20 Questions Tuesday: 237 - The American South

I was sick last week… shivering and chilled under a blanket on the couch watching House of Cards on Netflix.  In my fevered dreams I remember Kevin Spacey’s Georgia accent transitioning from pretty good to Foghorn Leghorn territory.  The rest of the week is a blur of almost being well and weakness.  So this week I am feeling better… not great, but better.

This weekend the wife and I are traveling down to Asheville, North Carolina for her participation in her 3rd marathon.  She is tired of training.  I don’t blame her at all.  She has run a shit-ton in the past year and a half.  So, we are taking our interracial marriage down south again.  It has been years since we have done that.  Trepidation is happening.  Therefore this week’s topic is: “The American South.”

Thanks this week go to Nadolny (who celebrated a birthday yesterday), the wife, lsig, and Maj McArmypants.  On to the questions!

1. Which Southern states don’t really have that southern feel anymore? I would argue that so many folk have moved to Florida from the North that it barely retains it’s southern feel in anything but the most remote areas (then again, remote areas in Ohio seem southern).
Florida is barely southern anymore… however the pan-handle is still deep south.  There are pockets that still retain their southerness and still being more cosmopolitan.  These are primarily the main metro areas.  No one can deny that Atlanta and Nashville are Southern with a capital “S,” but they also are cosmopolitan enough to have more than the singular Southern Culture represented.

2. Which Southern state has changed the least?
My gut sense is Arkansas. The most likely answer is Mississippi, but I think Mississippi is under enough of a microscope that change is inevitable.  Arkansas could be quietly stagnating….  

3. Can we just let Texas secede? Please. We could ask Cuba to take their place. That’s really piss the Texans off.
Sadly, no we cannot let Texas secede, Austin is too valuable.

4. Don’t we have an Ashville in Ohio? Do you really need to drive all the way to run there? It seems like one Ashville in the world would be enough.Who names their town Ashville?  A town full of ash? That sounds ludicrous.
The Ohio Ashville does not have an “e.”  We are traveling for the “e.” Asheville was named after Sam Ashe who is one of the founders.  North Carolina should eb happy that Asheville was not founded by Robert Gofuckyourself.

5. What’s your favorite Southern delicacy?
Ummm… that is easy.  B-B-Mother Lovin-Q….

6.  Why you no sound southern?
I worked actively and fervently to not have a southern accent because the Alabama accent I would have gotten is not pleasant to hear.

7. A: What southern attitudes did you leave behind? B: Which ones do you still carry with you?
A: The fatalism.  There are people in the South who subscribe very strongly in the idea of “Fate” or as the call it “God’s Will” and will not take actions themselves to change their lot in life.
B: Some of the manners and politeness… I don’t use it much, but I do have it at the ready.

8. Best job offer in the world…do you move back to Birmingham?
Any place in the south you would be willing to live?
Hell. Frickin. No.  There is no job in the world that I would be willing to take in Birmingham.

9.  Difference between The South and the Deep South?
Atlanta is the South.  Nashville is the South.  There is some southern heritage and tradition associated with the cities while acknowledging (somewhat) the fact that the Southern underpinnings was built on the backs of an enslaved people.  The South celebrates slowing down, politeness, and its food.  The Deep South are the places that are 15 minutes or more away from major cities where time moves backwards and the stereotypes and tropes live.

10.  Southern fried chicken…?  Is there a northern fried chicken?
Northern fried chicken is just “fried chicken, and “Southern Fried Chicken” I think involves buttermilk.

11.  What do you consider “the South” geographically? Culturally?
Hmmm… I consider the geographic boundary and the cultural south to be one and the same.  South of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, West Virginia and East of New Mexico.

12.  What benefit have you gained from being raised in the South?
The perspective of someone who has moved away.  It is a weird thing to have gained, because you can only gain it by leaving.

13.  What do you consider the main attribute that the South contributes or exemplifies within the overall American character?
Exaggerated and false politeness

14.  How long of a drive is it for you to Asheville?
It looks like about 7.5 hours.

15.  How much Southern marathon booty is the Wife going to kick?
Tons.  The runners there are already complaining that the temp is going to be too low…  My wife trains in 13 degree weather with a wind chill of 6.  (-10.5 temp with -13.3 wind chill for my Celsius folks out there).  

16. Considering your “American South” background do you really think of North Carolina as part of the south?  I mean the state has North in its name?  (and Asheville has more street performers than Paris….PARIS!!!)
It is a weird thing to have North in the name and be part of the South. I will grant you that.  It should be South Carolina and Souther Carolina. Street performers are nothing more than vagrants with skills, so a place in the south with beggars?  Not surprising.  That fact that they can soft shoe? Surprising.

17.  So according Health and Human Services (confirmed by my last trip home) the South leads the way in Obesity.  Finally we are number one in something!!!  Your thoughts?
Southern Fried chicken is a weight maker.  Deep fry it!

18. Overweight Alabama State Employees are charged extra to recoup Health insurance costs.  Good on them or totally unfair?
Good on them, but there should also be some incentive and assistance with exercise programs.

Personally, having been to several Alabama DMVs, I don’t think it is worth it.  Adding in a whole system to track that one skinny guy’s paycheck.  He just got there for goodness sake.  Give him about 2 years.
Meth… the skinny guy is on meth.

19.  I find that most fake southern accents on TV/movies are just painful. Why is that?
Because you are from the south.  If you were from Boston, you would find TV’s Boston accents to be deplorable.

Do you think it is because Southern accents ARE just painful and I did not notice growing up down there or that actors fail to grasp that you can’t try too hard?  Enunciation being the devil and all.
Not all Southern accents are painful… the ugly Southern accents are super ugly though…. and I think you meant “Enunciation being the debil and all.”

20.  Heat or the Humidity?

To recap:
Finally getting over my cold
So much stuff coming out of my nose
Hoping it does not turn to an infection
Wish the Wife luck this weekend
She is running the inaugural Asheville Marathon
1/3rd on road, 2/3rd’s on trail on the Biltmore Estate
Should be awesome
She is concerned about not doing well
I am not concerned about that at all
She is kicking more ass than I ever have
Some of my podcasts are boring me now
Time for a refresh
Have a great weekend everyone