Category Archives: Southern Culture

Top 5 Ways To Fall Back In Love With The South


Ah, springtime in Crackerstan! As we recover from the flood of goober politicians and their moronic policies polluting our state legislatures, while ignoring the pending tsunami of awful political media designed to make Gomer Pyle’s chest swell, there really is no better place than the Deep South for springtime frolics. We’re prettier than the rest, so let’s get on with our fun, sun, and glory. Here are my suggestions to help remind the world of our beauty and our elegance. And yes, we do have a little bit left.

1.) The Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC. May 23 – June 8. You’ve stumbled into as much Old Euro elegance, grace and glamour as you’re going to get within our mostly Moon Pie walls with this one. Gorgeous people, gorgeous events, beautiful city, beaches, fabulous weather created just to show-off your best sundresses and sandals, even with its notoriously haughty and dull Charlestonians. And heck, even those people are on their best behavior during Spoleto. Just go.


2.) The Carolina Cup. A steeplechase race. Camden, SC. March 29. This one’s just genuine Old South. The ponies and understated 100% cotton finery give it away. And where else can you see adorable little college students hurling their cookies into the grass whilst wearing their Sunday best? (Other than on every southern college campus, of course.) Forget the SC colleges mass-partying on the infield though, and take in the horses and the serious equestrian scene around the paddock area. Southerners do horse stuff almost as well as rich Saudis. (You’ll even spot a few of those there too, but they’ll be wearing their Aiken-inspired southernwear as camouflage, and their womenfolk won’t be all covered up.) If you want a true Garden and Gun culture-feel of the South, you’ll find it at the Carolina Cup. Drink when you see an aspic on a tailgate eaten by a startlingly handsome young buck in a seersucker suit. You will, if you can stay sober for just a minute or so. Some of the gents are so comely they could give even Ralph Lauren’s male model, Nacho, a run for his horse-people money. Besides, it’s no secret now, not since that Appalachian Trail business, that South Carolinians and Argentinians have been mingling for generations. It’s a polo thing. Don’t forget your Croakies, menfolk. Even if rain is predicted this year.


3.) Intown neighborhoods – Atlanta. Now until late May. If the traffic and the freeways and the Braves moving to bland, kinda ugly Cobb County have just worn you down, a calming Sunday afternoon drive through Atlanta’s oldest intown neighborhoods such as Ansley Park, Peachtree Battle, Brookwood Hills, even the more gaudy nouveau riche Buckhead enclaves like Blackland Road, will perk your spirits right up with their display of floral riches and lush, leafy tree canopies. Picture pretty lawns galore, and until some piece of shit ’95 Toyota Corolla wrapped together with Bungee cords and fishing line lunges into you, you can close your eyes and think you’re on the prettiest boulevard in France. Tom Wolfe describes it well in A Man In Full. Springtime as tonic.

4.) Lakes, rivers, and water-skiing. Anywhere South. Friends-with-boats are a good thing. Make some. Borrow some if you have to.

5.) The fields and valleys of Western North Carolina. Just go driving up there until you find them. You will. Take someone you’ve been hoping for with you, if you need to fall in love somewhere special. You will.

Mad Men, Mad Money, North Georgia


Oh victimhood. It sure doesn’t look pretty on our menfolk, eh? Worn like a hairshirt on our men of bigtime capitalist action plans? On our Georgia Republican leadership? Stuff just ain’t purty, any way you examine it. If you must.

Bernie Marcus popped-up on CNBC recently. In a bizarre, aging-capitalist ramble of a rant against the Obama Administration. The whole weirdness led… absolutely nowhere. And had nothing to do with the hardly-suffering Marcus himself, but was rather on behalf of a few whining, broke cronies. See here.

Yes, Bernie Marcus made a lot of people money. (I am one who stashed away a little of Bernie’s money myself… to see me through a divorce and single parenthood times. I am grateful to have had it, too.)

But the Home Depot folk who made the most money, the serious big bucks made by a handful of working class Joes who busted their butts right on up to a C suite at Depot, I Sarah Palin-betcha plenty of those people live in North Georgia right now. However, these far tougher times reveal that only a precious few could hold on to or manage their wealth… up there in North Georgia.

