Saturday, March 31, 2012

No Sensayuma Except Ridicule

Andy Hall is tickled that heritage folks would get upset with the image of RuPaul in a Confederate flag dress without knowing who RuPaul is. Apparently Andy knew who he was, and found nothing offensive about his disrespect of the flag and the soldiers it represents.  Of course not. He glories in spouting the same disrespect. That's the underlying purpose of his blog.

It doesn't surprise me that a proConfederate commenter at Crossroads had to do an Internet search to learn who RuPaul is. For some reason, for Andy, that negates any legitimate claim to disapproval of the image showcased at the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox. The display was removed before the museum's opening.

Ah, no, Mr. Hall. The person wearing the dress could be an anonymous stock-photo model -- heck, it could be a plaster department store mannequin -- and the purpose of the dress, the wearing of it, the photo, and the showcasing at the museum, would all come through, loud and clear. That the model happens to be a degenerate public figure contributing to the decline of the morals of the country just adds insult to injury. 

One of Andy's visitors, a Pat Young, notes, "How exactly is Ru Paul any more outrageous than some of the Confedecrap that I’ve seen Southrons attach the battle flag to over the years? I’ve seen bikinis, bras, etc. with the flag. Is it just the LGBT angle they find so disturbing, or is it Ru’s race?"

Hmmmm.... I wonder how Young knows that everyone doing said attaching were Southrons....  and I wonder if Young completely missed the fact that the bikinis, bras, etc., aren't on a billboard created especially as a display for the opening of the Museum of the Confederacy....

In any case, Andy's posts in a comment thread at Crossroads make the same point -- little kids wouldn't know who RuPaul is. Therefore, showcasing the image at the museum wouldn't have an effect on them unless their parents make a big deal out of it.

Never mind that they'll probably asked if they don't know, and never mind that their questions will have to be answered and explained honestly -- unless Andy approves of lying to children. Or perhaps he thinks all kids are like his kids, who evidently pay no attention to anything unless their parents make a big deal out of it.

In fact, kids who would have asked, and were told the truth, would have come away from the display with the notion -- which Waite Rawls no doubt intended for them to have -- that it's okay to associate the Confederate flag with sexual degeneracy rather than with soldiers who fought valiantly and died horribly to protect their homes, families and communities from a brutal military invasion force.

To the heritage advocate who posted at Crossroads, Andy asks, "So now, having said that, do you repudiate the suggestion — even as a “joke” — that the director of the MoC should be lynched? (That’s a yes or no question, BTW.)"

I'll be glad to answer it, but first, Andy, why did you put the word joke in irony-quotes? Do you sincerely think the person who suggested it wasn't joking? That, rather than being a frivolous comment made in very poor taste, it was meant as an actual threat? If it had been an actual threat, yes, it would require actual repudiation. Since it wasn't, would it somehow satisfy you if somebody had said, "That's a frivolous comment in real poor taste."

As it is, it is no more a threat than the picante sauce commercial where the reaction of the cowboy to sauce made in ... "New York City !" "Git a rope." Did you think that commercial should be repudiated, Mr. Hall? 

My response to Andy's comment at Crossroads, which will probably never see the light of day:
Stupid parents, wanting to protect their children from such images. Where have they been? This is the Age of Multicultural Enlightenment --all viewpoints are equally respectable, huh, Mr. Hall? Cross-dressing transvestites are promoting just another acceptable  -- even laudable -- lifestyle. Nothing insulting toward the flag or those who honor the men who fought under it intended by that paragon of virtue, Ru Paul, huh?

But apparently not everyone views it that way, and seeing a humongous picture like that in a museum *might* cause children to ask about it --ya think? -- and then it will have to be explained to them.

What is "Ru Paul's Drag Race"?  It may not be regular viewing in your house, but you knew what it is.  I never heard of it until I read your comment.

As to the "references" to lynching you linked to (all both of them) what's interesting to me is your "concern" over rhetoric nobody takes seriously -- even you, which you acknowledge with your use of the term "casual." I also note there are 21 responses to the post at SHPG, that you linked to, most of them outraged at the museum's blatant disrespect, but only one out of the 21 references lynching -- but you ignore the 20 others to zero in on that one for mention. Moreover, SHPG is an open group on Facebook, but the other reference you linked to is in a forum almost nobody knows about or sees but its own members -- and civil-war thought police such as yourself.

Basically, you're doing exactly what I said -- lumping.  Searching for and then showcasing the most negative thing you can find -- which nobody takes seriously -- and attempting to smear an entire movement with it --all because some of the people in said movement don't see everything exactly like you think they should. Where on earth did people get the idiotic idea that they are entitled to their own opinions? Crazy, huh? Everybody ought to know by now that they should conform their education, beliefs, viewpoints, thoughts and feelings to the Levin/Hall/Simpson Civil War Thought Police...huh, Andy.

Apparently all viewpoints *aren't* equally respectable, after all.

Reply blast from the Perfesser in... 3...2...1

Talk about right on cue... LOL, you really CAN'T post about me without lying, can you?   There's no outrage at my blog post above. Satire? Yeah. Sarcasm? No doubt. But outrage? LOL.

So now it's "extremist" to disapprove of the deliberate act of Waite Rawls to use an image of a degenerate transvestite in a Confederate flag dress to denigrate Confederate soldiers in a place that is supposed to commemorate the Confederacy.

One wonders what Rawls would have to do before you'd be outraged, or even moved to faint disapproval.  In fact, there's probably no insult bad enough to earn your outrage, is there, Perfesser?  Your hatred of the Confederacy, and of contemporary heritage advocates, would no doubt delight in the insults; and the worse they were, the happier they'd  make you.

