Dispatch: Kentucky Dreamin’

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In which Bwog correspondent Josie Swindler relates the quirks of her home state.

Ah, Kentucky. Land of red necks and blue collars. Where deer carcasses pepper the highway’s emergency lanes and tobacco plants flap beautifully in a westerly wind.

Kentucky has straddled the rifts in America’s national consciousness since before the Civil War; both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were born here. It’s not quite the South and it’s not the Midwest. But in 2000 and 2004 it was decidedly W. country.

Though the state is split on whether to root for the University of Louisville or University of Kentucky basketball teams, everyone’s a fan of the cellar-dwelling Triple-A Louisville Bats. If on the drive to Louisville Slugger Field, while listening to “today’s best country,” you find yourself too short on cash to pick up a $3 pack of Marlboros, swing by KFC’s national headquarters for a paid taste test.

KY car

The Bluegrass was busy in May. First, a record crowd watched Barbaro win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, poised to take the first Triple Crown in almost 30 years. But when the horse sustained a life-threatening leg break in the Preakness, the state mourned the best way we know how—with homebrews like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Wild Turkey.

Had it been election season, Barbaro’s popularity could have garnered him the Governor’s Office in the quaint capital city of Frankfort; for our Republican governor Ernie Fletcher was indicted in early May on charges of nepotism. A Republican practicing political favoritism? Nah. That’s crazy.

Recently, Esquire deemed Kentucky the most stylish state in the nation, the birthplace of a nation-high nine style icons: George Clooney, My Morning Jacket, the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, Allan Houston, Chuck Woolery, and Colonel Harland Sanders, may he rest in peace. The issue came out in March, so Kentuckians should hear about it some time in 2009.

Whether one likes it or not, whether one flees to the Big Apple or not, a Kentuckian is always a Kentuckian. And whether I buy the bumper sticker or not, it’s true, my ass belongs to the Bluegrass.



  1. Uhh..

    Dear Bwog,


  2. you know  

    this article makes me appreciate kentucky more than i already had. paid kfc taste test? that truly is god's country.

  3. M.R.

    I've gotta ask- isn't it just a tiny bit hypocritical to get interviewed for an article on misconceptions of the midwest for The Current (which I found interesting), and then write this snarky "it's hokey but I still call it home!" piece for Bwog?

    • another southerner

      No, it's not at all. It's ok to lovingly poke fun at the quirks of your homeland. It's not ok when others treat you in ignorant, prejudicial ways because of your homeland.

      • M.R.

        I get what you're saying, but when you start off "Ah, Kentucky. Land of red necks," you don't have to wonder why supposed 'coastal elitists' adopt the same attitude. If you call it the land of red necks, why shouldn't I think of it, and refer to it as anything else? You're the authority right?

  4. wow

    this is actually the stupidest post ever. and i agree about the hypocrisy. don't whine about how you're an victimized minority and then write this crap. actually, don't do either.

    • What?  

      How do you even have an opinion about this? This is the least offensive thing that anyone has ever written, ever. What the fuck is "victimized minority?" The Current piece was just talking about the attitudes people have, not complaining in any sense. Why don't you step away from the keyboard for a few minutes and be an asshole to the people around YOU instead of wasting time with this stupid vitriol?

    • double wow

      we must have a Hoosier on our hands

  5. question  

    I still do not get how the BWOG tries to put in articles that are not directly related to lies and gossip and expect readers to support it. We have created and environment of lies, mistrust and falacies. Decide what is the bwog--journalism or gossip/made up lies?

  6. seconded

    Bwog... how about some news from Morningside Heights, eh?

  7. ...  

    Here's some news. City Year has taken over Columbia. That's it. Nothing else has happened.

  8. To a Kentuckian

    this piece isn't cute. As much as imagery of rednecks and roadkill paints a pretty picture of our state, I'd rather you not try to help. Clearly she's from Louisville, and thus despises the rest of the state. And to clear something up, Kentucky is in the South. Try to tell one of us otherwise.

    • oh

      and that picture doesn't help. what the hell is that? how about a beautiful landscape or some horses, instead of some shirtless youths working on a broken-down car in a chain restaurant parking lot that could have been taken anywhere. How is that meant to illustrate Kentucky in any other way but the stereotype of backward?

    • Right on

      Kentucky is below the Mason-Dixon Line. It is in the South. Ms. Swindler is deluded if she thinks otherwise.

    • kentuckian  

      Not *every* Louisvillian despises Kentucky, though there's a lot that try to make themselves feel better by insulting the rest of the state. I agree the article is pretty stupid. And yes, we are in the south. Nothing to be ashamed of.

      • God damn  

        A girl tries to spread a little KY pride and you asshats attack her. For fucks sake. Be happy that anyone is talking about your toilet bowl of a state at all.

        • no  

          No, I didn't like the piece precisely because it wasn't spreading any Kentucky pride and instead was just listing goofy stereotypes that perpetuate the "toilet bowl" of a state characterization, which is far from accurate. But that kind of attitude toward southern states and southerners in general, even by southerners themselves, is unfortunately very common here.

        • "toilet bowl"

          like Jersey's such a paradise. "come visit the beautiful... American northeast." hardy har har.

  9. City Year

    Fine. News. Bill Clinton's speaking at Columbia as part of City Year. Last week, Roone was half full when Clinton spoke as part of the World Leaders Forum. Where was Bwog with the "Former President Speaking at Columbia NOW!" alert?

    • Ahem  

      The Bwoggers must have been at work. They have lives, too, and still do a great job in spite of all the other things they have to do. You didn't send notice of the Clinton speech, now did you?

  10. hmmm

    I have been reading the Bwog since it first started and you know what? I think this is a nice change. Most of the posts made on Bwog are about Columbia or NYC, but now they are presenting us with a different angle. I think that people reporting from their hometowns is a great idea because it offers a new perspective and a look at where our fellow classmates grew up and are living for the summer. I don't really understand why all of you are making it seem like such an awful thing . . .

  11. hey, now

    no need to drag jerz into this. nj is ok!

  12. China

    KFC is a delicacy here.

  13. i wish

    i were in china. i want some soupy dumplings...

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