My great uncle and aunt have a house in Oxford, Mississippi, and this fall they invited me to come for an Ole Miss game, since they were playing my team. I had a friend that went to a graduate school program in the state of Mississippi, and he told me that all the alumni were so mopey that they did not get into Ole Miss and would wear their Ole Miss polos to class half the days.
College truly was the best years of their lives, in the sense that they will spend the rest of their lives pining for the days when they were fat, drunk, and stupid. If you are not an alumnus, you are not planning on being an alumnus, or your husband is not an alumnus, then you have no business being an Ole Miss fan, because you will never truly be accepted by them.
The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, has an interesting culture about it. In Mississippi, there are two main football teams: Ole Miss and Mississippi State University. Ole Miss has always been the more aristocratic and liberal arts focused, although they do not have many grad programs, whereas Mississippi State focuses on agricultural programs and does a lot of community education for the farmers of the state. Really, Ole Miss is not even a very good school academically, but its people have a strong sense of culture with it, and even many poor white trash love it.
The town of Oxford is absolutely beautiful. They have an old square that the city has made sure to keep the chain stores out of. There are some extremely expensive clothing stores. The whole school and city reminded me of the video game Bully or the TV show Blue Mountain State. There are the rich kids that attend out of tradition even though they could get a better education elsewhere, there are the middle class kids who attend because it is a good opportunity compared with other options, and then there are the poor townies.
Before every game, there is a big tailgating party in The Grove. Friends told me that it is the greatest party on earth six days a year, and I was greatly looking forward to it. However, they made a great overstatement. The Grove was anything but fun. It was mostly middle-aged alumni watching ESPN and ugly college girls with slut face and iPhones. Barely anybody was grilling, which is the whole point of tailgating (hence the name).
Instead, they had pre-cooked food in their tents. Of course, southerners no longer know how to make southern food, so instead they had weird finger-food one will rarely find outside of a Wednesday night at a Baptist church. Predictably, there was plenty of shitty beer in The Grove. There were also a few bands that were badly miked and certainly didn’t get the permission of everyone in earshot before they began squawking.
College football in the South is not complete without a tradition to annoy all the fans of other teams. Ole Miss fans complain about how obnoxious Mississippi State’s cowbells are, but it cannot be anything as awful as the Hotty Toddy. It’s a chant they say, and the lyrics mean absolutely nothing.
Are You Ready?
Hell Yeah! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty,
Who The Hell Are We?
Hey! Flim Flam, Bim Bam
Ole Miss By Damn!
“Flim Flam Bim Bam.” Southern eloquence at its finest. No wonder the rest of the country thinks we are all inbred morons.
They write the two words “Hotty Toddy” on everything and say it as a passing greeting like “Merry Christmas.” I asked my uncle what a hotty toddy is, and he said that it is a drink.
“What’s in it?”
“Anything you want to be in it.”
Which means that it is even more meaningless than it sounds.
That Ragged Old Flag
Blacks and leftists claim that the Rebel flag is a symbol of hatred, and today it is often not allowed to be worn in public schools. Neo-confederates claim that it is a symbol of history. The reality is that both are incorrect. Realistically, the way people use it is not for hatred or for history but for redneck pride, Ole Miss aristocracy aside.
The main reason I’ve never worn it is because I do not hunt deer or drink Bud Lite. My friends would laugh me down if they saw me wearing it. Brad Paisley was on to something when he sang that we could replace it with a camouflage flag.
Interestingly, most people who wear the flag with pride today would have been the least likely to have benefitted from the secession. The real secessionists were the aristocrats who had money on the line, and I often wonder if they would shake their heads at the neo-confederate culture today.
I could be wrong, but I get the impression that most of us neo-confederates are secretly glad we lost the war. Very few people today want segregation of any kind, and the neo-confederate will be quick to change the debate away from slavery or the Klu Klux Klan. Furthermore, with the way people migrate across state lines, most of us never would have been conceived. No neo-confederate has ever given me a reason for why they wish the south had won beyond the abstract concept of states’ rights.
The Rebel flag, more than anything, is about national identity, and it is the only symbol the south really has. People compare it to the swastika, but the Nazi flag was only about a specific time period. Germans have plenty of national symbols to communicate their identity. The Rebel flag is the only symbol a southerner has, and it is so divorced from the actual war that it was not even the design used by the Confederacy for most of the war.
