Thomas Frank Speaking Like A Southerner?

Tue Jan 3, 2006

Another tidbit from the Chronicle (still subscription):

Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (Metropolitan, 2004), sketched out prevailing American narratives of class and the rhetoric of left and right. “The ways we’re encouraged to think about elites and elitism is the key to what’s wrong with us, and there is something wrong with us,” he said. “Indignation is the great uniting aesthetic principle of conservative culture.”

Not everybody was convinced. One audience member noted that Mr. Frank spoke like a Southerner although he hails from Kansas. “Is what we’ve received today spin,” she asked, “or is it real?”

Frank gave a talk at the MRG conference in 2000, at which he flipped the pages of his lecture to the ground after reading them and observed beforehand that he preferred sipping a forty while lecturing. This last at least was amusing. I don’t recall any speaking like a Southerner, however.