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Archive for the tag “west virginia”

The Night My Fandom Died

wvu heartbrokenOn December 1, 2007, West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh played a football game. It’s nearly impossible to overstate just how much WVU was supposed to win this game. West Virginia was playing at home, at night, against a team that was 4-7 and had lost in embarrassing fashion to teams like Virginia and the University of Connecticut. WVU was 10-1, ranked #2 in the country, and had just blown out that same UCONN team 66-21 the week before. WVU had Pat White, Steve Slaton, and Owen Schmidt. Pittsburgh was coached by a mustache with headphones. Signed, sealed, and delivered, West Virginia was going to the national championship game.

It’s hard to describe to a non-West Virginian what being a WVU fan is like. Read more…

Look, People. West Virginia is a STATE!

“…another team from the state of Virginia: West Virginia.” Uh, no.

As someone who was born and raised in West Virginia and has since traveled a fair amount in addition to living elsewhere, I have heard almost every possible slight there is to make about the state and its natives. Some are somewhat deserved (“rednecks”), while some are not (most of us do wear shoes). However, there is one particular insult that’s more bothersome than all others: mistaking West Virginia for a part of Virginia. West Virginia is a state, not a Virginia territory. The worst part about this insult (as seen in the video above) is that most people do not recognize they are doing any insulting whatsoever. Tell someone you are from West Virginia and at least half of the time the person will respond that they know someone from Norfolk/Richmond/Roanoke or that they knew someone who went to Virginia Tech. Norfolk, Richmond, and Roanoke are cities in the state of Virginia. Virginia Tech is a university located in Blacksburg, also a city in Virginia.

I realize that people who respond this way are usually trying to be nice and to relate through conversation, but the sheer ignorance is grating. Do people from South Carolina have this problem? Do they get responses such as, “My cousin is from Charlotte,” when they disclose where they’re from? Does this happen? If so, then that would make me a little happier to know that we aren’t the only ones who constantly experience this level of ignorance.

For most of my life I ignored this particular insult and chalked it up to the person just being confused, but I don’t do that anymore. My token response has shifted to either bluntly pointing out that Roanoke is in Virginia and that Virginia is a separate state in the same way that Nevada and Maine are separate states, or by responding that I know someone from a city obviously not within the borders of whatever particular state they are from. I realize that, “Oh, you’re from Florida. I have a cousin who lives in Houston,” likely flies straight over the dufus’ head in nine out of ten cases, but if just that one person goes forth knowing that West Virginia is not a territory of Virginia, then a small bit of progress has been made.

Song You Should Know-June 18, 2010

Never seen a hotter day or a darker night
Where the sightless terror grows with every sound
The air so thick and dangerous it’s hard to catch your breath
With the bullets and the “skeeters” flyin’ round

Oh we rode a winged horse all along that border
Across the Mustang trail we left dead men
Heroes every one of them theirs and ours alike
Their blood the same damned color in the mud ‘neath Nue Ba Den
Red-black, red-white, red-yellow, at the feet of the Black Virgin

– “Nue Ba Den” by Mike Morningstar

for more info on what he’s singing about, below is a brief description or check the wiki here: Read more…

Soul for Coal, ctd.

The Charleston Gazette has done a wonderful job covering the recent coal mining disaster in West Virginia.  Today’s editorial focuses on the safety of that mine and surprise, surprise, profit was put ahead of safety:

Federal safety inspectors cited the Raleigh County operation thousands of times for dangerous law violations, including buildup of explosive methane and coal dust. But Massey avoided closure of the profitable mine by snarling the U.S. bureaucracy with endless legal appeals. Lifesaving enforcement apparently was obstructed. Read more…

Soul for Coal

After the Sago Mine disaster in 2006 and now the Upper Big Branch mine disaster which left 25 dead, it is time for the State of West Virginia to begin to seriously consider a gradual transition to cleaner resources and energy.  A transition away from coal will not be easy.  According to a study released in February, the coal industry generated 63,000 jobs and $25.23 billion in 2008 alone.  Read more…

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