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Of all of the horrible crap on TeeVee, the TLC program Here Comes Honey Boo Boo amongst the worst.  As a matter of fact, this program is the epitome of redneckery.  This trainwreck revolves around overweight child beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson, now seven years old, her obese and incredibly stupid mum June, her three sisters (all four of the girls have different fathers), and her father.

I really do not know where to start.  This program is so vile that it would require instruments not yet invented to measure its offensiveness.  But it is my job to give my opinion, and remember I do not always write about things that I like.

The program is sort of a spin off of the vile TLC program Toddlers and Tiaras, which I have always considered to be essentially almost pornographic, and not in the positive way.  TLC also brings such gems as 19 Kids and Counting and the now defunct John and Kate Plus 8, Sarah Palin's Alaska, and some other really literary works.

I normally do not watch nonsense like this, but happened to be channel surfing one day and saw the title.  Having heard of it but no specifics, I just had to look.  The result was something like watching a herd of hyenas rip the carcass of some unfortunate animal asunder:  horrible but so fascinating that I could not stop.  Unfortunately, it was a marathon and I was transfixed at the utter obscenity of it for around two and a half hours.  Never again shall I do that!

Here is a composite clip.  All of this material is so awful that I will give only links, being embarrassed to imbed any of the video.  The subtitles are not a You Tube artifact; the command of English for both Alana and the rest of the family is so poor that it is difficult to understand them unless you are accustomed to this corrupt dialect.

I am accustomed to this corrupt dialect.  I grew up with it!  Those of you who read my regular Wednesday night series My Little Town know that I grew up in a town called Hackett, Arkansas that is very much like McIntyre, Georgia.  Now, in my house we did not talk that way.  My parents, in particular my mum, insisted on proper English, including verb conjugation, subject/predicate number agreement, NEVER saying "ain't" except for illustrative purposes, and other general rules of English.  However, as anyone who has spoken with me from the community on the telephone, and many of you have, I still have a definite southern accent, not a drawl but, as I like to think, more of a lilt.

Perhaps this is why the program evokes such a visceral response in me.  I LIVED there, or in a place very much like there, and saw first hand all of the things that are now proudly touted as entertainment on TeeVee.  Most of my friends were more literate and in my circles education was highly valued.  Many of you know that in my immediate family I was only the second to attain a college degree, my brother getting one first.  He went into the business world and was quite successful.  I needed more, and am the only one who has attained a Ph.D., though my eldest son Geoffrey is in program now.

Anyway, back to the show.  These folks are something.  One of their favorite foods is spaghetti, which they call "sketti" to a person.  I love the recipe.  Boil the pasta in much less water than required and when it gets soft and so covered on the surface with starch that it will stick to the wall when a few strands are flung, it is done.  Literally, they throw food onto the wall to see if it is done!

Once the pasta is ready, the sauce comes next.  Their favorite is butter (actually cheap margarine) and ketchup.  What a meal!

Then in one episode Alana had to miss a pageant because her eldest sister, Anna, at the time 17 years old, had a baby girl of her own!  They made a big deal about how wonderful it was to have yet another child out of wedlock!  Now, please do not get me wrong.  Everyone has different circumstances, and some of them are tough.  A person that I know well has an illegitimate child, and that child happens to be my eldest son's best friend!  I am not attempting to cast aspersions, just pointing out trends that I personally believe are best kept personal and within a family.  Allowing a TeeVee production company to profit from those situations is just wrong.

But what can I say?  As Alana said, it is for the money.  Except for the income from the TeeVee show, only the hapless father of Alana works, and the story is that he works seven days a week in the chalk mines at their town.  I think that there is more to see than that, and rumor is that TLC will be paying the family lots more for new issues than they did for the previous ones.  It makes me wonder how "realistic" this series is, or if it is more contrived than the production team allows.  Here is my personal take.

I think that the people are pretty real.  I have seen families like this all of my life.  They are easy to manipulate, if money is available.  It is sort of like prostitution, people doing anything to make a buck.

