What’s the difference between redneck and quaint?

Small town America. Is it redneck or quaint?
Small town America. Is it redneck or quaint?

WRITER’S WON’T admit it.

Accuse them, and they will deny it.

But it’s true.

I wouldn’t lead you astray.

Writers are prejudiced.

Writers are the victims of their own stereotypes.

And I’m just as guilty.

Writers drive through the Deep South.

And here’s what they find.

Narrow roads.

A lot of twists.

Even more turns.

They wander into small towns.

The downtown is old.

The buildings are crumbling.

The courthouse is a bastion of the past.

Poverty resides on one side of the tracks.

Riches lie on the other.

There are shacks.

Abandoned homes.

Grand old mansions that have survived the years.

Old men sit on street corner benches.

They whittle.

They whistle.

They play dominoes.

And writers call the towns redneck.

Why not?

It fits.

It fits the way people think about the South.

Writers wander through New England.

And here’s what they find.

Narrow roads.

A lot of twists.

Even more turns.

They wander into small towns.

The downtown is old.

The buildings are crumbling.

The courthouse is a bastion of the past.

Poverty resides on one side of the tracks.

Riches lie on the other.

There are shacks.

Abandoned homes.

Grand old mansions that have survived the years.

Old men sit on street corner benches.

They whittle.

They whistle.

They play dominoes.

And writers call the towns quaint.

Why not?

It fits.

It fits the way people think about New England.

So what’s the difference between redneck and quaint?

It’s roughly the distance between Alabama and New Hampshire.

Of course, the distance isn’t measured in miles.

It’s measured by the stereotypes that jangle around in a writer’s mind.

Caleb Pirtle is the author of Little Lies.Little Lies Final Cover LL Mar 13

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  • jack43

    I think it’s time to rethink the language Caleb. “Redneck” is a pejorative. “Quaint” is affectionate. And yet both are applied to the same thing. “Real” people. Sadly I live among “plastic” people who inhabit the coastal regions of the United States. It seems that the interior sheds them like it sheds its surplus water from the mountains and attempts to dispose of them in the oceans, but they cling to the coasts. Like the Red Tide they destroy native life under a scum of affectations. There. That ought to ruffle a few feathers…

  • The amount of sunshine?

    To get a red neck, you have to sit outside in some, a much more likely possibility in the South than in the Northeast.

    There. Any other problems you need solved?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      You can solve most problems with sunshine, Alicia.

  • Don Newbury

    Many small towns in our world are re-districting. The “other side of the tracks” is getting bigger….

    • Caleb Pirtle

      And sometimes, Don, towns simply remove the tracks. The train doesn’t run there anymore.

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