Saturday, February 13, 2010
Jesus is a redneck
Rural, or rural-oriented.
Manual laborer, or direct descendent of such stock.
Questions authority to the point of defiance and sometimes past it.
Does not like to be told where to head in at. Not easy to corral.
Family oriented, but not slavishly so.
In one tail or the other, not under the big curve of the bell.
Likes to eat and drink, sometimes unhealthily.
Likes to be outside more than inside.
Can be touchy about his differences.
Kitsch? Art? What's the diff? If it speaks to me, I like it.
First prefers the old over the new, but then embraces useful newness.
Usually would rather than talk to than be talked to.
As whathisname said in "Sweet Home Alabama" -- "Just because I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid" or something like that. And I'd say the same for "talk with a twang" and "use colorful country metaphors" and "use antiquated language" and "use bad grammar." As in, "Just 'cause I call it the icebox doedn't mean I'm a MO-ron." :-)
Those're all just off the top of head.
1) He was rejected by his hometown. A true Redneck may need a bigger world than where he or she grew up but a Redneck would never offend home to such an extant: and with such an arrogant, boastful claim!? Never!
(This rules him out already of Redneck character, but I'll add a few more.)
2). He wanted to wander far beyond his kind. Others have done this but are only welcomed by Rednecks if, in their wonderings they have become populist heroes. Jesus' record on populism is mixed to say the least.
3) He may have been executed in the city but the bigwigs could not have killed him if the mob did not approve. The mob - one would assume to be an assortment of laborers, many of them moved in from the country - were persuaded to ask for the release of a country rebel by followers of that country rebel: Rednecks probably.
So, from Jesus being a Redneck... Rednecks killed him.
[Of course, the various answers to the question, including this one, demonstrate that the question is only a game. A game, though, with potential disturbing questions lying resulting from the subtexts. More on that, later.]
And the idea that a redneck would make no such boastful claim I also disagree with; it happens, and there is hell to pay then, too.
Surely there is nothing "essential" to being a Redneck? Cannot one choose to be or not be a Redneck regardless of place or demographic of birth?
One can choose to ignore or change one's redneckedness.
A few movies with great examples of what I think of when I think "redneck" are "Next of Kin," "The Apostle" and "Sling Blade" (the supporting cast, not Billy Bob Thornton's character per se.).
And now, I am going to watch "Sudden Impact" -- in the lione of seminary duty. Weird.
A white person of adult age who continues to have unresolved anxiety about his or her place in the twin markers of American identity: race and class, but is absolutely certain about his or her gender role.
This anxiety is most present in geographic and demographic regions where the presence of race and class issues are at a further remove than in the typical American city or university marketplace. It is typically in the city - where the diversity of race and class is higher (though perhaps in rigidly segregated structures) and the proximity of engagement and potential conflict more common - that decisions are made toward a more prevalent racism or dedicated cosmopolitanism.
The Redneck often eludes or elides this choice in the "safety" of distance, thus the romantic myth of the socio/cultural virtues of "country" accompany the actual virtues of country.
From this anxiety, romantic and propositional myths serve as defensive purposes. One kind of frequent mental comfort is to find in the New Testament, the presence of a parallel universe to the white experience in non-urban, non-cosmopolitan America in ancient, first-century Palestine.
So, a Redneck is one who periodically asks the question. So, too, in south Philly, various strains of the gospels are read through a ethnographic filter and Jesus begins to look a lot like an derivatively Italianate Catholic with a profound fondness for the feast of the seven fishes, wine, romanticizing the old rural "country", manual labor (as opposed to just hard labor of any sort, such as intellectual, managerial), family oriented, touchy about differences... etc. etc.
I'll be damned. I'll swan. I'm so New Testamentized it didn't even occur to me to place this in the O.T. Here, I will willing surrender my "E" for the evening.
Holy shit. Harry Callahan isn't a prophet. What warrior is he from the O.T.? Or is he a fighting prophet?? And, is he a redneck?
(ER) watched "Sudden Impact," the last Clint Eastwood "Dirty Harry" movie, today for a seminary class. Help me out here, bible scholars: Which warrior, or king, or prophet is Dirty Harry Callahan?
Remember, he was old school, pre-Miranda and other Warren Court criminal/constitutional cases, a dinosaur in a world that seemed to be going straight to hell ...
J said: Samuel.
J said: From wikipedia (quickest if not most reliable source): His status, as viewed by rabbinical literature, is that he was the last of the Hebrew Judges and the first of the major prophets who began to prophesy inside the Land of Israel. He was thus at the cusp between two eras.
J said: Dirty Harry was on the cusp of two major eras. Pre-Miranda anything-goes law and order, and post-Miranda still-gotta-be-tough-bit-gotta-follow-some-rules law and order.
ER said: Oooh. ... He did sleep with Sondra Locke, but not a whole bunch of women. ... Then he turned the other way rather than have her answer to the authorities for killing off those people in vengence. ... Samuel is a possibility. I'm think some more obscure person, though. It's ringing a bell but it's faint...
ER said: Actually, I don't think the prof is looking for that kind of parallel, but who knows? And this is kinda fun.
G said: *Disclaimer: I don't agree with this, but imagine some of the more liberal persuasion might say it* John the Baptist -- a character considered odd in his time who "prepared the way" for the one who would come: Reagan.
ER said: Ooops, yet again I have confused Samuel with Samson. Sigh. I always do.
ER said: G, interesting. Reagan *did* like that famous line about making my day. But that steps outside of Callahan's world.
ER: Maybe Callahan isn't actually a Yahweh follower, but one of the allies the Israelites fell in with from time to time.
G said: I was thinking more of a "law-and-order" kind of society that Reagan ushered in. Callahan was militaristic; Reagan is considered by many to have been militaristic. So, Dirty Harry's tactics prepared the way for Reagan's rule. Or something like that.
GKS said: thinking maybe Sampson?
ER said: G, could be, but the Warren Court rulings still stand today. Reagan didn't change the law, only some people's attitude toward it. GKS, mayhap...
ER said: How bout Saul of Tarsus? Both he and Callahan had a strict view of the law, and both found themselves amid a revolution of sorts that, while certainly not perfect, amounted to a reorientation of the notions of justice and fairness, and that pesky grace
G said: And he did, inexplicably, give up his Magnum in a standoff with a bad guy in order to save the TV reporter he had a thing for in the fifth and final Dirty Harry movie, "The Dead Pool."
ER said: Whoa. I forget about the dead pool. I was thinking this was the last DH flick! ...
G said: The last good one. : )
G said: An argument could be made that "Gran Torino" is the last "Dirty Harry" flick ...
JN said: Eastwood directed Impact, making it the best (only good?) Dirty Harry movie after the original. I agree that Gran Torino could have been sold as retired Harry.
RH said: Maybe he is like Benaiah, David's Chief Military Advisor who chased a Lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it.. he was a real Bada** and was on the side of God's law ( and didn't have a lot of "take it easy on the enemy" in him)....
I'd go with the St. Paul thing in that he left St. Francis (San Francisco) and went over to St. Paul(San Paulo) for the movie.
Maybe, in that vein, the confrontation with the police commisioner,mayor, et.al. would be like Paul versus James and Peter in Jerusalem?
I'll betcha the coffee shop killings mean something. How would blowing someone's dick off (with a bullet)correspond to circumcision?
End scene: Where are your accusers? Go and sin no more?