Recently, while resting at home after spraining my foot, I turned on the TV just in time to be sucked into the time warp that is known as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Now for those of you who have not seen this new TLC show, it is a reality show following a very witty 7-year-old beauty pageant participant and her outgoing and hilarious family.
They are from McIntyre, GA (purely coincidental. No relation here). They live in a house by the railroad tracks. They eat pasta with butter and ketchup. They go muddin’ for fun. They are what I would call “country”.
And I have to admit… I absolutely love it.
I loved it so much I set the DVR to record every show so I could watch the entire season from start to finish.
I’m from the South, too, so I could actually understand what they were saying through the heavy drawls. I didn’t need the sub-titles that someone not from the South would need. I laughed at their antics and their family bickering. I loved how they don’t have much, but they laugh at each other, they encourage each other, and they clearly love each other.
It was fantastic, but it also made me start thinking. This is partially the reason that folks who are not from around here would think that Southerners are all rednecks. There are so many movies and TV shows portraying people in the South in a not-so-good light.
First, there’s “Deliverance”, which is about four city fellows who decide to go white water rafting and end up being chased and vilified by some freaky, banjo playing backwoods hillbillies. I am certain that this movie has deterred many city folk away from the thought of camping in the great outdoors.
Then you have “Gone With The Wind” which, of course, is a Southern favorite since Margaret Mitchell was from Atlanta. But it revolves around the Civil War, slavery, and spoiled Southern plantation girls who will do anything to get their way. Not a very good way to look at the South.
And what person came up with the idea to have a “Real Housewives of Atlanta?” Seriously? I don’t even know what to say about that show except that it’s about as real as saying that “Jersey Shore” is representing everyone in New Jersey.
I could go on and on, as there is a never ending misrepresentation of people from the South.
But I can tell you that if you’ve never visited the south, you’ve missed out on “Southern Hospitality”, sweet tea, Coca Cola, Spanish moss hanging from the trees, BBQ ribs and fried chicken, great music (and I don’t mean the dualing banjos) – Nashville is known for country music, and Atlanta is considered “hip-hop’s center of gravity” according to the New York Times. The cost of living is lower, and people say “yes sir” and “please”, and it’s really a nice place to be.
Many people can think that the South is backwards and redneck, and I have to say that a lot of that is true.
But at least we can say that we don’t have a Snooki.