But it is not excusable to exploit a six year old (now seven years old) for such ends.  This show gets millions of people to watch it every airing, and that says something about the audience.  As I said earlier, I will never watch it again, just as I said the same thing about the awful show about the Duggars (from Arkansas, by the way).

Here are a couple of other links to the show, and they are all horrific.  I am sort of sorry that I chose this topic for tonight, but it is important to get the proud flesh of our society into the open, and that proud flesh is really not the exploited family (but they DO enable it), but rather the money hungry producers of such a corrupt product.  They are the ones profiting from the misery of others, and just give a very little back and no encouragement for their subjects to improve themselves.  Indeed, they WANT to keep that family just like they are, in order to make more money off of a trainwreck.

Kimmel got it right.  I really have known and even now know folks like this.  Is the mum not so, so attractive?  Wait until you hear her wonderful potty mouth!

This brings me to another thought. When the eldest sister was about to have a child, everyone thought that it was not only appropriate but funny to hear Alana say words to the effect that, "Anna's goin' to have a baby come out of her biscuit."  This is highbrow TeeVee at its best!

The idiot Dr. Drew is, well, an idiot for promoting them.  I shall NEVER watch his show again, either.  The funny thing is that I NEVER did.  What an idiot he is!

I think that I should leave it here for now, except to make a couple of comments about TLC.  For a service that was started in 1972 as an actual educational channel (by NASA and DHEW, when NIXON was president), then was privatized, named Appalachian Community Service Network, and finally renamed The Learning Channel, it has fallen as cravenly as anything I have seen.  From actual science and other, highbrow content now we get this kind of garbage.  It is really a shame how the mighty have fallen.  I used to watch it when it really was a learning channel.  Crap like this sort of makes me see the reasoning that the fundies have for wanting to be able to get cable and satellite on a a la carte basis.

On a happier note, next week we shall examine the wonderful new remake of Dark Shadows, the gothic series from the 1960s now reborn with Johnny Depp doing a marvelous sendup of Barnabas Collins.  Ashley and I watched it Wednesday night (it was only released on DVD on Tuesday) and both of us laughed and cried at it.  You see, I grew up rushing home from grade school to catch it at 3:30 PM every day!  It brought back a lot of memories, and soundtrack is excellent.  She had not been a regular reader of my music blogs, but when "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues played in the movie she remarked how she loves that song.  I had her to pause for a moment and explained about the band and my writings about them.  She decided that perhaps our tastes in music, although separated by 35 years, might be closer than she and I had thought.

Speaking of that individual, it is likely that I will not be around for comments for some time tonight because unless something unexpected happens, the plan is for me to spend much of the evening with her, sorting baby clothes for her to sell.  We spent all day from 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM together today, along with Alexis, and had a ball.  We baked a cake, played with Alexis, went on a walk with her, and just in general enjoyed each others' company.  She is going out of town for a few days tomorrow, so tonight is the last chance that we will have to spend quality time together, and Alexis will be asleep so we can focus on each other.

Please go ahead and comment, because it is rare for Alexis to go to sleep before a little after nine.  I shall keep you informed of my whereabouts and promise to answer all of the comments upon my return hopefully much later this evening.

Warmest regards,

Doc

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (12+ / 0-)

    horrible stuff exposed?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:01:50 PM PDT

  •  Howdy, cuz. (4+ / 0-)

    Well, not quite, but rural white-trash is pretty much the same around the nation. Sure, there are regional differences, but I lived near trailer parks in central MN and they could've picked the cast from Honey Boo Boo from any of them as well.

    If you've ever seen Fargo I grew in a township, near a town, kind of close to the city of Brainerd, MN.

    Do you have any idea who the demo is for this show? Who watches that kind of garbage? Other white trash types comparing notes? Or is it more average Jane/Joe Q. Public looking to find someone they can look down on?

    If we got Mitt to be slightly less dishonest and gave him some personality he could pass as a used car salesman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:12:26 PM PDT

  •  I saw about 15 min of an episode channel surfing (5+ / 0-)

    Like you, I kind of stumbled across it, having already been vaguely aware of it.

