COUNTRY MUSIC MEETS IMPEACHMENT: On the road with Minnie Pearl!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019

Don't get beneath your raisin':
Was Minnie Pearl a racist? Perhaps a slobbering racist?

Frankly, we aren't sure! All through the sixteen hours of his PBS film, Country Music, Ken Burns ducks this blindingly obvious question, arguably along with one or two others.

In fairness to Pearl, she carried a basic disadvantage in the general area of so-called race. She was born in 1912 in Hickman County, Tennessee, a jurisdiction of roughly 16,000 souls at the time of her birthin'.

Hickman County was one small part of the sprawling Jim Crow South—and the lady's parents were socially defined as "white." That made Pearl "white" too, at a time when the white world tended to be less than fully evolved concerning matters of "race."

At any rate, her name at birth was Sarah Colley. Later, she adopted the "Minnie Pearl" alias as a Southern comedy star.

What was Colley taught about "race" in the years of her raisin'? We have no idea, nor was Burns willing to tell when he profiled her in just the second episode of his eight-episode film.

That said, we drew a lesson about modern politics as we watched his profile unfold. It had to do with the cultural values Sarah Colley apparently drew from her raisin'.

Who the heck was Minnie Pearl? Burns stressed the fact that she was born to a prosperous family.

Many stories in Country Music describe a rise from impoverishment. Minnie Pearl's background was different, Burns said:
COUNTRY MUSIC: The most enduring and improbable comedy star of the Grand Ole Opry was a college-educated aspiring actress from a prosperous Tennessee family who joined the cast in 1940...

Nothing in Sarah Colley's upbringing seemed destined to produce the character she became on the Opry stage.
Her father owned a sawmill, and the home he provided for his family had one of the town's best libraries, its finest carriage, and one of its first automobiles.

As a young girl, she became sensitive that she wasn't as pretty as her friends, but she excelled in elocution and determined to be a great actress. She enrolled at the most fashionable finishing school in the state, Ward-Belmont, located in a former plantation mansion in Nashville, where she studied Shakespeare.
To watch this profile, click here, move ahead to the 1:23 mark.

"She became sensitive that she wasn't as pretty as her friends." Especially given the person this young woman became, it's hard to hear those words.

But as to who this young woman became, Burns describes her first job after finishing college—"a job with a theater company in Atlanta which was helping rural towns throughout the South stage plays and variety shows with homegrown talent."

Apparently, Colley wasn't staying in fancy hotels as she provided this service. We thought of our nation's modern political breakdown as Burns' narrator continued the story:
COUNTRY MUSIC: One cold winter night in January 1936, she arrived in a little village near Sand Mountain in northern Alabama.

She boarded with a poor family, presided over by a woman in her seventies whose youngest of sixteen children was simply called "Brother."

"When I left," Colley remembered, "the old lady paid me the highest possible compliment. "She said, 'Lord a-mercy, child, I hate to see you go. You're just like one of us.' "
Given the reckoning of the world, the young woman named Sarah Colley wasn't "just like one of them." She'd come from a much more privileged background, but perhaps she'd been trained to respect the person of those who were perhaps less fortunate in the eyes of the world.

Or who knows? Maybe those were simply the values she developed on her own.

Immediately, we thought of our own political tribe as Burns' narrator offered this story. We thought of how rarely we're able to convey the impression, to certain groups of Others, that we believe we're just like one of them.

At any rate, as Burns continued to draw his portrait, he continued to stress Sarah Colley's refusal to place herself above those who may have seemed lesser. As she did her hard travelin' during these years, she developed the Minnie Pearl character which would become regionally famous. But she said she avoided making her character "a caricature" of poor rural people, as other country comedians of the era often did.

She shared the news from the fictional town of Grinders Switch in the fictional person of Minnie Pearl. Before too many years had passed, she got her shot at the Grand Ole Opry:
COUNTRY MUSIC: In 1940, at age 28, she got a chance to audition on the Grand Ole Opry.

Aware of her genteel background, "Some were afraid," she said, that the Opry audience "would find that out and suspect I was a phony, would think I was putting down country people."

