Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What the hell...

You might be saying to yourself, "Self, what the hell is a redneck with a library card?"  Rednecks don't read. Everybody knows that.  "Redneck" and "library card" don't go together.  That's an oxymoron. "Redneck" and "library card" that's like "corporate" and "ethics."  In redneck vernacular you might say,"That don't make no sense."

My definition of redneck might be different from your definition of redneck.  Most people think a redneck is an ignorant, unwashed, NASCAR watching, gun toting, snake handling, pick up truck driving, churlish inbred cracker.  I will admit, these characteristics often come with the territory.  There are redneck PhD's, writers, poets, doctors, lawyers, computer programmers and all manner of so-called professional knowledge worker. To me, a redneck is someone who comes from that stock of people known in Europe as "peasants," grew up in "fly over country" and had/have very little money to spare.  Low income and low born from the hinterlands in possession of a library card.  That's me.

My recent ancestors came from the hills of West Virginia, the mountains of North Carolina and the rolling hills of central and southern Ohio.  They were small farmers, worked in hard labor jobs of one sort or another and didn't make much money.  My folks weren't poor but we weren't well off either.   They did start doing better in the 90's than in the 70's and 80's.  They've had to work in some crummy jobs to manage it.  They made the best of what they had and gave me and my sister everything they could. Thanks Mom and Dad.   For that other characteristic of a redneck; I grew up in rural north west Ohio.  That is about as redneck as it gets.

I was lucky enough to have parents and wanted me to have a chance to avoid the sort of work they've had to make do with over the years.  They encouraged me to get some education.   That means reading.  My mom took us to the library a lot as kids.  Our teeny tiny local library was my favorite place in the world as a child.  It was half the size of most branch libraries in any city you'd care to name but it was ours and I was in it every chance I got.  My mom read to us daily before I could read  and I was desperate to learn as soon as I could.  There hasn't been a time in my life since I learned to read that I didn't have a book close at hand.

This blog is mainly an indulgence for an appetite I possess.  Like most men, I desire to express my opinions about stuff.  Most of the time, people couldn't give a fuck about anyone's opinion but their own.  I'm the same way.  So, rather than going around inflicting my opinion on anyone who happens to be in earshot (cause that would be rude and I was raised right) I'm going to write it down on this blog.  Yes, it is self indulgent.  Yes it might be a big fuckin' waste of time.  If nothing else, it will be a good writing exercise.  I hope to get something out of it.  What that might be, I don't know.  If you get something out of it too then that'll be just fine with me.