Cyberbilly, Discovery of
I just came across this coolio essay by Pigdog Journal Science Editor binky wedged between two staves in the back corner of the submissions barrel. It's on the origin of the cyberbilly and is definitely de rigeur for any serious student of this fascinating sociological movement.
[The following essay is in response to a letter from a elementary school child who had taken a community outreach tour of the PDJ offices in the summer of 1995. The letter dealt in part with a poster on one of the printing facility's walls, asking, "Isn't 'Lolita' a little high-brow (not to mention long-winded) for Pigdog?" Quick to answer and quicker to instruct, binky answered as follows. -- ed.]
God damn it man, what are you thinking? Too high brow? Setting aside for the moment that "Lolita" is a masterfully directed film with no major pacing flaws I can think of, who do you think is working in this lab, anyways? I mean, sure, there's a higher than normal concentration of backwoods stock, but don't forget that most normal hillbillies wouldn't use a computer for anything but a fancy doorstop. What we have here on this list is the next generation of hillbilly - the Cyberbilly.
[the following is excerpted from Hillbillies in Tomorrowland, 1997]
While there is some debate as to whether the cyberbilly formally constitutes a new species or not (see "Hillbillies in the Trees: A Review of Cladism After the Missoula Man", 1994), there are unarguably gross physical characteristics unique to the breed. A dramatic reversal in the previous trend towards a smaller brain pan, a tendancy towards higher mean body fat, and what seems to be a functional adaptation in the forearm tendons reducing suceptibility to repetative stress injuries have all been noted previously (Clampet, 89). On the behavioral side, there is a new and pronounced disposition towards nocturnal activity, a greatly increased incidence of literacy, and a startlingly increased facility for formal logic (Clancy, 92a).
However, the cyberbilly has, by no means, completely abandoned his past. Many of the defining characteristics of the common hillbilly are still clearly evidenced in this new strain. The increased average mass, the highly adapted liver, the unusual dietary composition - all these are unquestionably present. So too are many of the classic psychological and behavioral abnormalities, including insularity, xenophobia, fanaticism, paranoia, fascination with conspiracies (especially those involving UFOs and or the government), and pronounced superstition with respect to machines and alcohol (Clancy, 92a).
So, where did these cyberbillies come from? Research conducted at the University of Appalachia tag the first known appearance of the differentiating physical characteristics to the early 1970s, but the behavioral characteristics developed over time. Only by the early- to mid- 1980s had the breed really separated from their progenitors. The current leading theory as to the cause of the separation is the culmination of ten years of work by Dr. Billy Bob Clampet (Clampet, 87, 87a, 89, 91, 97). He explains how he first noticed the changes himself. "When the young-ans started talkin' about calculators and video games like they was trucks or somethin', that's when we knew there was gonna be trouble." Dr. Clampet believes that the natural hillbilly predisposition towards emotional bonding with their automobiles has been changed to allow that same kind of bonding with computers and electronics in general by a single genetic mutation. His theory suggests that many, if not most, of the other behavioral alterations are secondary adaptations that are the direct result of the primary shift. He believes that the new physical adaptations, while not forcing the change in and of themselves, did facilitate the change in those individuals where the mutation occured. He predicts, then, that some, if not all, of those same physical characteristics should also be found in certain transitional individuals. His current work is concentrating on finding an example of such a "missing link."
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