Over on Chad's Site there is a "discussion" regarding Jerry Kilgore's SWVA accent going on in the comments section. I have to weigh in, and might as well do it here with a link to Chad's site. (besides, I get a BUNCH of hits whenever I post a comment or trackback on his site, so I will suck them up however I can get'em.)
As I've said in an earlier post, I was born of a mother from Ben Hur, and a father from Buffalo Ridge. (Brave Heart, if you have to “mapquest” more than one of them I am probably wasting my time on this post.)
When it comes to accents, I can out "Andy Griffith" Andy Griffith. I have also worked all over the world and have experienced the automatic stigma that is attached to someone with a SWVA accent. I have the accent when I am here; I don't (as much) when I am in L.A. I have never had voice lessons in order to lessen the accent. As my Grandfather used to say, "it's a damned poor dog that won't wag it's own tail." But his statement did not take into consideration a sincere politician who really needed to appeal to closed-minded individuals who place so much importance on an accent as you seem to.
I'm sure you would take offense when a New Yorker stereotypes you based on your Virginia accent, maybe even consider it “politically incorrect”. Why then, are we in SWVA considered fair game and even “all in fun” to ridicule? Could it be that we are reliably white Christians, and thus not "offendable"?
To be sure, there are some of us here in SWVA that make sport of the way those on the eastern shore or northern suburbs or even far southside speak. That is not acceptable to me. Is it acceptable to you, Brave Heart?
I work with an engineer from the Richmond area, he sounds “funny” to some of the guys here in Patrick County. Some of them will go out of their way to get him to say the word “out” or “house”. Is that acceptable to you, Brave Heart? Do you long for the chance to hear Jerry say the word "night" or "light", just for an opprotunity to chortle at the "Country Rube"?
Writing this response has given me an epiphany. Of all the accents in this country, the two most similar (while being geographically separated) are those of SWVA/Northeast Tennessee and Texas. That would be fitting, as the original Country of Texas was founded by Southwestern Virginians and North Eastern Tennesseeans. Could this be the foundation of the absolute derision some of our more “enlightened” citizens feel for the current occupant of the White House?