Some people claim that we should take pride in other great southerners like Martin Luther King, since the rest of the country is bent on making sure racism is the only defining cultural trait of the south. When singing the praises of Harriet Tubman or the book To Kill A Mockingbird, leftists ignore that the Rebel culture is about white southerners. Every nationality has the right to take pride in their culture and history. No race should be forced to write off their entire national identity because of the dark spots in it.
The Superficiality Of Neo-Confederacy
However, I myself am bothered by the way white southerners view the flag. The Civil War was a mismanaged fluke from a century and a half ago. For some reason we define ourselves by our failure and see everything through that lens. Perhaps the pride comes from being the only region of the country to stand up to Washington oppression, but it is still uncomfortable to me how a mere five years are the only major source of pride.
There have been plenty of white southerners in history that we could hold up high to show our superiority to the rest of the country: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Jack Daniels, Edgar Allen Poe, William Faulkner, Kris Kristofferson, to name just a few of the brightest stars. I suppose I am a neo-Confederate, but really, I don’t give a damn about that piss stain of a war or General Sherman’s unethical methods. I’ve moved on with my life and am more concerned about making a better future than figuring out how we could have had a better past.
And even if I did care about the Confederacy, neo-Confederates themselves do not really care about the real culture that sprung up around the real Confederacy. They love to sing “Dixie,” but that song says absolutely nothing about blacks, slavery, or even secession. The lyrics are a heap of nonsense that seems to tell the story of a womanizer. Compare that to, “I’m A Good Old Rebel.”
The lyrics to that are so emotional. The man is bleeding on the page about how much he hates the Union, even to the point of hating such antebellum staples like the Declaration of Independence. The chords and the melody are powerful but subtle, especially when played slowly. It really shows just how goofy and obnoxious “Dixie” is. Neo-Confederate culture is all dress-up and make-believe and has in much in common with the Confederacy as a Renaissance Fair has with the Middle Ages.
The Rebels Learn Submission
The name Ole Miss is what slaves would call the master’s wife. There is a lot of pressure on the school to change the name, but I heard they found a loophole that it was technically named after a train. I told that to my great uncle and aunt, and they did not believe me. They also denied that the school would ever change the name and called me ignorant, the classic baby boomer rhetoric. To truly earn their keep as far left-wing liberals, they also have a glaring double standard in addition to their willful naivety.
My uncle and aunt are among the few that actually support the mascot change. For years it was a rebel soldier, representing “a dark time in our history,” according to my aunt. Recently, the school replaced it with a black bear, which the high-class aristocrat students like to throw trash at. At The Grove, I did not see one single black bear on anything, nor were they selling any plush toys in the campus bookstore. It is a football team without a face, their name rendered meaningless.
The fight song used to be “Dixie,” but they did away with that too, since at the end the fans would cheer, “The south will rise again!” Granted, they have never given a reason for why they would want the south to rise again, but they long for it like a child for Christmas. The reality is that if the south did secede again, The Union would not fight them with force, considering how averse to war people are today.
Even in Lincoln’s time, many northerners had no desire to kill a stranger in his own backyard. The south—at least initially—did not want a war; it was Lincoln who would not let them have peace. Lincoln enslaved the white majority in order to free the black minority, and by “free,” I mean throw most of them into a worse standard of living than they had as slaves even to this day in every region of the United States. But, you know, at least Google thanks them for their military service, so that has to be worth something, right?
All of these changes at Ole Miss have come to about to the great humiliation of their alumni, and even fans of other teams who hate Ole Miss feel anger at the changes. Ole Miss has betrayed its own alumni and fans for the sake of a fleeting ideology. What good is a team if it does not care about its fans? The charm of athletics is the sense of community; it is the traditions that make it worthwhile.
People loved Ole Miss because of the sense of identity it gives them. Few schools in the country have such a sense of historicity and community. Given that the State of Mississippi is so third-world, such neo-Confederate traditions were a rare source of pride for many who have little else to give them hope or joy.
And in giving up that historicity, the University of Mississippi has become another generic McUniversity with little to distinguish it from any of the others. The reason I could never be an Ole Miss fan is the same reason I never watch the NFL. I could send my child to the University of Mississippi, but I could never root for a team that sells out all of its fans for political points. The Confederacy finally dies with a whimper.
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