I woke up thinking about something that really bothered me the other night. I was flipping channels and came across Bill Maher’s show on HBO. I caught it just as he was doing his wrap-up/commentary. What followed was essentially a broad-side attack on Southerners. Through the years I’ve really liked Bill Maher, but when I came across an interview he was doing on some network show later, I turned the channel. His broadcast affected me. I think perhaps it was how demeaning he was in his monologue.
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has a powerful argument in his bid to be the Democratic nominee when he says, “What I give people is a candidate who can win everywhere in America.”
Translation: “We Southerners ain’t gonna vote for no Yankee! You suckers up North will take our Clintons and Carters, but we just ain’t buyin’ Kerrys and Deans.”
And that’s a shame. Not just for Democrats but for democracy itself. And I feel bad for the millions of intelligent people who live in a region still dominated by so much prejudice that anyone who wants to be president better have a twang in his voice and pronounce all four E’s in the word “shit.”
Oh, good. There’s no prejudice in that statement, is there? Boy, I really wish I wasn’t from the South, and I could stop being so crippled by the prejudice that so dominates my region. I wish I could be more like Bill Maher, and not let my opinions of other people be formed by decades of stereotype and propaganda instead of being based on fact and experience.
There was more. I suspect that a lot of what pissed me off was how his audience and his guests were reacting to his monologue. You would have thought that Richard Pryor was doing one of his best routines. People were hanging on to their chairs. It was obvious to me that the reason it was so funny was not that what Bill Maher was saying was so hilarious, but that he was voicing what everyone in the room thought of Southerners. They were laughing because they agreed with him.
I’m sorry, this really pisses me off. Anyone who has visited this web site for any length of time will know how deeply I resent the constant Southerner bashing that gets a free pass in the United State’s politically-correct culture. I’m sick and tired of hearing people who might have driven through the South once when they were kids explaining to someone like me, who has lived in the South his entire life, how fucked up and prejudiced Southern culture is. I’ve lived next door to a black woman for years, and to my knowledge no crosses have ever been burned in her yard. I’ve never heard anyone in this neighborhood refer to her as “nigger” (in fact, I’ve never heard anyone in this neighborhood use the word). But then some little fucker from California who lives in a neighborhood with a bunch of other white rich people can point his finger at me, simply because I’m Southern, and fucking judge me?
I suppose this bothers me more than it probably should because even as far left as Bill Maher is, I’ve always largely agreed with him and thought he made well-thought-out observations. His broadside to me is no different than if I was black and was stunned one night to hear him, someone I respected, stand before a camera on television and bitch about how I, as a black person, had the irritating habit of supporting black candidates and talking funny.
I suppose what unnerved me the most (and set me off today) was when I started searching on the Internet for a transcription of Bill Maher’s words, and instead came across masses of posts on forums and web sites of people saying “Yeah, Bill! You tell them ignorant hicks a thing or two!” Geez. I’m sick of hearing people like Bill Maher telling Southerners to get over the Civil War. Thus far I hadn’t considered the Civil War an issue in the Democratic primaries. Thanks to an ignorant little fuck like Bill Maher (and all of you who agreed with his monologue), I’m now very much aware that I’m a Southerner in a country where that automatically means that I’m uneducated, ignorant, racist and generally unaware of how the rest of the country has moved on since General Lee surrendered in the Civil War.
There’s not much more I can say about the subject. All I know to say is that I’ve largely turned my back on Dennis Miller because he’s so firmly joined the Right-Wing assholes who are trying to turn the United States into a theocracy. I’m not entirely sure yet, but I think I’ve just turned my back on Bill Maher for showing me what a Left-Wing asshole he really is; though I should probably just say that he’s a prejudiced anti-Southern asshole. Yes, I’m well-aware that there really is nothing like a “left-wing” as there is “Right-wing”. I know it’s shocking to some of you that I know the difference (being Southern and all). Believe it or not I’ve taken enough time out of beating my wife, saluting the American flag and burning crosses in my neighbor’s yard to learn a thing or two.
Right now I just wish that the Right and the Left would go fuck themselves and leave the rest of us, the bulk of the American citizenry, those people who both sides dismissively refer to as “moderate”, just leave rest of us the hell alone!
You know, I had planned to vote for Howard Dean if he were to receive the Democratic nomination. No, my friend, I do not like John Kerry. But I don’t give a fuck where he’s from anymore than I care where Dean is from. Their origins hadn’t occurred to me, and it certainly hadn’t figured in. I hadn’t thought it was an issue in regard to the upcoming Presidential elections. I assumed that this was all about who could best do the job, and perhaps about who might have the best chance of getting Bush II the hell out of the White House. No, I don’t like John Kerry, and there’s not one of you who will ever change my mind on that, in spite of the fact that you’re so fucking enlightened and I’m trapped in the darkness of my Southern ignorance. But let me ask you this. Does the reason John Edwards hasn’t done so well thus far in the Democratic primaries have more to do with his relative lack of experience (I might remind you that Bush’s only political experience was being Texas governor), or is it because you, our enlightened neighbors in the Northeast can’t get past his fucking accent?
I suppose I should take this opportunity to tell everyone who may be reading this rant with a bemused smile on your face that you can just go fuck yourself, too. As I’ve said over and over through the years, you’d better get your own prejudices in check before you come and attack me about whatever you believe mine are. Educated yourself, you self-righteous fuck! And while I’m thinking of it, fuck you, Bill Maher.
By God, fuck everybody.