October 28 2013

HAYS: When Did White Trash Become the New Normal?

When Did White Trash Become the New Normal? A Southern Lady Asks the Impertinent Question
by Charlotte Hays

Hardcover   • 2013  •  $21.95
Regnery Publishing, Inc.  • ISBN 978-1-62157-160-5

Tattoos used to be considered beyond the pale. Occasionally, there would be a shocking rumor to the effect that somebody’s father had acquired a tattoo while in the military. But decent, law-abiding citizens didn’t go to tattoo parlors and emerge marked with indelible signs of bad taste. “Tattoing used to be the preserve of people who were too lazy to work and too scared to steal,” a London tattoo artist recently told the BBC. “Nowadays,” he added, “you have got proper artists.” The tattoo is perhaps a premier manifestation of White Trash Normal.

The purest symbol of the White Trash aesthetic is the dead tractor permanently bivouacked in somebody’s front yard. Even now, when White Trash has gone urban, it is still the ruined tractor that speaks so poetically of the White Trash credo: “Hit don’t make no difference.” These few, spare words sum up the whole White Trash worldview: So many things, according to this way of looking at life, are just too much trouble. So don’t bother. Among these arduous undertakings that might best be left to others: giving your children a last name, holding down a job, or managing your finances or diabetes.

Many of the plagues of society today—obesity, tattoos, and the male attire one sees at the Academy Awards—are the direct result of the White Trash aesthetic of Hit Don’t Make No Difference, which has crept its way up through every level of American society. Southern belle Charlotte Hays takes a hilarious—and insightful—look at how White Trash went mainstream, and what it means for American culture and our way of life.

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A publication of Regnery Publishing, Inc. 

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