Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ties that Blind

Recently, a friend unloaded a nice tie on me. The original person of intent parted ways before receiving his gift, so she decided I'd be a good recipient since I was in the 'hood. The most bizarre part was that it shocked her how easily I could tie the thing properly. No mirror, no second try. Her reaction indicated that she was surprised I even knew what it was.

When people, not acquainted with the south, hear that you moved from Tennessee, they often conclude that you:
must be illiterate, are unfamiliar with hot and cold running water, are astounded by "cement ponds", are way too fond of your sister, if you have one, are inbred, and are generally not so refined as the city folk of the northeast and pacific states. Certainly, a guy from the South would never know how to wear and tie a tie. It was a nice tie, but that reaction offended and worried me at the same time.

Perhaps I give the impression of being a very narrow and unworldly handiman. If one were to conduct a thorough canvassing of the country, my bet is that the results would show densely populated cities outside the South would yield more instances of illiteracy, more cases of incest, more bigotry and narrow mindedness, more violence and crime, and more outright stupidity. Not to say elsewhere is peopled by congenial geniuses, just saying.

Regardless of the state of a place outside the South, if they get a hint of your southern history, often that stigma is tagged on you regardless. I don't get it except there have been some visible creatures in the past who did make the place look pretty bad. Then there is the entertainment industry. Even though a great many of the the best writers and performers are from the south, the entertainment crowd pushes the stereotype. These things catch me by surprise.

I'm actually from Miami. That's hardly the cultural south. I did spend a long time in NC, so it may have rubbed off some. Parts of NC where I lived were definitely more civilized and sane than Miami. There were times I used the southern thing to my advantage; cases in which I wanted them to think I was just a dumb guy from the south. I managed to play it to my benefit one time when selling hard core, mobster/union boss types some equipment for their new building near DC. Now there's a stereotype. New Jersey union thugs. I would not want to be anywhere around the kind of neck tie they might offer.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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