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Calgary/Alberta 'Redneck'
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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2007 03:59 pm
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trailmix



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Mana: 
I started a thread about comments Exxon's chairman made the other day and it drew this response from Puck:

Puck wrote:
And the only way that is going to happen is when Alberta drops the redneck Wild West image.   

There it is again! 'Redneck'.

Someone needs to clarify what they mean when they say that.

Last edited on Wed Sep 12th, 2007 03:59 pm by trailmix

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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2007 09:33 pm
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ragincajun

 

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Hi Trailmix. Redneck is an old term first used in the American Deep South to refer to someone who is unsophisticated, uneducated, and usually narrow minded. It refers to a poor unskilled worker who would work all day in the sun and their neck would become red. This term is used all over the US and parts of Canada too.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2007 09:48 pm
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trailmix



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Hi rajun,

Yes, I'm aware of what the 'formal' definition of redneck is.

I just see people throwing the term around on this board all the time and I wonder why they keep using it to describe Albertans/Calgarians.

What do they see here in Calgary that makes them call Calgarians rednecks?  Plus, if they live in Calgary - by default are they a redneck too?

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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2007 09:56 pm
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ragincajun

 

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Mana: 
Oh I hear you. We have that same problem here in Texas. The rest of the world thinks we all own ranches and ride a horse and have a third grade education. I guess the rest of both of our countries think they lead the way in sophistication.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2007 10:23 pm
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Lord of Midian

 

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Mana: 
trailmix wrote: Hi rajun,

Yes, I'm aware of what the 'formal' definition of redneck is.

I just see people throwing the term around on this board all the time and I wonder why they keep using it to describe Albertans/Calgarians.

What do they see here in Calgary that makes them call Calgarians rednecks?  Plus, if they live in Calgary - by default are they a redneck too?


No, not by default of simply living here.

But you must admit that a great many Calgarians have incredibly ignorant, small-minded mentalities, hence the monicker...

Generalising is never right, but it sure is fun!

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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2007 03:28 am
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TALKCalgary



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Mana: 
I think the problem is that some people misinterpret our desire to hold on to our western heritage coupled with our largely mono economy as a sign of vertical thinking. Perhaps if Alberta made a greater effort to look outside of the box perceptions would change.  

You know I will probably get flamed for saying this, but I wonder if as a city or largest publicity event i.e. The Calgary Stampede could also be the root of some of or biggest perception problems? Having said that, I would hate to see anything ever happen to change the Stampede, but perhaps something needs to be done to counter balance it? For example host the worlds largest technology expo!

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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2007 02:21 pm
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trailmix



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I agree with you that most of our publicity is tied to the Stampede and I wonder if we had the expo of all expos for any other industry if it would even register on the perception scale.

That said, I frankly don't care what everyone else 'out there' thinks of Calgary - we are a pretty good city, we aren't hurting anyone and we are prosperous.

What does irk me is people who generalize about Calgarians as a whole.  I have no problem claiming my western heritage.  Our pioneers were great people who overcame many obstacles to make a start in this area, they were neither ignorant nor 'rednecks'. 

And as a side note, for those of you who so casually throw this term around when describing Calgarians, while at the same time living here - you need to know that you are indeed painting yourself with the same brush.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 14th, 2007 12:48 am
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Puck

 

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When I used the term “redneck” it was in reference to the fact that the majority of people in our province are unskilled to work in any other industry other than oil and gas. As for heritage I have nothing but admiration for the people who forged our city. That said, do we really have to continue to make ourselves out to be a bunch of cowboys living in the past? The fact is that Calgary is seen as something of hick town by people living in other parts of or own country yet alone internationally. Like you I was born in Calgary, but unlike you I think it’s time for us to grow up and stop playing cowboys and indians.

