04 Nov 2011

Southern Courtesy

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Southerners, like Blue Ridge Hunt Master Ann McIntosh, are even courteous to hounds.

Glenn Reynolds devotes one of his postings to noting the differences in manners one encounters upon changing latitudes.

As a recent (female) Yankee transplant to the south, I can’t speak of past southern manners, but I can speak of what I’ve seen and experienced since I’ve been here. It’s been nothing short of culture shock, in a wonderful way. I work in a retail store where it’s occasionally required of me to help customers out to their cars with heavy packages. I have no problem with this, but I have yet to seen a man let me take the heavier box, and if I try to, they won’t let me. My male co-workers won’t curse in front of me, or even discuss “inappropriate” subjects without first saying “excuse my language” or “pardon me for this”. I routinely have customers tell me not to worry about helping them with heavy packag, and that I should make the guys carry them. I’m called “ma’am”! (And occasionally, “darlin’”, which is also perfectly acceptable.) I’m treated like a lady wherever I go, not just another random customer. I rarely have to open a door for myself, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been offered assistance to my car when my arms are full after grocery shopping, from both men and women alike. …

I’m amazed and grateful for a culture that teaches such manners. If this is a decline in southern manners, then I can only imagine what they were like at their peak.

UPDATE: Reader Bruce Webster writes: “I’ve lived in Texas twice — two years in Houston (1979-81), and 18 months in Dallas (1998-99). The phenomenon is real. There is a cultural graciousness that permeates all ages. It doesn’t mean there aren’t jerks there (though I suspect a lot of them are transplants), but it does mean that there are genuine good manners everywhere. I think it’s the guns. :-) ..Bruce.”

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Thomas

Of course, the flip side of this overt politeness (which is motivated by and is a positive result of role assumption) is a strong willingness to regulate a woman’s birth choices, meaning these same people will politely require her to carry a child whether or not she wants to. How about that darlin’.



Annie from GA

Oh, that’s not true, Thomas.

Uh, were one of the emails Insty posted, about the vileness of the South, from you? In which case, I agree – stay away!



No Man

One question: When(if) the fox is run down is it shot, do the hounds get to do it, or is it allowed to run free?

Thomas, that choice would be either to give it a life or to kill the child.



Thomas

No that was not me, so I guess I am free to travel where I like then, but I happen to be right about confluence of “old fashioned” values (like regional politeness) and old fashioned authoritarianism (like the Moral Majority). People who don’t see that usually just like the rules that are forced upon others and so assume others don’t notice the jackboot either. These things run together in groups. BTW – feel free to come to New England anytime.



Thomas



No Man

That which Thomas apparently abhors would variously be named democracy, the popular vote, and/or the consent of the governed.

Thank God enlightened judges, gangster governments, and progressive geniuses, like Thomas, rule over us knuckle-dragging authoritarians.

There just ain’t enough bullets.



Thomas

I’m a Libertarian. I value freedom. When I point out how one side is authoritarian it does not follow that I support the other side. The Right uses God as its foil in exactly the same way the Left uses science, as an excuse to force other people to obey its sacred rules.

And before you go there, as you all do, I am not an anarchist. I favor limited democracy, with the emphasis on the word “limited.” I do abhor the excesses that violate those limits even if they are democratic as all freedom loving people should.



No Man

No problema. God will deal with that.

Still, there remains the bullet supply issue.



ThomasS

Cryptic and yet strangely creepy.



JDZ

Foxes, in North America, overwhelmingly simply lose the hounds or escape by going to ground, i.e. ducking into a hole. Only very unlucky, injured, or ill foxes tend to be caught. When the pack catches up to one, the fox is killed very rapidly by the hounds. An American fox hunt commonly goes out 70 to 80 times a year. In all those hunts, two or three foxes may perish.

In Britain, fox hunting has functioned as necessary predator control for the protection of farming activities. Here, in America, the hunters are typically rooting for the fox to win.

Foxes seem to enjoy being hunted. I’ve seen them, more than once, sit and wait for hounds to catch up, then go off at high speed and demonstrate their ability to lose hounds permanently at will.



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