Ya know, Perfesser, maybe you need to stop haranguing the "blissful ignorance" of the Flaggers for criticizing the museum without visiting it, or the Crawfish for the same thing, until you stop criticizing my books without having read them. Otherwise, it makes you look like a colossal hypocrite. Oh, wait.  You are a colossal hyp--  Never mind.

If being blasted is all the evidence necessary that one is doing something right -- I'm doing way more right than you are. You get return-blasted by me not for doing something right, but for blasting lies about me and heritage advocates. If you want them to stop, all you gotta do is quit initiating them....

BTW, the video you tried and failed to link to is thoroughly dull-witted and totally devoid of any creativity.  No wonder you were attracted to it.  Here's the proper link:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Can Brooks Simpson Post About Me ... WITHOUT Lyin'?

Two posts full of idiocy and lies at Crossroads. What are we to make of the interest a professor of history at a major state university takes in a private citizen, a little ol' gray-haired blogger from  Dixie?

His most recent posts are so full of lies, it's breathtaking.  I wonder what the parents of his students would think if they knew their sons and daughters are being indoctrinated by such a bearer of false witness.

As an aside, I also note that he apparently doesn't have an original thought in his head, and if he didn't have moi to inspire him, his blog would be a rehash of Levin and Hall posts and old YouTube videos.

From News and Notes: March 27, 2012

Lie 001: "Here’s a protest against lumping people together offered by a person who lumps people together."
My post about lumping people together was clearly about folks who LIE about people in order to lump them together. I don't do that. Perfesser Simpson does. 
Lie 002: "Ironically, the author’s also been lumped with me by Hunter Wallace, but she’s too skeered of confronting him. Indeed, she has yet to challenge any of his posts about southern and Confederate history as history."
I challenged Hunter Wallace on a very long thread, over 400 posts, at the League of the South Facebook group. The thread was taken down, but the perfesser knew about -- blogged about it, even -- proving that his "yet to challenge" BS is yet another deliberate lie.

Besides, what does he care who I challenge and don't challenge? Why is it any of his business? There are white supremacists all over the freakin' internet I don't "challenge". What's it to Simpson?  Because the perfesser himself has a fixation with Hunter Wallace? Because he cozies up to Hunter, linking to his abominable blog, letting  him freely post on Crossroads comment threads? Because he does that, I should, too?  Sorry, no. 
Lie 003: "This may be because she doesn’t know any history: she admits she doesn’t care about it.  That’s exactly the sort of thing you want to hear from someone who wants to restore southern pride and protect southern heritage: a confession of complete ignorance about what actually happened."
Never admitted I don't care about history. He couldn't link to such an admission if he were offered a million dollar or threatened with a season in a Siberian gulag because... said admission doesn't exist, never has, was never made. That's why he doesn't link to it.  He links to all sorts of things, but he's made this claim with no link -- because he can't. It doesn't exist.
Lie 004: It’s fascinating (and entertaining) to watch one Confederate heritage advocate press the claim that slaves were citizens on Kevin Levin’s blog.  As I’ve told you before, it’s heritage, not history. 
It's even more fascinating to watch Perfesser Simpson ignore said Confederate heritage advocate's explanation of his use of that term -- in order to lie about him. You'll note the perfesser again includes no link, because he doesn't want his readers to see the truth. He'd rather they believe his lies. 
Idiocy 001: Thanks for another stunning display of ignorance.  As someone once said, “I do know people should really know a little more about the reality of things before they spout off, because their spouting off has the potential for making them look real, real stupid.”  Now if she’d only practice what she preaches …
There's no display of ignorance from me or any Southern heritage advocate that comes close to the breathtaking displays the sheer, hate-filled untruths from the perfesser.
Idiocy 002: And from that group … “The Jews already run just about everything. When you run the financial behemoth and the media, you don’t need much else.”  Love Connie’s public!  Waiting for someone to observe that Judah Benjamin was Jewish.
Wait a minute. Perfesser, do you think that acknowledging that Judah Benjamin was Jewish somehow disproves that Jews disproportionately own, work in and influence the media and the financial establishment in this country?  Do you imagine that one even has anything to do with the other? What kind of cockamamie logic is that?  You wanna provide some substantiation that Jews today don't disproportionately own, work in and influence the media and the financial establishment in this country?
Idiocy 003: Want an idea where some Flaggers come from?  Try this.  Methinks they forgot who won.
Typical Simpson irrelevancy. They know who won -- and they know an attempt to evilize their ancestors when they see it, made by people far less honorable than those ancestors. 
Lie 004 and Idiocy 004 combined: Then again, perhaps the Museum of the Confederacy went a little too far in the eyes of some.  So, is this bad …… but this is okay?
Perfect, stunning, stark example of lying to lump!  Let's look at the differences the perfesser refuses to see in order to lump Ru Paul and Jacqueline Duty and make them "the same":
(1) Ru Paul is a public figure engaging in activites designed to degrade morals and decency in our culture and his "flag dress" was designed to insult.
(2) Jacqueline Duty was a private citizen who wanted to wear her Confederate flag dress to a private event, her school prom. There's no indication she did it as a display of disrespect for the flag or for Southern heritage or for anyone else. Quite the opposite: she wanted to celebrate her Southern heritage, as she so stated to the media.
(3)  No indication the prom dress was going to be a display at the Museum of the Confederacy.
Keep in mind that this petty, vindictive little man is a professor at a major state university... 