Been to North Georgia lately, folks? Someone called it PVC Nation. The entire landscape is moreorless bankrupt. Looks just like in the photo above. Nathan Deal is the human equivalent; now the North Georgia Wasteland poster child of greed and speculation, in boom times, gone wild.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the Obama Administration or Tim Geithner or Nancy Pelosi or stimulus money or keeping hope alive. But it has everything to do with bad business practices much of North Georgia over-indulged in during the housing bubble of the mid-2000’s, like some crazed Big Mac bender.

Delighting and drooling in the boom housing times they willingly, gleefully lavished on themselves in a doomed river of (no doubt perceived as highly deserving) easy money. A mad, bank-driven, get-even-richer scheme of land speculation blessings – as if boom times and wacky lenders like the Community Bank (see link at bottom for more on Community Bank) were a prayed-for gift from Jesus Himself.

And dig me when I tell you kiddies, any money people made while working for Home Depot did not come easy;  it came from long years of hard work. But I diverge.

No one owes any of these whining types who are now whining to the heavens over their cash flow issues, such as Proxy Man Marcus, a guarantee of boom times and rivers of cash from any bank on any corner. (Again, Marcus is hardly suffering, but rather whining like a nutter on behalf of a few buddies he flew around in his Gulfstream last week. Go figure.)

See Bernie whine on their behalf.

What I want to know is where in the world did they ever get off thinking a wild profit and forever-good times were a right they were granted for the sheer good luck of having been born a white businessman in America? Huh? That one just makes me scratch my head in bewilderment.

Stick with ’em long enough though, and eventually they all get around to blaming their white men-woes not just on the Obama Administration but also on that tried and true evil – The Media. Nathan Deal’s already launched that worn-out whine.

More on the matter of North Georgia repercussions here. It is the stuff novels are born from.

Failed Georgia



This past summer I drove several times from downtown Atlanta south to Luthersville, GA to drop/pickup my kid at a Girl Scout camp just a mile outside of that sleepy little Georgia town.

The drive took about an hour or so, down I-85 south a’ways. Along the entire car ride, I followed an existing rail line. One that ran almost to the very backdoor of the pretty 270-acres of camp in the heart of red clay Georgia – a part of the state  I like to call “Tara World” as it’s the general area, give or take 50 miles or so, where Margaret Mitchell located Scarlett’s famous childhood crib, Tara.

I imagined a gorgeous Twelve Oaks plantation nearby as I drove along. Dumb-ass county bucks haulin’ ass over the pretty, verdant Georgia fields along the way on their magnificent horses.  (“Peggy’s Mind Poison” I also like to say.)

Actually, I kinda lie. I wasn’t imagining any such thing on my last pass through Luthersville, GA. Rather, I was fuming. Filled with angry, ugly thoughts in my mind about Governor Sonny Perdue and the entire dumb-ass Georgia Legislature.

I tossed in GDOT, GRTA, ARC, and any other ridiculous alphabet soup of any Georgia state bureaucratic-ridden entity that had failed the citizens of little Luthersville, Georgia so terribly.

Failed me in my gas-guzzling rides back and forth to Luthersville that could have been so easily traversed by rail in a traffic-less 40-minutes or so. If only there had been a commuter train to take us back and forth from the city to that sweet little place.

The if-onlys sure are piling up when it comes to commuter rail and Georgia.

Poor Luthersville. It looked so sad last summer. Depressed. On its last good leg, with maybe one  convenience store, a bank and a Dollar General still open.

Luthersville was still struggling to put up a good front though, like some aging, penniless aunty and her brave display of near-moldy Chanel Red lipstick at a far-younger family member’s wedding she’d been politely invited to because, after all, she “is still family.”

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The South’s Best Spoken-Word Artist, Ayodele Heath


“As a two-time Southeastern Regional Slam Champion, and architect of Atlanta’s wildly popular SLAM CITY!, Ayodele, which in the Yoruba tongue means a joy arrives in the house, is blazing a poetic path across the South with performances that laugh, cry, dance and shout”

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New Video, Shadden’s Grocery, From


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Republican Party In Georgia Counting On Blacks To Frankly Not Give A Damn


blackmisUnless you’re living under a rock, or watching only all the negative campaign ads that don’t present any info about when the Georgia US Senate race runoff election really is (Dec. 2), there is a runoff election on December 2nd, a Tuesday. All day. In December. See your precinct. Between Republican incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin.

