegas marriage inside a Tropicana Mobile Park trailer home. The man who tied the knot was the Reverend Walker Goad, whose name we found in the white pages. Suffering the same lack of ancestral perspective as many American whites, I wasn't even sure of the ethnic origin of "Goad" or when the first Goads came to America. Walker, a big bald linebacker of a reverend, amiably explained that the name was British. He said the first Goads in America were convicts shipped over from England to work their jail sentences as indentured servants on plantations In other words, my ancestors were white slaves. After slavery ended, these were the people who became the hill-scrubbers and corn-crackers, the assembly-line insects and truck drivers, over three hundred years of hopeless shit jobs dripping down on my head.

If Walker's statements were true, that would give me an entirely different heritage from wealthy whites. It would mean that my ancestors were niggers in the U.K., and they haven't stopped being niggers here. Is it fair to say I was born with the same chances as Thomas Jefferson? Or even a wellheeled Taiwanese expatriate or a Kuwaiti immigrant? Trash-bashers haven't seriously pondered such questions, arguing fallaciously that the rednecks had their chance and blew it.

About three A.M. every morning, I rip myself from sleep like a fetus aborting itself. Sometimes I have to smack myself in the face to assure I won't nod off again. Another ephedrine tablet, another mugful of shit-thick coffee. My ass squirts blood from all the speed variants I imbibe to stay awake and work. I'm often such a fatigued dishrag, I'll just stare at my notes for hours. But I can't afford to close my eyelids. I'll try to write until around seven, when me and the missus get ready for work. She's a typist in a steel mill. I do pre-press work in a print shop. In the early evening, I try to squeeze a few more written words out of myself before I drop. And then I instinctually awake myself again at three A.M. I'm pulling two full-time shifts, just like the old man did. If I didn't work a day job, I'd starve. And if I didn't write at night, I'd die.

On my way driving to work, I take a shortcut through a well-tended suburban quadrant that reminds me a lot of Springfield. Heavy fortifications. Tall cubist bushes. Lawn sprinklers chugging in arrogant circles White women in white sweatshirts, white shorts, white anklets, and white tennis shoes waiting at the roadside for a bus to whisk their marshmallowy children away to prep school. At work, I'm doubly reminded of class differences among whites. My boss has hired his wife and daughter to answer phones, eat doughnuts, and file their nails while I toil for eight hours without stopping. As my limbs robotically perform their blue-collar mambo, my mind drifts back to all the jobs where I've taken orders from trust-fund ferrets with half my brains and a hundred times my money. Those bloody stints as busboy and french-fry chef and taxi driver and shoestore clerk. The times when I slept in my leaky car and let my teeth rot because I couldn't afford a dentist. The part-time gig at an alternative weekly newspaper where I listened to the limo-libs constantly dumping on white trash, silently enduring their barbs as if they were telling polack jokes and didn't realize I was Polish. So sometimes on my way to work, I fantasize about those rich white women and their children bleeding all over their white clothes.

Because it was always the people in THEIR neighborhood who were the primary trash-bashers. Because poor blacks remind them of their sins, they refrain from nigger-bashing; because poor whites remind them of their successes, they shit on rednecks and laugh. What should I call the nontrashy Caucasians? White Gold? The Valuable People? The true profiteers of white imperialism? These are the same class of folks who create negative media images of white trash, the writers who use "redneck" as an adjective. They disparage white trash much as one insults an embarrassingly drunken relative. And in so doing, they shunt nonwhite resentment away from themselves and toward white trash. It's some sort of guilt projection, almost like a father who rapes his next-door neighbor and then blames his son for the crime. For it isn't the Ivy League multiculturalists who serve as cannon fodder in our wars, it's the niggers and rednecks. It isn't the condo-owning East Village social theorists who die of black lung, it's the West Virginia miners. The incessant media disgust for white trash may be, consciously or not, a mechanism for richer whites to scapegoat poorer ones. It's an easy, effective, divide-and-conquer stratagem. For most of America's history, they worked at getting the rednecks to blame the niggers. For the past thirty years or so, they've encouraged the niggers to blame the rednecks. This is for certain: If the niggers and rednecks ever joined forces, they'd be unbeatable. But the people in their neighborhood don't want it that way.

Copyright ©1997 by Jim Goad

Meet the Author

Jim Goad himself a proud member of The White Trash Nation, was the creator and chief writer for ANSWER Me!, a controversial "zine" that he used to publish in Los Angeles. He does not presently live in a trailer park but is thinking about it. The Redneck Manifesto is his first book.

