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PARIS, 25 July 2005The following reader comment was submitted to the editors regarding the annual Summer Redneck Games in the United States. The author preferred to remain anonymous.

On the night of the 4th of July, there is a celebration at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. (where Lincoln was shot), which the President himself traditionally hosts. This year, the President's "people" chose as the master of ceremonies of the program (which, by the way, was converted this year from a celebration of American traditions into a "salute" to the troops in Iraq) a comedian named Jeff Foxworthy. Foxworthy advertises himself as a "redneck comedian." His signature schtick (analogous to Rodney Dangerfield's "I don't get no respect . . .") is "You may be a redneck if you . . . "; these jokes are almost always distasteful to anyone with any wit, taste, or combination of the two. He opened the ceremonies at Ford's Theatre with this line: "You are probably a redneck if you can drive your stick-shift big-rig [truck], eat a piece of fried chicken, and nurse your baby all at the same time." You get the idea.

So, you inadvertently have touched a nerve with the "Redneck Games." I am so disgusted by my own people right now that I have lost my sense of humor about such things. The sooner we can send this redneck back to Texas the better I will like it.

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