People have been saying for 50 years that the South isn't the South anymore, but here's proof that they are wrong. First, I bring you Honey Boo Boo, the star of the TLC reality show. You can watch the show with horror or fascination or anthropological interest, but as the coverage from the London Daily Mail above shows, a lot of people can't tear themselves away. Then there's Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifestor for Southern Secession, the title of which pretty much telegraphs the message. Let's just say the author doesn't like Southerners much.
What these two things have in common is that they offer a convenient and entertaining way for non-Southerners to hang onto their preconceptions about my native region. What's different is their relative profitability. At last report, Honey Boo Boo's family is making $20,000 per episode--most of which they seem to be sticking in the bank for future college expenses. At least that's what Mama June says, and one glimpse of Honey Boo Boo's house will convince you they're not spending it. I dunno what author Chuck Thompson is making, but as what they call a "midlist writer" myself, I can guarantee you it's nowhere near $20,000 a week. I do hope, however, that his book is a success. We have to keep anti-Southern stereotypes alive--the rednecks need the money.