Thursday, May 05, 2011

a little on duality

There's a awesome amount of duality when you recognize yourself as being a child of the South, and also recognize the turmoil of the history of the region. Pride in one's area of origin is often offset by not wanting to seem like you condone the root causes of the Civil War and the resulting 150 years of social and racial turmoil that has resulted. The Drive-By Truckers wrote a double album exploring, among other things, this duality of mind (and even duality of existence), and even as this album closes in on being ten years old, I don't think I'm (or anyone else) any closer to fully solidifying one's feelings of pride along with one's shame.

DBT calls this "The Southern Thing". That song ends on a refrain used throughout the album "Proud of the glory, stare down the shame / Duality of the southern thing". Indeed, most of the first half of the double album is about rectifying the region's sins with the changes since then.

What we have to do is to figure out how we fit into the grand scheme of things without feeling like a fraud or sellout, or that you're turning your back on anyone or anything. Calling myself a Southerner is not about pride. It's my identity, tattooed on my soul, permanent and impermeable.

I'm a Southerner, I'll always be one, good and bad, heaven and hell, cats and dogs, black and white.

UPDATE: Southern Spaces published an essay entitled "The Civil War and Emancipation 150 Years On", touching on some of the same issues.

No comments: