Friday, December 12, 2014

Have Eye Nawwt

Most of the Southern accents you hear in the movies and T.V. are nonsense...as bad as anything that came out of Dick Van Dyke's mouth in Mary Poppins. These people are rarely Southerners anyway and, until very recently, if you were a Southerner and wanted to be in the movies, t.v. or broadcasting...you were instructed to get the Cotton Boll or the Peach Pit out of your mouth.


Things have been changing....not only are you hearing real Southern accents but, we're starting to get Southern stories (as opposed to stories about The South). Rectify from A&E was outstanding. Not only did the people in South Georgia sound like Southerners and eat dinner in the middle of the day and say pea-can instead of puhcahn (according to my Little Granny...only uppity people from Atlanta said puhchan)...they communicated like Southerners. What wasn't said was often more important than what was....and what was said usually conveyed a Truth beyond the facts of the sentence.

MUD....not a Movie about The South but, a Southern story...Love and Faith and Violence...coded violence...Retribution and Honor...the Grotesque.



Even now that you hear more actual Southern accents on the T.V. and in Broadcasting...you rarely get an unadulterated listen. People do have to understand you if you're conveying information. That brings us to The Paul Finebaum Show and Tammy.

Finebaum started doing radio in Alabama...like twenty years ago. A sports show. A sports show in Alabama means a show about SEC football in general and the year round rivalry between Alabama and Auburn specifically. It soon became infamous...not only was Paul well connected and unafraid (an Alabama Football coach tried to get him fired...Kenny Stabler threatened to kill him) he took a fiendish delight in letting the callers run wild. It worked...because he's as dry as a Water Cracker...a straight man for a region full of gleefully unhinged people.

When the SEC started it's own network, in co1njunction with ESPN, this year...Paul's Show went national. People have gone nuts for it. National sportscasters are eagerly getting into public spats with local callers...and Charles from Realtown, Alabama...Jim from Tuscaloosa...Phylis are being regularly quoted on Sports Center.

If these people only knew what the show used to be like...when it was regional.

That brings us to Tammy. A long time caller*...her and Paul have been picking at one another for years. Tammy..she's got a cotton boll the size of a softball between her cheek and gum...she don't give a damn whether you can understand her or not. A pure, unadulterated Southern accent for your delight.

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WAR DAYUM EAGLE!

*I'll have to dig up her call about "teabagging" and the one where she threatens to run through Auburn naked...naykid...showing everybody her fanny.

15 comments:

  1. Cos you ain't nuthin but a xxxx". What is that word? Sounds like "Bail"? And where does Tammy ask Finebaum to stick his head - up his scrawny little body or botty?

    As you know, we had to put on subtitles here for True Detective because of Matthew McConaughey's Texan accent - worth it, of course, because he was quite superb.

    Meanwhile, I've been practicing a Southern accent using Bandanaman's YouTube videos, because you confirmed he's the real deal. As for Tammy, there are just too many extra syllables in there for a foreigner to figure out. Bless her heart.
    Paul Finebaum's excellent - great timing.

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    1. Haha She's calling him a "BAM". It's a derogatory name, among Auburn fans, for Alabama fans. That and "Braggin' Alabama MO-RON". Paul actually graduated from Tennessee (they also have an intense rivalry with Alabama...due, in part, to the fact that for decades Alabama and Auburn refused to play each other over some petty dispute), and I remember a time when he was accused of being an Auburn fan...but, there is no doubt, for the last seven years he ain't been nothin' but a BAM.

      Tammy can be very pleasant...you hear it for a second when she says "hey jaawn." Paul is a comedic genius...and a very sharp writer but, he and Tammy are especially good together.

      I used to work a lot in Alabama and I'd be drivin' between Birmingham and Pell City with tears streaming down my cheeks...it was one of the most brilliant and insane shows that's ever been produced. I have to say he's done a fabulous job of integrating the insanity into a format that, while more tame, gives the rest of the country a fair representation in a dose they can handle.

      I'll post a link to an archive of calls...it's essential material for anyone who really wants to understand a fundamental aspect of this part of the world.

      Speaking of True Detective....I've been meaning to tell you, The Sportsman Lounge...the bar where he hangs out in the later episodes, I'm almost certain that place is in Scotlandville, Louisiana (a part of Baton Rouge)...big yellow letters across the roof. Not exactly in a redneck part of town. :)

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    2. PS. She's threatening to "peanch"...pinch...his scraaawnee little hayed off his sraaawnee little body.

