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Timothy Obialo
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+Bob Kincaid, I saw this and wondered what you thought of it. The article's conclusion was kinda weak, which left the commenters to dig underneath.

Some readers took issue with the "elitist" BuzzFeed bringing Duck Dynasty into this discussion, since the Robertsons are hard-working entrepreneurs. I would argue that racist, homophobic, or anti-intellectual statements are solid examples of "keeping it real" gone wrong. However, conflating homophobia or creationism with actual criminal activities was a bit much.

Megan Funk: "I was hoping that the point of this article would be that it is wrong to point and laugh at a group of people based solely on the fact of their poverty. […] Sadly, the point of the article seems to be that poor southern folk are stupid and it's their own fault for letting us watch. […]"

Kate Danger Baynham: "[…] What I really am hurt by is the notion that 'Oh well, all of this was obviously going to happen because Southerners are unwashed idiots so TLC got what was coming to them.' No, this Southerner bitterly thinks Buzzfeed should stick to what they know. […]"

Marco Devillers: "Personally I believe that people want to be free. The straight-jacket of do's and don'ts can sometimes be overwhelming. So they watch true free people, who believe whatever they think feels right, on the TV. Somewhere that is a poor lousy substitute."
Gawking at the real lives of rednecks is only entertaining if it’s not too real. The news that Mama June is dating convicted sex offender Mark McDaniel was a bridge too far; TLC canceled the show last week, shelving an entire completed new season of episodes. [...] When you take real Americans who’ve been living under the poverty line and pull them into the pop culture spotlight, the dark reality of what it means to be poor in [rural] America comes with them.


And the appeal of this new wave of redneck reality TV is more complicated than just middle-class viewers gawking at the poor. There are just as many — if not more — viewers tuning in to see families that actually look like them depicted on television. A lot of people genuinely love Duck Dynasty — it’s a ratings powerhouse and launched a book that sold more than a million copies on Amazon. The show has 8 million Facebook fans. People are not watching Duck Dynasty out of a mean, snarky irony. It’s also safe to assume a lot of their fans share the same religious values as the fundamentalist Christian cast.

The problems arise when these authentic hillbilly “real-life characters” start acting in a way offscreen that doesn’t comport with the relatively safe, contained version we see of them on-screen. You’re going to have a problem if you’re trying to re-create The Beverly Hillbillies with real people — people who are currently fighting a serious meth problem, don’t believe in evolution, and are mired in poverty. Their issues don’t vanish under a spotlight — they usually get worse.

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+Fabian Scherschel I've been holding this tiny picture of your doppleganger for 356 days.

+The Amazing Spiderman can move to #Singapore if he wants. If +Justin Timberlake & Jesse Eisenberg diluted my webslingers to 0.03%, I'd blow this popsicle stand too! Andrew Garfield's gotta protect whatever's left. #TeamSpidey

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I had an AWESOME TIME @ This American Life LIVE last night!

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It's cool, I'm cold...

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Last night I heard Greg Palast speak at Manuel's Tavern. All my fave voices from WRFG 89.3 FM were present, as well as Mike Malloy. +#Occupy Atlanta

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We must learn to use a progressive language. We do not tax. We invest Wealth in the future of America. We do not spend. We rebuild lives and infrastructure. We do not create deficits. We build roads and bridges and educate people and restore health to the sick. We do not demand sacrifice from labor, but ask working people to rebuild America.
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