I don’t know why, but as we were settling into bed last night Deb played a video from one of my least-favorite YouTubers, the guy responsible for the annoyance I described in “Snarkansas.” This time his subject was the “Top 10 Least Woke States.”
His criteria included Fox News viewership, attendance at BLM protests and the likelihood of knowing someone named “Bubba” or “Hoss.” That, along with his patent dislike of Southerners and Country folk (which is obvious, though he disavows the bias) was the basis for his rankings.
Just so you know, and according to him, the least “woke” state in America is… (drum roll)… Arkansas.
This morning I did a quick search of the wwWeb and found that this sort of thing had been done before. Most of the others also looked at stuff like consumption of Kombucha and the number of organic farms in each state. Reliably, the most “woke” states were the People’s Republic of California, Colorado, Vermont, Washington and perennial champion Oregon.
At the bottom of almost every list (and at the top of mine) were Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia and yes, Arkansas. Once again, we’re #1.
Ohio, by the way, hovers in mid-pack, asserting no particular identity. That’s normal.
The video claims that 51% of Arkansans watch Fox News at least once a week, only 0.5% participated in a BLM protest and 100% of us know someone named “Hoss” or “Bubba.” (That’s tongue-in-cheek, sure, but probably true.)
I have no reason to take any of this too seriously. Mostly it’s Internet twaddle, meant to entertain (or inflame, depending). But it certainly nails the extremes — Oregon and Arkansas — accurately.
It’s good to be here. We found it almost by accident, but it’s the best possible place to call Home.
Recently I spent a good bit of time talking about the relative “isolation” of Ozarkansas. I didn’t, however, point out just how far we are physically from political and cultural toxins, international borders and such.
For example, The Mountain is 875 miles from The Swamp — Washington, DC, that is. Gauging our distance from liberal cesspools, I see that we’re 1,700 miles from Portland, Oregon, 1,650 miles from San Francisco and over a thousand miles from New York City.
Our homestead is situated 650 miles from Canada and 675 miles from the closest border with Mexico. The Atlantic Ocean is a little over 700 miles away, the Pacific 1,400 miles.
We’re 450 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The closest major waterway, the Mississippi River, is about 150 miles from our front door.
The Missouri state line is only 18 miles from The Mountain. Other neighboring (or nearby) states include Oklahoma (110 miles), Kansas (125 miles), Tennessee (150 miles), Mississippi (150 miles), Texas (200 miles) and Louisiana (220 miles).
All of those distances are expressed in statute miles. Driving distances would be higher, of course.
Even in an age of Interstate highways, air travel, instant communications and information overload, physical location matters. Population density matters. Ozarkansas is the epitome of “flyover country.”
That may help explain why this is America’s least “woke” state.
We won’t let our guard down, though — threats are all around us, and they’re relentless. If we need reminding, all we have to do is remember that this year the number of illegals crossing America’s southern border will be greater than the entire population of Arkansas.
Yesterday’s post, “This one’s on us,” got a bunch of shares on social media. That’s gratifying. I guess it struck a chord.
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Fridays have become school days for Smudge. Early this afternoon we drove over to the training facility, and for the third time in as many visits, our happy Heeler displayed nervousness she shows nowhere else.
This time our trainers suggested that we drop her off — “Go have lunch or something for an hour or so” — and that’s what we did. There are no photos of today’s class.
Deb and I stopped by Sears Hometown, where discounts have reached 75% on some items, plus and additional 20% off. The place is pretty much picked over now, but we snagged a corded Skil quarter-sheet palm sander for less than $24, as well as a tool bag, a measuring tape and a set of utility clamps.
For lunch we went across the street to a new Mexican joint, Los Aztecas. The restaurant recently moved to Harrison after many years in the Buffalo River town of Marshall, and we’d heard great things about it.
From the moment I sat down I suspected that this’d be my kind of place. The corn tortilla chips were hot, fresh and thick, and the dipping salsa was unusually good — smooth, with a smokiness that hinted at chipotle. My huevos con chorizo, ordered from the lunch menu, was outstanding and set me back just $7.50.
Worthy of special mention are the house-made hot sauces. The one I chose I can neither identify nor easily describe — near-verde, maybe a tomatillo base, a heat level of about 8/10 with amazing layers of flavor. I’ve never had anything quite like it.
Los Aztecas may be my new favorite Mex place in Harrison. We’ll definitely be back.
Returning to retrieve Smudge from class we found her calmer, more comfortably curious about the strange environment and, naturally, glad to see us. Once outside she fairly launched herself into the cab of the Silverado, anxious to get back to her extracurricular life.
As with all of us, progress happens a little at a time.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.
When our trailcams transmit their daily test images now, we see the light creeping toward us in the direction of Spring.