From "So It’s Heritage, Not History … A Candid Admission"

Lie 001: Connie Chastain has announced that in her mind Confederate heritage has virtually nothing to do with Confederate history.
No such announcement exists. I never made it. He totally fabricated this. If you don't believe me, scroll back through my recent blog posts and try to find it.  Use the search function. Ain't there, folks. Never has been.
Lie 002: Rather, as she now freely admits, for her it’s a process of picking and choosing what one wants to “honor”; it’s also imposing her present-day values and preferences on the historical record, wrenching evidence out of context to satisfy her inclinations.
Not only does this "free admission" also not exist. What he's accusing me of in this fabrication is simply not true.
Lie 003: It’s a wonderful essay in which Connie, who has complained about lumping people together, does that once more … although, in a way, she has a point.  All the people she lumps together are interested in historical accuracy. "
My blog post doesn't lie about people in order to lump them together. It doesn't lump them together at all. Lying is your bailiwick, Perfesser.
Lie 004: She’ll just cherry-pick what she wants to remember and honor.  She wants to honor service, period.  She wants to honor sacrifice, period.  And to her it doesn’t matter what leaders say … it matters to her why men fought (although, if she’s to be consistent, only when she approves of their motives … otherwise she’ll turn a blind eye to them).
Whew! Where to begin! I also honor the valor and sacrifices of American servicemen in the Iraq and Afghanistan, though I don't approve of what their leaders over here say because said leaders are a bunch of liars (you ought to love 'em, perfesser, they're your kinda folks). Are we over there to stop terrorism? To protect Israel? To secure oil? The individual servicemen themselves may even have motives I disagree with; that doesn't mean I dishonor their valor and sacrifice. 
Lie 005: Connie wants to honor her ancestors in terms those very ancestors would not recognize …
I'm certain they would recognize honor for valor and bravery. I'm certain they would recognize honor for their valiant defense of their homes, families, communities and territories. 
Lie 006: So what we have here is someone who freely admits to distorting the past in order to satisfy her beliefs and prejudices behind some ill-defined notion of “heritage” and “honor.”
Again, no such admission exists. Search my site, see for yourself. 
Lie 007:  Given how she also distorts the views of others in her never-ending struggle to try to score debating points (ever see Connie engage in a sustained argument about historical issues? Of course not), this should come as no surprise.  That must be why she finds fiction so attractive … she lives it.
I don't distort the views of others. Some of those views, I disagree with, but distort? Some folks do a fine job of distorting their views themselves. And Perfesser, you are far more apt to distort my views... I mean, you continually lies about them; what is that but distortion? 
Lie 008: I must admit that I’ve never seen anyone make a public proclamation of their intellectual bankruptcy before.
And you haven't seen it from me, Perfesser. It is a total fabrication ... very likely with malice.
Lie 009: At least now we know why she refused to debate Hunter Wallace: she’s basically conceding that he’s right about the history of white supremacy in the South as expressed by prominent southern leaders. 
I did debate him. That you missed it is your tough luck.  That you're lying about it is par for the course for you.
Idiocy 001: If this is what passes for Confederate heritage, then we know why it’s in trouble … because it has nothing to do with the Confederacy and everything to do with one’s need to seek justification for their views and philosophy by misrepresenting history and selectively culling and twisting whatever can be used to validate one’s beliefs. 
Confederate heritage is in trouble because it has been targeted for extinction by the left in this country. Out of the loop on that, are ya?  It's all over the Internet.  I guess you overlook that when you go jackbooting -- I mean, tiptoing -- throught the Internet looking for heritage advocates to lie about on your blog.  Huh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Confederate Clones

What do Brooks Simpson, Eric Jacobson, Andy Hall, Corey Meyer and Kevin Levin have in common with Hunter Wallace?

They all believe, judging by things they've written, that Southern heritage advocates should think and believe exactly like their Confederate ancestors... that if you're going to honor the sacrifices in war of Confederate soldiers, you MUST become the mental clones of secessionists such as "Stephens, Davis, Toombs, Yancey, and Calhoun."

It's a recurring theme in their writing. A few months back, when I inquired of my heritage associates on Facebook if they knew of primary historic source documentation substantiating that Nathan Bedford Forrest led the KKK and what his activities were as its leader, my inquiry led to a couple or more blog posts and a flurry of comments about Forrest on anti-Confederate blogs.

Hall posted in comments at Crossroads, "Real Confederates certainly thought Forrest was a klansman..."

Real Confederates, huh?  As opposed to what? Counterfeit ones? And because THEY thought whatever, I'm supposed to think whatever?

Hall's documentation was not eye-witness accounts that dated from the period in which Forrest supposedly led the KKK, which is what I was looking for. My purpose was to find documentation of terrorist activity on the part of Forrest, and if none could be found, to dismiss the wild-eyed rantings about him I sometimes encountered on Internet comment threads.

Hall certainly documented what Confederate veterans thought almost half a century after Forrest purportedly "led" the KKK but there was nothing in it that described what he did -- what his activities were -- as leader, and certainly nothing that substantiated terrorist activity on the general's part. In other words, nothing to convince me that I must change my view that as "Grand Wizard" he was mostly a figurehead.

It's the same story with black Confederates. This is not a huge issue with me. Those who say there were no black Confederate soldiers accuse those who say there were of attempting to legitimize the Confederate cause by showing it wasn't about slavery, or blacks would not have fought. My view is that blacks are not "needed" in the Confederate Army to legitimize the South's fight for independence. Very simply, my view is that all service to the Confederacy, of whatever kind, but particularly the war effort, rendered by black or white, slave or free, male or female, should be recognized and honored.