Just before she went on the air, [the Opry emcee] thought she looked scared, and gave her what she later called "the very best advice any performer can get"...
At this point, we get one of the heartwarming anecdotes Burns especially loves. But Minnie Pearl was a widely-loved regional giant for the next fifty years, based upon her refusal to let people think that she looked down on those who hadn't studied Shakespeare or imagined going to college.

Don't get us wrong! Minnie Pearl's performances are hard to watch today. You can verify this through YouTube searchin'. (The same is true of much northern comedy of the era.)

That said, we were struck by the political lesson lurking in Burns' profile. This lesson involves the way we admittedly superior upper-end liberals express ourselves with respect to the many deplorable irredeemables who put Donald Trump where he is.

In the language of the Burns film, Sarah Colley didn't get "above her raisin'." She also didn't go beneath it. We'd say her aim was true.

Apparently, she actually didn't look down on those who were less sophisticated. Beyond that, she didn't want such people to think that she did. She conveyed this attitude for a great many years.

Minnie Pearl presented the news from the fictional town of Grinders Switch. She did so in a way which didn't broadcast condescension.

On a personal note, we well remember the Saturday night when we saw that Minnie Pearl had gone national. It happened in June 1969, in the lobby of a small inn, By-The-Sea, in the actual town of Dennisport, Mass., when we were stunned to see our first broadcast of the new CBS program, Hee Haw.

(Political warning: According to the leading authority on the program, "Hee Haw's appeal was not limited to a rural audience. It was successful in all of the major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago." In syndication, it stayed on the air for roughly twenty-five years.)

We were overnighting in Dennisport in a party of four when first we encountered Hee Haw. The other feller had grown up not far from Nashville and was well aware of Minnie Pearl, not to mention Grandpa Jones and possibly Cousin Emmy. One of the ladies had been born and raised, by admirable parents, in Mississippi during the most difficult times of the Civil Rights era.

At least two members of our party were thrilled by what they saw on a small TV screen that night. Two weeks ago, we thought we saw a political lesson when Burns profiled Minnie Pearl.

"Don't get above your raisin'!" On several occasions, the Burns film presented that as the basic ethos of country music culture. As a self-appraisal by an industry, it may perhaps be a bit overstated in a self-flattering way.

That said, at least according to Burns, Sarah Colley never got above or beneath her raisin'. She proceeded to do the right thing, even to author a lingering political lesson.

Our own tribe will never take it. Of that we can feel fairly sure!

Hard to watch today: In her early adult years, June Carter also did a lot of country clownin'—country clownin' that can be hard to watch today.

For an example of what we mean, you can watch this brief clip of her with Hank Williams, country music's all-time greatest star. For the more extensive tape from which this clip is drawn, you can just click here.

Williams died at age 29. Carter, later June Carter Cash, lived a long, productive, decent life.

Colley wouldn't mock the lessers. We were immediately struck by the lesson this conduct teaches today.

60 comments:

  1. "Who the heck was Minnie Pearl?"

    Yeah, and what the heck is "racist", dear Bob? Is it something like being one you liberal pro-corruption zombies, who judge people by the color of their skin, classifying even small children as "black students" and "white students"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mao mao * 你真是个混蛋

      Delete
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  2. In a post entitled “Country Music Meets Impeachment”, Somerby is suggesting that Trump voters are willing to overlook Trump’s lawlessness because liberals look down on them.

    Are liberals and independents supposed to accept this “reasoning” and bow to rural conservatives’ “feelings” in this matter?

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  3. "we admittedly superior upper-end liberals"

    Surely you meant allegedly, dear Bob? I know, you, even though somewhat a zombie, ain't as arrogant as "we admittedly superior"...

    But then, who knows, people change...

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  4. "But Minnie Pearl was a widely-loved regional giant for the next fifty years, based upon her refusal to let people think that she looked down on those who hadn't studied Shakespeare or imagined going to college."

    On Wikipedia, it says that her characters that she talked about were based on the people she knew in her hometown while growing up. That sounds like making fun of her neighbors to me.

