This is by far one of my favorite tropes.
With this political climate, and the urban disdain for rural voters, and seeming to think them all uneducated ignorant rednecks, hillbillies, swamp people, etc… You’d be surprised how many folks who live in these rural areas are actually pretty smart.
For instance, my dad has a 10th grade education… but he can add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions in his head, and do proportions and trig in his head as well. He can also read and visualize industrial blueprints and could, theoretically, build a house from scratch by himself, including all the plumbing, electrical, and duct work. My dad, despite his lack of formal education, is one of the smartest people I know. Also, a master bow hunter.
It seems in this day and age, to be considered “smart” you need to have some fantastic college degree, but according to the law of supply and demand, anything that saturates the market has less value. Everyone has a college degree. The new high school diploma is a B.A. or B.S. The new bachelors degree is a masters degree and so forth.
Now, when speaking with young people who dream of college because they are told by their teachers that the only way to be successful and make money is to go to college and get a degree, I tell them to go to trade school. Become a welder, electrician, HVAC, mechanic.
That’s where the money is — it’s not as glamorous as being a doctor or lawyer, and it’s hard work, but at the end of the day people need welders. People need mechanics and electricians, and plumbers, and carpenters, and seamstresses/tailors.
And to be quite honest, some of the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, like refinishing furniture, sewing, rewiring something, is what I’ve done with my hands.
I got off on a tangent….
Back to the Southern Fried Genius…
Probably my favorite one is John Crichton from Farscape:
For folks who have never seen Farscape — it’s essentially a space opera filmed in Australia with lots of leather which aired on SciFi in the early 2000’s and still holds up. It’s got some of my favorite characters and excellent writing, with goofy comedy.
Also, who can forget Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory:
And there are tons of real life Southern Fried Geniuses: Mark Twain, Jim Henson, several of the Founding Fathers, Kris Kristofferson, Jimmy Carter, William Faulkner, MLK, etc…
Also, I’m from the South and boast an IQ of 136, aka, top 1% of people in the world. Not to brag or anything…
I guess what inspired this post is reading how urbanites are attributing the Trump win to rural dumb rednecks, which is not the case. Just because people live differently than you, even though we are cut from the same cloth in the same country with a lot of the same values, doesn’t make them any less smart. Some people are better than others at certain things. People’s life experiences define them, not which equally shitty person they voted for in an election. It’s like, for instance, with Brexit I literally read an opinion piece about how old people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Seriously.
People have become so insular in their beliefs and anything that falls outside of it is worthy of scorn and contempt.
Look at my dad — on paper, he ain’t winning any awards, but I can call him up and ask him any question about my car, and he will immediately have an answer. I can ask him anything about refinishing furniture, and he’ll have an answer. I can ask him anything about plumbing, he’ll have an answer.
I might turn Tropes Thursday into a thing. Let me know what ya’ll think!