But according to these fellows "real Confederates" didn't believe blacks were soldiers. They were slaves. Therefore I should not recognize any service they rendered to the Confederacy.

I'm not a clone of my ancestors. I am their descendant. I live in a different time. While I believe basically the same things that make up the big picture -- the place of Christianity in the culture of the west, traditional roles for men and women, and so forth -- my world and times are different even from those of my parents -- with whom I didn't always see eye to eye. I'm certainly not a mental clone of people who lived 150 years ago.

Nor do I think they are suitable for some sort of ancestor worship, as heritage folks are sometimes accused of. I once read a statement by the League of the South that explained it well. "Our ancestors weren't perfect and not everything they did was honorable." I don't know of any heritage advocates who would disagree. That doesn't, and shouldn't keep us from honoring the honorable things about them and their culture.

Anti-Confederate bloggers may wish to define our Confederate ancestors solely by their imperfections and dishonorable deeds, and to imply that such a definition precludes respect for them, their culture and their fight for independence. That's not going to stop me from honoring them.

Sorry, fellas. If you don't like that, tough.

Image: Copyright © and the public domain.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Cultural/Societal Parsing and Lumping...

Per, parse is a  verb (used with object) which means:
1. to analyze (a sentence) in terms of grammatical constituents, identifying the parts of speech, syntactic relations, etc.
2. to describe (a word in a sentence) grammatically, identifying the part of speech, inflectional form, syntactic function, etc.
It is a type of intricate, detailed analysis to see what the different parts are, and how they make up the whole.  I like applying that method of analysis to culture and society, (or segments of it, such as the popular culture), especially, though not exclusively, to Southern heritage and its critics and opponents.

Basically, for me, what culture, societal or even political and academic, parsing boils down to is examining constituent parts -- and there are myriads of them -- to see how they are alike and how they differ. Because to me, how things differ is as important as how they are alike.

A fascinating aside here is to note where and how the champions of diversity and multiculturalism are loathe to acknowledge difference. My gosh, without difference, there would BE no diversity.

In any case, people like Corey Meyer and Brooks Simpson, and to a lesser extent Andy Hall, are lumpers. gives two defintions of "lump" that define the word in the manner that I use it here:

Lump: verb (used with object)
10. to unite into one aggregation, collection, or mass (often followed by together ):
11. to deal with, handle, consider, etc., in the lump or mass: to lump unrelated matters indiscriminately.
It describes the behavior and attitude of those who are prejudiced ... who prejudge people in order to classify them into groups without parsing their beliefs and statements to see how they --  you guessed it --differ.

In other words, when it comes to Southern heritage, I view the aggregate. I see the constituent parts, I see how they differ.  Simpson, Meyer,, view the aggregate, wrongly, as a monolith, refusing to recognize that it even has differing constituent parts. They lump it into one big whole.

Imagine, for example, that a group of people exhibit ten attributes of all kinds, from admirable at (1),  gradually decreasing down to dishonorable at (10).  Parsers not only consider them all as part of the group, but takes into consideration the proportion of each.  If the group exhibits many admirable traits and few dishonorable ones, parsers note not only the differences, but the proportions.

Lumpers, on the other hand, ignore all but the dishonorable ones and apply only that one attribute to the group as a whole, in an attempt to make it a totally dishonorable monolith. To define everyone in the group -- even those who not only do not share the dishonorable traits, but who denounce them -- as dishonorable.  This, of course, is itself dishonorable, and worse... odious. Simpson is especially prone to this, and somewhat adroit at it. Corey attempts it but his attempts are clumsy.

 In any case, it's time for the parsers, those who acknowledge the reality of the aggregate's differences, to trumpet show the world who truly believes in recognizing diversity... and to stand up to the lumpers and denounce them for the liars they are.

Photos: Copyright © Georgios Alexandris and © Mistercheezit and

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ignorance is ... funny (or it can be)...

Without going into detail about the particulars, I was recently characterized as "aping masculinity." The anonymous person who said this "...don't know me vehwee well, do he?" He said that my attempt to "play the role of male defender" is "a commentary on the weakness of the current generation of men..."

I don't know about that, but I do know people should really know a little more about the reality of things before they spout off, because their spouting off has the potential for making them look real, real stupid.

Mr. Anonymous obviously doesn't know I write novels that trash radical feminism, praise Biblical patriarchy and uplift traditional male-female roles. No woman wishing to play the role of male defender would write a scene like the following, which appears in my novel, Southern Man, nor would she put a hunk like the dreamboat at right on the cover...


