So I began watching The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, and something that has always struck me about these character portraits of poor rural white Southerners, especially those who are clearly generations of people afflicted by addiction or families of petty criminals, is that they mirror the also common portrait of the poor ignorant inner-city African-Americans from places like central L.A and Detroit...as if the American South is the only place where white people act like that..
As someone who has lived in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, but also in Nevada and California, my experience is that there are plenty of ignorant, drug addicted white people there too. I actually found a lot of people in Las Vegas, specifically, utterly appalling. They were like Southern white trash ...minus things like good manners or the "common sense" that many rural people of similar ilk have, who tend to at least have a knowledge of the land or their family history or something besides completely confounded rude, stupid asshole behavior.
The media absolutely thrives on MYTHOLOGY. All ignorant people are either white people in the South or black people in inner cities according to the media. In fact, I've noticed a kind of LAUGH OUT LOUD IDIOCY of white working class young people in places like L.A. or Las Vegas to falsely believe they are somehow smarter or more savvy than Southerners...any Southerner.
It's something that makes me want to spit on them truly, but then I have remind myself, they are this laugh out loud idiotic about their own ignorance because of their ignorance, and they believe what the television tells them.
I've been thinking about this mythology of culture in my own thinking, how sometimes even I like the idea of certain cultures more than actually living in it, and how this mythology is perpetuated in the media, leading to disastrous stereotypes about people of varying regions, cultures, and races.
It's why I cringe over shows like Buck Wild, almost like I have to take personal responsibility for it. Does every educated person in New Jersey have to take responsibility for The Jersey Shore? Probably not as much.
I'd like to make some television shows about all of the morons living in U.S major cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago that aren't people of mocked sub-cultures; I'd like to make some shows about stupid white people congratulating themselves about how smart they are for simply being born in Los Angeles.