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The Redneck Manifesto 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ChadScott 11 months ago
A great read. This book should be required reading in every High School and College in America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent history in-between laughs. Literally read it cover to cover in one sitting. A must, must, MUST read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jim Goad is sure to tick off everyone;the limp wristed ,hand wringing Liberal Bleeding-Heart,the stuffy blue-blood,the ever so cautiously polite and socially conscious Poli Sci major.And he skewers everyone equally. I read his book Red Neck Manifesto and at first I was uncomfortable.Because in many ways he was describing me. White,born and raised in a city,not having much money or political influence,from a rowdy,rough and tumble world where people said 'ain't' and didn't give two hoots that it wasn't proper.We always knew that we were considered to be scum by teachers and that they looked down on us. But,being the early 1970's,we were 'white'and (by some odd bit of logic) we were considered to be recieving 'White Priviliges'. Strange enough the folks that were telling us this were whiter,more priviliged,did less work,suffered less,sacrificed nothing,lived in good neighborhoods,sent their kids to great schools,drove Volvos and BMWs and belonged to country clubs and these were the one us that telling benefitted from being part of a ruling class. But getting back to Goad. As he says;he has anger to spare,hate to spare. And while this may turn off the icky-sweet 'touchy feely' Liberal it clicks with the truly pissed off under-class. As Goad reasons,hate is all what the powerless have. The powerful have 'disdain' ,they wrinkle up their little upturned noses and make unpleasant grimmacing gestures . And this book will get those upturned noses wrinkled up quickly.For certain. Goad will most assuredly injure the emotions of the Religious Right. He attacks historic Christianity as only a one-time believer can. He has anger over the fact that he had ever bought into what he considers now to be the absurd and superstitious. And this is where I disagree with Goad. While Christianity may have many elements of supserstition it is one religion which addresses class conflict head on. It does not let the wrong doer (the upper-classes) get off unscathed. Does such a corrective element exist in Buddhism,in Hinduism or in the misnamed 'New Age' movement? Which other group has established hospital,orphanages,clinics to help the poor and the under-class? Sorry Jim (Goad), I think you are throwing the proverbial baby out with the proverbial bath water. As the former President once said ' I feel your pain' but that's only up to a point. So read this book if you think you may be missing a piece in the puzzle of human society. I think you'll fing what you have been missing.And don't be surprized if you find much of yourself in the those pages,the white trash may be hated but they sure have alot of kin.
Guest More than 1 year ago
***I read Jim Goad's book and found it quite interesting, I did not know indentured servitude made whites in some Thirteen Colonies virtually slaves for years during the 17th century and some ran away to the hills. ***Goad's book is timely, the most famous redneck, poor white, and white trash is Elvis Presley and he is everywhere in the media. If in these days any publicity is good publicity then all this news about all kinds of rednecks must mean something. But isn't Elvis a positive redneck, everyone loves him there are tributes to him and impersonators everywhere. ***Goad's book brings up some broad questions in these times. It is the working classes in society who generally carry the rifles and do the fighting, shooting, and killing in wars but they have given up this dirty grunt work. Looking back from World War Two it was a war the upper, middle, and lower classes all cheerfully fought. The Soviets called World War Two the Great Patriotic War and it was, Hitler was evil and had to be destroyed. The Korean War in 1950-3 was soon after and the United States had enough soldiers left over so there was no shortage of troops or will. The Vietnam war in the 1960s however had the first large scale draft dodgers and protesters. The two most famous dodgers being Dan Quayle and Bill Clinton, the middle class and working class if they could gave this war a miss. The working class did the bulk of the fighting though. The next big war was the Gulf War in 1989 against Iraq. If I recall correctly there were few relatives of senior policymakers on the ground in that conflict. The working classes again were assigned the potential dirty work but there were few Allied casualties. Iraqis did most of the dying. It is somewhat suspicious that so many soldiers are complaining of illnesses after it and the president, George Bush, who conducted it was defeated next time the electorate had a chance to judge him. In the 1999 Balkan Bombardment the absence of ground troops was conspicuous. Public opinion was not willing to let any American, Canadian, or British boys or girls die on the ground in Kosovo. It was a war from afar, from the air where expensive high tech jets would do the most damage with the fewest Allied casualties. The Balkans are still a mess, instead of a standard hundred new problems a year there they will get easily one thousand more because of the aerial assault. The Balkans now seems like a worse mess, if that is possible. Could someone explain why a Greater Albania is superior to Yugoslavia as it is or was? Is there peace there yet? ***Canada had no ground troops in the Gulf War so I expect the US in the next war to be peacekeepers perhaps. ***So nowadays men and it is usually men who are called rednecks, poor whites, and white trash and write books about them, we could call it the angry white male syndrome. However these men and many women of course, are being called names and like the saying says, words cannot hurt me, only sticks and stones can. Namecalling is a cheap price to pay when you think about it. The end result is North American men and women do not die any more in far off wars staring down bayonets or turrets. Hitler and Communism were in descending order somewhat comprehensible. ***Fewer deaths are good and wars are bad but there is a price to pay for this handsoff attitude where foreigners die for hard to understand objectives made in Washington DC, London, and Ottawa. Objectives made in these capitals but agreed upon by the masses and even rednecks and their ilk. One price is that the policeman of the world needs real policemen in the flesh if the expression is to mean anything. Nor is peace coming to the world, conflict still rages in a dozen locations. Like Rwanda. Perhaps between India and Pakistan in the future. ***So in this age of globalization there is little contact with the outside world except electronically and economically, which keeps them safely far aw