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Rednecks, White Trash, And Pabst Blue Ribbon

Topics: Lifestyle & Culture | 3 CommentsBy admin | April 22, 2010

Someone ’round here ain’t showin’ their true colors. Or: You can take the beer out of the redneck, but you can’t take the redneck out of the beer.


Don’t be fooled. In spite of the crappy
decor and a mouthful of Pabst Blue
Ribbon, this is not a redneck. Source

Recently, as I disclosed some of the truth about my white trash origins, I lamented that hillbillies and rednecks were always co-opting my heritage. But rednecks probably have it worse these days. You know your legacy is really dying when hipsters in Portland are adopting your beloved Pabst Blue Ribbon as their own . Which is a tragedy, because rednecks – in spite of your probably superficial impressions – have a rich cultural history that runs much deeper than you’d imagine. Just read Donald K. Burleson’s Understanding Redneck Philosophy . No, it’s not a book, it’s a web page. Not many rednecks publish books. Something we’ll get back to in a bit. Burleson paints a picture – one that may be fairly accurate – of rednecks as almost spiritual people, unencumbered by a longing for wealth, living in a day-to-day fashion with seeming detachment from external concepts of time. Of course this is all just another way of saying they’re broke, have no plans, and have at least one car in the yard on cinder blocks that has been getting rebuilt for the last three years, but the fact is, that all does take a certain zen-like detachment to be comfortable with. Which describes part of the essence of what I think being a redneck is really about. It’s about freedom. To shoot things. Mostly beer bottles. On fences. Or to stand next to a bonfire in the yard talking about your dualie long enough that you get a sunburn. Or to even know what a “dualie” is, in which case you probably spell it “dually”. In spite of the long-winded and politically correct definition of redneck that you’ll find on Wikipedia, rednecks are proud to be rednecks. Go ahead and call a redneck a redneck, and they’ll probably raise a beer at you and yell “h-e-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l-l yeaaaaah!” and down the rest of it as a toast to you. And as far as rednecks being southerners? Another profound misconception. I’ve met rednecks as far north as any northern US border in Minnesota or Michigan, and they didn’t seem to be thinning in numbers if you gazed over into Canada. They just start talkin’ kinda funny north of about 40N in latitude. And the Jeff Foxworthy “you know you’re a redneck when…” approach fails miserably too. In my opinion, he’s usually describing hillbillies. Which we’ll get to in the next installment. ’cause I’m a little white trash, and we do everything on installment plans.

If you know what this is called, and you spell it with two “L’s” you might be a redneck:

This seems to be what happens when a redneck writes a book.
So you think “redneck intellectual” is an oxymoron? Think again.
At least check out the reviews.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by » There’s More To Being A Hillbilly Than Marrying Your Sister - Dissociated Press on 04.29.10 10:32 pm

    [...] knew when I embarked on the challenge of defining the difference between rednecks, white trash, and now hillbillies (although we’ve touched on the hillbilly tongue), I had a [...]

  2. Posted by » MoHo:At Last, A Politically Correct Term For “White Trash” - Dissociated Press on 05.17.10 10:04 pm

    [...] our most recent piece on the white American subcultures referred to as Rednecks, Hillbillies and White Trash, we observed the fact that the latter of the three were the only ones [...]

  3. Posted by Best Of 2010 at dissociatedpress.com on 07.18.10 3:40 pm

    [...] why we did an extended series on the “real” white American, exploring things like the zen of being redneck and how there‚Äôs more to being a hillbilly than marrying your sister. We also tried to bring a [...]