I was leaving work today when I heard one of my co-worker's cell phones go off. Her ringtone was set to Lynard Skynard's Sweet Home Alabama. To put it mildly, I was shocked. She's hardly the stereotypical fan of that particular tune. I asked her why she had that as her ringtone, and she said "I liked the movie."
For starters, man, do I feel old. Secondly, she had no idea as to why I was as shocked as I was. (and finally we get to the point of this post)
I grew up in a small, redneck, Southern town. We're talking Dixie flags all over the place, gun racks in the back of the truck windows, an Appalachia kind of area. Sweet Home Alabama was the soundtrack of so many racist idiots from my youth that I have an automatic association of that song to bigotry. And I don't think I'm the only one to make that connection. It seems to be rather commonplace for Lynard Skynard to backfill the introduction of a new character in film and TV, a shorthand way to ascribe lots of unsavory characteristics to a person. If you think I'm wrong, please, suggest an counter-example.
Perhaps this is a function of both age and location. J had no idea of any of the connotations of the tune, but she's fairly young and from upstate New York. I got it right away (I'm both older and from the South), as did another one of my co-workers (older than both J and I, as well as a native of DC). In any case, my distate for Sweet Home is hardly a revelation for those who know me.Posted by Casper at September 3, 2004 03:54 PM