“Fly over country” they call it, “they” being the denizens of the urban blights on the east and west coasts of the US of A. They look down their noses at those who live there, not having a clue that if it were not for the “hayseeds”, “hicks” and “rednecks”, they would die of starvation in short order. As Hank Williams Jr. so succinctly puts it,
I can plow a field all day long, I can catch catfish from dusk till dawn. We make our own whiskey and our own smoke too, ain’t too many things these ole boys can’t do. We grow good ole tomatoes and homemade wine and a country boy can survive, Country folks can survive!
We came from the West Virginia coalmines, and the Rocky Mountains and the and the western skies. We can skin a buck; we can run a trot line and a country boy can survive, Country folks can survive!!
The media is run by folks in the city and fosters the notion that it’s the plain folk who work the land and blue collar jobs that are backward and “holding us back” from a “brave new world” because of our deep seated respect for the way things were and how they should still be. They’ve lost the concept of manhood and womanhood, trying to fill those roles with empty shells of narcissistic, hedonistic egotists. They have created a society in which anything can be questioned except a person’s self gratifying sexual urges, reaching the point where some of them are calling for the normalization and acceptance of pedophilia. But they call us hicks.
When acquaintances tell me “I’ve been to the US!” the question most often asked is, “Where?” The typical answer is “New York!” to which the response is, “That’s not the U.S., that’s Western Europe!” “Well, we also went to Miami!” “That’s North Havana.” “And to Los Angeles!” “That’s Northern Mexico!” Only rarely will someone respond with one of the “flyover states”, and even more rarely will they tell of visiting the heartland, where people still know from whence their food comes.
The election results maps show the divide quite clearly, especially when broken down by county. When comparing the map above to a map of the US showing the major cities, the blue areas are areas in which the urban centers contain the majority of the population. These are places where people have lost their contact with nature and get their ideas only from the media and other landless, clueless urbanites. These blue blotches are mostly inhabited by people who are completely incapable of providing for themselves from raw materials. If it’s not prepackaged or shrink wrapped or served up in a restaurant, they have no clue what to do with it. Hand them a chicken, lamb or pig and they’d either keep it as a pet or take it to the zoo, they’d never be able to actually prepare it for consumption. And even the vegans mostly have no clue how to actually provide themselves with their food by planting and growing their own sustenance. Yet they look down on those who live in the red areas of the map, folks who can actually do practical things and who still know how to provide themselves with their daily bread without having to go to the grocery store.
When we venture north to report directly to the people who make it possible for us to live and work where we do, it is with pleasure we sojourn in the red areas. Some of our partners are from the blue areas, but even so they tend to have traditional values. The time spent in the urban centers is not time relished by yours truly, it is looked on as a necessary part of the visit, but one to get over as soon as possible. Our last time up north we were blessed to spend most of a month in an area not covered by cellphone towers, where the sound of nature and agriculture was all that broke the solitude. We spent time with folks who live on the land, produce much of their own sustenance and can get things done. And we were given the opportunity to use our own skills and learn new ones as well. That was truly a time of refreshing as we stood on the land and engaged in activities calculated to provide for the basic alimentary needs of people.
From raising vegetables and animals for food to repairing machinery to reclaiming otherwise unproductive land and putting it into cultivation, folks in “flyover country” can get things done. To paraphrase an old saying, “Destroy our cities and cities will spring up to take their place. Destroy our farms and grass will grow in the city streets.” This is a truth known to those in “flyover country”, but not comprehended in the urban centers across the land. Only when a hurricane or blizzard threatens to shut down the supply line do the denizens of the urban jungles get a glimmering of an idea that there is not an infinite supply of any given commodity – and it all comes from somewhere else.
Today’s “education” no longer prepares children to do common (at least used to be common), useful tasks. Shop, Home Ec and other practical classes seem to have disappeared from the curriculum. Some are even calling for the elimination of penmanship classes, claiming that the proliferation of electronic gadgets the a has made paper and pencils obsolete. So now we have a generation arising that knows how to use electronic gadgets, but is incapable of recreating the infrastructure necessary to build them. If a natural or man made disaster were to eliminate access to electronic technology, how would these children be able to communicate?
Here’s a quote that carries a lot of truth in it. Robert A. Heinlein’s ideas sometimes fall far from reality and practicality – but this one rings true.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. – Robert A. Heinlein
Those in urban centers who look down on folks who actually work for a living do not realize with what distaste and pride in craftsmanship those same “rednecks” look down on THEM. Some hothouse pansy of a guy with a beard who can’t even change a tire has no place considering himself “manly”. And those of us from “flyover country” know that quite well. Here’s a little Hank Williams Jr. that drives home the point.