From Four

This post just… I don’t know. It just moves me in some way I can’t quite explain. I do feel like I am seeing those women from the perspective of a four-year-old, that I’m seeing them from an angle and with a casualness that a grown photographer could never get, that the people he’s taking pictures of are at ease around him in a way they wouldn’t be with an adult stranger. And I find it deeply moving that he, of course, sees something worth photographing when he looks at each of these people.

I just want to look at these photos all day.

Woo-hoo, Tuesday!

I’m feeling much better after a good night’s sleep. And a breakfast without the TV on or everyone up and trying to have a million conversations. I’m old. I’m set in my ways. I like, especially, to have the mornings to myself.

The Butcher put a bird feeder in the back yard. Best thing ever. I need to get the hummingbird feeder up, though I haven’t seen any yet. Still, it is awesome to bird watch and to think that these are tiny dinosaurs. Just hanging around in the back yard.

I’m not actually yet quite feeling the “woo-hoo” promised in this post title, but at least I am not feeling the flat depression of yesterday.

Also, I got a wicked sunburn at the RC Cola and Moonpie Festival. I noticed something there, though. Same thing I noticed at Mule Day last year. There weren’t any rebel flags. (Though I did see a Mule Day rebel flag bikini.) It’s hard to explain how strange this is. I mean, shoot, I can remember going to the state fair in Illinois growing up and you certainly saw stalls with big old rebel flags for sale or big old rebel flags with Hank Jr. (because…) and license plates that said “The South is Going to Rise Again” and I KNOW even ten years ago, when I first moved down here, it was pretty ubiquitous at small festivals.

And now that’s just kind of fading away. And don’t get me wrong, that’s nice. But, you’d think, with all of the spontaneous cultural blurtations of racism we’ve “coincidentally” seen over the past four years, you’d see more of the rebel flag. But no.

Is this partially because of the decline of Hank Junior? Is it partially because it’s been coopted as a symbol by Yankee assholes (and you know I love me some Kid Rock but…)? The twin things that strike me about Tennessee is that as much as Tennesseans do not want to be told what to do, they do not want to be unneighborly. And I wonder if being neighborly is just slowly winning out.

I’m afraid this last paragraph might seem like I’m advocating for people just standing back and letting stupidity burn itself out. But that’s not what I mean. I think that what has happened is that the complaints have finally been long enough and loud enough from people who have become recognized as neighbors. But it’s two motions–the complaining and the shifting definition of who are our neighbors.

I also suspect, a little, that seeing the flag paraded around by every Yankee with an axe to grind makes it harder to deny that it’s a symbol that represents (at least in this century) axe-grinding. Once you’ve got Kid Rock waving it and every Idaho skinhead, it’s drained of its Southern-ness and then what’s left?

Oh my god, it’s like how xerox, as a verb, just means to make a copy on a copy machine or how a band-aid is any adhesive bandage. Overuse has diluted the brand! Even if I conceded that it was about heritage not hate ten years ago (and let me be clear, I would never concede that), how’s Kid Rock an inheritor of that? Of what?

Do you think Kid Rock’s sole purpose is to inadvertently fix everything that Hank Jr. has inadvertently ruined?