hillbilly Review

We watched this documentary last night, on purpose, because I knew I’d have a LOT to say about it. And I do. Here is the IMDB for hillbilly, which is currently on Hulu.

First, for those who don’t know, I am from Knoxville, TN. This small town is located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. My mother’s side of the family have been there for several generations, my father’s side were from Northern South Carolina and Florida. My mother’s side were hillbillies, my father’s side were white trash. (Yup, there’s a difference.) I lived in E TN until I was about 23, when I came to Atlanta to attend The Art Institute for Music Business. I never returned to E TN. Thank the gods. For the record: I do not identify as E TN, I identify as an Atlantan.

This documentary is centered on KY, where the filmmaker’s family lives, so it’s a very small slice of representation, but I can confirm that the overall attitude is the same in the whole region. And that ACCENT. Oof. The Tennessee version is a bit twangier, but similar. I do not regret losing that mess one little bit. TERRIBLE.

There is a section where they are discussing “code switching”, which is changing the way you talk to certain people, and it was hysterical! This chick was illustrating how she “talked to academics” and she did not change a thing. She *thought* she was cleaning up that nasty accent, but it was 100% the same before and after she supposedly changed it. THIS is pretty much how a hillbilly thinks in a nutshell. They *think* they are “trying” to get above the ignorance, but they are not. They do the same things generation after generation and expect different outcomes.

I grew up in E TN, I can tell you FOR A FACT that the festering resentment for EVERYONE who is not from a hillbilly’s little 10 mile radius is 100% true. Anyone from outside the community is considered OTHER and suspect. My parents opened a steak house in St Joseph MO and my mother would SEETHE in rage when they’d point out her accent. I once asked her if she thought she didn’t HAVE an accent and she sputtered and didn’t answer me. Again, this is pretty normal in that region.

Nick is from Detroit and I have a fairly neutral accent. He got TONS of shit when he moved down here, being a Yankee and all. I still have people ask me where I’m from. In the doc, the hillbillies complained vociferously about being treated as “other” by the rest of the US, but I’m here to tell you that they are EXACTLY the same way. They harass anyone who is not EXACTLY like them with the same accents and the same prejudices. They are mean, rude and nasty to “outsiders”. They tolerate NOTHING.

The documentary is attempting to establish that the media portrayal of the Appalachian people is inaccurate and is partly to blame for the continuing ignorance and poverty in the region. Well, let me tell you something: they are not “portrayed” as dirt poor and ignorant, THEY ARE. The media hasn’t “portrayed” them as anything other than what they are: racist, homophobic, misogynistic, ignorant assholes who hate everyone, but expect the government and all of the US to be nice to them and take care of them. They also excoriate the people who get the fuck OUT and/or promote getting the fuck out of there.

This is a class of people who live in a state of cognitive dissonance. They hate everyone who is not them, they hate the government, they hate the notion that others have it better, YET, YET, YET, they expect everyone to be exceptionally nice to them, to honour their idiocy and to be taken care of by the very government they hate. They voted for T**** because of their deep ignorance of how the world works. They believe what they are told because they want to believe it. They don’t want to hear that what they believe is wrong, no matter WHAT the facts are. They voted for T**** because they are dazzled by people with money who are promising them that they’ll get their share. Regardless if it’s a lie or not. And once they’ve gone down a road, it’s FACT. These people are militantly ignorant. If what they believe doesn’t line up with reality, well, they just doggedly hold on to their beliefs rather than change. These are people who’ve lived in the same shack for eight generations. They are not going to change, because that goes against the grain of who they are. It doesn’t matter if getting away from that shack would be an enlightening experience. They consider it a betrayal of all that they are – which is 100% true. And why it is 100% necessary to break the chain of HILLBILLY culture.

I sent a tweet to the woman that did the film and told her this exact thing and that I have ZERO pity for any of them.

She clearly wanted this documentary to elicit guilt from non-hillbillies, the notion that everyone has gotten it all wrong and hillbillies are not the way they are.

She is wrong, hillbillies are EXACTLY the way everyone thinks they are.

She sits with her MAGAt family during the 2016 election and cowtows to them when the Cheeto won. She goes on to say that it doesn’t mean she can’t relate to the family. (She left at 18, became a progressive and has not looked back, I might add. And clearly does NOT relate to her family.) And her family was saying, oh, it’s OK, we love you anyway, even though we think you are stupid. Her Granny went on to say that she is sorry she didn’t burp her (filmmaker) better as a baby, because she (filmmaker) is clearly DUMB. This is what you get if you dare bust out of their asinine bubble.

This is EXACTLY what my family thinks of me and how I am treated when I visit – which is why I don’t visit. I am the stupid one, because I dared to leave and I dared to question the load of bullshit I was taught growing up. That is the core of all hillbilly thought processes: everyone else is SO DUMB. Why won’t they be like WE are? And THAT, my friends, is why they are still impoverished and ignorant. Because they WANT TO BE. My family are technophobes and refuse to use any tech other than cable TV and cell phones – but ONLY flip phones, because smart phones are for dummies. And computers are for dummies, too. My mother once said to me “You are such an idiot because you use computers. You are so stupid.” And she meant every word.

