Eastbound and Down

The Tygrrrr Express is Bama bound.

Given my love of Tigers (with the exception of the Detroit Tigers and Tiger Woods, who I am neutral towards), I visit campuses that feel the same. I have been to Princeton, NJ, and the Clemson campus in South Carolina. The only thing left is to visit more of them at Auburn in Alabama.

For those who have seen the movie, “My Cousin Vinny,” where New Yorkers face culture shock in the deep south, I can say that this is not what happens to me. Sorry to disappoint those that have never been to a red state, but they are fairly normal people. As for the deep south, the one stereotype that is true is that the food is fantastic. Southern hospitality and food is as true as it is fantastic.

I say this because as the Presidential race kicks into high gear, I confess to being a tad jealous of the candidates. I could care less about their wealth, and while the power is nice, it is not the end all be all. What I am jealous of is that they get to meet millions of Americans and hear their stories. If I could shake the hand of every American and hear their story, I would try to do it.

For those who remember Charles Kuralt, he would take his camper around America into small towns, and just meet Americans. I refuse to call them average or ordinary, because they are just plain great. With Mr. Kuralt gone, the closest thing would be to meet John Madden. Lord knows I would eat well.

For those who have never been to the deep south, it is true freedom. For one, it is freedom from traffic. People drive fast in the left lane, and slower cars actually move out of the way so the faster cars can get on with their lives. This does not happen in big cities in California. When Yahoo Maps tells me something will take 2 1/2 hours, in the south it takes me 90 minutes.

The people are friendly. True, when I say I am a New Yorker, or that I live in Los Angeles, they initially think that I think that I am better than they are. Truth is, there is plenty of arrogance on the coasts to justify this suspicion. Then when I let them know that I grew up on Long Island, my dad played the banjo, and that I like red meat, football, and support the NRA, I make friends easily. I don’t watch NASCAR, but when I tell them I haven’t been able to watch since Dale Earnhardt died, they understand, and hope one day I will watch Junior. The reason my comments are not patronizing is because the comments are sincere. I really am like this.

Oh, and they are very tolerant down south. I am Jewish. The bible belt is Christian, which in most cases means they like Jews. No, they do not try to convert me. They understand I do not believe in Jesus, but they are appreciative that I overwhelmingly respect that they do. I wish more Jews, and liberals in general, could meet these fine people.

Some people say the south is the same south that was racist. If that were true, why are so many black Americans moving down there? Atlanta is still booming, and Charlotte is the biggest banking center outside of Wall Street. Prejudice can exist everywhere, including on the enlightened coasts where middle America is looked down upon.

I arrive in Atlanta Friday night, where a buddy of mine (Yes, he has a pickup truck, and I like it!) and I will be driving to Birmingham. Sunday night it is back to Hotlanta, where just outside the city people bought 4 or 5 bedroom houses for $200,000 only a couple years ago. The quality of life is peaceful. Monday night I am off to Washington, DC, where on Tuesday I will have the pleasure of meeting Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson, and Brownback. Yes, that will be blogged about, and no, I can’t wait.

Then it is back home to Los Angeles on Tuesday night. I love this city, but getting out replenishes me. My blogging might be spotty over the next few days, but that is because I will be living life.

People ask what I do when I have writers block. So far I have been lucky. My life is a traveling carnival of adventure, and the adventures abound again very soon.

I will be meeting people, shaking hands, and if I work up the nerve, asking for votes.

As you know, I am competing in the bloggers choice awards, and am # 4 in the country. I am one spot behind left wing hate site Daily Kos, and I have several days left to defeat the Kossacks.

http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/21020

I am not a natural politician. Yet the one thing that is natural about me is my liking of people. I hate having to ask for things. I am not a salesman. Yet when I have no agenda, to dive into a crowd and shake hands, and make friends, I am very at ease.

The key is to know the environment. To go to the deep south and ask where a guy can get a vegan dinner and a juice bar special is possible, but I am grateful that is not me.

