…lorist the time of day when he lobs disingenuous and inaccurate talking points in a Southward direction.
“You’re a racist *and* a traitor”, says professional cuckold and self-proclaimed “folklorist” John E. Price in an article making the social media rounds. He’s mad at one of his neighbors who dared fly a Confederate Battle flag; his anger spews out of Pennsylvania and targets all Southerners who ask for cultural respect.
But that’s not enough. Price goes further by attacking the media establishment itself – long known to be friendly to the Southern cause. If that last line strikes my Southern friends as odd (the media supports our Lost Cause?!) chalk it up to Price’s lack of expertise in his chosen field. Hard to be both accurate and a mouth-foaming cuckold.
What are they teaching left-wing academics these days? Does Price know anything about historiography in a post-modern world? I doubt it, else he’d be more careful before zealously championing a Yankee folk-myth as if it were the Gospel Truth. To paraphrase his view: any attempt to interpret history as a non-Yankee is malicious “revisionism”. And the malicious revisionist, especially the Southerner, ought to be damned to Secular Puritan Hell!
A good folklorist would view unique American folk-myths, and if he were in a patriotic mood, try to see the best in all of them while weaving together a fair analysis of the cultural milieu. That’s what Southern historian Clyde Wilson advocates in his essay “Recovering Southern History”. On the folk myth, Wilson says:
“…history involves the elaboration of a commonly shared mythology that provides part of the cohesion of a national or cultural group through the celebration of common ancestors. I mean mythology in the highest sense, not in a trivial sense. I do not mean that such history is the opposite of factual, but that it is true in a sense that transcends the merely factual. It is an ethical and aesthetic symbolization that serves the purpose of social unity.”
Price has stepped away from being a myth preserver and entered the realm of myth maker. He tries his best to perpetuate a historically fallacious, philosophically shallow myth, created by French Jacobins and their Yankee counter-parts, and popularized by MTV and modern government schools. He’s so religiously devoted to this myth, he doesn’t bother to defend his mythic presuppositions. Slavery, for example, is bad, mmkay? There’s no attempt to prove this. It’s merely assumed and pointing out that Southerners fought a war for slavery is, in Price’s mind, a form of reductio ad absurdum. “That flag defended slavery, so there!”
Has Price ever read a pro-Slavery polemic? Has he read Fitzhugh or Calhoun? Has he read Ruffin or Rhett? Has he seriously wrestled with their arguments and proven them false? No, he hasn’t. He wouldn’t dare. To wrestle with pro-Slavery arguments is to expose his religious presuppositions, and that’ll never be allowed.
No, Price doesn’t want to argue with a Southerner at all. He doesn’t dare. He didn’t knock on his flag-flying neighbor’s door, nor will he respond to this post. No, religious zealots like Price prefer to get an unwitting pro-Southerner trapped in a classroom where they can abuse the bully pulpit and strong arm the poor boy via grade point average. (How the hell did the likes of these win the War?!)
I could take the time to walk through all of Price’s assertions about the South and explain them from within a Southern mythos, but he’d just call me “racist”. I could take the time to point out Price’s inaccuracies, like the way he calls South Carolinians “traitors” by citing a Constitution that was no longer legally binding on South Carolina, but he’d not be open to reason about that either.
No. About the only thing Price and I can agree on is our dislike of “Gone with the Wind”. It’s too romantic for Price – too unromantic for me. If Butler had died, ramming his ship into a Yankee vessel, maybe killing off one of Price’s equally pretentious ancestors, then all would have been well in my view.
But like Rhett, who has had enough of Scarlett the Harlot, we Southerners no longer care about the John Prices of the world. They’re too cowardly to try and enforce opinions on us anyway.
…and if Mr. Price would like to prove me wrong, he’s welcome to knock on my door and enlighten me.