a few weeks ago i spent several minutes on google earth trying to locate a trailer i used to live in as a boy. trailer talk. white trash, right? sure. that imprecise, catholic (small “c”) label. i abide. kinda tricky though. and if u don’t play stereotypes, what are we even talking about?
trailers: where white trash lives (jaxpsychogeo.com)
first off, some of the rather conspicuous traits that apparently would remove me from the white trash tent. i live in mexico, i graduated from college, never seen a nascar race or hunted squirrel and oh yeah, i can access satellite photos to look for my ol childhood mobile home from space.
on the other side of it, i eat more pork rinds in mexico than i ever did in rural iowa. i emit a general pastiness despite several years under the mexican sunshine. hours and hours spent in mexican walmarts. my hair is super stringy. carl’s jr. is a tasty treat. i never have enough money at the end of the month. i wear white tube socks every day.
in mexico, pork rinds are known as chicharron.
it’s now or never is a favorite karaoke of mine, but back the other way, while elvis was a hero to most, and one of the biggest white trash icons ever, he never meant shit to me; an idea lifted verbatim from chuck d on the public enemy track fight the power featured in the spike lee joint do the right thing. though taking that stance on elvis was a minority opinion, it wasn’t all that unique. there were plenty of white people, more than a few of us trashy, who wanted to do the right thing at the end of the twentieth century.
indeed there were some white kids took it a little further than most in terms of fashion and language. my erudite homie judd, rest his jiggy soul. referred to them as riggaz. ironically, rural iowa gangstaz (riggaz) were fascinated by the hip hop culture created by urban, black youth. so the lines on this white trash thang been gettin blurred for awhile. i can’t even remember if riggaz were supposed to prove that i am white trash or disprove it.
the “white” in white trash has always been significant, but we are at a fork in the road. donald trump has seduced the darker realities of white trash political thought and philosophy these past 16 months, but there is probly not enough white trash to elect him president. so are white trash ideals all in with trump? when he loses, will it be seen as a rejection of white trash values? will white trash wither away like neo-baroque architecture, the roaring twenties or joe paterno? or should we expect a more condensed, white hot white trash that will keep on burning for years; incessantly insisting that multiculturalism has destroyed us?
couldn’t non-whities fulfill “trash” stereotypes just as effectively? truth of the truth, all it takes is a taste/tolerance for what affluent folk consider tacky. there are already black and latino dudes toting white tank top t-shirts, muslims taking to denim, japanese kids who like heavy metal, mexicans who love pro wrestling, native americans living in trailers and people all around the world consuming mayonnaise.
denim shorts: trashy?
yup. u can damn sure bet that trash will go on, with or without “white” in front of it. the well-to-do will turn up their noses at or be mildly amused by or scoff at the outlandishness of the rabble, same as it ever was, regardless of color or creed.
a social structure with top to bottom uniformity on what’s delicious, good fun or cool is not realistic or desired. social media has made our fragmentation of opinion more obvious, but hasn’t made the understanding of our differences more cordial. confusion, frustration and anger abound.
i think i found the top of the trailer i lived in during my formative years when i was looking for it on google earth, but apparently google has never taken a picture of the facade or the backyard from down on the ground. maybe i’ll check again in a few months.
have fun, amigos.