Turn The Page: Jim Goad — Shit Magnet
As with a lot of the books that line my shelves I came to The Redneck Manifesto
by Jim Goad through the recommendation, or rather a loan, of the book from a friend. What’s your first reaction when you get handed a book with a title like that? Well, you start looking for swastikas on your friend, you start wondering whether they have a big white outfit they wheel out to barbecue black folks. Proves that white people are as prejudiced against the poor white folk as anyone else is.
Shit, half the problem for me is that it dealt with American Poor White Folk and the only time you come across them is in films like Deliverance
or some other thing where poor middle class folk are being buggered by some gap-toothed retard from a diminished gene pool. We have our own breed of that in England but for some reason they seem tamer — could be that there is a lack of guns in England. The only people that really have guns are farmers and they have a high suicide rate so they kind of deal with themselves and the only things that they bugger that they shouldn’t tend to be four-legged and have wooly jumpers.
Anyway, you get to see that the racial slurs regularly wheeled out for white people such as redneck, hillbilly and white trash are common parlance and that barely anyone gives a crap about it. It doesn’t carry as much weight as being racist against someone of colour. He shows how white indentured servants were in some cases considered to be worth less than black slaves. And you begin to see that the people suffering from this are perhaps not that much different from yourself — geographically separated but definitely of a similar lineage and background. It was an interesting read and it was well written — I think people just tend to have that initial gut reaction to the title and then the subject under discussion.
This brings us to Goad’s latest book — Shit Magnet. It seems like an interesting proposition — a book about domestic abuse written by the abuser. I am not sure that to say it is a brave thing to do what make much sense to anyone. I think it might be an important thing to have done. I suppose it will be judged on whether or not Goad seems to have learned a lesson or not — because you have to have some kind of closure in this day and age; people expect a Disney ending. The sad fact is that most abusers don’t stop, most abuse goes unreported — there is this still persisting idea that perhaps she asked for it (it exists on the same spectrum that excuses rape as the by-product of a woman wearing sexy clothes or some such bullshit). One thing is for sure, in the interviews I have read Goad is nothing but honest and I expect the book to be the same. To open the pages of it and to have it read as anything less would be a disappointment, but then who am I to judge?
Check out the guy’s website, give him a fair crack of the whip — it is apparently something not many people will do:
Now playing: Elliott Smith – Twilight