    Arguably, going to a finishing school is not the same as attending college, even if that school later became a college. Women were not permitted to attend most colleges in those days (1936) but Somerby's emphasis on her "college" education is ridiculous. Her class and family income would have been the source of division, not any education provided at a women's finishing school, even if she did "study" Shakespeare. No one could call her any kind of intellectual based on that. The mention of her good elocution (by which they probably mean, her eradication of her regional accent) would be a giveaway. She was apparently able to put that on and take it off at will.

    But pretending that she was not making fun of the people in small town Tennessee is ridiculous. It was her entire act and the people who enjoyed her act surely recognized that she was mocking the lower classes and enjoyed the jokes on that basis.

    Note that she also mocks women, with her portrayal of a desperate old spinster trying to hook a man. She was married in real life and not bad looking. Burns says she was sensitive about her looks, but looking at her, there seems to be no reason for that, and it is not mentioned by Wikipedia.

    Women in comedy have always had to downplay their looks and most exaggerate flaws and make themselves look ridiculous (c.f., early Joan Rivers with her messy hair, Carol Burnett whose comedy is always at her own expense). Looking funny is half the battle, so I think Somerby should take Burns' comment about her own feelings about her looks with a grain of salt.

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    1. “That sounds like making fun of her neighbors to me.”

      “Note that she also mocks women…”

      Shit man, that’s what comedy is. Mocking people or their ideas is what it’s all about. wtf is wrong with you? You didn’t even make an argument that was discernible.

      Jetting off now. Just saw a tasty-looking younger squid.

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    2. She wasn't "mocking." She was poking fun. Big difference.

      Also, Minnie Pearl went national long before Hee Haw -- a show made in L.A. btw. She'd been on Mike Douglas etc. for years, game shows, that kind of thing.

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  5. Here is a picture of Minnie Pearl's attitudes about race, which once again, never mentions race. It is framed as an oldtimer vs newcomer struggle.

    I seriously doubt that Sarah Colley stayed in any black homes and worked with black performers while she was touring and staging productions after college. That might have indicated the kind of egalitarianism that Somerby attributes to her, but it wouldn't be something a girl from a finishing school would even contemplate and no business would ask her to do it. But hey, if grannies liked her, she probably wasn't too snooty. But that doesn't make her anything but a nice girl, well brought up.

    Her comedy reeks of condescension. If Somerby doesn't recognize that, he is just using her to make a point that has no basis in fact.

    It does strike me as odd that Somerby equates Pearl's accent and dress with poor people and not with average small town Southerners. I doubt any of those people thought of themselves as poor or "hicks" but Somerby plainly does.

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    1. Sorry, forgot to include the link:

      https://www.nytimes.com/1982/08/22/us/death-of-black-opry-pioneer-leads-to-disharmony-in-nashville.html

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    2. Her comedy reeks of condescension.

      All the Hee-Haw type crap strikes me as phony, but you can't condescend to yourself. Minnie poked fun at her friends and family, but also herself.

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    3. The character she created and performed on stage was not "herself". In real life, she was Sarah Cannon. When she got breast cancer and donated money to found a cancer research facility, she insisted that it be named for Sarah Cannon, not Minnie Pearl. That suggests that she differentiated between herself and her theatrical character, the person she poked fun at. She was part of Nashville society and she did not dress or speak like Minnie Pearl among her friends and family. She was not poking fun at them on stage, but was mocking a creation based upon people she knew in the town where she grew up. So, yes, she was condescending to those people, who she mocked and explicitly did not want to confuse with herself in real life. Somerby has this wrong.

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    4. The character she created and performed on stage was not "herself". In real life, she was Sarah Cannon.

      Thank you, Captain Obvious.

      I can’t believe I have to explain this, but apparently I do. The humor of Sarah Cannon comes through the mouth of Cannon’s character, Minnie Pearl. Minnie pokes gentle fun at unsophisticated country people in the guise of actors also playing characters. In this achingly-unfunny (for me) tableaux, Minnie is just one of those country people so portrayed —

      Get it? Minnie, not Sarah Cannon, whom nobody sees performing onstage as herself —

      Minnie includes herself as the butt of the jokes.