People want to know that you know anything about anything they are familiar with. I remember talking to a lady in the Kentucky Attorney General’s office who was not happy about something. First of all, the words “attorney general” and “unhappy” should never be in the same sentence. The woman on the phone was pleasant, but she said, “The problem I have with you guys on the coasts is that you don’t know anything about Kentucky. You’ve never been here, met us, or even looked us up on a map.”

I had to correct her. “Mam, with all due respect, I grew up on Long Island, there was a farm around the corner, the general store was within walking distance, and one of my favorite songs is ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky.'” For the sake of ethics, I saw an episode of “King of the Hill,” where Boomhauer (sung by Vince Gill) sings the song, and it has been in my head for a decade. Nevertheless, the lady was incredulous, and she asked me to sing a few bars. I explained to her that I was at work, and I did not want to be carted away. It is important to note that one should also never mention the words “carted away” when talking to someone in an attorney general’s office.

So I sang to her, as my boss looked on wondering if I was on crack. “Blue Moon of Kentucky, Keep on Shining…Shine on the one whose gone and proved untrue. Blue Moon of Kentucky Keep on Shining…Shine on the one whose gone and left you blue.”

The woman said, “Young man, you are delightful. This matter is closed.” Now if we were guilty, a song would not have gotten us off the hook, but innocent people can get in trouble when they come across as unlikable. If I have trouble in Bama I know the song, “Hail…hail…the gang’s all here…at the Alabama Jubilee.” I just hope the officers are old enough to know country music legend Jerry Reed.

Some people think I like red states in the deep south because they vote republican. That is only partially the reason. It is that they believe in things that just do not resonate with many ivory tower liberals, particularly those in academia. For one thing, it was not New England liberals at Iwo Jima. It was “bubbas” fighting for their country, and proud to do so. Bubbas don’t think they are better than anybody else. They just don’t want to be treated like they are worse.

As for the women in the deep south, the moment they open their mouths, I want to just give them my credit cards. Scarlett O’Hara type women turn my brain to mush. Hot, sexy, republican women…heck, even the Jewish ones, while democrats, are not leftists.

While the south is as modern as anywhere else, try finding a general store on a corner on either coast. A song my dad played for me as a kid talks about how life used to be. It just moves so fast, so think about how great it would be if it would just slow down once in awhile. The south moves, but not at the breakneck pace of the coasts. In the south, you can sit back and smell the flowers, and they smell great. As for the song…

“There’s an old wooden sign…just outside of Stratton, Maine…it says…’if we ain’t got it…you don’t need it…Bill Jones’ General Store’

Oh I can hear the creaking, of that rusty old screen door…smell the penny candy…at Bill Jones General Store…the pipe smoke and tobacco…wet boots on the floor…Campbell’s Soup and shotgun shelves, at Bill Jones General Store.”

The song is actually sad. It talks about how the town gets deserted, because times change, and in real life, the store gets replaced with a conglomerate. Yet what does not change is the dignity of the people in the town.

We grow or we die, and progress is not always so. Yet it is possible to be modern without giving up old fashioned values, such as God, country, and yes, mom and apple pie. That is not “hokey.” It is traditional.

I love LA, it is my home, but there are too many liberals here, taking days off of work to protest the right to protest and not work. I look forward to five days away from them, so that I can come back and remind myself that normal people do exist.

Plus, if we can just get the car cranked up to 90, my friend and I can emulate my heroes of 30 years ago. Yes, 1977, the year that Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed brought America the Bandit and the Snowman in “Smokey and the Bandit.” Interstate 20 is a straight shot from Bama to Hotlanta. It is a sweet drive during the day, and a rapid dream at night. Now all I need is the black Trans Am.

“Put your foot hard on the peddle…son never mind them breaks…let it all hang out, cause we got a run to make…the boys are thirsty in Atlanta, and there’s beer in Texarkana…we’ll bring it back, no matter what it takes…Eastbound and down, loaded up and trucking’…we’re gonna do what they say can’t be done…we got a long way to go, and a short time to get there…eastbound, for another Bandit run.”

