While traveling through Tennessee this past weekend, I had the occasion to witness the reinvention of a legend. I make the trek to Sparta, Tennessee every 2nd Saturday in August to Decoration Day, a colloquial term only recognizable by true old style Southerners, and I've been doing this most of my life. One of the things I can remember from these trips when I was a child was that my cousins and I formed a loud, rowdy horde at my grandmother's house and did all the unsafe and unreasonable things that could be expected when you had several related children together on a summer afternoon without TV and air conditioning. That was a different time. My Grandmother's method of getting us in line involved the vague threat that "Ole Raw Hide and Bloody Bones is going to come get all of you if you don't behave" I spent many nights imagining just what such a creature would look like.
While I never saw an illustration of Grandma's boogie man, lately I have been hearing talk and witnessing fear of boogie men. On the side of one of the roads in Tennessee, I saw a large painted sign in the front of a home. It had in large red letters outlined in black the word "OBAMA" and then below "hates the Bible!" There was more, but I can't share that with you because one, I'm blind and couldn't see it and two, the kind of fanatic that would write something like this scares the shit out of me, and I didn't stop to take a closer look. This is not the only example I've seen lately. The Boogie Man is a ~gasp~ liberal, a ~gasp~ socialist, a ~gasp~ muslim. The Boogie Man has invaded the White House, the Capital Building, Ground Zero, all the States that border Mexico and is much touted amidst tears of angst as the "undoing of this country." Grandma could not have envisioned it better.