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Monday Morning Dawg Bites: Redneck Fortitude Edition

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I know it's a bit unfair of me to throw a whole lot at you bright and early on a Monday morning, but it was a busy weekend and I want to make sure you don't start out your work week already behind the eight ball, so here's the quick run-down on what was going on here at Dawg Sports while you were away from the office:

"Talladega Nights" can bring you closer to enlightenment . . . even if you aren't burned by invisible fire and even if you don't drive with a live cougar. (Photograph from Empire Movies.)

I believe "The Dukes of Hazzard" is the greatest movie ever made. My favorite band is the Drive-By Truckers. I believe that, almost 30 years after its theatrical release, "Smokey and the Bandit" has aged well. To this day, my weblog postings sometimes are influenced by the Charlie Daniels Band. I still miss Lewis Grizzard.

Add to that my fondness for such older Burt Reynolds films as "White Lightning" and "Gator," my deep appreciation of "King of the Hill," and my affinity for the fiction of such authors as Larry Brown, Harry Crews, and Cormac McCarthy, and it begins to become clear.

Do you have any idea how good a movie has to be for the title "Gator" not to cause me to hate it on general principle?

Why is William Faulkner my favorite author? Why do I enjoy the story of Willie Stark in Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men or the tale of Eugene Gant in Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel? Why do I prefer Tom Wolfe's non-fiction, which celebrates such rustic heroes as Junior Johnson and Chuck Yeager, to his novels, which are all about wealthy patricians in urban settings and which contain as their only rural central figure the title character of I am Charlotte Simmons, whose ruination and betrayal of her small-town values bring that book to its depressing denouement?

While walking out of the theatre after seeing "Talladega Nights," I realized what it is: my literary, cinematic, and musical tastes include an ingrained fondness for tales of redneck fortitude. (Some may use the term "redneck" disparagingly, but, in this instance, I do not.) From V.K. Ratliff to Sonny Hooper to Patterson Hood, I like rooting for the bucolic hero, especially when he displays a courage that looks a lot like recklessness.

Whether and how that affects my affinity for Southeastern Conference football, I leave to your discretion, but that dawned on me after seeing Will Ferrell's latest motion picture masterpiece, so I thought I'd mention it.

Also, if there's a good-looking blonde in there somewhere, so much the better.

In other news:

And don't give me any of that nonsense about changing the pronunciation of your last name so that it sounds like an award, either.

That part about liking reckless redneck fortitude? As it turns out, that isn't always applicable.

Consider yourself all caught up and have a good week.

Go 'Dawgs!