Han Vance on American culture: Defending SEC champion Georgia faces defending national champion Alabama in the center of the South Saturday. Being the proprietor founder of American Culture Reporter and a former Southern region transportation and parking solutions manager who has spent plenty enough time in both, I thought I should give the state of Alabama a cross-comparison to the resident state of mine. Though I was Georgia educated and am an Atlantan, I’m a Texan, so biased birthrights don’t come into this at all. These are just my opinions, based on cultural research and analysis.
A. FOOD: Taco Stand in Athens vs. Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa
-Keeping it to casual places to give the opposition a fair shot. I don’t dig on swine anymore and lived off T-Stand, but I’m giving the nod to T-Town here because most Southern folks love BBQ. Used to eat at their (supposedly lesser) B’ham outpost on business trips and enjoy it.
B. MUSIC: Rockville vs. The Muscle Shoals Sound
-Easy win for the Peach State without even leaving Athens: REM, Widespread Panic, Pylon, The B-52’s, of Montreal, Space Voyage Ahem, Jucifer. Atlanta is the current world epicenter of rap and urban music and has the biggest metal band in the world, Mastodon. Plus, James Brown is Georgia.
C. LITERATURE: Truman Capote vs ME (Gone with the Wind too easy)
-Give the little guy his due here, Capote not Saban. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood are classic genre-shifters that still resonate on the cultural radar occasionally. Golden State Misadventures (www.silverstonepress.com) is a somehow-still emerging cult classic nonfiction novel about a guy realizing he is inside a travel memoir and ATL Fire won the Harriette Austin Poetry Award. I have time.
D. MAJOR CITIES: Atlanta vs. Birmingham
-The birthplace of civil rights is a city too busy to hate in the American urban forest and the undeniable Capital of the South and the World Capital of College Football. The Magic City peaked around the industrial revolution.
E. NATURE: Trees and stuff
-Mountains, rolling hills, islands, camping, beaches, the Gulf, the Atlantic. It’s pretty close here, and the geography is obviously quite similar. Having a full coastline compared to a small sliver of would-be Florida gives Georgia the leading score.
F. SPORTING LEGEND: Herschel vs. Bear
-Legendary coach isn’t even the greatest coach ever at his last school of employment, anymore. Herschel Walker is the greatest college athlete, ever, and always will be.
Final score is 4-2: GEORGIA (Dawgs won it all in ’42!)