I will leave you all with the theme from the third Smokey movie, a song by Lee Greenwood that is so rare that even he can’t seem to find a copy of it (I asked his people). Lee Greenwood does sing, “God Bless the USA,” but he also sings my theme song, “The Bandit Express.”

“Look out the Bandit’s coming, get your money and warn the women…tell them smokeys all to take a rest…because they’ll never catch the Bandit Express.”

Yes folks, that is how my blog came into existence. There can only be one bandit, and Burt Reynolds took care of that. I am a Raider, a pirate, and many other characters.

Yet at heart, I am a Tiger. To be more accurate, a Tygrrrr.

I am Bama Bound. So hide your kitchen utensils, snap on tools, and Jewish republican brunettes with hot southern accents. Break out your best plastic silverware and lock the liberals on the coasts so I can get some needed relaxation in the south, aka relaxation nation.

“Tell your daughters they better get some rest…cause they’ll never catch the Tygrrrr Express.”

eric

22 Responses to “Eastbound and Down”

  1. Jersey McJones says:

    This is wrong: “…it was not New England liberals at Iwo Jima. It was “bubbas” fighting for their country…”

    Right, and 900 black soldiers, a major general from Manhatten, soldiers from CT, NH, NJ, NYS, Fl, and all over the states. Lichfield was a Minnesotan! That was really uncalled for. Liberals and New Englanders are just as patriotic as any conservative. It wasn’t just “bubbas.” That’s just plain wrong.

    JMJ

  2. micky2 says:

    I think eric was critisizing Clint Eastwoods interpretation of that battle, and not saying that there were only conservatives on that island

    http://www.cpnys.org/grassroots/millerRemarks.html

    Those flag-raisers were very, very young men. They were just bouts, really, from all corners of the country
    There was a coal miner’s son from Pennsylvania; a tobacco farmer’s son from Kentucky; a mill worker’s son from new England; a dairy farmer’s son from Wisconsin; one came out of the oil fiends of Texas, and one was a Pima Indian from a reservation in Arizona.

  3. Cobalt says:

    Jersey, is it possible for your panties to ever NOT be in a wad?

  4. Jersey McJones says:

    Eric, Micky clarified for me a bit. It was not uncalled for. My sincere apologies.

    Oh, and a little nudge to Micky – I got a call today. People know that my wife and I are animal recuers (the legal kind) and they call on us when they need rescue help. My ol’ Texan hunter friend (this guy is a hardcore naturalist/hunter – Alaska was his stomping ground) tried to rescue a couple of little squirrel pups, last night through today. They took a hard fall prior, and they didn’t make it. But he tried and he took it hard that they died. Hunters are good people, Micky. I never said otherwise. Please remember that I’m a pragmatist – sorta like an Objectivist without the over-the-top libertarianism. I only want what’s best for all concerned. I have nothing personal against hunters.

    JMJ

  5. micky2 says:

    You need to be clear in the beggining and not the end.
    I didnt know there was a legality involved in being an animal rescuer, maybe professional, but legal ?
    You may not have anything personal against hunters, but you had nothing good to say about them till now.
    Once again, this is what you said;
    “while hunters have no incentive do any of those things.”

    I told you this was wrong and asked you to prove it or admit that it was the wrong thing to say. Instead you choose to drag it into oblivion as usual.

    If you truly want whats best for all you will seek truth instead of trying to shove opinions and ideas down peoples throats.

    ( for those of you that are wondering what the hell this has to do with this post you may refer to the below link)
    http://blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/the-animals-had-it-coming/#comments

  6. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, you asked, “I didnt know there was a legality involved in being an animal rescuer, maybe professional, but legal?” What I meant was that I rescue ‘strays.’ not other people’s ‘property.’ And look, anyone can say anything they want about hunters, the fact of the matter is that hunters are individual persons like you and I and therefore come in all sorts of stripes and interests. Cullers are paid to do a job. There’s a huge difference.