        Troy leaned back in his chair to see around the banker’s lamp on his desk and looked toward the door. "Dinah, can we get your help in here for a minute?"
        "Sure." She came to Troy’s desk and stood behind him and Max.
        "Do these customer files in the new software have log notes?"
        "Yes, sir."
        "Where? How do you get to them?"
        "Let me see." She looked at the screen. "I think you hit F-six, Assignments."
        Max shook his head. "Nah, that can’t be it. Don’t make sense".
        Troy gave Max a pointed look. "Mash F-six," he said, and Max did.
        "Yeah, that’s it," Dinah said. "Look at the bottom of the screen. All the F-keys, or most of them, have changed functions. Now F-nine is Log Notes. The exact same notes are found in the History, too—that’s F-ten—but they’re mixed in with notes put there by the system."
        Troy glanced up at her. "What kind of notes does the system put?"
        "Oh, really dumb things like, it keeps a record of when the time changes, things like that."
        "Time changes. You mean like daylight savings time."
        "That’s nuts," Max said. "I don’t know why that needs to be recorded in a customer’s file. Who wrote this software, anyway?"
        "They didn’t tell us that. The program also records system outages and down time and puts that in each customer’s history, too, and it—"
        "Okay, okay, okay," Max said. He looked at Troy and rolled his eyes. "Leave it to a woman to tell you a hunnerd things you don’t need to know." Then, to Dinah, he said, "Thanks, that’s enough. All we wanted was how to find the log notes."
        She looked at him and raised her brows slightly. "Oh. All right." She headed back for her office.
        Troy called after her, "Dinah, shut the door, okay?"
        "Yes, sir."
        He waited until she was back in her office and the door closed and then turned to Max. "I’m glad you’re all right. ’Preciate you checking on me and the family. And thanks for the computer lesson."
        "You’re welcome. That sounds like a dismissal." Max pulled the side chair to its place along the wall and leaned back against the credenza.
        Troy swiveled toward him. "I’ve just got some catching up to do. There is one thing, though."
        "In the future, try not to be such a jerk to my secretary, okay?"
        Max shook his head in incomprehension.
        "You know what I’m talking about. That crack about women telling you more than you need to know. It was unnecessary and it hurt her feelings."
        Max’s jaw dropped. "You’re joking, right? Because if you’re not, then she’s way too sensitive. Anyway, it’s true. If I hadn’t stopped her she would have jaw-jacked on and on about things we didn’t ask about and don’t need to know."
        "She was trying to be helpful. That’s what women do, because that’s how God made them—to be helpers and companions to men. Mainly wives to husbands but you find it in the workplace, too."
        Max looked at him in silence. He had tendency to get quiet when Troy brought up God.
        "They want to help us," Troy said, "and they want to please us, and so they go overboard sometimes. You don’t have to get bowed up about it."
        Besides, Troy knew, but did not tell Max, that sometimes, seemingly useless tidbits provided by secretaries could turn out to be priceless information in the overall corporate scheme of things.
        "You’re a sentimental slob on top of being a hillbilly," Max said. "You always have been but it gets worse every year."
        Troy gave him a hint of a smile. "Sentimental has its advantages. You’ve had, what, two wives and three secretaries, and now you don’t have either one? All I’ve ever had is one wife and one secretary—and both of ‘em would rip your head off if I asked ‘em to."

If that passage doesn't make the statement by Mr. Anonymous look as stupid as it is, this one will:

       Troy was persuasive when he and Patty made their case for marrying shortly after the end of school in June. Don and Virginia were impressed with Troy and his arguments, but it was Patty’s that made their decision.
       "Mama, Daddy. I need to marry Troy because he’s better than I am and I don’t know that I’ll ever find anyone else who is."
       "Wait a minute," Troy said, taken aback. "I’m just an ol’ boy from Tennessee. I’m not better than you. I’m not better than anybody."
       "Yes, you are. I don’t mean it like you’re thinking. The Bible says I have to submit my will to the man I marry. I couldn’t submit to a man who’s no better than I am so I have to marry someone better than me, someone I can look up to. And you are better. You’re smarter, stronger, you have more courage, more responsibility. Things like that."
       Still not sure how to take what she was saying, Troy murmured, "Well, honey, I’ve got four years on you..."
       "No, it’s not just because you’re older. It’s because you’re better."
       It was Patty’s assertion that she could submit to Troy, and may never find another man who she could submit to, that persuaded her Southern Baptist parents.

Sounds like a plan... sort of

We recently had a discussion on my Facebook group about why the Museum of the Confederacy has so blatantly reneged on its responsibilities to preserve and present Confederate heritage, most recently seen in locating a "branch" at Appomattox and refusing to fly any Confederate flag on the grounds of the facility.

The discussion evolved into why Southerners in general have grown in indifferent to Confederate history and heritage, and what might be done not only to rekindle their interest but spark a cultural renewal. This is a subject I've thought about for a long time with a view toward formulating responses and solutions. My thoughts are rudimentary but I wrote them in a few replies in that thead, and I post an edit of my comments below.

In response to the suggestion that Southerners have "lost sight" of their heritage, I think that may be part of it. A more accurate description is that they've not necessarily lost sight but unobtrusively backed away. Why? Because our heritage was hijacked and tarnished -- deliberately, on the part of some people; inadvertently on the part of others, in an effort to turn it into something people cannot be proud of.

The folks who hijacked and tarnished our heritage were people like leaders of the South Carolina NAACP boycott who had to tarnish and dishonor the Confederate flag -- and thus the heritage it came from -- in order to justify its removal. This tarnishing was repeated to justify the renaming of streets, parks, schools named for Confederates and the removal of other items, such as the Texas Supreme Court building plaques.

The South has its share of scum and reprobates, like any other place; but for the most part, Southerners are good, decent people (and when I talk heritage, I'm talking about white Southerners, although that doesn't exclude others from the "good, decent people" description) who flinch at being portrayed as racists and haters, and who will shy away from doing things that can be miss-portrayed as racism and hatred.

The secondary stereotype is the the toothless ignorant (inbred) hick. People of reasonable intelligence, common sense and average or above education don't like being portrayed that way, either.

You want to reverse this trend, you have to understand exactly how our heritage has been tarnished (the result) and what was done to tarnish it (the process) -- and then do the reverse.

