Mar. 14th, 2012

awfulhorrid: (Caffeine Molecule)
I just returned home from a trip to North Carolina to visit family. This is the first time I've done that by myself in more than ten years and I promise it will be the last. Frankly I just can't take visiting there anymore without someone from the civilized world to ground me. I understand that NC isn't the worst of the Southern states, but visiting there is very much like stepping back in time several decades. More aptly, it's like visiting another country.

This is more or less how I survived the trip without screaming at people or just saying "fuck this" and packing up and leaving. After a few days, I finally decided that the best way to handle the situation is to think of the South as if they'd managed to secede back in 1861. I wasn't visiting the Southern states of the United States of America, I was visiting the Confederate States of America! That made things so much more understandable. The cultural differences suddenly made a lot more sense, as does the language differences, the shoddy education standards, the failure to understand some common facts about the United States ... even the relative technological failings, differences in laws(*) and customs. If we figure the CSA as teetering on the brink of being a third world country (as evidenced by the poverty and unemployment rate) much of the rampant social injustice and backwards social norms which often accompanies this state is explained quite nicely.

This view isn't perfect, of course. Many of the things associated with travel to an actual foreign nation aren't there - currency differences, passports, an actual separate government, and other things. Of course there are plenty of countries where you can freely spend US dollars without conversion and you didn't need a passport when visiting Canada until fairly recently. The most glaring problem with this idea is, unfortunately, that the CSA gets to vote in our elections and has many painful candidates running for office at this very moment. I guess I should just be thankful that it was so easy to immigrate out of there when I did!

--

OK look, I love my family there; I really do. I am just very much aware of the fact that NC is no longer my home and hasn't been in many decades. My mother simply cannot grasp this and therefore I cringed every time she said something about me being 'home.' Of course I also cringed every time she spouted forth with her increasingly racist language, something else she seemed incapable of grasping.



(* - Apparently there is a state law that televisions much be turned on anytime someone is in the same room with one.)

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