The main strategy behind this absolutely critical runoff election seems to be chiefly that black Dems won’t bother to return to the polls on Dec. 2 for the white guy Martin. Says Tom Baxter today in Southern Political Report:

Just as he did when he was the president-elect in 1992 and former Sen. Wyche Fowler was the Democrat in a runoff, (Former President Bill) Clinton came to Georgia Wednesday to campaign for Jim Martin in his race against US Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Martin has an uphill fight in this runoff, with African-American Democrats unlikely to return in numbers rivaling election day and Republicans eager to get over Nov. 4.

Full article here. More on the utterly patronizing tone in this matter is on display in this randomly-generated blog post from a brother:

The good news, for Saxby, is that you have to light a really big fire underneath a Democrat to get a Democrat to actually exercise enough personal responsibility to go vote in a run off election.  And I don’t think Bill Clinton has enough matches to light that kind of fire.  lol

Remember folks, the Obama victory supposedly showed us that a highly-informed electorate no longer pays much attention to the drively, whiny, obsolete, pricey, ad-buys on Big TV anymore. They pay attention to the community and the networks to which they are now deeply e-connected.

What I wonder is what black Georgia voters really think about Republicans and pundits and pollsters being oh-so-hip to their their current electoral habits and feelings, especially since Georgia Republicans couldn’t see a new political “habit” or trend or tea leaf brewing if one came flaming out of their cell phones and bitch-slapped ’em sideways into Sundays.

Take the survey and tell the world what you do plan to do come December 2. Write-ins are welcome. Even encouraged:

Kerosene and Buttermilk BBQ Marinade


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Rednecks for Obama


Gotta love it, although I must ask… is it really a redneck if it’s from Missouri?

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Chris Dickey – Phony Southerner


Chris Dickey, son of the famous Southern poet James Dickey, cons Yankee editors at Newsweek into believing he’s still a son of the South so he can write-up a load of overwrought, overwritten, stereotyping copy about our behavior during this time of “change.”

Now this part of the country, where I have my deepest roots, feels raw again, its political emotions more exposed than they’ve been in decades. George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama have unsettled the South: the first with a reckless war and a weakened economy, the second with the color of his skin, the foreignness of his name, the lofty liberalism of his language. Suddenly the palliative prosperity that salved old, deep wounds no longer seems adequate to the task.

Seems to Dickey Daddy’s Boy that none of us are all that crazy about “change.” Could be most of us Southerners aren’t all that crazy about pretentious wankers from Paris trying to pass themselves off as natives. Full story here. And Matt Towery’s take on all this backwater bs is here, y’all.



As a longtime producer and promoter of southern culture on the Interwebs, I was delighted to meet-up with two fine southern gentlemen during taping of an episode of Atlanta Business Radio with Amy Otto and Lee Kantor.

Jay Hale and Jake Laughlin have launched a terrific southern culture portal: Enjoy!

Our podcast about creating southern-oriented online content is available here. Be sure to subscribe to Atlanta Business Radio with your iTunes so you won’t miss a thing!

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Cox Reporter-Author Writes About The South


Longtime-though-former AJC reporter Bob Dart has a book of stories out on the street. About southern culture: Down Home, Dispatches From Dixie. Bob will be pimping this book (one I hope to read soon if he will send me a promotional copy) on C-SPAN2’s BookTV show throughout this very weekend. Schedule ‘O Bob on C-SPAN2 here:

Saturday, May 3, at 7:00 PM

Sunday, May 4, at 2:30 AM

Saturday, May 17, at 11:00 AM

Click here for more about the C-SPAN2 appearances and the book. I pray that should I ever meet Bob Dart (whose byline I read for freakin’ decades it seemed) he doesn’t turn out to be one of those southerners who orders fizzy water at lunch instead of sweet tea. Or worse yet, willfully chooses a restaurant for lunch purposes that only serves stuff like Pellegrino, but not sweet tea. Holy Jesus, help those kinda southerners.

FYI, Bob still resides on the Cox Media Plantation although he’s now a house boy out of the DC Bureau.


My Favorite Southern Things This Week


Southern Cultures Magazine. From UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. But you must subscribe. It’s a bit pricey for a dead tree subscription, but worth every penny.

Andisheh’s (yes, you read that correctly) recent CL piece about DeKalb’s oldest house headed to the dumpster… unless a 3.5m miracle occurs.