Our culture has been the victim of PC revisionism. Two PCs actually. Political correctness PC sets the revisionist "standard" for how our culture should be portrayed/seen/understood (very negatively, of course). Popular Culture PC implements that vision -- and by popular culture, I mean the media, both news and entertainment, education, business and industry and government, although popular culture is also defined other ways (See

I don't think any attempt to reclaim our heritage and reconnect our proud people with a heritage they can be proud of will be successful without taking on these two PCs.

Confronting the two PCs and reversing the damage they've done will not be easy, but it's certainly doable. And what we need to do has never been easier. The internet changes everything, if we will but use this awesome resource for more than getting online and complaining, or arguing about civil war battles, generals, etc. There's a place for all that -- (to help us rest and rejuvenate, keep us motivated) -- but in and of itself, won't do a thing to reclaim our heritage.

We need our own news media. We have a small start on that, but most of it (Dixie Broadcasting, etc) is aimed solely at Southern heritage folks. It has the kind of content and programming most Southerners have been conditioned to shy away from. Not saying we should get rid of what we have at this point; I'm saying we should augment it for Southerners who have not come that far yet.

Our media needs to be more mainstream in that, for example, our news media needs to actually report news, not just rehash the war or present opinions-editorials. It needs to be informative. It needs to be interesting. It needs to be spelled right and grammatically correct.... And the items in it designed to reverse the tarnishing of our culture and the restoration of its honor need to be included matter of factly, as if everyone knows it belongs there.

We need our own entertainment media -- our own movies, music, books, videos, magazines, comic books, live events, etc... Again, some of this is already being done for the heritage community, but it's turning out the kind of product Southerners have been conditioned to shy away from. The gap between the two has to be bridged.

What we need now is people to step into that gap. Somebody to, for example, write, produce, direct, cast, act in and promote our movies... Yes, we would have to learn all this, but it's not hard, there's a ton of stuff out there that teaches it. Yes, it would take money, and we're in especially hard times. It can still be done -- using OPM.

Thus, we need a fundraising organization. That would be all it does -- raise money and then evaluate projects for heritage-worthiness and give grants or low-cost loans for the projects. It would have to be a scrupulously honest effort, thoroughly transparent to the public so no money-scandals or other fraud could further tarnish our efforts.

One thing about videos -- there is some heritage stuff with great info in them on YouTube right now, but the production values are horrible. We're not going to reach already gun-shy Southerners by standing in front of our computer cam or cell phone cam talking heritage with our bedroom or kitchen in the background. Set, lighting, sound, scripting -- all need to be as professional as we can make it. Remember, this stuff can be learned, easily.

What I have chosen to do is write fiction that portrays Southerners as ordinary, decent people, not the scum-sucking racist monsters of the popular culture. There needs to be a lot more contemporary proSouthern fiction. My books are written to bridge the gap between heritage folks and gun-shy Southerners; to let them all know that somebody knows they're good, decent, caring people even if they do honor their Confederate heritage, and it is their critics and opponents who are sometimes less than honorable.

I started to write, "Southerners have to be given back their pride," but that's not true. Something has to reawaken their existing pride that has been beaten down and gone dormant by PC.

These are just ideas I've tossed around in my head; I don't know how practical they are. To get the ball rolling, I conceptualize a fairly small group who will ... not direct, exactly -- channel, perhaps, the efforts of a huge culture-wide "Southern Initiative," or some such designation. These people are big-picture focused. They're basically a think-tank. Analysts. They look at the whole thing, see how A affects B (Good A and Good B, as well as Bad A and Bad B) and determine what needs to be done to strengthen and spread the good, diminish the bad. These have to be some savvy, savvy people. Not necessarily highly educated, but they have to be deeply knowledgeable about how the culture and its constituent parts work.

They would be an advocacy group that mainly issues reports and keeps people who want to be active in the initiative aware of opportunities. I'm thinking of something sort of like the National Coalition for Men (I'm a men's rights advocate, but not as "active" as I used to be)

(An interesting aside; as I visited the NCFM, I saw a link to another men's rights site where there's an article about the SPLC attacking the men's rights movement.... I am not a bit surprised...

(As another aside, I note that the men's movement has its kook and extremist element, like feminism and nearly every other special-interest ism that exists. That doesn't mean its mission is not legitimate.)

What this Southern Initiative group would do is help channel the initiative's, or movement's, attention to areas that need to be supported, or that would do the most good, or whatever. The idea would then be for the info to travel throughout the initiative's informal network.

The "rallying point" is whatever an individual or group is interested in. You want to make indie films? Learn how with an eye toward making films that will raise the Southern consciousness. You want to produce comic books? Ditto. You want to reach kids? Publish coloring books with proSouthern themes.

Several years ago, I saw a puppet show set up in the mall and I thought about creating a Southern heritage puppet show initiative. I would design and create the little portable booths with the little stage, I would write the scripts, design and make the puppets, and sell them real cheap so anybody could buy one and set it up at events in their own area. Nothing came of it, but I still think it's a good idea and could be a productive element that would support and strengthen the overall effort.

Public events like festivals would be good. They would have to be local and small because of the economy but they could still be effective. Don't call it "Confederate Flag Heritage Rally" -- celebrate something local but unabashedly include heritage stuff that gets excluded or prohibited from a lot of these festivals now.

I don't know of an existing organization that could serve as the think tank/channel organization, but I suspect they all have members who would be valuable contributors. The great thing about this era is that the initiative could exist almost entirely online. The internet makes teleconferencing cheap and easy, but most communications could be done with chat software and a forum-bulletin board. Space on a server to host it is cheap.

Another job of this think tank, or some members of it, would be to research similar movements, both successful and unsuccessful ones, and see what worked and what didn't. This is why the group has to be so savvy. Has to know about a lot of things -- or at least know how to find out about them.

