The term "redneck" is generally used to describe a white person from a specific geographical area (the Appalachians, the American South, the Ozarks) who lacks a certain sophistication and seems to be unaware of it.
However, rednecks know exactly who they are and are beyond the superficial need to be socially accepted.
To outsiders, redneck is a pejorative term used to slander "poor white trash." But to rednecks, most of whom have never even heard of the word "pejorative" in the first place, being a redneck is an honorable way of life.
In other words, you might be a redneck if you're proud to be a redneck.
Rednecks descended from those of Celtic origin (Scots Irish, Scottish, Welsh and others), as opposed to Anglo-Saxon. These were known as Ulster-Scots and Lowland Scots. They immigrated from Scotland and Northern Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries and originally settled in the Carolinas and Virginia.
These Celtics were mistrustful of authority, loyal to their kin and were warlike herdsmen as opposed to the peaceful farmers who settled in New England. They found themselves unwelcome by the "civilized" coastal communities and eventually migrated farther inland to settle in the Appalachian Mountains. They were often called rednecks by the English settlers who described them as "fiercely independent and frequently belligerent."
Well guess what – rednecks are still fiercely independent and frequently belligerent. And damn proud of it.
True rednecks are far advanced from conventional society. They have inner peace. They don't care what others think about them. Plus, they have inner peace because they have guns in every room in the house.
Rednecks understand the stupidity of people who spend years in college just to get a job. Then these college-educated fools, who can't even change the oil in their own car, work 50 weeks a year for some dreary corporation, just so they can buy a fancy car and spend two weeks drinking fancy drinks on a distant beach.
Rednecks spend two weeks running a fireworks stand and the rest of the year drinking beer next to the kiddie pool in their own backyard. Rednecks don't need to impress people; they'd rather be independent and happy.
A redneck lives one day at a time. His favorite sport is cars driving in a circle (NASCAR), his favorite food is whatever he shoots, his favorite shirt is his cleanest dirty shirt and his front yard has at least three dead cars.
Kinfolk are important to rednecks. You might be a redneck if you to go a family wedding to meet women.
The annual Redneck Games are held each year in Dublin, Ga. Events include bobbing for pig's feet, hubcap hurling, dumpster diving, seed spitting, bug zapping by spitball, mud pit belly-flop and an armpit serenade.
Believe it or not, these are some of the recent popular songs that have been playing in Redneck country:
1) If You Don't Leave Me Alone, I'll Go and Find Someone Else Who Will
2) Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye
3) I Don't Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling
4) My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I sure Do Miss Him
5) I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You
6) I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life
7) Her Teeth Were Stained, but Her Heart Was Pure
8) You're the Reason Our Kids are so Ugly
9) She Got the Mine and I Got the Shaft
10) I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me than a Frontal Lobotomy
You might be a redneck if you know the words to some of these tunes.
Being a redneck includes not caring what others think of you, living one day at a time, protecting your kin, remaining fiercely independent, frequently becoming belligerent and decorating your front yard with dead cars.
After spending much of my life in big cities, I have found peace in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas, in the heart of Redneck Country. I seem to be all of the above, but lacking dead cars in the yard -- I guess that makes me a poor redneck.
Quote for the Day -- “If you think professional wrestling is foreplay, you might be a redneck.” Jeff Foxworthy
Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where dead cars are status symbols. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111