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  2. I've added 'Mud' to my movies to watch list. I don't know it it, but Matthew McConaughey displayed a certain mesmeric quality in 'True Detective' that appears to be evident here as well. The Paul Finebaum Show looks surreal, are his encounters with Tammy staged or genuine? I like Scott's comment about her using ' too many extra syllables in there for a foreigner to figure out'.

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    1. Oh...Tammy's real...real real. She gets herself banned from time to time...especially now that they've got a national audience. In her own words she's "the redneckest person" to ever call (a redneck being, according to Tammy, is "somebody that talks without thinking...and don't give a dayum."). She's got a lot of competition though.

      Mud is fantastic...almost...almost... perfect but, let me know what you think. It takes place and is filmed in Dewitt, Arkansas...roughly across the Mississippi River from Clarkesdale.

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  3. Well you know I love a Southern accent - Tammy's is great and every extra syllable a delight. That clip is great, love the banter.
    How would you rate Joy's accent from My Name Is Earl? I used to have trouble understanding some of what she said at first but then sort of fell into the groove. The same thing happens to me with strong regional accents here, though... Scottish and Geordie in particular!

    (There's a fairly broad accent here in Suffolk (which is getting rarer now, being largely replaced by Essex 'Estuary English' accents). The original rural Suffolk/Norfolk one often sounds similar to Australian which seems quite strange (emphasis on long vowels, a slight rise at the end of a sentence), but I was reading somewhere that it was an original South East England accent which was far more prevalent at the time of the colonisation, so it travelled over there too, but stayed.)

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    1. Joy? Jaime Presley? Yeah...she's from North Carolina. It's a different accent than you'll find around here (there are a lot of regional differences and class differences within The South)...but, yeah that's natural. In fact, I think her family was well off but, I don't think she had to look to far for inspiration. I think that was a pretty easy gig for her. Not only was her accent natural but, her character is a well known, easily found type 'round here.

      I almost posted a clip from Rectify featuring two Australian actors playing Southerners. The fella that plays the main role, Daniel...he does OK but his character's such an odd bird anyway...but Adelaide Clemens does a great job. Brits and Australians always do a better job with Southern accents than Americans.
      That's fascinating about the accent traveling persisting like that. Appalachians are often derided for the way they speak but, because of isolation, they speak like one of the oldest forms of English you can find anywhere.

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  4. Bam is also used as a derogatory term in Glasgow to describe juvenile delinquents or others intend on causing trouble

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    1. I think that would work just fine for the West Georgia faithful (Auburn is close-ish to Georgia...and there are those Alabama fans that refer to them as the West Georgia University)...but we're getting real deep in the weeds with the insults now.

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  5. Big fan of the Southern accent here. Not sure how often we get to hear it in its purest form - Tammy gives us a real lesson! Love it. Mud looks great, by the way. Must see it. I wonder if there is a British equivalent of the Southern accent? Where did it come from in the first place? Researchers, please?

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    1. I don't think you could find a direct equivalent. There's a couple of things...we are still predominately Anglo-Gallic (and of course kidnapped West Africans). The idea of the huddled immigrant yearning to be free is not part of our make up or history. Also, the elites in The South were elites in England...again, this Pilgrim business, the witch burners...that's not us.

      So you have a population that was too poor and rowdy to live in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the North of England...with the English upper classes or wanna bes setting the trends.

      I think what people, except Americans, find pleasing about it is that it's a natural English (language) accent.

      There's a certain degree of controversy on this topic...having to do with the Gallic influence v. the upper class English influence.

      Paul Should get some credit here too. As you may have guess from his name, or may have not, his family does not have roots in The South but, he was born and raised in Memphis (a point he is quick to point out) and has a great middle class Southern accent that's minimally adjusted for broadcast.

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  6. They are generally beautiful accents from down your way. I wish I heard more of them. Americans are so weird about regional accents. Very much like the French. The value judgements attached to what are quite lovely and organic ways of speaking are almost explicitly colonialist and sometimes effectively racist (even when you'd think race wasn't really involved).

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    1. It's especially funny in Amrka because 9 out of 10 times the person correcting or mocking has an Italian mother...a father who's half German, half Ukrainian.

      My people have been in Georgia for 200 years and despite centuries of marriages they all come from the same strip between Birmingham and Chester. I don't reckon I need any English lessons from Maria Helga.

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    2. That's interesting because if we have a daughter we are totally calling her Maria Helga.

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    3. If it's a boy...Sasha Giovani.

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