A Redneck State of Mind Don’t Confuse These Hard Partyers With White Trash By JOHN MacCORMACK John Goshorn of Palestine, Texas has some good clean fun during the Texas Redneck Games at the Pool Ranch in Athens, Texas. 0 n a remote East Texas ranch, surrounded by thousands of rowdy Southern whites, many drinking heavily and driving all-terrain vehicles at eye-popping speeds, the young German confronted images of mayhem and depravity. Flula Borg, a tall, curly haired musician, was an accidental visitor to the Texas Redneck Games outside Athens in early August. He came as part of a Los Angeles film crew keen on recording a bit of the backwoods revelry. The 26-year-old Borg’s only preparation for the resulting cultural collision had come in Germany, first from watching popular American shows like the “The Dukes of Hazzard” as a child, later from grown-up movies that cast rural Southern whites in a far harsher light. With a goodly number of Confederate flags flying, crude signs asking women to disrobe, and the occasional “White Pride” tattoo on a sallow chest, the event’s early signs were unsettling. “They seem friendly. I was a little scared. You see movies. You think they’ll be loud, throwing people around,” Borg said shortly after arriving, still feeling conspicuous as a foreigner. Having a tall, black cameraman with flowing dreadlocks in his group only added to Borg’s anxiety. “I was worried they’d be racist. I’m worried because I don’t have tattoos and everyone else is wearing wife-beaters,” he confided early that Saturday morning. Hours later, after viewing various gross and silly contests, including some that resemble ancient rites of public humiliation, and competing in the mattress “Wow, it’s crazy. It feels a little like a movie. I don’t know anything like this in Germany,” he said with open amazement. 20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 7, 2007
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