Maybe your work is sun to sun, but my work is never done. If I am not giving the folks at the International Monetary Fund some tips on global financial policy or continuing my groundbreaking research on why broccoli will turn your ears green unless you eat copious amounts of banana pudding, I am now dealing with the possibility of secession in Georgia.
Didn’t we do this once before, you ask? And didn’t we discover that secession was not a particularly good idea since our side had a lot of cotton balls and the other side had a lot of cannon balls and we found out the hard way that cannon balls can do a lot more permanent damage? And then didn’t we have to deal with an influx of carpetbaggers who looked down their noses at us but decided to stay because this is the only place where they can find good pecan pie? So, what is going on with this secession talk again?
This time it turns out that there is talk of South Georgia seceding from North Georgia and becoming its own state. I know California is making noises about splitting up into three states, but that whole place is destined to slide off into the ocean one day when that big earthquake finally hits, so who cares about California?
But Georgia, my beloved Georgia?
It turns out that in the Pierce County Republican primary last month, a question on the ballot stated, “Should the counties south of Macon join together to form the 51st state of South Georgia?” Over 27 percent of GOP voters answered yes, meaning seven out of 10 either said no or were too busy worrying about the potential negative effects of broccoli to care one way or the other.
But me? I do care. This carefully crafted, marvelously punctuated, sometimes-thoughtful piece runs throughout this great state. So, I feel strongly both ways. We need to think this secessionist matter through carefully.
The first thing we have to look at is which way is Macon going to jump? The ballot question refers to “counties south of Macon.” Does that mean Bibb County will be the south end of North Georgia or the north end of South Georgia? Or do we just put a line down the middle of I-475 and call it the Macon-Dixon Line and let the locals decide?
I think folks in South Georgia are frustrated because all the political power now resides in North Georgia. The Republican nominee for governor will either be from Gainesville (Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle) or Athens (Secretary of State Brian Kemp) and the winner of next month’s runoff will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, of Atlanta, but since our politicians don’t accomplish much anyway except to sponge off lizard-loafered lobbyists, is this really that big a problem?
Let us not forget what unites us as Georgians. For starters, there is the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation. While it is in Athens, the Classic City of the South, it belongs to us all.
Nobody, but nobody, has a state song like “Georgia on my Mind,” sung by Ray Charles Robinson, of Albany. Consider for a moment that New Jersey doesn’t even have a state song and that Connecticut has “The Nutmeg” a state cantata which runs for nine (yawn!) minutes. And then there is “Florida: Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky.” Say what?
Neither New Jersey nor Connecticut nor Florida nor anywhere else for that matter grows the sweet Vidalia onion. Only in Georgia. Coca-Cola is served all over the world, but it was thought up in Georgia — Pemberton’s Drug Store, to be exact. And there is RC Cola, also Georgia-born and in fine dining is best paired with Moon Pies, a Chattanooga product. Chattanooga is in Tennessee but we consider the place a suburb of Dalton.
OK, so Georgia does have Malfunction Junction, aka, the city of Atlanta, where the sewers don’t work and neither do a number of its citizens, but nobody is perfect.
I’ve got the technocrats from the International Monetary Fund calling on the other line asking how to get change for a dollar and my latest paper on broccoli is turning green so I must go. In the meantime, my fellow Georgians, whether you live south or north of the Macon-Dixon line, please remember that we may not be perfect but you can see it from where we sit.