When I watch that really depressing TV show Intervention, it’s only to feel better about myself. It’s one of the great benefits of television: it’s personal therapy that elevates self-esteem quicker than a pep talk from a noxious life coach.
If I’m feeling down, I watch Intervention. If I’m feeling really down, then it’s Hoarders. If Hoarders cannot make you feel better about your lot in life – then you might be hopeless. Which, at that point, it’s time to watch Hardcore Pawn.
Hardcore Pawn is an amazing show for one severely disturbing reason: it’s helped to introduce what I now call “city-billies.” See, for the longest time, we’ve poked fun at the rural folk, referring to them as hillbillies. They’re the gap-toothed inbred freaks who fry squirrels and poop in buckets down by the creek. Deliverance immortalized them – now they’re the butt of every lazy, lame joke about the south. We call ‘em rednecks.
See the recent, stupid study done by Movoto, which lists the most redneck cities, based on number of Walmarts and lack of education. They’re able to commit this sort of lame BS, because, well, no one cares. Essentially, a real estate brokerage firm just whispered, “You don’t want to move here,” regarding some of America’s major cities. Imagine if they had substituted “redneck” with something else.
Funny thing is, hillbillies and rednecks are fewer and farther between. But there are a crapload of city-billies.
City-billies are what’s left in dying cities with diminishing populations. They’re the people left behind… the people who can’t leave. They’re the folks that liberals say they want to help, as they pack up their Subarus and get the hell out of Dodge (or in Hardcore Pawn’s case, Detroit). Hardcore Pawn is a thirty minute tour of the city-billy life: the constant line of assorted folk selling everything from broken computers to beat-up construction equipment in the sprawling pawn shop, reminding you that every city targeted by the helping hand of government ends in abject misery.
Back to Intervention. In case you don’t watch, it’s that show that follows a family as it prepares to intervene on behalf of a drug or alcohol addicted relative. While watching, you notice how families enable much of the self-destruction by simply letting it occur. It’s usually because one parent (the mom, most of the time) fears the addict will reject her if they attempt to get him to stop snorting or shooting or guzzling. So she lets him continue doing his bad stuff, while she looks on, in tears. “Poor moms,” is all I keep thinking when I watch Intervention.
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