I do agree with you on one thing an expo is a total waste of time. Best thing we could do is simply scrap the stampede. Or at the very least keep it confined to the stampede grounds and not a city wide event. Cardboard cutouts of cowboys outside COOP again makes us look like - well if not rednecks slightly pinknecks.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 14th, 2007 03:01 am
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Cutter



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Mana: 
Puck wrote: When I used the term “redneck” it was in reference to the fact that the majority of people in our province are unskilled to work in any other industry other than oil and gas.

Have you any idea just how many skill sets the oil and gas industry covers? It’s a little more involved than just digging a hole you know.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 14th, 2007 12:47 pm
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trailmix



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Cutter wrote: Puck wrote: When I used the term “redneck” it was in reference to the fact that the majority of people in our province are unskilled to work in any other industry other than oil and gas.

Have you any idea just how many skill sets the oil and gas industry covers? It’s a little more involved than just digging a hole you know.


Got to agree with Cutter on this one.  That statement is wrong on so many levels puck.  It isn't just about putting holes in the ground and there is a huge skill set in the oil industry.  We are lucky to have such an industry with such diverse opportunities. 

One other thing you seem to forget is that Calgary is a young city.  We are only a couple of generations away from the first European settlement in this area, so that 'western heritage' thing is not so far away, in fact there are many in Calgary whose grandparents were some of the original settlers.

The fact that the Stampede board, or co-op etc. chooses to put a cartoon face on this heritage, to make money - well frankly it doesn't really bother me, it's all good fun and not to be taken seriously.  If someone from Canada or elsewhere in the world can't actually see that - well what are you going to do about it, really (and who cares?). 

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2007 01:58 am
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Puck

 

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In fact I work for an oil company myself so I think I have a good idea of the types of jobs available in my own industry and most are specialist to our industry. The point I was trying to make is that Alberta has placed all of her eggs in one basket. If the oil industry hits hard times (as it has in the past) we all have problems. This is because as “Talk” pointed out we are a “mono economy”. This coupled with our persistent promotion of Calgary as a cowboy town is why rightly or wrongly we are perceived as rednecks. Like you, I don’t like this label but you have to agree it is a label we have made for ourselves. 

We recently hosted a delegation of people from New York. When they arrived at the airport our PR people arranged for each of them to be presented with a cowboy hat and told that they must recite the official Calgary welcome Yee ha! Later that day one of the visiting VPs passed comment to me that he thought people in his office were joking when they told him prior to his trip how Calgarians carried on. As I said before, I am proud to be Calgarian but frankly, I am embarrassed by this kind of behavior. Calgary is NOT THE WILD WEST any more. For gods sake lets grow up and embrace the future.  

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2007 02:14 am
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trailmix



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Mana: 
I know you work in the industry - but you probably only see a small portion of what goes on behind the scenes?

Anyway, you and I don't necessarily disagree on the whole yee haa thing.  It is silly (it's also kind of funny if you think about it).

Maybe it isn't redneck, maybe they just have a ridiculous sense of humour, maybe the delegation from NY doesn't have a sense of humour :D.  What it probably is really is that it makes them feel foolish - I'm sure it's not intended that way but it is probably the result.

I'm quite sure back in the 1800's when the stagecoach pulled up that there were no people a waitin' with white hats asking people to yee haa.

No this isn't the wild west - and even way back when, when those first settlers decided to stay, from all accounts it was a pretty civilized place.

Yes it's a mono economy, but where is the incentive to change it.  I'm not saying that Calgarians wouldn't support it, just that there doesn't seem to be much effort in that direction from our government.

Anyway, back to my original point, I don't think you can call an entire city 'redneck', with all that implies - and to quote Midian - it is wrong to generalize (even if it is fun).

