Welcome Birchers, Theocrats, Reed-heads, Cranks, and Crackpots! We’re the boogeyman under your bed. The spectre haunting Springfield. Those EVIL COMMIES who want a world where the fundamental necessities to life – food, housing, medical care – are free of commodification. A future where the workers of the world are free of exploitation.
Hoot ‘n’ Holler: A Podcast About the Ozarks is a crass twice-weekly show about local and regional politics in the Ozarks and their constituent states, hosted by four extremely hot and charming friends with perfect politics. These paragons of flyover country leftist punditry took a running joke on Twitter too far in October of 2020, and bought some extremely shitty microphones.
As time passed, they slowly figured out the bare-bones basics of podcast recording and production. This process took approximately 30 episodes. By June of 2021 “Making Your Friends Listen to Hoot ‘n’ Holler While They are Trapped in a Moving Vehicle With You” had been removed from the Geneva Conventions’ list of war crimes. Somehow, through sheer determination and the idle boredom stereotypical of Ozarks’ life, they have amassed a devoted fan base of dozens of listeners.
In the fall of 2021, safely after the Delta Variant of the Novel Coronavirus had swept through the region, despite reassurances from many public figures that the Pandemic Was Over, the crew had the gall to attempt a live performance. Given that, despite their best aims to do well-researched segments on Ozarks religion, history and culture, the show is want to devolve into searing polemics about recent political news, the four [Anarchists/Communists/Socialists <- pick whichever you prefer, we’re here to please] opted to go with a scripted morality tale entitled Hooters Gates, Hollers Flames – a totally original production not based on any copywritten existing material. It went over pretty good.
Early in the game, we tried to avoid the twice-a-week one-free/one-premium episode model by attempting to each produce week, engaging bonus content. What we imagined was a carefully planned video, short audio or essay a piece every month. But of course what ended up happening was, often enough, we would get to our bonus day and push out some sloppy last minute thing. Ultimately, we decided to record a second bonus episode each week for our generous and loving subscribers. These episodes, which tend to be a little more loose and less reflective of the dire weekly news cycle (i.e “the fun ones”) can be accessed by becoming a member of our Patreon.
Anyway, if you can’t tell by now, I’m just loading this page up with as many Ess Eee Oh keywords as I can to make sure we come up higher than all the holy roller podcasts when someone searches the term “Ozarks Podcast” on Google. I guess I could say a few words about our beautiful region, but first, another picture of our mugs.
About the Ozarks
The Ozarks are a geographical and geological region that straddle the intersection of the Great Plains, the Midwest, and the Mid-South. Together with the Ouachita Mountains to their South, they make up the US Interior Highlands, the most significant collection of hills and mountains in the otherwise flat wasteland between the Appalachians and the Rockies.
The majestic Rockies are, geologically speaking, relatively young, having formed between 55 and 80 million years ago. It is often pointed out by those proud Appalachians, that their mountains are far older, having been formed by tectonic activity during the Ordovician Period, some 400 million years before the Rockies. In fact, the Apps are so old that the peaks that once rivaled the modern Rocky and Alp ranges were eroded essentially to a flat plain by the time of the dinosaurs, only to be disrupted by further uplift in the Cenozoic.
While most of what is called colloquially the “Ozark Mountains” are not in fact mountains, but an eroded plateau, the St. Francois Range in the eastern Ozarks are igneous mountains that formed from volcanic activity during the Precambrian, almost one and a half billion years ago. This doesn’t have much to do with our podcast other than bragging rights.
The area has been settled, and resettled, and resettled, ad nauseum, for approximately 12,000 years. For millennia it served as the permanent home and seasonal hunting grounds of an inestimable number of distinct indigenous tribes and cultures. For many years, white archeologists largely flattened these undoubtedly richly different peoples into a sort of proto-hillbilly myth, the Bluff Dwellers. Into the historical era, the Osage (Wazhazhe) peoples moved into what is now approximately the St. Louis metropolitan area, being pushed west from the Ohio River Valley by Iroquois peoples, who had, themselves, been displaced by white settlement of the East Coast of North America.
The Osage spread west, and by the time of white westward expansion, they dominated the vast lands between the Missouri River, the Red River, and the western bank of the Mississippi. When the United States Government made the Louisiana Purchase, a number of new treaties were negotiated between various eastern tribes (Kickapoo, Cherokee, Lenape, Quapaw, and others) and the US Government, resettling populations from these peoples into the Ozarks. This resettlement (then displacement) continued through the middle of the 19th century, as the Government continued its campaign of cultural eradication, displacement, and genocide known historically as the Trail of Tears, a path of blood and sorrow that cut through the heart of the Ozarks.
Despite it’s significance to many a modern tribe with historical and pre-historical connections to the hills and hollers – from the cultural decendents of the mighty Caddoan Mississippian centered at Spiro and the Central Mississippian centered at Cahokia to the still-extant historical period inhabitants including the Choctaw, Shawnee and Peoria, among many others – there is little tribal land left in the Ozarks proper, largely relegated to it’s far western edge in Oklahoma.
While there is a great deal of variation in the topography of the region, the Ozarks are generally typified by hills and narrow valleys, or “hollows” [hollers]. The soil is tends to be very rocky, where it can be said to exist at all. This heavily affected the cultural and economic development of the region after white settlement began in earnest in the early 19th century. First, large scale agriculture, especially horticulture, is a rare feat, even to this day. Given the rough terrain, the area was passed over by many westward colonizers in favor of more fertile lands. Second, because farming was still such a primary economic activity in the pre-Industrial Era, this meant that many of the settlers relied on subsistence farms supplemented with small game hunting.
The hilly terrain created natural pockets of cultural isolation, and was welcoming to few but the hardiest and self-reliant. Even as the Western United States began to fill with white settlers and colonizers, the Ozarks remained very much a frontier. It was settled early by Scotch-Irish and Anglo families that had spend the previous few generations living in similar conditions in Appalachia, as such, the original Ozarks dialect developed with little outside influence and shared many characteristics with the English spoken by the British Isle commoner a century or two previous.
Anyway that’s probably enough of the 5th grade book report bullshit for now to get us on the first page of Google results I hope! Check out the episodes! We do okay work I promise!