Back in the 1960s, the counter-culture had at a powerful culture-war weapon -- the technology and popular culture of the time -- television, movies, the news media, magazines, books and later on, fax machines and phone/fax trees -- and they played it all like a Stradivarius. That is how they made such great strides in Gramsci's "long march" through the institutions so quickly.

But we have something better. In fact, we have the most powerful culture-war weapon ever devised by man, if we will but use it -- the Internet. It replaces everything the counter-culture used with something far more powerful; it's practically instantaneous, and has global reach. The digital revolution has changed everything -- film distribution, publishing, the music industry, the news media. We must learn to play it like a Stradivariu and a Steinway. We cannot be content to quench the fire in our bellies by getting on Facebook, making a few announcements, arguing civil war battles and bickering amongst ourselves. How foolish to squander such an incomprehensibly powerful weapon on such paltry efforts and pettiness.

I may not live long enough to see it, but I want a surge of Southern pride that results in Nathan Bedford Forrest High Schools with Rebel mascots and bands playing Dixie, Robert E. Lee Boulevards, businesses with "Dixie" in their names, Confederate flags proudly flying in front of historic sites, Southern children familiar with and proud of Confederate heroes ... and a respect and renewal of Southern families with authentic family structure (father, mother, children) and extended families (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) an important part of our lives; of respect and renewal for our Christian heritage, a re-commitment of our churches to Biblical, not political, missions; a re-emphasis of our schools on education and excellence, not social manipulation... An entire cultural renewal with Southern flavor and a distinction that once again sets us apart from the rest of the country -- a nation within a nation.

I plan to better organize this rather rambling blog entry into a more concise presentation -- take it from diaphanous ideas to a concrete outline for a plan of action, as time permits. It will be posted here and at this blog's companion website currently under construction.

Southerners enjoying the Beulah Sausage Festival, Beulah, FL. Photo by C. Ward.
Sign, crosslinked from Copyright © 2005 Dixie Oil Co of Ala., Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A busy early spring!

Spring blooms, pretty azaleas!
After a quiet holiday season, I had a number of Word Slinger job requests in mid-January through February that kept me at the computer -- several edits, typesetting and e-book formatting projects, and some really enjoyable graphics orders.  See 'em here.

I've also purchased a couple of domain names and I'm creating websites in my spare time -- one a companion website to this blog, and one a site exclusively for the promotion of my first novel, Southern Man. These are leisurely projects with no deadlines.

Upside down garden last year didn't survive, alas. 

Another activity is on the verge of cutting into my online time -- raising a postage-stamp veggie garden. It's been years since I had a garden, and I was never really good at it. But I have more time to devote to it now, so we'll see how it goes. Looking forward to cucumber salad, cheesy squash and sliced tomatoes. Yum!

Oh, one other thing. I submitted comments to the Levin and Simpson blogs today in response to recent entries about the Virginia flaggers.  To my surprise, they were approved and posted! It is so funny to watch these guys -- they're so transparent, so totally predictable, such mental clones, their blog posts and replies to comments nearly identical.  They've missed me while I've been busy! It must be nice to have a cushy perfesser job, or no job at all, so you have time to make blog entries all the time....  Or maybe not. You know whose workshop idleness is...

I'm working on completing the manuscript for Sweet Southern Boys (Perfessor Simpson is sittin' on pins and needles waitin' for this one -- he's already mentioned it two or more times on his South-bashing blog -- I think I'll post a short excerpt at the end of this blog entry, just for his entertainment), and then it will be beta reader time, final edits, typesetting and ebook formatting -- and it'll launch.  Waiting in the wings: Little Sister, Wesley's Women, and Neo-Confederate.

 An interesting aside regarding my current WIP. At a writers' forum I'm a member of, I recently posted about Sweet Southern Boys, seeking critique of the cover and back-cover blurb. I wondered about the reception it would get, as we've all been told ad nauseum that the flag on the cover is a "hate symbol." Members of the forum reside across the country and around the globe but the ones who offered crits apparently weren't the least bit offended.

Here's how the preliminary design is shaping up (above) -- an evolution of the cover design based on suggestion from the writers' forum members. I'm looking for a different microstock model for Shelby -- the blonde boy in the middle doesn't look enough like him -- but everything else is on track.

And the tweaked cover blurb:
Shelby and the Other-Brothers ....

Ainsley, age 4, (to John Mark):  "You're not my brother! I don't have to mind you!"

Shelby, age 9: "Yes, you do, same as me.  Mind Randy, too.  From now on, they're your other brothers."


Shelby, Randy, and John Mark have been best friends since grade school.  Growing up in a small town in south Georgia, they've hunted and fished, played football, studied and learned, worked and worshiped -- together.  The sons of close-knit families, they have been raised to be responsible, to revere God, and to love.

But as seniors in high school, they are charged with unspeakable crimes.  Branded as criminals in headlines from coast to coast, persecuted by the justice system, abandoned by their community, their lives shattered and their futures jeopardized, they have nowhere to turn but to their families, their faith and each other.

Sweet Southern Boys is a tale of what happens when societal watchdogs run amok and political correctness carries more weight than truth.  

Anyway, back to Southern heritage advocacy later today, hopefully. Stay tuned!

Excerpt,  Sweet Southern Boys,  for Perfesser Simpson
Maureen stirred her coffee and purposely averted her eyes from the pair seated across from her. In the fluorescent brightness of the Howe Street Cafe, her booth companions looked even more bizarre than they had at the One Community meeting earlier, when they had invited her for coffee to become better acquainted.

