Southern Cultures 8.4 (2002) 1-3
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Hold On to Your Mule!
The Oxford American Registers a Few Complaints
Euell G. Brady
The results of the latest subscription drive are in, and while Southern Cultures continues to get bigger and healthier, we also are getting our fair share of off-the-cuff editorializing. Not that we mind. The very existence of this particular feature, for instance, relies upon colorful and thoughtful input, like the anonymous "No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!" we recently received. If you're counting, you're probably wondering if that was our first twelve-noer. It was. Lately, we've also had readers tell us that they "never should have subscribed" and that they "sure would never renew" and—well, you get the picture.
Of course, we do still receive letters from folks who seem to intend to keep on reading us—although they do take us to task or try to set us straight. We appreciate the help, and we print a couple of these letters below. The first is from Euell G. Brady, who takes up for Britney Spears and comments on the current state of music in the South. The second is from Marc Smirnoff, editor of The Oxford American, one of our favorite publications, which we nonetheless occasionally have enjoyed poking fun at. At last, it's the OA's long-deserved chance to have some fun at our expense. We offer only a short reply afterward. [End Page 1]
The letter from Kelly Bruce, which you printed in your Summer 2002 edition, is the most glaring example of cynicism and hypocrisy I have seen in a long time. For someone in that part of the country [Boston] to complain about Britney Spears attending a private school instead of a public school for alleged racial reasons is ludicrous. Those are the folks who said back in the 1960s that the segregation that they practiced up north was O.K., because it was de facto instead of de jure—but they still practiced it. And if my memory is correct, the fair city of Boston had more trouble than most southern cities. Most people I know send their children to private school to get away from poor people of whatever race and to instill in their children "christian" virtues, whatever that is. [Ed. note: In a subsequent letter Mr. Brady requested that "christian" remain in the lowercase, because nowadays "it has little relation to Christ or his teachings."]
Concerning the article [also in the Summer 2002 issue] about songs of the South: those songs may have been silly, overly sweet or whatever, but to my way of thinking that music is much better than what is out there today. Recently, in a mall in Rock Hill, South Carolina, I wandered into a store. Blaring from a radio was a song in which the verse mainly consisted of "I'm gonna get you m***********, I'm gonna get you m***********," and the chorus consisted mainly of "Lick my b****!" No doubt many of you at Southern Cultures would think that a lovely song, but to me it was nothing but musical feces. Yet, in this era of political correctness, that sort of septic tank lyrics is to be tolerated when you cannot even have "Dixie" played—even though Lincoln said, I believe, that it was his favorite tune. What silly games are played by the children of the era of political correctness.
Euell G. Brady
Waxhaw, North Carolina
The Letters to the Editors department in both your Fall 2001 and Spring 2002 issues carried items regarding The Oxford American, and since I am always on the prowl for free advertising I'd like to comment on what you printed (and thus bring up the magazine's name again).
1. In the Fall 2001 issue you quote Mr. Ed Talley of Arkansas, who derides The Oxford American for employing a subscription house—which is distinct from our editorial house—located in Beverly Hills...