Photos, videos, and writings from my three trips to the United States:
WRITINGS ON SOUTHERN FOOD IN CHICAGO
A collection of posts looking at British folk beliefs and culture, from the seventh to nineteenth centuries.
Brief Histories of English Cultural Phenomena:
- The English Drinking Culture: A Brief History
- On The English Love of Swearing
- The English Love of Gambling: A Brief History
- The Irreligiosity of the English: A Brief History
- The English Love of Spicy Foods: A Brief History
Before Tabasco was mass-produced, the English already had their own bottled hot sauce – Clarence’s Cayenne Sauce. And long before chicken wings slathered in Frank’s sauce became a popular bar snack, Englishmen were enjoying ‘devilled bones’ covered in a hot sauce that a food critic of the time claimed ‘destroys the palate, and ought to have no place in cookery’!
Despite Christianisation, the onset of scientific advances, and the Englightenment, the common people of Britain (and plenty of its more formally educated citizens) continued for a long time to adhere to a wide variety of magico-religious folk beliefs. The West Country county of Devon was a bastion of such beliefs and practices, up to at least the beginning of the twentieth century.
A violent clan living in squalor on a run-down old farm; a hatred of civilisation and religious authority; a house shared with animals; the suggestion of incest; and the traveller who escapes back to the safety of urban modernity… Although this sounds like a typical American horror film scenario, the Cheriton family actually existed in nineteenth century rural Devon and became so notorious that they even made the pages of the New York Times.
Arguably more than any other region of the United States, the South has most closely preserved its origins in the England of old. In its speech ways, food, architecture, gardens, culture, and folklore, the South remains deeply English at its core.
The accents, dialect, and vocabulary used in the Southern states of the US (as well as the African American Vernacular English of American blacks descended from slaves of the old South) are very different from the ‘American English’ you will find in many other parts of the US. The reason for this is that Southern speech ways are derived from the speech of settlers who came from very specific areas of Britain.
When ‘hoodoo’ is examined, it becomes clear that the true origins of a number of black Southerners’ folk beliefs lie in Britain.
BRITISH ORIGINS OF SOUTHERN FOOD
Sowell contends that negative behavioural traits and patterns found among ‘ghetto’ blacks in contemporary America – such as violence and murder carried out over ‘disrespect’, base pleasure seeking, and many children being born to unmarried mothers – arose not within the black community itself but, rather, through blacks in the Old South coming under the influence of lower class white ‘rednecks’, who came from the border regions of northern England and brought a unique and uncivilised culture with them. In making these claims, Sowell misunderstands and misrepresents the culture both of the Old South and of England.
Far from Edge being simply a scholar who objectively studies the food of the South, what actually emerges is a picture of a stereotypical white liberal academic who uses the topic of food as a vehicle through which to push a leftist multicultural vision. In other words, Edge is not just a food writer, he is actually an ideologue, and he seems less concerned with celebrating Southern culture than he is with seeking to radically change it.
Pseudoscientific nonsense that originated from the ‘theories’ of crank postmodernist humanities academics is increasingly being forced on the populations of Western nations by their political and cultural elites. In a short period of time, fact-free leftist ideological notions about gender and sexuality have been transformed into mainstream positions, with ‘trans’, ‘non-binary’, ‘gender fluid’, and so on now increasingly being presented as truths that must be embraced and celebrated. Dissenters risk being labelled as ‘phobic’ and ‘hateful’, yet the ideas underpinning this ideology are based on very flimsy, self-serving arguments.
POLITICS AND SOCIETY
White liberals are increasingly fleeing ethnically and culturally diverse areas, but at the same time they like to pontificate on ‘racism’ and the wonders of multiculturalism. This exposes a great hypocrisy: the biggest advocates of ‘diversity’ are often the least touched by it.
The supposed huge social and generational divide in modern Britain, then, is not nearly as drastic as the 75% Remain vote might make it appear to be. Most young Britons are not Europhiles and are in fact ‘reluctant Remainers’.
Those with a university education were greatly in favour of remaining in the EU, and the fact that they are ‘educated’ has been linked to this. However, the English university environment is one in which left-wing and liberal academics make up the vast bulk of teaching staff, and campuses are increasingly becoming places in which a certain set of ideologically – and morally – ‘acceptable’ views are the only opinions allowed to be heard.
Pubs in Britain are closing at an alarming rate. This is no accident, nor simply a case of the tastes of the public naturally changing. In fact, as far back as the nineteenth century, there has been a largely middle class war on pubs, which continues to this day and underpins the sad decline of the public house.