Just enjoying a Redneck moment is a thing that appears to be a more regular occurrence these days; maybe its something to do with the time I’ve spent in Oklahoma in recent years? I’ve obviously titled this post Rednecks V Chavs for a reason but let me try to explain more…
It’s funny but I was always one of those British people who never really had a lot of interest in America, the Country as a whole, or the people who actually live there. Like many others, I suppose much of that disdain was as a result of a mental picture, one which was probably often generated by the media. That and personal experience of American tourists visiting this Country in the late 1970’s.
Up until relatively recently in my life, the only Americans I’d met personally were loud mouthed, wore loud trousers and were big-headed and egotistical. The kind that believed, everything outside the USA had little actual worth but was, “kinda cute”. The only others I had knowledge of were (Rock) musicians, or some actor portraying a cowboy, cop or Green Beret; and we all know the Americans won the war… They said so!
Why therefore would I ever want to visit The Land of The Free or even, try to gain some personal experience of The American Dream? After all, I grew up in an era where female elders amongst family and friends, still relayed the old (stereotypical) war-time adage about Americans… “Yanks? Over paid, over sexed & Over Here!”
Previously I’ve done the Florida thing, I’ve been to New York and I’ve played golf in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. Florida was barely bearable and a bit but too intense, NY was a short but relatively expensive shopping trip and NC for the golf, well that was a once in a lifetime golfing experience that I just had to do. Don’t get me wrong, the golf trip was great, the courses were fantastic but really showed up my lack of golf skills… A love of golf is one area of the American psyche that I can actually live with and yes, in general their courses are usually bigger, better, longer and, a lot bloody harder than ours!
In a thread entitled Southern US states similarities to the Third World on the Irish based US Politics web forum one member said…
Isn’t it funny that the prosperous, successful, socially stable states are those where “liberal/progressives” are more numerous, and that it is the God-fearing, conservative red-neck states where incomes are lower, social services are poorer and abortion and divorce are more common?
Take from that comment what you will and, it probably won’t be the same as me however; it highlights the fact; the USA is actually a Nation of many countries in many respects. Visiting north, south, east or west, you can easily feel as if you are in a totally different nation. Hardly surprising I suppose, given the size of the particular nation to which I refer. Although we have a perceived north/south social and economic divide in the UK, the American divide is even more pronounced and transcends all four points of the compass.
So you could be forgiven for thinking I don’t like America… How wrong you are and, probably thanks to Oklahoma and the people I have met there, I simply can’t get enough of it. 🙂
I’ve buried the stereotypical images of Americans I don’t like, never to be endured again and I’m hardly ever likely to purchase an airline ticket to any East or West Coast destination, save for connecting flights to OK. I just love the genuine friendly, family orientated nature of the Okie people. I admire their work ethic, they don’t sit and moan about how crap their life is or expect welfare handouts. Yes they drink (or some of them do), despite OK being one of the last dry states of the union however, they don’t get totally shit faced and cause trouble. They just have a good time, get a bit drunk and then go home!
I can totally understand the attraction of many a redneck women; they work hard, play hard, love their families and their man (both the one at home AND the higher one) and have absolutely no airs and graces or pretentiousness. What you see is what you get… Pleasant, simple, honest fun people to be with.
My wife must have cottoned on to my adoration of the species as she gets to be more redneck day by day! It’s not that she needed to change in any way and, she isn’t jealous in any way or has any reason to be. I think it’s simply she also admires many of the Okie female traits, ones which put a lot of our daily life issues into perspective. In addition, an OK lifestyle would be a darn site cheaper than a UK one!
Life aint like a bowl of cherries, there’s too little laughter and too much sorrow. It’s more like a jar of jalapenos, cause what you do and say today, It don’t go away and stay It‘ll just come back and burn your ass tomorrow! (Bellamy Brothers)
How about that for a maxim and ethos for life?
The term Redneck was originally a derogatory description (like ‘Chav’ in the UK) for the poorer farming inhabitants of the Southern agricultural farming belt states of the USA. Today the term is used just as often in a complementary manner as it is used for insulting someone. Also, Oklahoma isn’t usually officially classified as a ‘Southern State’ per se but it does posses a lot of the relevant criteria and the term Redneck is in common use.
Obviously there will be some people in Oklahoma that don’t fit this description however, I wouldn’t want to meet any of them, it would only shatter my vision of some great people.
Which would I sooner have, Rednecks or Chavs? No freekin contest bro! 🙂