      If the humor were particularly cruel in its portrayals or if Minnie stood apart from the people she lampooned, then that would be condescending.

      Perhaps a contrast would help. Consider talk show host and standup comic Bill Maher. He plays a left-leaning, sardonic character onstage. Since he’s not an actor as such, I suspect the real Bill Maher is close to onstage/on-camera Bill Maher, but all I’ve got to go on is his persona. I’ve heard him preface a jibe with something like, “I know I’m not supposed to call Republicans stupid, but they’ve got to meet me part way.” Maher stands apart from the targets of his routines as he puts them down. There’s your condescending.

      See the difference?

      Somerby has this wrong.

      Where’s the Self-Awareness Fairy when you need her?

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    5. There is nothing "gentle" about Minnie Pearl's mockery. She has a price tag hanging from her hat! Her humor is unsubtle and derogatory.

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    6. Do you think she looked down upon the Southerners?

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    7. Yes. I think she considered her middle and upper class friends to be different than the people she parodied as Minnie Pearl. I think everyone in the South who is affluent and prosperous looks down on the rest of the population who is less well off -- hence the term trailer trash, white trash, Hill Billies, and so on. These are Southern terms, not Northern ones, since everyone in the North considers anyone with a Southern accent to be inbred, foolish and stupid, like the Minnie Pearl characters. The first thing someone from the South does when reaching the North is eradicate their accent, so they won't have to face that prejudice. But it comes first from the upper class Southerners who don't like the people who are poorer and less "cultured" than they are. The South is as snobby as the Philadelphia main line and the Bostonian Beacon Hill society. That's why Southerners thought Minnie Pearl was funny. She is pretty much incomprehensible to Northerners.

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    8. So she, like today's liberals, looked down on poor whites from the south?

      Why was that show so popular in the north if she was incompressible to Northerners?

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    9. I think she considered her middle and upper class friends to be different than the people she parodied as Minnie Pearl

      You knew Sarah Colley Cannon (the woman whose stage persona was Minnie Pearl)? Do tell. What was she really like?

      I think everyone in the South who is affluent and prosperous looks down on the rest of the population who is less well off….

      There are about 6M southerners with a household income over $197K per year (or so says the US census). You sure know a lot of people.

      hence the term trailer trash, white trash, Hill Billies, and so on. These are Southern terms, not Northern ones,….

      Are you sure? According to wikipedia, one of the first appearances of the word (spelled Hill-Billie) appears in a daily newspaper in New York City, the New York Journal-American. Now, wikipedia isn’t the gold standard for citation, the term was probably current before the newspaper reported on it, and perhaps the paper was reporting was based on southern sources.

      Actually, the term is Appalachian and refers to mountain dwellers, quite possibly those descended from Scots and Irish immigrants, who kept to themselves. The Great Depression drove these folks out of their homes, but to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other points north, not south. Their path north came to be called the Hillbilly Highway. That connection still exists. For an account, you might want to read Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance published in 2016.

      The first thing someone from the South does when reaching the North is eradicate their accent….

      Even Bill Moyers?

      Minnie Pearl … is pretty much incomprehensible to Northerners.

      I find Minnie Pearl’s humor of the unselfconscious unsophisticate excrutiatingly unfunny, but she’s hardly a mystery

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    10. Maybe the Northerners recognized and enjoyed, along with Roy Clark's wicked heifetzian chops, her mocking disapproval of the poor country whites.

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    11. Not been in Black homes?

      You don't know much about the South, do you? She was probably RAISED by Black people.

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  6. Hank Williams died of TB. It was before antibiotics. His life was extraordinarily productive up to that point.

    June Carter married Johnny Cash. Did that perhaps contribute to her "productivity," if not her long life?

    Sarah Colley was raised middle to upper class. How would she get "above her raisin'" given that circumstance. It is just as bad to pretend to be below one's raisin' (what a ridiculous phrase). But how are people supposed to aspire to any kind of success if the ethos is that they are to stay humble or no one will like them. That is how poor communities pull down and hold onto their young, shackling them to the circumstances of their parents. Resenting those who reject the limitations of poverty and ignorance to pursue larger goals may be a Southern trait or it may be a universal, but it isn't a virtue. It reflects the small-mindedness generally attributed to Southern dead-enders and failures who refuse to change. They are better left behind.