    JMJ

  7. micky2 says:

    Look jersey, I dont know what your problem is, and I’m beggining to care less.

    this statement below is so far off topic its silly.
    “Cullers are paid to do a job. There’s a huge difference.”

    this is your original statement:
    “while hunters have no incentive do any of those things.”

    Yes, cullers are paid to do job, and hunters are paid to cull overwhelmingly in HUGE populations asross the country.
    If you had read any of the links, documents and info I gave you , you would not be continuing this futile effort to back up a stupid statement.

    Focus man, focus.

  8. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, no matter what you say, you are not going to p!$$ me off.

    JMJ

  9. micky2 says:

    Who’s trying to piss you off ?
    I should be the one pissed off.
    You consistently fail to get it.

    You said something that was not true, period

  10. Jersey McJones says:

    Sometimes I think you’re just looking for an argument that isn’t even there. We actually do agree to some points, no matter how much that bothers you.

    JMJ

  11. micky2 says:

    I dont argue, I prove.
    You prove nothing but arguement.

    I proved your statement was a lie and not true by supplying documented evidence.
    You said you blog for fun, I blog for purpose and meaning and truth that come from intellectual debate.
    This is what separates the men from the boys.

    When a man says the wrong thing he admitts it. When this is done we can cut through the crap and get to the core and find the answer.
    My purpose is to make sure that the leftist agenda does not enter the arena on a foundation of lies and misconceptions. And I will attack that crap every chance I get, and you are always right there to oblige and give me material.

    Unless you can prove your statement to be true you should just be a gentleman and conciede. The more you persist the more you display the fact that you are not willing to be honest.

    Agreements dont bother me jersey, liars do.

  12. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, you should go around calling people liars. That’s really low. Really, really low. If you said that to my face, I’m not sure if I would be able to maintain my gentlementality. It takes a very poor character to call someone a liar unless you know for sure they are lying. You don’t, so knock it off with the slander. In the professional world – you’d get sued for that. On the street, you get your butt kicked. There may be no such consequences on the internet, but it’s still really really bad form.

    JMJ

  13. Gayle says:

    Avoiding the Mickey/Jersey debate, I want to say I really enjoyed this most excellent post, Eric! I did see “My Cousin Vinny.” It was hysterical! So was your account of the telephone conversation where you sang “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” LOL!

    I’m not a real southern lady, but having lived in Central Texas for the last 12 years I’ve learned to say “y’all”! Does that count?

    I’ll have to visit you more often. You’re one heck of a writer! 🙂

  14. micky2 says:

    Well Jersey,
    unless you can prove to me that hunters have no incentive to cull out the sick, weak, or over bred stock, what you said below is a lie.

    You said;
    “I also think that professional culling should take precedent over public hunting, especially in suburban settings and wildlife management areas, as cullers cull out the weak, sick, or overbreeding, WHILE HUNTERS HAVE NO INCENTIVE TO DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS.”

    I have proven undeniably with facts and evidence that what you said is not true.
    Now if it was just a slip of the tongue, cool, we all do that. And when that happens most people apologize and clarify.
    You on the other hand continue to stand by this BS line as if it were true.
    Unless you can prove this ridiculous statement, it isa lie.
    Nodody else reading this thread could probably give a crap it seems, but I do.

    The point is that some impressionable fresh mind could come along and read this and tell themselves” Oh ! hunters dont have any incentive to weed out the sick or weak or excess in a species.
    When the real FACT is that hunters are constantly culling out excess’s in groups to help one or another group maintain its place. They are also the ones most likely to come across a sick animal and remove it from the population. Especially if its carrying a communicable disease that would deplete the available population, this is fact !

    Once again, read your own words !!!
    You made a statement that was definate and put it out as factual.
    You did not say it was your opinion or what you think.

    I would call you a liar to your face in a heart beat if you said it to my face.
    And spare me your juvenile machismo about how you wouldnt be able to maintain your “gentlementality”

    Slander ? LOL ! On the street ? LOL!
    The streets I come from kick the living crap out of liars, not those who expose them.

