26 March 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

So tonight was the premiere of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I really enjoyed the two episodes they put on. My sister called me this evening and reminded me to watch because, apparently, we had a relative interviewed for the program. She called my Gram to find out the person's name that we were related to and the nature of our relation. Turns out, it was the DJ who gives Jamie such a hard time during the first episode and the fellow is my Dad's first cousin. I believe Jamie calls the guy a bastard. I have to agree. Relative or no. He was a jackass to Jamie.

Now, I will admit that radio personalities often try to stir shit wherever they can, and this guy was stirring the "hillbilly" pot if ever I saw it, and had an "outsider" on whom to project every perceived slight and for that I think the DJ is wrong.

Yes, people in West Virginia are the butt of jokes. Yes, the people of West Virginia have some obstacles to overcome (poverty, poor education, lack of economic opportunity, and a dysfunctional culture that is stuck in a self-perpetuating circuit). BUT, in many ways the people of that region (and I can speak to this from first hand experience because this is where I grew up) have only themselves to blame. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love the region. I love the people. I loved going to university in Huntington. But honestly, some of the folks from home actually take pride in their backwoods obstinacy and ignorance. They confuse a lack of worldliness with a pride of place. They reject change of any sort. They take pride in traditional ways, even if it is counter-productive. These are the people that I have written about many times before who are proud of "never having left the state" or of living next door to mom and dad, gramma and grampa, auntie and uncle, and cousin Beuford and Buelah. But when someone comes and shows you your own reflection in the mirror, you can't cry foul. You can't play the "Appalachian card" just because someone tells the naked truth about you. And it wasn't a truth about that region in particular. It was a truth about America.

We are a nation of fat asses.

I will watch more of these shows.

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