    If these people sense the way others think of them, whose fault is it? The anti-intellectual name-calling that exists on the right is uglier than anything evoking it. Somerby is trying ennoble it by saying that it was a fine trait of Minnie Pearl, but I don't buy it. She herself was popular because she allowed audiences to laugh at their neighbors, safe in the knowledge that they were better than those she portrayed. There is no other dynamic in her humor. But Somerby doesn't see it -- and he is a comedian himself. I think he is lying to us and that leads me to wonder why.

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  7. "whose youngest of sixteen children was simply called "Brother."

    I'll bet he was actually called Bubba, which means brother, a common practice in the South.

    Somerby implies those people were too poor to afford to name their children. How silly is that?

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  8. Bob,
    Your chronic redundancy has always annoyed me. Seemingly condescending to your readers.
    i.e-Tell them what you are gonna tell them; tell them; then tell them what you told them.
    Today you bring something new. Incoherence.

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  9. 'Immediately, we thought of our own political tribe as Burns' narrator offered this story. We thought of how rarely we're able to convey the impression, to certain groups of Others, that we believe we're just like one of them.'

    Well, Somerby your tribe is the tribe of Trumptards, so it's not surprising that liberals don't believe you when you claim you're a liberal.

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  10. Hee Haw...Really? Next thing he’ll tell us is how much he enjoys dressing in overalls, chewing tobacco, and enjoying the pickin’ and the grinnin’.

    He writes as if he’s speaking about 19th century pioneers, ancient specimens of gritty Americana. Hee Haw debuted in 1968. It was a mass marketed program that was a caricature of supposed Southern culture. It often presented the men as ignorant unemployed overall-wearing layabouts, and the women as dumb, big-breasted, hot pants-wearing Daisy Maes.

    At this point, Somerby has no credibility when he criticizes anyone for liking “Friends.”

    Again...Hee Haw?

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    1. Why focus on Minnie Pearl? Why not ask whether Roy Acuff was a racist?

      Delete
    2. Go back and read it again.

      TDH is very careful not to say that he himself enjoyed Hee Haw. He says his first viewing left him "stunned" and that two members of his party were "thrilled" with the program.

      TDH is not criticizing you for liking Friends. He excoriates the NYT for wasting space covering the program.

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    3. @deadrat
      Please, spare us, and yourself, this nonsense. He is wasting his readers’ time covering bull crap like Hee Haw. Do you suppose he would excoriate the Times if it covered Hee Haw or Minnie Pearl instead of Friends? Considering Hee Haw is mercifully long dead, it’s likely that the Times covers more contemporary country stars, like Dolly Parton, or (liberal) Kathy Mattea. But that’s AOK, cause it’s about country folk, right? And, I got news for you: Friends was extremely popular...in the Deep South. My, how amazing to think that rural folk like them shows ‘bout the big city. This is perhaps the most embarrassing column Somerby has ever written. In a column praising Minnie Pearl’s ethos, he portrays his first experience of her, on Hee Haw, as some sort of momentous occasion. Does he think that show was representative of southern culture? It was not. By 1968, it was just a rip-off of the Li’l Abner comic strip. It was stereotyped garbage. And I grew up in the Deep South. It perpetuated stupid outmoded myths about dumb hillbillies and airhead buxom women.

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    4. Hee Haw was conceived in New York by a New York Jew. Bernie Brillstein.

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    5. Anonymous @2:14A,

      Thanks for sharing. I was fascinated -- nay, transfixed -- by your deft analysis. Although I was a tad disappointed that your narrative had nothing to do with my comment. But never mind. You grew up in the Deep South? Please, tell us more.

      And you're right. TDH is wasting our time. Let's ask for our money back.

