Saturday, January 26, 2008

The day when I'm proud to be a redneck

So, much of my residency decisions have centered around not only geography, but that personal conception of self. Am I a fly-over country kind of guy, could I fit into the Smooth of the west coast, could I become snotty enough to make it in the Northeast? Those sort of existential questions.

Thankfully, the folks at Slate clarify this for me, with their highly enlightening segment, Can You Eat Squirrels?, in response to Mike Huckabee's claim that rural Americans will relate to him because he cooked squirrel in a popcorn popper while in college.

In point of disclosure, I do not support the eating of any animals, especially not ones that require such a large shotgun blast to hunt. But I'd like to have a better Explainer video: are there really people in this country so ignorant of Upland South culture that they don't know that people eat squirrels?

Seriously, watch these squirmy New Yorkers jaw-drop as they learn about burgoo, about using non-certified appliances for frying food, and the idea, that, oh my god, people eat meat that runs around in a forest when shotgun shells are cheaper than McDonald's. The latter is a little less relevant nowadays, but, yes, I had family that hunted squirrels because it was more accessible than McDonald's.

I've never been hunting in my life, but I had a hard time explaining the significance of Dick Cheney shooting that guy in the face with a 20-gauge while quail, realizing that my coastal city-folk friends couldn't even conceptualize the process of quail hunting, and how Cheney's inability to follow the most basic of safety precautions on a bird hunt was quite the microcosm for the administration's approach to the Iraq war.

But I digress.

If you don't know that people hunt squirrels, or if you couldn't select an appropriate firearm for doing so, then you have as much to learn about America as I do.