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The 7 - Guest Columns - The Government Mule Ethos Register and log in to post!
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Parts Unknown
Lap cheong
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From: Darkenwood

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#1 Posted on 5.11.02 2123.14
Reposted on: 5.11.09 2124.21
The Government Mule Ethos
by Parts Unknown

Quite often this very good question has been asked on Wienerville and other sites:

“What is a government mule and why do people beat them?”

A wrestling fan doesn’t have to listen to Jim Ross’ announcing for very long before realizing that JR speaks a different language than most of the world. He’s an Oklahoman, as you know, which is why I, also an Oklahoman, translate his reports every week. It’s been fun, but I really never imagined that I would uncover the answer to the oft-asked question:

“What is a government mule and why do people beat them?”

Funny you should ask.

I was sitting in the geology laboratory at the university on Monday when the answer came to me. We were studying topographic maps which are divided by the federal land survey, which was conducted in the late 1800s, into quadrants known as “townships” and “ranges.”

With me so far? Good.

When you divide these squares in quarters, you have 40-acre plots. This is where it gets interesting: our teacher informed us that Arkansas once had a policy known as the “forty acres and a mule promise.” Turns out the state offered black settlers forty acres and one mule at no cost shortly after the Civil War as a tenet of the Reconstruction policy.

Basically, the government started giving people “government mules” to aid in the plowing of the fertile Arkansas soil. Here’s the problem: recently-freed slaves would come to Arkansas and get their land and a government mule, but received no money for seed, housing or land development.

In short, these poor people ended up with nothing but a chunk of land and a government mule. Which, of course, pissed them off.

According to my instructor, government mules became the scapegoats of the settlers’ frustrations (and appetites). Hence, the people would sometimes savagely beat their mules in defiance of the two-faced government and when times became lean, often the mules would become stew meat.

So, when JR alludes to the beating of government mules, he is essentially saying one person is beating another person with no respect for his humanity or position in vengeance against his oppressors, crazed ravenous hunger, and frustration for his hardships.

In conclusion: to be “beaten like a government mule” is to get a major ass-whipping, rural Arkansas style. Now you know.

Parts Unknown
constantly25@hotmail.com
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Jaguar
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#2 Posted on 6.11.02 0126.50
Reposted on: 6.11.09 0129.04
You just rocked my world.

Thank you, Parts.

-Jag
albert44
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#3 Posted on 6.11.02 0938.12
Reposted on: 6.11.09 0940.29
"the people would sometimes savagely
beat their mules in defiance of the
two-faced government"
--- my new alltime favorite thing said on this board.
The Amazing Salami
Sujuk
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#4 Posted on 8.11.02 1310.18
Reposted on: 8.11.09 1314.52
Did you ever know that you're my hero?
Parts Unknown
Lap cheong
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From: Darkenwood

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#5 Posted on 8.11.02 1356.22
Reposted on: 8.11.09 1359.03
You fine people are too kind.
The real reward of writing this column: finally knowing what a government mule beating is all about, and like Prometheus, bringing that sacred knowledge to the brotherhood of Wieners.
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