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Tue Jan 7, 2014, 04:25 AM

 

So I'm watching this documentary, "Class Dismissed," about how class is portrayed in the media.

(It's worth watching, BTW.)

And Jeff Foxworthy is one of the examples: "The guy who resurrected the hillbilly image & gave it new pride is Jeff Foxworthy..."

Then they show a clip of JF doing his schtick: "Sophisticated people invest their money in stock portfolios. Rednecks invest OUR money in commemorative plates...yeah, that's the 'Legends of Nascar' series raaht there..."

I've never found Foxworthy funny & one of the reasons (besides his lousy material) is that he looks exactly like a preppy type I went to high school with. So just out of curiousity I looked up his background: son of an IBM executive.

Who is this stuff targeted to when it's an upper-middle class to upper class guy essentially putting on a kind of "white trash face" to mock "rednecks" (southern working class whites)? It seems to me its directly analogous to white performers putting on "blackface" to portray blacks stereotypically back in the day.

But then it was whites who were the audience for it, I guess. In this case supposedly those being mocked by the son of the IBM exec are its prime audience? It doesn't make sense & there's something kind of awful about it.

Anyway, I recommend the documentary (in 8 parts starting here




Bill Engvall's dad was a doctor & medical professor at Texas A&M.
Larry the Cable Guy's dad was a guitarist for the Everly Bros, a rancher/farmer, a preacher, a radio host, a school administrator & counselor.

So none of the "blue collar comedy" troupe come from blue collar backgrounds. It's just white-trash-face schtick.

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Reply So I'm watching this documentary, "Class Dismissed," about how class is portrayed in the media. (Original post)
El_Johns Jan 2014 OP
RainDog Jan 2014 #1
daleanime Jan 2014 #2
malaise Jan 2014 #3
Shandris Jan 2014 #4
Demeter Jan 2014 #5
KurtNYC Jan 2014 #6
El_Johns Jan 2014 #7
KurtNYC Jan 2014 #8
El_Johns Jan 2014 #9

Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 04:30 AM

1. noting to watch later. thanks for the link n/t

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 06:16 AM

2. bookmarked

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 06:46 AM

3. Excellent thread

Rec so others can bookmark

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 07:30 AM

4. Well, of those three you mention...

 

...the Cable Moron (sorry, I can't stand that guy) is pretty close to 'blue-collar' -- at least his parents work was the kind of thing I could reasonably expect to meet in a sub-$30,000 neighborhood. In fact, I personally know a farmer and a preacher on a personal level, and a school administrator is friends with my family. And my best friends late brother was a roadie with some high-profile musical groups. So its in the -realm- of believable...but don't take that as a defense of the idiot. Just a fair appraisal. Compared to the other two, he's passable.

But as to why people aren't insulted by it? They don't know. I could tick off at least 10 people I know who LOVE the BCCT right off the top of my head (at least 4 of which are in my extended family). Not one of them knows any of this about them, nor had I heard of it until this thread. Now, I'm not some great guru of knowledge or anything, but I do a lot more learning than most of my family, so if I don't know it, its REAL unlikely they do.

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 07:32 AM

5. there's nothing intrinsically funny about blue collar life

 

and that includes Archie and Edith Bunker.

So even "enlightened" humor is classist--so that the other groups can feel superior.

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 11:12 AM

6. I see "Redneck" and "blue collar" as cultural distinctions, not economic ones.

I know rednecks who make well into the 6 figure range (farmers, car dealers) and blue collar professions that pay better than "IBM exec" such as Electrical contractors and GCs.

American mass media loves to show imaginary paths from low income to high and Americans internalize that message and believe that they will be better off some day. British media, on the other hand, portrays a society that will remain divided along class lines and takes the attitude that people of any economic means can and do enjoy great musical and theater performances. They embrace the idea that television is a very cost effective way to educate, entertain and unify all people.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 12:32 PM

7. But both ARE economic distinctions.

 

Redneck: The term characterized farmers having a red neck caused by sunburn from hours working in the fields. A citation from 1893 provides a definition as "poorer inhabitants of the rural districts...men who work in the field, as a matter of course, generally have their skin stained red and burnt by the sun, and especially is this true of the back of their necks". By 1900, "rednecks" was in common use to designate the political factions inside the Democratic Party comprising poor white farmers in the South.[11] The same group was also often called the "wool hat boys" (for they opposed the rich men, who wore expensive silk hats). A newspaper notice in Mississippi in August 1891 called on rednecks to rally at the polls at the upcoming primary election...


Blue collar: A blue-collar worker is a working class person who performs manual labor in US usage. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled manufacturing, mining, oil field, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work. Often something is physically being built or maintained.

In contrast, the white-collar worker typically performs work in an office environment and may involve sitting at a computer or desk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_collar


That some may be well-paid is pretty irrelevant, just as its pretty irrelevant that some 1%ers are heroin addicts.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 01:31 PM

8. The landscape of labor is very different from what it was in the 1890s.

The "redneck" that Jeff Foxworthy talks about is a culture and an attitude. Others have cited the expansion of the original definition to those who have a disregard for the outward trappings of wealth:

Being a "real" Redneck is so much more than driving a pick-up truck and naming your dog Bubba. A true Redneck does not feel the need to impress people with the outward trappings of superficial wealth and a real Redneck is perfectly comfortable in an Armani suit or a stained t-shirt. Redneck art is now being sold in the top galleries, and make sure to read by notes redneck animal art. Rednecks truly feel sorry for the poor bastards who work their asses off for eight years in college only to become corporate slaves; all that hard work just to get a decent BMW and a Rolex. You see, a real Redneck would never feel the need to brag or ever think to mention to hard working yuppies that the 80 acre family farm is worth eight million dollars, and of that, five million is in farm equipment that is only used a few weeks each year.


http://www.dba-oracle.com/redneck.htm

Many blue collar jobs pay better than MANY white collar jobs now. Your average independent roofing contractor has more job security and enjoys more of the "fruits of one's own labor" than your average bank officer in some local bank office. White collar jobs have not kept pace with inflation while contractors, cops, and other blue collar jobs have.

120 years of changes are relevant to the meaning and connotations that the terms 'blue collar' and 'redneck' have in 2014.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 01:33 PM

9. Culture & attitudes are created by economics; time doesn't change that. You are citing

 

bosses & owners as though they were representative; they're not.

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