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    6. Salazar,

      Hee Haw was the creation of two Canadian writers, Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth. It was originally produced by Peppiatt's production company, Yongestreet Productions and later by Gaylord Entertainment, the company owned by the guy who bought Opryland. Brillstein credits himself with coming up with the name.

      Remember, Jews own all the banks, not cornpone "country" entertainment.

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    7. Thank you.for sharing your knowledge about Brillstein and Hee Haw deadrat.

      Delete
    8. Brillstein: "It was my concept. I tried to sell the networks on "The Muppet Show." They said a puppet wouldn't work at night and I was furious. So I got really angry, I woke up at 3 o'clock one morning and I said, "OK, I'll give them what they want." I broke down the top 10 -- it was "Green Acres," "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Laugh In." So I said "I'll do a country 'Laugh In.'" There was more brains than luck in that."

      Delete
    9. Peppiatt and Aylesworth worked for Brillstein moron.

      Delete
    10. 9:34:deadrat is mister "I'm-an-expert-now-because-I-just-spend-2-minutes-on-Wikipedia-reading-about-something-I-had-no-idea-about-before" ie. this board's annoying dick.

      Delete
    11. Yeah, it's so annoying when you encounter someone who looks things up. I feel your pain.

      Brillstein was a producer, but his company didn't produce Hee Haw. Brillstein was also an agent and manager. Brillstein worked for P & A.

      Delete
  11. "Hee Haw's appeal was not limited to a rural audience..."

    Spade Cooley had a prime time program on KTLA in Los Angeles in the 1950s. CW has always had wide appeal. I live in a rural county and one doesn't need to be a coastal urban elite to understand that anyone who actually believes reality TV is real is cognitively limited. Ditto anyone who resonates to presidential pressers that are WWE RAW ripoffs.

    My family followed Boone into Missouri back in the day and folks who didn't want their kids to do better then them were looked down on.

    (Re: Carter. No one looks good in early kinescopes and what's the problem with the mugging?)

    This seems really simple - the folks who voted Democratic started voting Republican when the folks they were used to voting for started running as Republicans.

    "This lesson involves the way we admittedly superior upper-end liberals express ourselves with respect to the many deplorable irredeemables who put Donald Trump where he is."

    You mean the coastal elite reporters and editors who ate up the e-mail scam or the elite DC FBI Director. Then there's the morons in WI, MI, and PA who stayed home or voted for Jill Stein (you know, the one at the table with Flynn and Putin).

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  12. Speaking as someone who comes from the hinterland, The Andy Griffin Show, or better yet- Peyton Place, would be more indicative of the culture.

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  13. Somerby is working really REALLY hard to sympathize with rural whites. So much so that it strains credulity. It is also a species of condescension, the quintessential bicoastal elite Bob Somerby (from Boston, California, and Baltimore) expressing his oh so heartfelt understanding of or sympathy with Southern culture , at least the culture that he narrowly defines as Minnie Pearl’s humor and country music and Hee Haw. That the south is so much more than this needn’t be stated. Try as he might, he comes off as a complete phony. Very David Brooks-like in his creation of imaginary country people who say, feel, and do exactly as he imagines them.

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  14. “That the south is so much more than this needn’t be stated.”

    True. Too bad you couldn’t restrain yourself.

    The same goes for your feigning such a tin ear.

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    Replies
    1. I met a Southerner who wasn't a bigot once. Though, I only lived there for 17 years.

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    2. So of all the ethnicities in South, which group had that distinction?

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  15. What is a "slobbering racist"?

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  16. This may give Bob some perspective:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/opinion/sunday/trump-arkansas.html

    Folks like this aren't unique to the rural South but inertia has concentrated them there and other rural areas. I live in rural California (most of the state is mountains and desert) at the foot of an ancient landslide. The guy who owns the tract to the north was complaining because the state inspector required him to redo a logging road. Of course if the road blows out the roads, farms and houses below get trashed.

    Some significant portion of the population (likely 25 -35%) are deplorable. Get over it.

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    1. I was struck by this paragraph:

      "
      Since coming back, I’ve realized that it is true that people here think life here has taken a turn for the worse. What’s also true, though, is that many here seem determined to get rid of the last institutions trying to help them, to keep people with educations out, and to retreat from community life and concentrate on taking care of themselves and their own families. It’s an attitude that is against taxes, immigrants and government, but also against helping your neighbor."

