Thursday, September 25, 2008

Field Guide for the Mississippi Presidential Debate Press

To following is s field guide for journalists from the United States and abroad visiting our fair town of Oxford, Mississippi for the first 2008 presidential debate and observing us southerners in our natural setting:

The native Oxonian is an elusive creature, considered by some to top the endangered species list in Mississippi. Encroachments of condo and student dwellings used by seasonal nomads have all but wiped out his natural habitat. He can sometimes be found wandering the gentrified town square, bewildered by the new banks, bars and Rodeo-Drive dress shops that have replaced his once beloved drug store, diner and barber. Friendly and approachable, he will answer almost any question, eventually. Just make sure you have time and a voice recorder to replay at high speed for later transcription.

The Southern Republicanus erectus on the other hand is a thriving subgroup that flourishes in these environs. They can be seen roving in packs through pricey boutiques, restaurants and Bass Pro Shops. Although upright and bipedal, they still prefer traveling in hulking petroleum-dependent tank objects. Predominately a hunting and gathering species, Republicanus erectus is status oriented. Animal heads and horns adorn their dwellings in a display of strength. When threatened with loss of political rule, some cling with fervor to their belief system, others to their material gains, and others to their 12 gauge.

Democraticus robustus , the rarest of Southern species, usually only surfaces in public during a tight election year. Primarily nocturnal, they commune in small groups to bolster themselves with Michael Moore films and import beer. This ritual venting allows for easier assimilation into the dominant Republicanus culture without complete loss of group identity. Agrarian in origin, Democraticus robustus feeds mostly on seeds and legumes for nourishment but is also known to share platters of raw fish and seaweed. In daylight they can be found lurking behind books, human rights issues and tenured titles.

In a show of strength, the two opposing groups readily unite when outsider clans cross territorial boundaries to take part in the ceremonial tossing of an inflated pigskin. These subspecies are also quick to pool their material resources and skills to help each other and those outside their territory during natural disasters, economic hardship, and national media scrutiny. In fact, if you had observed our culture any other week of the year, it would be difficult to tell Mississippians ever evolved into separate species at all.

Mississippian subcultures choose to exist harmoniously with one another most of the time due to close proximity, kinship ties and a small dating pool. They seem to understand that this symbiotic relationship is necessary for the survival of their species. While neither species has fully evolved, their microcosm provides evidence that the mutual respect of political and social ideologies can result in a successful and productive society. It is hoped that, as visiting researchers, you will pass your observations onto the higher chiefdom in Washington.

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