    I do thid all over the internet Jersey, so dont take it personally, I look for BS and expose it, that is all I do. That is my purpose for blogging. I’m a convicted felon ( I put a cop in the hospital who lied to me) so I lost my voting rights.
    The next best thing I can do for my country is to seek out and destroy those that like to put BS up in front of the world and expect others to believe it. You are the gift that keeps on giving that opportunity to me because you consistantly on a routine basis say things that are not true ( otherwise known as lies) or provable.
    I refuse to let anyone in my line of vision get away with it. Like I said, there are young impressionable minds out there and eveyone that I can save from your poison will be one more person that is able to think that much clearer and place an intelligent unmolested vote at the booth.

    As you said, its very poor character to call someone a liar unless you know for sure they are lying.
    Well the poor character has fallen on you Jersey, you lied and I proved it.

  15. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, you can not call someone’s philosophical opinion a lie. That’s just goofy. Once again you prove you don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t know what a lie is. you don’t know what a liberal is. You can’t tell an opinion from a statement of fact. Ya’ know, I very, very, very seriously doubt your proclaimed academic creds.

    JMJ

  16. micky2 says:

    When I prove you and your statement wrong and untruthful and you persist on putting it forward without the disclaimer that it is your opinion its a LIE!
    You never ever , ever said it was your opinion untill now.

    I have documented evidence that proves I know what I’m talking about !

    Do you ? HUH ? Show me PLEASE ! PLEASE ! PLEASE !
    Otherwise what you said was a lie, flat out plain an simple no two ways about it.

    http://aolsearch.aol.com/aol/search?invocationType=wscreen-searchboxhtml&query=lie

    Here ya go ! More facts Jersey, those pesky little facts that you hate so much that you can never find to back up your bullcrap.
    A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement with the intention to deceive, often with the further intention to maintain a secret or reputation, or to avoid punishment. To lie is to state something one knows is false with the intention that it be taken for the truth by someone else. A liar is a person who is lying, who has lied, or who lies repeatedly.

    Lying is typically used to refer to deceptions in oral or written communication. Other forms of deception, such as disguises or forgeries, are generally not considered lies, though the underlying intent may be the same; however, even a true statement can be considered a lie if the person making that statement is doing so to deceive. In this situation, it is the intent of being untruthful rather than the truthfulness of the statement itself that is considered.

    If I dont know what I’m talking about Jersey the can you prove that you do know what you are talking about ? I Doubt it, Because you have never have proven to me any of your claims.

    ( that would be the truth by the way, because I can prove it)

  17. Lord Nazh© says:

    Hey Eric! I live about 2 hours from B’ham, Ill be in Decatur this weekend (roughly an hour north of B’ham)… send me an email, maybe you guys can head up this way.

  18. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, really, relax. You get way too caught up in minutia, tangents, semantics, and personalization.

    JMJ

  19. micky2 says:

    I dont relax when I blog Jersey. And could not give a flying crap what you think I should or should not get caught up in. At least it deals with truth and honesty.

    You lost Jersey.

  20. Jersey McJones says:

    “Lost.” Right. Just like we’re “winning” in Iraq, right Micky? I don’t think you know what “win,” “lose,” “left,” “liberal,” or debates even are.

    JMJ

  21. micky2 says:

    Now you want to change the subject to the war since you cant win on both the ACLU and the culling issue. You do realize that people are watching you take a beating left and right, dont you ? At least have the decency once in a while to pick an issue you can win on.
    As long as you are so spiteful and wrapped up in hate and your own warped interpretations that will not happen.
    But trust me, I’m really more interested in proving your ridiculous statements to be what they are than actually debating you.Debating you is like talking to a tee’d off 5 year old.
    But I’ll be watching you. Waiting for your next big blooper.
    And then once again I will wipe the floor with you and show America everything that is wrong with America by using you as a display.

  22. Kat says:

    Wow! That was beautiful!!!

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