 

Last edited on Sat Sep 15th, 2007 02:15 am by trailmix

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2007 02:31 am
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TALKCalgary



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Let me clarify my views on this Puck. Unlike you I am not a Calgarian. In fact, I am Manx the term given to people from the Isle of Man. Originally I moved to Canada to take up a job in Toronto. It didn’t take long however for me to come to the conclusion that Calgary had far more to offer than Toronto ever could. For me the biggest thing Calgary offered was a way of life. Like you I think our (your) cowboy image could be perceived wrongly by some. But you know what? It's kind of cute for us out-of-towners. Anyway it was that “big city with a small town” mentality that attracted me to Calgary in the first place. Like you I feel Calgary should start looking to attract new industries. I also agree that Calgary could benefit from being seen as something other than simply a frontier town. But Puck, not at the expense of your heritage, it’s your heritage that makes you such a great people. Don’t ever give that up.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2007 03:08 am
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Puck

 

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Oh the truth is coming out now, all this time I figured Talk was one of us, now we find out T.C. is an out-of-towner. What are things coming to? Cutter will burst a blood vessel over this one, an immigrant running his minority bashing, right wing, publicity machine. ;) Seriously though, Welcome to Calgary, or should I say Yee ha!

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2007 06:28 pm
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Cutter



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LOL! Sorry to disappoint Puck but I already knew. Anyway, just because I am not a wet lefty don’t make me a fascist. :P

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 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2007 06:39 pm
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greenshoots



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Mana: 
Have you any idea just how many skill sets the oil and gas industry covers? It’s a little more involved than just digging a hole you know

 

amen to the above pour youngest is 21 and working in the oil industry just been doing his cv for him and his long list of qualifications.......:)

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 Posted: Wed May 14th, 2008 06:47 pm
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ThinAssed Suzie

 

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Yeah. I bet his list of qualifications are as short as his dick. Shoutin', swearin', drinkin' and the other stuff - I bet he's great at all of them. Well, maybe not the last. If we need a hole diggin' for oil, we'll get the Irish in. At least they bring their own scaffolding poles. Skill sets of the oil industry? Don't make me laugh. Bunch of apes could do a better job, and the price of gas would be a hell of a lot lower too! I mean, how much does a bunch of bananas cost? The ones the apes eat AND the bananas who wrk in the industry today. Let's get real here.

 

Suzie

Last edited on Wed May 14th, 2008 06:48 pm by ThinAssed Suzie

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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 05:48 am
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Cybershooters

 

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"Redneck" in Calgary means someone who wears a Stetson and cowboy boots during Stampede and walks around the Stampede grounds with a Starbucks jamaican/colombian blend latté. :P

I do think the city needs something to give it a more sophisticated image.  Stampede is a great tradition but it's more of an event than an accurate portrayal of the culture of the city.

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 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 05:51 am
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Cybershooters

 

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Puck wrote: Oh the truth is coming out now, all this time I figured Talk was one of us, now we find out T.C. is an out-of-towner. What are things coming to?
Well the Isle of Man is the redneck part of the British Isles... where else can you drive at 150mph in mountain fog on a country lane?

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 Posted: Tue Jan 19th, 2010 12:30 pm
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CGYJNKRMVL

 

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ragincajun wrote: Hi Trailmix. Redneck is an old term first used in the American Deep South to refer to someone who is unsophisticated, uneducated, and usually narrow minded. It refers to a poor unskilled worker who would work all day in the sun and their neck would become red. This term is used all over the US and parts of Canada too. Better my neck become red than my head go bald and get stomach ulcers from all that stress from the office, drycleaner being late, 8 dollar latte too cold, jacuzzi's broken down, man you sophisticated, educated  guys got it sooo good don't you? Hahahahah!


Last edited on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 12:36 pm by CGYJNKRMVL

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 Posted: Wed Sep 21st, 2011 01:17 am
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Dark Weres

 

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I'd like to see Calgary become more of the stoic-and-heroic "Cowboy" image than the rootin'-tootin'-shotgun-shootin' "redneck" image all-too-many people are happy to personify. Ideally, we could move towards the modern day equivalent of the super-polite Old-Western society that you almost never hear about.
(one google search later) http://extranosalley.com/?p=10042

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