delivers dozens of stations and folks canrnwatch televangelists or pro wrestlers orrnsoft porn or Spanish-language gamernshows 24 hours a day, it seems to mernthat the effect of television is likely to bernto allow regional groups, or any others forrnthat matter, to become even more whatrnthey already are. Whether that’s good orrnbad, of course, depends on what that is.rnBy the way, researching this subjectrnthe other evening, I came across a cablernoffering called Glamorous Ladies ofrnWrestling, or GLOW. I lingered longrnenough to see the terrorist Palestina, inrnfatigues and combat boots, treacherouslyrnbiting the thigh of the California Doll,rnwho sported not one but two HappyrnFaces, one on the butt of her Flashdancernsweats, the other tatooed on her arm.rnHands across the sea . . .rnAnyway, the spirit of competition andrnfree enterprise is alive and well downrnhere. My buddy Hardy tells me there’s arnguy in Dothan, Alabama, who sells tiresrnfor 75 cents a pound, and if you can findrnthem cheaper anywhere else he’ll givernyou a goat. I heard a radio ad the otherrnday for a Greensboro used-car dealerrnwho bills himself as a “car-opractor.”rnAnd my buddy Cliff has even come uprnwith an entrepreneurial solution for thernkudzu problem. He proposes to sell it asrna pick-your-own crop to Yankee tourists,rnto put in their terrariums.rnSouthern women in business havernsound values, too. A survey by a Chicagornexecutive search firm found that morernthan 70 percent of female executives inrnthe South oppose federally imposedrnparental-leave policies, roughly twice thernlevel of opposition found in the East andrnWest. Despite their manifest goodrnsense, I’m sorry to say that Southernrnwomen executives seem to be playingrncatch-up. A Texas A&M study reportedrnthat only 48 percent of Southern malernexecutives had “strongly favorable” attitudesrntoward women in business, comparedrnto 57 percent in the East and 65rnpercent in the West. The Midwestrntrailed the South, though, with only 40rnpercent strongly favorable.rnIn other business news, the Wall StreetrnJournal reports that Mexican marijuanarngrowers have a “patron saint,” JesusrnMalverde, a philanthropic drug dealerrnhanged by the army in 1904. A prayer tornhim goes:rnMalverde, increase their cravings.rnIf necessary, let the devils help mernin this. Let not my healthy countrymenrnsmoke it, at any rate, onlyrnthe gringos who buy it. Malverde,rnyou light up my path to make harvestingrnmy destiny. You allow mernto harvest the grass for the gringornand to make great bunches of silverrncoins.rn(This translation sounds as if it is thernwork of the Standing Liturgical Commissionrnof the Episcopal Church, but Irnam assured that it is not.)rnAccording to North Carolina agriculturernofficials marijuana has long sincernsurpassed tobacco as our state’s numberrnone cash crop, but my question is: Howrnare our guys—good Protestant lads, forrnthe most part—supposed to competernwith this? President Clinton, are you listening?rn« * *rnHere in the Tar Heel State we alsorngrow some collards, and a story in thernRaleigh News and Observer suggests thatrnsome of our folks can eat them, too. Itrnseems that Mr. Mort Hurst from Robersonvillernconsumed seven and a halfrnpounds at one sitting to retain his title asrnCollard-Eating King. Ole Mort is anrneating fool. Earlier he had traveled to Alabamarnand set a record by inhaling 16rnand a half double-decker Moon Pies inrnten minutes. He shared the secrets of hisrnsuccess: one, three weeks before enteringrnan eating contest he stops smoking; two,rnthree or four days before the event herncalls his friends so they can “brag onrnhim” to the extent that he feels backedrninto a corner and just has to win; three,rnhe listens to a record about himselfrncalled “The Legend of Ole Eating MortrnHurst”; and four, for the last day hernjust concentrates on being a big SOBrnand doesn’t speak to anyone, includingrnhis wife and children. Incidentally, herndoesn’t like collards.rnWhich reminds me, for some reason,rnof a great country joke I heard a whilernback:rnQ: Why is my finger like a pie?rnA: Because it’s got meringue on it.rn(This requires some familiarity with EastrnTennessee accents.)rnIn political news, when the studentrnnewspaper at Lander College in Greenwood,rnSouth Carolina, asked a numberrnof its readers who the college’s next presidentrnshould be, sophomore LaurirnClements said, “Jefferson Davis—hernmay be dead, but at least he’s Southern.”rnAlas, Lauri, that’s no guarantee theserndays.rnIn fact, lately I’ve been taking a lot ofrnflak from Yankee friends about the all-rnDixie ticket that now reposes in thernWhite House. That’s not fair, of course.rnI mean, look, we tried to tell you guysrnabout these people. Seriously, they’rerntrouble. Any fool can see some of thernbad news coming, but there may be evenrnmore. In a few years, for instance, wernmay have Bill Clinton to blame for an increasernin the activity of racist haterngroups. Consider this theory about whyrnsuch activity decreased in the 1980’s:rnBy 1981 the tide had begun tornturn [against racist groups]. Forrnone thing, it had become perfectlyrnclear that the KKK couldn’t deliverrnon its promise to reverse thernprevailing trend toward racial integration.rnFor another, the new administrationrnin Washington’s statedrnaim of reviving America’s pridernand strength and restoring conservativernsocial and cultural valuesrntended to undermine whateverrnbase of popular support the farrnright had begun to acquire.rnWant to guess where that came from?rnHow about from a report called The HaternMovement Today, by the Anti-DefamationrnLeague. I hope the ADL is wrongrn(honest)—but I wouldn’t bet on it.rnOn the other hand, some unanticipatedrnconsequences of the Clinton presidencyrnmay not be all bad. For instance,rna lit prof friend of mine thinks it meansrnthe end of postmodernism. I didn’t followrnher reasoning—something to dornwith words not meaning anything concreternduring the Reagan-Bush nightmarern—but if she’s right, it might bernworth it.rnCome what may, though, you can’trnblame the South. Our states have 157rnelectoral votes and Bill and Al only gotrn47 of them, mostly from their friendsrnand neighbors in Arkansas and Tennessee.rnSo knock it off, OK? The nextrnfour years are your fault.rnJohn Shelton Reed writes from ChapelrnHill, North Carolina. He was recentlyrninterviewed on NPR’s Weekend Editionrnon the subject of mint juleps.rn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn