"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


National Hollerin' Contest

This past weekend, I competed in the 40th annual National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner, North Carolina. Men, women, juniors, and one teen hollered to honor this rural folk tradition that preceded cell phones, instant messaging, and other technological advances in communication.

I went into the event with a lighthearted approach and a desire to have fun. Despite not knowing anything about hollerin' and being the only contestant from outside North Carolina, I tried to get into the spirit of things in my own way. I wore my grandpa's out-of-fashion hat and a friend's extremely baggy overalls, and I tried my best to fake a Southern accent. Needless to say, I didn't stand a chance against the nine other competitors in the men's division, six of whom were former champions.

The Daily Record did a good job of telling my story:
"I'm here because I love good competition," said Michael Croland, who made the trip to Spivey's Corner from Norfolk, Va.

Mr. Croland said he's competed in everything from air guitar competitions to peanut butter sculpting contests and that when he heard about the contest a year ago he had to come down and give it a try.

"To quote Hillary Clinton, I'm in it to win it," he boasted, before adding, "Of course, I'll probably meet the same fate she did."

It turned out, Mr. Croland's prediction wasn't far from the truth as his offering of "how a peanut would holler" was unable to garner him the championship.
As The Fayetteville Observer reported, I couldn't help but be impressed by the other hollerers' skills:

Michael Croland drove from Norfolk, Va., ... to compete. He said he loves fun competitions.

“I was really impressed,” he said after the contest. “It is an art form. It is a rich tradition and I have the utmost respect for these people and what they have done today. I don’t think I will ever be an 'A' list contender, but it is an honor to be in their presence.”
Click here to see a video of hollerin' performances from this year's competition. A one-minute video of my performance is below:


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