In between "Hick" and "City Slicker" there is a middle ground of people who don't really have a fun stereotype to be part of.
They're too well read to really fit into rural life.
They have too much common sense to fit into city life.
We're an in between breed that straddles both worlds, taking bits of each along the way.
-Have you ever drank expensive red wine out of a cheap Solo cup?
-Can you quote Shakespeare and John Wayne equally?
-Are two big expenses in your life "Books" and "Bait?"
-Are you always moving a friend every weekend in the "Big City" because you're "the guy with the truck?"
-Are you the one at the Diner always asked about "that thing on the news" because you're the one who "follows that stuff?"
-Does the premise of Duck Dynasty (a college educated family voluntarily living in the "sticks") make perfect sense to you?
-Do dogs smaller than a cat serve any useful purpose beyond gator bait?
If you're still reading this you're probably screwed.
You are most likely a "Readneck."
You're one of us.
You'll never be "cool" but you will be "family" if you hang around long enough.
Y'all come on in and take a load off.
It's taken me quite a while to figure that out. Maybe at some point I'll have a witty answer for you. Probably not.
Wherever I go outside of my home town, I seem to have acquired the nickname "Jimbo." It is much cooler than "James" but I admit it's puzzled me a bit. I get "Jimmy" or "J.R." or other variations. They're common nicknames.
"Jimbo" however always seemed to have more meaning to it. It was always people living in "the city" who used it. Often it morphed into "Jim Bob."
I wasn't offended by this odd bit of name changing. In fact, I knew a few "Jim Bobs" growing up. I just found it weird because that wasn't my name.
Eventually you figure out you're "that guy." You're known for something. Either you're the guy with all the tattoos or you're the girl who likes black guys.
I was the country boy living in the city with a pickup truck. Again, not a bad thing. In fact it was kind of fun.
Back home I'd always been the "smart kid" who read books. I fished, I hunted and I played football in the yard. However, it was never really "country" enough for some people.
When I moved to a city, it was the opposite. I found out that people were struck speechless if you told them your Dad owned a Tackle Shop. It was like Clark Kent suddenly blurting out "I'm from a Planet called Krypton. Maybe you've heard of it?" No clue how to react.
The guys driving Porsches to class would get mad because girls stopped to stare at my rusty old pick up truck. I was still too shy to get laid much, but it was a different experience from back home. After all, there were plenty of guys with sports cars but only one guy in a beat up Chevy!
I also found out that calling a place "the city" is a really fun way to start a fight with "city folk." You see they ALL think that THEIR particular neighborhood is "The City." Apparently "Bronx" and "Brooklyn" are not synonymous after all.
It was a lot like when I was living in England for a summer. Those who say only Americans are ignorant haven't really traveled much. Ignorance is global. I was "The American" or "That Yank." It was just a way to stereotype people.
Oddly enough, the landlord often grouped me with a French Canadian woman who lived next door. She wasn't too happy about also being called an "American." You would think if anything he'd have called her French by the accent, but either way there are few things more amusing that insulting drunk French-Canadians. They can become quite passionate.
I can only imagine what would have happened if they'd sent a Texan on that exchange program.
(On a side note, I've often wondered if Brits really call us "Yanks" because it's short for "Yankees" or they just want to use a word that means the same thing as 'Jerk.' Don't let them fool you. They're still a bit sore about that whole "Revolution" thing back in 1776.)
Anyway, my point is that you get perspective from being the "outsider" in most situations. You become that bridge between different cultures. You facilitate that dialogue between groups of people that would not otherwise think they have much in common.
Now that I've been to Europe, the Middle East and South America I can honestly say that people aren't that different deep down. We have a lot in common. We all want to go to work, raise a family, make a difference in the world, and be happy.
I began writing back home on my first deployment to Iraq. I was encouraged to give local folks a personal perspective on what was "really happening there" and what I saw. It was an eye opener for me as a young enlisted soldier. From the responses I got, it resonated with a public eager to know more back home.
When I got back, I was asked again by the Editor of the local "Sun & Record" Newspaper to write a weekly column. People liked to hear a unique perspective on things they had only seen on TV.
I was hooked. I loved taking complicated issues, doing some research on them, and breaking them down for the "Average Joe" (or Jane) to understand. As they say "Teachers learn as much if not more than pupils do" and it's been true for me in the 10 years I've been doing it. There's nothing better than getting responses from readers...even if a few of them are quite insulting and threatening...
I call this place the "Readneck Review" because that's what it is. It's a place for those willing to step outside their comfort zones to hear a unique perspective on mostly news and current events. Sometimes new movies. Sometimes weird crap I've seen out there.
it's a chance for me to try to inform people on what's going on in the world in a format they can access and without much of the spin and sensationalism that the bigger media outlets try to push for whatever reason.
It's a chance to teach.
It's a chance to learn.
It's a chance to have fun.
And ramble on like a drunk, insulted French-Canadian.
If you like it, COMMENT.
If you don't, COMMENT.
If you don't give a crap, then go do something else.
It's a free country.
Do what you want.
Be a Rebel.
Like this guy:
The Readneck Review