So, yes, I’ve been up close and personal with hillbilly culture. And I’m here to tell you that it will not change. And they’ll vote for T**** again, because they’ve decided that he’s doing a great job and he’s rich, so OF COURSE he’s qualified to run the country. There’s no changing them and there’s no talking to them. THEY WILL NOT LISTEN.

The woman that did this documentary meant well, I’m sure, but all she did was illustrate the intransigent nature of the Appalachian culture and point out that it’s there to stay. If you want out, you MUST leave the area. Period. And when you do, you will be “other” to them, family or not. I don’t think the filmmaker really understands that. I think she gives them far more leeway and far more credit than they deserve. And she needs to lose that nasty accent, too. There is no reason to sound like that. I am a lover of accents, but I think really strong ones are counterproductive. I can turn mine on and off as it suits me. Children should be taught in school with a neutral accent, IMO, so they can truly code switch and relate to ANYONE, not just the people of their small community. But that’s just me, I have much distaste for all things hillbilly and the accent is a trigger. If you don’t want to be seen as a hillbilly, then DON’T SOUND LIKE ONE. Duh.

I encourage everyone to watch this documentary, especially if you do NOT live in the South. It will open your eyes to the deep rooted bullshit that is Appalachia. And even those who DO live here, you might learn a bit about the region that you didn’t know before. Just know that the tone is overly conciliatory to the hillbillies and it really shouldn’t be. They deserve all the bad press they get. These people are VERY MUCH average people of Appalachia. Such as it is. Take it as a cautionary tale. ;)

Haiku for Stephen Hawking RIP 3/14/18

We lost Professor Hawking today, March 14, 2018. I think he’d be pleased to pass on Pi Day. RIP, Prof Hawking. You made a difference and you’ll live forever thanks to your amazing mind!

SH posted on FB, asking for scientific themed haikus. The winner gets a copy of his book and personal inscription. Here’s mine:

Light older than Earth
Shimmering beyond ages
Stars are forever

I love me some haiku!

Getting in Gear for DragonCon

Slowly getting used to being without my cow cat. It’s been hard. Shasti is cute, but just no substitute. Shasti has decided to be a house cat. I had to actually shove her out the door this morning! She stayed out for 10 minutes and came back in to play and use the litter box. What is it with girl cats and coming IN to pee? LOL

Operation Osteoporosis is still chugging along, although I think I’m starting to feel the omeprazole becoming less effective. I had reflux this morning, for the first time in about a month. Boo! If it stops working, I guess I’ll have to try another drug in that category. Ugh, I don’t know. Suck.

DragonCon is around the corner. No idea what I’m going to wear. I may have to buy another pair of jeans since the ones I got a month ago are already getting loose. Yay! The scale is still wacky; one day I’m 209, the next day I’m 214, so I’m going with the trend and saying I’m at 209, which is about 3# down from when I posted the video Aug 2. No idea about the weight, but my clothes are definitely fitting differently. I eat what I please, but it’s still restricted to about 4-5oz. Protein is still a challenge. Still drinking a shake or eating a protein bar every day.

On the drinking front, I FINALLY got drunk last Friday!! I’ve discovered these wine spritzer things by Barefoot wines that are yummy, so I take that and add a bit more wine to it. Works like a charm! I’m SO happy to have broken through the drinking barrier! I still do NOT get drunk on less volume, which is kind of a bummer, because it takes me a LONG time to get there. Also, it helps if I don’t eat. Which is, of course, NOT a problem! :P

The provisions for DragonCon will be Vitamin water, wine and protein bars. I actually recommend Premier Protein bars for anyone doing cons. They are 30gm protein, very little sugar and palatable. The shakes are good, too, but they have to be cold. You do NOT want to drink those warm. EW.

The arcade game business is starting to get a little action. We had a meeting with a potential client on Monday. We hope they decide to go with us. They had previously spoken to another company who talked a good game but ultimately did not have ANY classic arcade games, oops. Seems to me that the TYPE of game should have been the FIRST thing to ask about, not the last, but whatever. The bad news is that this company is one of those that splits the game profits and doesn’t charge anything to install the games, so the client had a preconceived notion that the games would cost nothing. I hope we got past that barrier by reminding them that if they rent from us, they KEEP all the proceeds from coins and we take care of the games for free. I’m not sure we did. We’ll see.