For a fleeting moment, she feared she would burst out laughing if she looked at them again. Thank goodness, sheer force of will dissipated the impulse and she glanced up.

In her mid-fifties, Clara Lawson was barrel-shaped and red-faced but her most striking feature was her short, impossibly black hair, so black it thoroughly absorbed the light and gave off not a hint of reflection or highlight, not even the light from the neon sign glowing through the plate glass window that bathed their booth in an aura of pink.

Clara was progressivism's propagandist in Yancey County. She wrote columns for various free tabloids in south Georgia both promoting progressive viewpoints and pooh-poohing as hysteria the arguments of critics. Owner and publisher of The Verona Progressive, she owned the building, once a convenience store, that housed the newspaper offices and donated space for One Community.

Next to her sat Nora Weir. Her tall, thin frame worked with her pale eyes and ash blond hair to project a delicate, almost colorless appearance, distinctly at odds with her implacable personality. Earlier, during the meeting, by way of introduction, she had told Maureen, "For the past three years, I've been the head of a severely needed anti-racist initiative in Yancey county."

Now, stirring her coffee heavily laden with cream and sugar, Nora expanded.

"When I first arrived in Verona, I was astounded. It was like this place never knew there was a civil rights movement twenty, thirty years ago, never heard of Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior, or Brown versus the Board of Education, never heard of Selma or Freedom Summer or all the other the civil rights efforts--or the massive and bloody resistance from Southern whites.”

Clara nodded. "Ditto feminism, despite a very savvy and active group at the university that's been working hard on women's issues almost twenty years. Bianca can tell you more at our next meeting.  She's gone to a women's issues conference in Saint Louis this week."

"I'll be glad when I can meet her," Maureen said. "I'll admit, I was a bit disappointed tonight by the attendance. I don't know why, but I was expecting more than six or seven people, even in such a small town."

Clara looked pensive a moment. "You might as well be told about this now. We're ... sort of ... rebuilding. One Community was founded two and a half years ago by Ruth Adamsky from the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  She is sponsored by several people in Minneapolis, who sent her South to organize progressive groups. She's a genius at initial organization, but not at all interested in administration.

"Eight months after One Community was launched, it was going great -- member organizations were networking, helping each other, keeping each other informed, and welcoming a couple of newly founded groups. Happy with that success, Ruth relocated to start the same process in Dothan, Alabama."

Nora appeared to tune out most of what Clara said -- she'd probably heard it all before -- and her eyes glanced at the other patrons of the cafe. The faint look of disdain on her pale countenance intrigued Maureen, and she had to force her attention back to Clara's narrative.

"Roughly a year after One Community started, Jessica Grant, the director of the Women's Assistance Group at the time, helped a woman in a local business with a sexual harassment complaint. Jessica aggressively pursued this guy, and it got out of hand. What was supposed to be a confidential, in-house investigation and resolution was broadcast all over town. The man's reputation was ruined, at least temporarily, and his family harassed, including his elementary school children."

Faint lines appeared between her brows and shook her head in regret.

"Turned out that he had ironclad proof not only of his innocence, but that the woman accusing him had hit on him. Tried to seduce him in his office after work. Rumor had it that she was somewhat emotionally unstable, a factor Jessica ignored.”

Clara paused for a sip of coffee, interrupting an absorbing narrative, and Maureen resisted the urge to snap, Well? What happened?

“She was eager to spotlight a sexual harassment case because it really was a big problem in corporate Verona. Still is. But some people thought Jessica went too far. The WAG lost some members over that, and it even set One Community back quite a bit. We're starting to recover now, though. Bianca's done a great job rebuilding WAG."

Nora examined the wadded paper napkin she'd been toying with and glanced to her companions. "If he didn't do it to that girl, he did it to some other one. Probably more than one."

Somewhat taken aback by Nora's demeanor -- there was something a little creepy about her -- Maureen suppressed the thought that Nora would never have to worry about being sexually harassed.

"Jessica said he was a typical privileged Southern white man," Nora continued, her pale eyes fastened on Maureen. "We're not like these Southerners, you know. Clara here's from Baltimore, I'm from Binghampton, New York and you're from -- Chicago, you said?"

"Yes. My family's been there generations."

Nora nodded. "These hicks and rednecks," she said, echoing Maureen's son, "they're not like regular people. They've been racists and haters so long, I think it altered their DNA. I honestly do. They can't recognize their own evil and don't even know what they are."

Nora paused and lifted a corner of her mouth in a lopsided grin. "Excuse me, I need to go to the women's room." She threaded her way through the tables in the dining room to the back of the building.

"Our Nora," Clara gave an embarrassed laugh. "She's a bit odd in her thinking, but she's as dedicated to eradicating racism as anybody you'd care to meet.”

She pulled a small notepad and pen from her purse, jotted a note, and handed it to Maureen. “This is Maxine Teasley's number.  She'll be back in town day after tomorrow.  She can help you get a volunteer position on the city events committee.  That's where you've got to start if you want to tackle the Christmas Festival.”

“All right.  Thanks.” Maureen folded the slip of paper. dropped it in her purse and felt the slight stirring of challenge warm her veins, anticipating the satisfaction of bringing cultural enlightenment to this benighted religious backwater....
Copyright © 2012 by Connie Chastain. All rights reserved.

Hopefully, I'll have time to get back to some Southern heritage advocacy later today.  Stay tuned!

Photos by C. Ward. Comp images used in book cover 
mockups Copyright © by various stock photo companies