Monday, July 9, 2007


Hi-Fi Stereotype

“And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds,
and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our
God hast punished us less than our
iniquities deserve and hast given us
such deliverance as this;”
Ezra 9:13

When John Boorman directed
Ned Beatty to drop his pants
and squeal like a pig for
local actors pretending to be
some crazed mountain men,
dirty, bent with bestiality
(“If there were ever any
degenerate red-necks,
they are these two”),
did they think that
somewhere in those
twisted hills,
those hollows
of American darkness
crawled the real thing,
toothless crackers,
hillbilly inbreds
whose sole desire
was to gleefully molest
unsuspecting city folk,
young men who just wanted
to canoe a little white water?

No Shucking The Corn,
no Old Joe Clark,
just wicked crackling,
sharp cutting chords,
banjo strings plucking
in the background,
over the rapid’s roar.
As the water carried them,
they paddled urgently,
with fearful and tense bodies,
peering into the forest’s edge,
surrounded on both sides
with the unfamiliar, therefore evil.
You know he’s coming for you,
Lucifer of the mountain laurels,
Beelzebub of the brambles,
while Eric Weissberg
picks his way through
brand-new Pioneer
surround-sound speakers.
I never knew a banjo could make
such a harrowing sound.
Paddle faster.

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