Oh, Black Water

LucilleI’m going to talk about my home state just a bit, prodded by getting a tag for the new vehicle. The new MS car tags have an image of BB King’s “Lucille” guitar (Gibson ES355) on the central medallion. My home state gets a lot of grief, most of it deserved, a lot self-inflicted, but it’s nice to be reminded now and then that we don’t get *everything* wrong. (Though I do count it a major irony that a state with such a musical reputation has arguably the worst state song in the Union. If you doubt me, look it up. And see if you can get through the whole thing without passing out laughing.)

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yeah–A friend from up North once asked me if I liked living in Mississippi. I had to think about that one for a while. What follows is as close as I can come to an honest answer, with the understanding that it’s an issue I’m never going to be objective about. Take it for what it’s worth.

I don’t think “like” is the right word. Say rather that I was born here, grew up here, and I understand it. I admit that sometimes I get righteously pissed off when I hear some of the knee-jerk putdowns the state often gets from outsiders, usually from people who 1) Don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and 2) Live in states whose own houses are not only “not in order” but a hot mess besides. I also get righteously ticked off when the people of my home state do stupid and self-destructive things, like voting for people who are blatantly and obviously not looking out for their best interests (We haven’t had a decent governor since William Winter). All that aside, and contrary to perception, there are a lot of wonderful, generous and enlightened people here. There are also far too many ignorant jackasses who proudly believe that their bigotry and ignorance are Biblical virtues.

So, like? Don’t like? All I can really say about it, as is said of many relationships–“It’s complicated.”