The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

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fangz1956
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The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Mar 22 12:02

I have been doing more than a bit of reading lately on the origins and history of rednecks and hillbillies. Yep....I qualify and have the drawling Appalachian twang to prove it (along with family roots). And yes, I get woefully tired of folks asking "where are you from?" every time I open my mouth to speak.

I bleed for the people having to endure watching their landscapes, forests, and homes destroyed by mountain-top mining. I bleed every time we are passed over for promotions and better jobs in favor of "transplants". I bleed and ache for the loss of the priceless treasure that is my heritage......a proud one full of self-sufficiency, work ethic, honesty, and a love of real freedom.

The Bill O'Reilly video:
[youtube]FLkc6LJmtNs[/youtube]

The commentary that follows is excellent and very eloquently illustrates my feelings (and the feelings of countless others). Even though it is extracted from a blog titled Appalachian History, I do believe that the writer is more than qualified to have and to express an opinion on this subject.

Hillbilly stereotypes: picking up pine knots and going to war

:sigh:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

resigned

Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby resigned » 2009 Mar 23 14:11

Frangz, really liked the message and posting. I was raised in the Ozark Mountains and am classified as a hillbilly. I believe that where I grew up and my family and neighbors are what shaped me into the person I am today. My great great grandfather was Scottish Irish who immigrated to America, lived in Tennessee then moved to Missouri. I believe a lot of Scots immigrated to the Appalachian mountains including the Ozark Mountains and the Scottish influence is very much present. A lot of the music I learned I now know was influenced by their music. I also have allot of people who comment on my accent which is a drawl and I tell them its a mid western drawl. There were allot of good hard working people who lived in the area and still do. I go back to visit family on a regular basis.

I think O'Reilly is a horses behind.

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Coondog
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Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby Coondog » 2009 Mar 23 16:08

O'Reilly's inherent conservative aversion to assistance of any kind to anybody (except corporate and evangelical interests), founded on the principle individuals who haven't lifted themselves up "by their own bootstraps" deserve nothing but scorn, has interesting connotations when applied to Appalachia.

As a voting bloc, the uneducated, financially challenged, unwashed hillbillies swing republican in just about every election. Well...maybe he's concerned those people will develope enough intellect and sophistication to stop voting against their own best interests. Strange to hear him denegrating the conservative base that way, though.


:dontknow: Coondog

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fangz1956
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Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Mar 23 19:53

I did a bit of digging around and found the Diane Sawyers 20/20 documentary in its entirity. It's interesting and a bit sad. It does get kinda hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when the coal companies have pulled out of an area. But, some of the young portrayed are trying to hang on and do just that......pull themselves up by their bootstraps. This is another multi-faceted problem that points out failures in practices of Corporate America AND in the way in which medicine is practiced in this country......a pill for every ill. There is a link to the full documentary on the following page:

Children of the Mountains
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

resigned

Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby resigned » 2009 Mar 23 20:28

I saw the doccumentary when it was on TV recently. It was really interesting. The one young man who tried to hard to get out of the small town and go to college just didn't make it and I felt that was because he just needed more support.
coondog wrote: As a voting bloc, the uneducated, financially challenged, unwashed hillbillies......... Coondog

I have found many of the hillbillies who may be uneducated and financially challenged to be very smart. Just because a person doesn't receive a higher education doesn't mean they aren't smart. And I found that many were clean, kept clean houses but just didn't wash every day due to having no bath facilities in the home. I grew up with an outdoor toilet and we bathed in a the galvanized wash tub in the kitchen. We didn't get electricity until I was ten and I am not that old. But my Mom managed to keep us all clean and when we went out we always looked nice. She made our clothes from feed sacks which had many colorful patterns.

I remember sitting in our grandparents home on Sundays and listening to all the folks discuss world events, among who was cheating on whom, whose cow needed breeding etc. Both my grandparents taught at the one room school house down the road. My grandmother went to Normal School now they are called Teachers colleges or that may have changed. My grandfather had to present his high school diploma and was certified to teach. I still have many of those old documents. And the protestant work ethic was alive and well. Just some ramblings on hillbillies. Many are good people

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Juggler
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Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby Juggler » 2009 Mar 25 15:01

Cultural Learnings of Rednecks for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of America

[youtube]14mB3RNAlHk[/youtube]

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Uji
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Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby Uji » 2009 Mar 28 15:02

fangz1956 wrote:I have been doing more than a bit of reading lately on the origins and history of rednecks and hillbillies.


Any of that reading that you'd recommend?

Anonymoose

Re: The Degradation & Ruin of A Culture

Postby Anonymoose » 2009 Apr 12 21:08

Fangz,
You're probably already aware of this, http://www.roanoke.com/extra/wb/200301, but thougth I'd post it anyway. I missed the first episode, but hope to catch the rest.

Sissy Spacek narrates PBS documentary on Appalachia
"Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People," a four-part series, debuts Thursday on WBRA (Channel 15).

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Sissy Spacek has lived within the Appalachian mountain range since before the role in "Coal Miner's Daughter" that identified her with the region. But some of her neighbors won't let her forget she wasn't born there.

"I'm a transplant," said Spacek, 59, who was born in Texas. "My children are natives. I have clout now because I have children here. But I will always be a transplant. And I will always be aware of that."

She lives on a horse farm in Albemarle County near Charlottesville, moving there with her husband Jack Fisk, who is a Virginia native.

Spacek may get more respect from her neighbors with her work narrating "Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People," a four-part documentary that debuts on PBS stations on Thursday (WBRA, Channel 15, 10 p.m.).

She won an Academy Award for her role as singer Loretta Lynn in the 1980 film "Coal Miner's Daughter." It made her a natural choice for filmmaker Ross Spears when he was looking for someone to tell his story.

The film tells the human stories about people who made the Appalachians home, but also talks about the mountains themselves. They're the world's oldest geologically and are rich in growth. One acre of forest in the Great Smoky Mountins can support more species of trees than all of Europe, the film says. The coal so valuable to the region's economy was created by tropical jungles compacted over millions of years.

It was an educational experience for Spacek.

"I learned a lot and a lot of the things made me very sad," she said. "The most sobering thing for me was the monumental loss of mountains," leveled during the mining process. She said the most moving part of the narration was reading the names of 20 or 30 of the 470 mountains lost.

"It was like a funeral," she said.

For decades, images of Appalachian poor have been ingrained in the public consciousness. It can be a touchy point for people who live there; Diane Sawyer's ABC News special about poverty among young people in Kentucky struck some raw nerves.

Spacek found striking the extent to which people who lived within the Appalachians rarely benefited from the riches extracted from the mountains.

"They've been exploited," she said. "A lot of the poverty is because people have been exploited. I don't think there's any shame in being poor. The shame goes to the exploiters."

A companion soundtrack of mountain music has been released by Lonesome Records and Publishing of Big Stone Gap. The CD, "Appalachia: Music from Home," features the songs of many Virginia bluegrass and old-time mountain music musicians, including Ralph Stanley, Blue Highway, James Allen Shelton, Dock Boggs and Robin and Linda Williams.

For true authenticity, Spacek joked about doing the narration in her Loretta Lynn voice. The two women are still in contact.

"We're very dear, dear friends," she said. "We don't speak often enough, but we're in regular contact with each other. Now she would have really been authentic."


There are many positive things associated with the Appalachian region, mostly related to music and literature. I hope this documentary reveals some of that.

Also, if you get a chance, watch the History Channel's documentary "Hillbillies", narrated by Billy Ray Cyrus. It has a fair amount of Hollywood spin, but does make some very important points about the fortitude and contributions of the Appalachian people.


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