Country Grammar

Last couple days have seen mounting interest in Hillary Clinton's excruciatingly bad Southern accent since a compendium was posted at And why should a bad Southern accent be an issue in a presidential race? Because a bad Southern accent is's major. It's major major. One actor with a bad Southern accent can tank an otherwise pretty good movie, for example. It's just...not bearable. It's like a person who has something foreign protruding from his nose. It cannot be ignored.

I wish to point out that I was first with the bad Southern accent Hillary story in my highly readable and well reported column, "Country Hillary," which appeared in the paper version of Unfair Park in September. So if anybody gets a Pulitzer for this stuff, it had better be me.

I see the ceremony already. "And for his ground-breaking work on Hillary Clinton's atrociously bad Southern accent -- an accent that sent shockwaves across the nation -- we are pleased to hand out the next one to Mr. Jim Schutze..."

Aaaah. I'm sorry. We were saying?

Oh, yeah. Now for the real queasy teaser. I am afraid there is now on the Web an equally tooth-setting-on-edge sample of Barack Obama doing a black accent. But this pale-skinned white boy is going to sit that one out. I just do not see a future for myself on that issue. Not a good future. Nope. That's too deep for me. --Jim Schutze