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Old 09-20-2008, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Richmond
395 posts, read 400,431 times
Reputation: 63

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Before WWII, a lot of movies, literature, and magazines would play up The "Old South" ideal- Encouraging Northerners to go south and experience fine Southern hospitality at local bed and breakfasts and go tour plantations. They would show pictures of it and then in movies such as "Gone With The Wind"- the South was a land of the Gentry- the nobleman who came over from England and settled there. From Virginia through Georgia, brochures would fly off the shelves promoting this "feel good" Southern lifestyle. Pictures of Southern belles in hoop skirts, happy black people singing and dancing and singing Negroe spirituals. The South was some kind of magical land where happy , beautiful rich people lived.

Then all of a sudden (needle jumps off record)....


The South is a land of inbred yokel rednecks and hillbillies and vicious cross burning racists and backwards little towns, and people who have missing teeth, and people who eat dirt, etc

Shows like "The Beverly Hillbilles" were on TV. People started making fun of Southerners in movies- "Deliverance" anyone?


Even now- The Modern South now is still seen as "redneck". People think being a redneck = Southern. They dont understand its just a class of people, not the region itself. People talk about Southern and Redneck as if its one in the same.

IMO, rednecks have more in common with Yankees, but I digress......


How did they go from one extreme to another over night?

The REAL South is somwhere in between those exaggerations anyhow.

What gives?
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
16,738 posts, read 23,170,683 times
Reputation: 5847
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueva View Post
Before WWII, a lot of movies, literature, and magazines would play up The "Old South" ideal- Encouraging Northerners to go south and experience fine Southern hospitality at local bed and breakfasts and go tour plantations. They would show pictures of it and then in movies such as "Gone With The Wind"- the South was a land of the Gentry- the nobleman who came over from England and settled there. From Virginia through Georgia, brochures would fly off the shelves promoting this "feel good" Southern lifestyle. Pictures of Southern belles in hoop skirts, happy black people singing and dancing and singing Negroe spirituals. The South was some kind of magical land where happy , beautiful rich people lived.

Then all of a sudden (needle jumps off record)....


The South is a land of inbred yokel rednecks and hillbillies and vicious cross burning racists and backwards little towns, and people who have missing teeth, and people who eat dirt, etc

Shows like "The Beverly Hillbilles" were on TV. People started making fun of Southerners in movies- "Deliverance" anyone?


Even now- The Modern South now is still seen as "redneck". People think being a redneck = Southern. They dont understand its just a class of people, not the region itself. People talk about Southern and Redneck as if its one in the same.

IMO, rednecks have more in common with Yankees, but I digress......


How did they go from one extreme to another over night?

The REAL South is somwhere in between those exaggerations anyhow.

What gives?
I don't know, what gives with you? You're obsessed. You really need to get off this North/South mason dixon jazz. It's 2008.

The only problem I have ever had with southerners is their political views - Religion at all costs, and that's not a stereotype. Other than that, they're very pleasant, friendly, and warm people (who can make some awesome iced tea!)

I have friends in Richmond and have visited many times. It's about as southern as you can get (slow, laid back, quiet, [too] friendly). Happy now?
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:12 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 13 days ago)
 
48,186 posts, read 45,495,400 times
Reputation: 15339
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueva View Post
Before WWII, a lot of movies, literature, and magazines would play up The "Old South" ideal- Encouraging Northerners to go south and experience fine Southern hospitality at local bed and breakfasts and go tour plantations. They would show pictures of it and then in movies such as "Gone With The Wind"- the South was a land of the Gentry- the nobleman who came over from England and settled there. From Virginia through Georgia, brochures would fly off the shelves promoting this "feel good" Southern lifestyle. Pictures of Southern belles in hoop skirts, happy black people singing and dancing and singing Negroe spirituals. The South was some kind of magical land where happy , beautiful rich people lived.

Then all of a sudden (needle jumps off record)....


The South is a land of inbred yokel rednecks and hillbillies and vicious cross burning racists and backwards little towns, and people who have missing teeth, and people who eat dirt, etc

Shows like "The Beverly Hillbilles" were on TV. People started making fun of Southerners in movies- "Deliverance" anyone?


Even now- The Modern South now is still seen as "redneck". People think being a redneck = Southern. They dont understand its just a class of people, not the region itself. People talk about Southern and Redneck as if its one in the same.

IMO, rednecks have more in common with Yankees, but I digress......


How did they go from one extreme to another over night?

The REAL South is somwhere in between those exaggerations anyhow.

