by Mari Sloan
One might think that Southerners hate face masks because of the humidity and the heat; the overwhelming wetness of an atmosphere that renders the face covering wet from the outside-in, as well as from the inside-out. This is true, but it also has something to do with facial expressions, and the way different regions encounter confrontation.
Southerners encounter confrontation far more passive-aggressively than many other regions of the country. It has something to do with the Bible Belt and being properly brought up to respect one’s elders, but it results in a pattern of sidestepping confrontation with the dreaded Southern half-grin and a shitty, demeaning remark, a diversion from the disputed subject. The response to the dance by another Southerner is an equally shitty re-joiner, another half-grin, until the dueling pistols come out, someone’s fence gets destroyed in the middle of the night, everyone in the neighborhood chooses sides and the shit-stirring commences.
Other parts of the country are far more direct so when someone from the Midwest or, God forbid, liberal, leftist California, responds to the problem immediately with angry words and hard-slung truth, that half-grin turns into a big one and the baiter strides away, very satisfied. “Look what I did!”
But the mask covers up the grin. All that can be seen are the angry eyes.
Trump uses that technique, which benefits him in two ways. He gets his payoff, the response, from the hated Liberal. And secondly, many intelligent Southerners, and yes, there are plenty, just don’t believe that he really means what he has just said. Many of those, after four years of having been shown that he really does mean the absurdity that just left his mouth, hopefully will NOT vote for him a second time. But don’t kid yourself, there is a strong current of anti-intellectualism running through the region and typically Southerners also hate highfaluting liberals.
Trump is not a Southerner, he is a raving maniac, and face masks save lives. But then, it is not all about face masks this election. 🙁