      Young people tend to be full of hope and expectation, but if you are in your 30s and 40s, you have likely experienced setbacks. When you reach 60, 70 & 80, you understand that life is like that for nearly everyone, although the kind of problems vary, but no one's life is smooth and it is hard to know what misfortunes people are struggling with if you don't talk to them about it.

      The South is bearing the brunt of some nastier than usual weather. If that is added to job cutbacks and health problems, it can be overwhelming. It is only through talking with extended family, friends and neighbors that you can put this into perspective. If there isn't that social cohesion, then there isn't the mental attitude to give you strength to get through troubles and trust that things will get better down the road.

      If people are living on subsistence wages, of course they don't want to pay any taxes. It sounds like attitudes were different during the gas boom, so the lack of money may be at the heart of the attitudes about public services.

      The idea that Democrats only offer voters free stuff is portrayed in this article and it is a huge misunderstanding of Democratic platform and policies, since Democrats are also about increasing wages and creating jobs, strengthening unions and instituting policies that strengthen workers.

      I disagree that campaigning on austerity is a good idea for Democrats. Hillary opposed the $15 minimum wage in part because rural areas would regard it as inappropriate, and look where that got her in places like West VA.

      The article doesn't focus sufficiently on the ways in which this rural attitude is actually self-defeating. Companies put businesses in areas with an educated workforce, not rural areas where people scorn education.

      Delete
  17. The article says it's self-defeat when "many here seem determined to get rid of the last institutions trying to help them." This quote illustrates the difference between the two sides.

    Liberals focus on aims and intentions. They approve of institutions that are trying to help. Conservatives focus more on results. They point out that Trump's economic policies actually are helping America's needy people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 你真是个混蛋

      Delete
    2. September 10, 2019
      With incomes rising for Americans, the poverty rate fell to its lowest level since 2001. The poverty rate fell by 0.5 percentage points to 11.8 percent in 2018, following a 0.4 percentage point decline in 2017—or almost a full point drop over the first two years of the Administration. Since 2017, 1.4 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty. The decline in the official poverty rate mirrors a 0.7 percentage point decline in food insecurity in 2018, reported last month by the Department of Agriculture, even as 4.2 million people were lifted off of food stamps during the year.

      Delete
    3. Why do you suppose David is using 2001 as the cut off? Because the rate was much lower before 2001. This is the third year of declines, continuing a downward trend started during the Obama administration, after the rate went up due to the recession. The people who were "lifted off" food stamps lost their food security due to a change in the eligibility requirements, not because they no longer needed the help.

      Why can't you present basic statistics without slanting them into conservative propaganda. The reality is that there is considerable uncertainty about the future, reflected by the instability of the stock market, with analysts predicting a recession caused by Trump's trade wars, tariffs, and meddling with the economy. Trump has hoped to offset that by bullying the Fed into reducing interest rates, but they are already too low for that to help.

      你真是个混蛋

      Delete
    4. David you should credit the source when you post Trump press releases. You actually believe what that guy says?

      Delete
    5. I sure do believe it. Not because rump is so honest, it's because the media is so eager to criticize Trump. If there were lies in that statement, the media would be all over them.

      Delete
    6. When will media the quit criticizing Trump for Ivanka and Jared using private servers for government business. We understand it's a national security issue, but this criticism is incessant.

      Delete
    7. Oops. Typos.
      "quit" be "start" and "incessant" should read "non-existent"
      Sorry for the errors.

      Delete
    8. "Not because rump is so honest"

      Have some respect for the office of the President, and address him properly. That's "Russian Asset Donald J. Trump" to you.

      Delete
  18. I'm I the only person here who thinks that Minnie Pearl's funny?

    Condescending? Mocking? Why, I guess we can't have any humor or satire now.

    Btw ... she was just having fun with a certain character type. Like Ma and Pa Kettle. So settle down people with all your umbrage. Lighten up.

    ReplyDelete
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