Which brings me to a small rant about these other game companies. They use the old model of coin operated games that splits the coin profits in lieu of actual rent. Well, what if the game earns $100? Then you have rented out that game for $50? Screw that. It’s not worth it to us. We would rather just rent the games and let the renter decide if he wants to deal with coins or just do free play. We think free play is the way to go, since people will play more and therefore eat and drink more at your bar. It certainly works for My Parents Basement. They LOVE having the games on free play! But if they want to deal with coins, great, deal with the licensing and all that and KEEP your profits. The games might pay for themselves! But for our part, we just want to make a certain amount for each game, so we can figure out how long it will take for the game to pay for itself. That way we can set goals for the company and manage our money better. I just wish the Old Skool guys would STFU about splitting coins and get out of the business – they mess up our groove. We have a modern model of running an arcade shop that we think will work just great for all involved. The Old Skool ways are outdated now that full on arcades are nonexistent. Sure, you could make a living off splitting coins in the old days, but now people have 4 or 5 games, not 40. This is why we created our model. I just hope the new clients will go for it. ::fingers crossed::

OH speaking of DragonCon, we are a part of the ARCADE that will be in the gaming area of DragonCon this year!! The gaming area is in the Atlanta Mart and the arcade will be in the middle of that, so I’m told. We’ll have Simpsons and Sharpshooter there for sure, and perhaps the Gauntlet II, but it died (of course) so probably not that one. ALL the games will be on free play! There’ll be 15 or so arcade games and several pinball games. COME SEE US!! We’ll likely be at the arcade area during the day for much of the con. Keep an eye on our FB (playeronearcadeservices) or Twitter (@playeronearcade) feeds for all the deets.

The hours for the arcade at DragonCon are as follows:
>>> Friday: 1pm to 7pm
>>> Saturday: 10am to 7pm
>>> Sunday: 10am to 7pm
>>> Monday: 10am to 5pm

We hope to see everyone at Con! (Yeah, right, that never happens, but we can dream!)

Learning Curve

So the earrings I made and subsequently sold to my friend Josie did not stay together. Boo! I used cold weld to attach the wires and that, obviously, did NOT do the trick. It was these:
PMC Lace Teardrop Earrings


I clearly did not use enough cold weld. SO, I refunded Josie’s money and will repair them and send ’em back. Nick has some silver solder and he is sure he can fix them. While I like the idea of having the wires attached, that was not the original plan. I’d planned to make them standard dangles, but I forgot to drill the holes in the clay before I fired them. Oops! Live and learn.

I’m also testing out the graphic for crossposts. I can’t understand why it’s fine for TEV but screwy for my site. ? Argh.

And just like that…

it’s September. I’ve seen others mention the creep of summer far into the months that used to be fall and I agree. It doesn’t cool down here until mid-October. Bleh.

So another DragonCon down. I had a lot of fun this year! That is mostly because we avoided being run ragged by the artists we wrangle. We didn’t stay late, we did what we wanted and even managed to catch 2 good panels and the Miss Trek Universe Pageant. We’d missed this the last coupla years for some reason, but never again! It was a BLAST! I have to say, Garrett Wang is such a great asset to this track. We got to speak to him about it and I’m going to write the Powers That Be at Dragoncon to let them know that we love him and they should pony up and pay ALL his expenses. He does this for FREE! They could at least pay for his plane fare as well as the room.

I did not catch Jeri Ryan at her table, sadly. She was an excellent guest. I did say HI to Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh the Borg), tho, and he is a sweetie. I also briefly met Peter Williams (Apophis, SG-1) and I got him to say Sho’va! and Insolence! Made my day!! I missed Chris Judge (Teal’c) very much. He and Peter would have made a great panel!

The artists were disorganised, as usual and panicked, as usual, so I just ignored all of that. I did not do any load in or load out this year, and I’m grateful for that. As usual, DragonCon simply canNOT manage getting the vendors in and out in a timely fashion. I’m sure it’s partly the venue’s fault for insisting that the dock be kept free for the (closed on the weekend/holiday) in house businesses to use (they aren’t even THERE), but it’s mostly the con. They need to hire a company to manage the load in/out procedures so the vendors don’t have to waste a whole day on simply loading in/out. They waited 5 hours to load in and 5-6 hours to load out. Nick got back here at almost 11pm last night – the show closed at 5, with people loading out starting at 4. Do the math. It’s ridiculous that DragonCon treats its vendors this way.

Sunday was our big day this year. We brought donuts for all around 11am then did panels and cruised around the rest of the day. I drank lots of wine and we spent WAY too much at dinner with Ted at Ray’s In The City. Pricey, but totally worth it. I got a small print done by Jasmine Becket-Griffith (Strangeling.com) and Michael Banks (Sugar Fueled). SO CUTE!

I also got a couple of clip in hair falls for $10 each! W00t! They are actually good quality and can be heat styled!
clipin hair falls

Sunday night after we got back from carousing with Ted, I had some nasty edema (swelling) in my ankles. I noticed they felt kind of stiff and I looked down to find HUGE cankles at the ends of my legs! GAH! I collapsed into bed and did not feel well when I got up yesterday, which is why I didn’t participate in load out. I’m glad I didn’t! I put my feet up and rested all day and started to feel a bit better by mid afternoon. The Star Trek movie marathon helped, as did plenty of fluids.

All in all, I’d say this was one of the most pleasant DragonCons we’ve had in several years. I think we’re getting the hang of this old age thing. ;)

I hope everyone got back to their homes safely! Shout out to our new E TN buds Cristy and Lindsey (sp?)!

Now it’s back to reality. Time to get the bills!