What gives?
Stereotypes are often based on one side of what people see, in many cases what people want to see. Most Southern literature was written by Southerners and most Southerners wanted to portray their region as an idyllic place where people are nice, friendly, and polite and everyone lives in mansions lines with oak trees and Spanish moss. That is what alot of people wanted to portray. Basically, most Southern writers wanted to portray the Antebellum way of life that they missed.
What happened is that many people began to see another side to the South, an ugly side. Part of it has to do with the news during the 1950's. After Emmitt Till's murder, the Montgomery bus boycott, the bombing of a church in Birmingham, and other events, the idyllic portrayal of the South basically contrasted with reality and reality was grim. What people saw was racism and oppresion, not that it wasn't occuring elsewhere. People outside of the South began to see the South as an oppresive place through the television screen, mostly the news. With television news, images of Appalachia as a poor, relatively backwards place would come. What I see is regionalism. Many Southern writers want to portray their regoin with a sense of pride while many people from outside of the South see the South differently.
That is why the South gets portrayed as a bad place.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Richmond
395 posts, read 400,431 times
Reputation: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
Stereotypes are often based on one side of what people see, in many cases what people want to see. Most Southern literature was written by Southerners and most Southerners wanted to portray their region as an idyllic place where people are nice, friendly, and polite and everyone lives in mansions lines with oak trees and Spanish moss. That is what alot of people wanted to portray. Basically, most Southern writers wanted to portray the Antebellum way of life that they missed.
What happened is that many people began to see another side to the South, an ugly side. Part of it has to do with the news during the 1950's. After Emmitt Till's murder, the Montgomery bus boycott, the bombing of a church in Birmingham, and other events, the idyllic portrayal of the South basically contrasted with reality and reality was grim. What people saw was racism and oppresion, not that it wasn't occuring elsewhere. People outside of the South began to see the South as an oppresive place through the television screen, mostly the news. With television news, images of Appalachia as a poor, relatively backwards place would come. What I see is regionalism. Many Southern writers want to portray their regoin with a sense of pride while many people from outside of the South see the South differently.
That is why the South gets portrayed as a bad place.
What a brilliant response! If only more people on this board could be like that.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,454,095 times
Reputation: 1942
Why does blueva keep starting threads about The South? Are you really vasinger? Welcome back! Don't worry, your secret's safe with me!
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:29 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,730,437 times
Reputation: 4583
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte:
"Stereotypes are often based on one side of what people see, in many cases what people want to see. Most Southern literature was written by Southerners and most Southerners wanted to portray their region as an idyllic place where people are nice, friendly, and polite and everyone lives in mansions lines with oak trees and Spanish moss. That is what alot of people wanted to portray. Basically, most Southern writers wanted to portray the Antebellum way of life that they missed." [quote]

Have to disagree with this part of your post. Try reading some works by Faulkner, or Flannery O'Conner, to name a couple. You won't see a lot of such sugary nostalgia from THOSE Southern writers.

To respond to the OP's question, I think that old movies tended to portray a lot of subjects in kind of a sappy fashion. Not all old movies to be sure, but enough to notice a definite trend toward more hard-bitten realism beginning in, oh, around the '50's. It was part of a broader hokiness in popular culture to portray the South as the land of sunny gentility.

I would also think that the racial consciousness prevalent in the U.S. for the past several decades has affected our view of many things. Much of American life is interpreted with an emphasis on race, in a way that was not the case before the 1960's. I believe that the degree to which race hangs over our collective view of many issues is not always healthy. Detailed elaboration on that thought probably would belong in another thread, but one example would be the contempt that many non-Southerners have developed toward the South because of the focus on the region's racial history, to the exclusion of the many other facets of Southern culture. Neither today's narrow view (by many) of the South as a fetid pool of in-bred racists nor the syrupy old pictures of happy chilluns frollickin' among the magnolias is really a balanced or accurate portrayal of the region.
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:36 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,454,095 times
Reputation: 1942
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte:
"Stereotypes are often based on one side of what people see, in many cases what people want to see. Most Southern literature was written by Southerners and most Southerners wanted to portray their region as an idyllic place where people are nice, friendly, and polite and everyone lives in mansions lines with oak trees and Spanish moss. That is what alot of people wanted to portray. Basically, most Southern writers wanted to portray the Antebellum way of life that they missed."

Have to disagree with this part of your post. Read some work by Faulkner, or Flannery O'Conner, to name a couple. You won't see a lot of such sugary nostalgia from THOSE Southern writers.
I didn't see that post before, but you are correct. Much of Southern Gothic literature and film is about looking underneath that rosy exterior, peeling back the layers to see the ugliness, evil, and irony hidden beneath.
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (La La Land)
68 posts, read 107,461 times
Reputation: 27
why does it matter thats just how America is, you think i don't get mad when people think the west is just filled with a bunch of surfer dudes going "Narly", "Totally Radical", "Righteous", etc. each region in America has it's own distinct presonality how fun would it be if each region in america didn't have any character.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:01 AM
 
835 posts, read 2,084,423 times
Reputation: 249
The longer everyone thinks we're all a bunch of crazy hillbillies the longer they won't move here and the longer I'll get to enjoy the South's culture.

Problem is, while that's part of my mentality, when the rest of the country thinks that then Southerners might try to distance themselves from Southern things that have nothing to do with being some type of inbred/ hillbilly/ racist.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:12 AM
 
2,758 posts, read 4,923,412 times
Reputation: 1114
I think it was Billiam or Futurecop who had some quotes of things that you said when you were vasinger, anway those black people that you speak of were not happy. They only smiled because they knew they could gotten got (loss of life).
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