I know you didn't solicit any correspondence, but here it is anyway.
My first exposure to your very very fine writing was the weekly Focus newspaper's carriage of your Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In features. A stack of Focus papers was at the door, and another at the bar, at Ten Years After tavern, where I frequently ruled the pool room and occasionally frammed out some power chords in the Wednesday night blues jam. That had to be back in the 80's, so I've been a fan for quite a while.
So, my initial reaction to your Taki Mag column, Barney Fife Runs North Carolina is great disappointment. You're a much, much better writer than I am, but I hope to counter or correct some of your wrong-headed article. While you're an acknowledged (and well-trained, obviously) professional, I am but a lowly amateur, butchering prose to anybody who'll listen. Which is usually nobody.
Let's begin with your empathy (cloaked in your twisted concept of "Southern moral values and philosophy") to the transgender-surgery seekers, and the medical nonsense that they were born with an error-gene. Would you concede the notion that, given the prospect for a federal funding windfall, some "genetic medical researchers" might actually fabricate this "scientific evidence" that you've rubber-stamped in your article? Is your next article going to beat the drum for settled global warming science?
Am I suggesting that your empathy is invalid? No, just woefully misapplied. I think your editor recognized this, and maybe just didn't want to crush that little burgeoning social justice warrior heart.
You're absolutely correct that the ACC pulling events probably hurt North Carolinians more than any of those others, because basketball IS dear to our culture. Even though I've largely eschewed much of my own need for entertainment, that one stung a bit. But then, so is the concept of self-determination a real part of our culture, even if it's buried deep within our souls and nearly long-forgotten.
Is the legal definition of bathroom options the hill we want to die on for the sake of Liberty? No. But, I'll tell you something you've missed in this: we're mighty sick of just conceding the optics battle for the sake of fighting somewhere better, later on. You can be as accepting as you wish of those gender-confused misfits, and your New York new-normal homosexuals. But we'd like some say in what we consider normal, versus what we consider perverted, or abnormal.
I'll go on record to say that I am very much against the notion of legislating the finer points of morality. I would very much prefer to live and let live. But, and I've said this time and again, this week's "tolerate us" is next week's "bake our fucking cakes, you haters, or be forced out of business." If the nation is to be a nation, then the first thing its government has got to do is define (and maintain) its limits, those borders. Guns pointed outwards. If my State has any validity at all, it has to have its guns pointed outward too, at those who'd force it to be something it's not, or something to which a tiny minority would have the rest of us accede. And, that State has to be willing to cut the umbilical to Uncle Sugar (and the centers of debauchery in New York, Chicago, and LA). I'd rather not even have a governor, but as long as there is one, I'm happy he'll fight the outsiders' insistence on normalizing perversions. And I'll endorse that kind of fight on any hill.
And so, the thing that's the most wrong-headed of your column, is your willingness to jump on the yankee bandwagon and use our culture, like a cudgel, against us. Shame on you. Or, as Gomer would say, "shame, shame, shame." Here's the clue-bat, Joe Bob: basketball is not the religion of North Carolina, much as that fact may disappoint you. It is entertainment, and part of our history and culture. But, our religion is much much deeper than basketball and all the sports, and all the self-righteous music stars and Hollywood celebrities, and all the New York and DC fuck-withs. And even far more important than the clever Texas writers we thought we loved.
You very well could have shown the hypocrisy of those same big-dollar entertainment associations, like the NCAA's willingness to whore themselves to the far-less sympathetic cultures abroad, no? But you didn't. You chose the elitist bandwagon. The Dook coach has more fans in New Jersey than he has in NC, so please do us the courtesy of not citing him as a standard of "classiness".
Your boycotts and your derision might hurt, financially and emotionally. We do like the entertainment, and had largely become addicted to it. But, we'll still have plenty of culture without your dollars, and without Springsteen browbeating us with his faux patriotism. Feel free to go your own way, Joe Bob. You are no more a child of the South than that former Arkansas governor who won't go away. Keep your condescending cultural cudgels right the fuck out. Or, keep 'em coming. Because eventually more of my neighbors will get fed up with having our noses rubbed in some yankees' preferred cultural standards.
Our culture has gone to shit. Every effort to staunch the bleeding has failed. I'd like to know when good intelligent people are of like mind, but it's just as valuable in the long run to know who isn't. I would have at least expected more intellectual honesty from you, Joe Bob.
I would have just expected better, overall.
One last thing: Aunt Bea doesn't care for you putting words in her mouth or pretending to side with her. And she doesn't care for your new-normal perversions, either.