Redneck Facebook

Redneck Facebook

My dear friend John was recently on a visit to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. (Personal note: I just realized[1] that Tolkien probably called his range[2] “The Misty Mountains” in imitation of the name of these peaks[3]…). Anyway, he sent me a photo of the cover of a local newspaper: “Cuffed[4] News & Southern Times” that he found at a gas station[5] there. He describes it as “just[6] page after page of mugshots[7] of crackers[8] and their crimes[9] (armed robbery, meth[10] production, DUI[11], wife beating[12], etc.) occasionally broken up[13] by a couple of adverts[14] about meth addiction”.


I was intrigued. I love the hypocrisy of “All parties are[15] innocent until proven guilty[16]” at the same time as naming and shaming[17]. These are people who have been arrested but haven’t been tried[18] yet (which is why it’s called “Cuffed”). So, there is no “Crimewatch[19] service being provided (i.e. “Watch out for[20] this lot[21]). To be honest, I have problems understanding the rationale[22] behind it. Moreover, the people on the front cover are in colour but are unnamed, while those on the inside pages are in black-and-white but named.


Furthermore[23], why are the Coffee County[24] mugshots7 deserving of[25] a special feature line[26] at the top of the page? Why not those from Franklin County?! It invites readers to “Find us on FaceBook”, so I did. The FB page is fantastic! The inimitable headline[27] from the 28th September issue[28] is “Y’all[29] have to read this!” But wait a minute. After a bit of analysis I’ve realized1 each issue seems to be themed[30]. Everyone on the cover of the October 12th issue is smiling, while October 26th’s theme is psychopaths with weird[31] hair. I’m hooked[32]!


[1] to realize – (false friend) become conscious

[2] rangechain of mountains

[3] peaksmountains

[4] cuffedwearing handcuffs (= manacles) – see the image next to the title

[5] gas station (US English) – petrol station (UK English)

[6] just – (in this case) simply

[7] mugshotphotograph of sb’s face after s/he has been arrested

[8] crackers (US English) – poor white people, white trash, members of the Caucasian underclass of the South

[9] crimefelony, illegal act

[10] meth – the narcotic methamphetamine

[11] DUIdriving under the influence (of alcohol or narcotics), drunk driving

[12] wife beating – domestic violence

[13] broken up – (in this case) interrupted

[14] advert (UK English) – ad, advertisement

[15] all parties areeverybody is

[16] guilty – responsible, culpable

[17] naming and shaming – declare publicly that sb. has done sth. wrong

[18] to try sb. – judicially process sb.

[19] Crimewatch – a TV series in which viewers are warned about crime and told who the police are trying to find

[20] to watch out for – be vigilant for

[21] this lotthese people

[22] rationalereasoning, the raison d’être

[23] furthermore – what’s more, besides

[24] county – administrative district into which a US state is divided

[25] why are X deserving ofwhy do X get

[26] special feature line – specific mention on the cover

[27] headlinetitle in a newspaper

[28] issue – (in this case) edition

[29] y’all – you all, you (plural)

[30] to be themedfocus on a specific theme

[31] weird – strange, bizarre

[32] to be hooked – (metaphorical) be addicted


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