    But now, shields are up, avoidance procedures in effect.

    "It's not funny, Jack" - Chris Mathews, dressing down Jack Welch for being an asshat regarding job statistics.

    by lotac on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:20:04 PM PDT

  •  The great American experience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, palantir

    consists of watching others fail.

    If you can't support the veterans you have, don't make any new ones.

    by slackjawedlackey on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:22:40 PM PDT

  •  Not sure what to say, except (6+ / 0-)

    ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK!

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:24:39 PM PDT

  •  Ugh, but thanks, Doc! (4+ / 0-)

    I never had seen that, and had wondered as there are occasional references to the show.  The clip makes me grateful I did not spring for cable.  It also makes me sad.  I am grateful, though, both for your excellent commentary and for the education, for lack of a better word.  What a waste of airtime that show is.

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:27:26 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for the kind words! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, palantir

      I generally write about things that I like, but sometimes when things are just so egregious I have to address those issues as well.  Hard to tell that I was raised in such a town, but as I said, my parents were insistent about education.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

    No! Just, NO!

    I watched a clip of it when I'd heard enough references to it to realize it was a real thing. They were in a restaurant. The little girl wanted meat, plus another meat, with extra meat on the side. The mom said it's what she wants, so she should have it.

    Because every child should have everything she wants, even if it's three entrees in a restaurant. I about barfed.

    Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

    by jennifree2bme on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:35:00 PM PDT

    •  I understand perfectly. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jennifree2bme, Sychotic1, palantir

      Little ones need, no, HAVE to have, limits.  I am doing my best to instill that idea in someone dear to me.  I should not say more, except to say that when she and I work together, the child's behavior improves.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:37:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Should I give up? (0+ / 0-)

        I think not, because I love of of them very much.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:04:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I happened to be flipping channels (7+ / 0-)

    and came across this atrocity. My husband said something like- oh, I've heard about this show, and 3 minutes in, we agreed that it was like watching a car wreck- you just can't look away, just stare in horror.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:39:12 PM PDT

  •  I can remember many films (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, middleagedhousewife

    that sound fantastic when a friend summarizes the plot, but would otherwise be terrible to have to sit there and watch.  This is one of those things.  (So, too, are most reality shows.)  It's more fun to hear your summary of it than it would be to have to watch the whole thing.  Maybe best would be if they would make little ten minute episodes, like LooneyTunes cartoons, of reality shows like this, so you can briefly laugh your ass off in a mean way at stupid ugly people and then quickly move on to something else so you don't get to reflect on the moral shallowness of the producers, the audience, and yourself.  Right?

    •  I really hate how they exploit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, middleagedhousewife

      that innocent little girl.  Hell with her mum, that little girl is an object, and I do not like children used as objects.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:33:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know what you mean. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, middleagedhousewife

        When I first saw that show -- hell, when I first saw the commercial for it -- I felt like calling Child Family Services.  But that is the way a lot of people live.  Many of them probably take some weird tribal pride in it, as well, because that's how such things generally go.  Many worse things happen in this world.  And considering the less publicly-exploited version of her fate is one of growing up and getting fat as a house on sketti, it's like a Tolstoi dilemma.

  •  I have a bit of a different take on this show (8+ / 0-)

    As offensive as it might be, and I do not like people exploiting their children, the little girl, Honey Boo Boo seems to be quite o.k. with it.  It seems like she loves to preform, and while they are rednecks, and have no real manners, they do seem to love each other. It is alot more positive than any of the "real housewives" shows.
    I kind of like the idea that this poor family from Georgia has the opportunity to make some money from TLC. These people deserve the money more than Sarah Palin did.
    Hopefully, money will be put away for Honey Boo Boo to go to college, or for her sisters to find a better place in life too.
    I started watching this because I thiought initially it was like watching a train wreck, and while there is much that I find offensive, what the Mom feeds the kids, how they all don't seem to have the societal prescribed manners, and some other things, the one thing I got from it, and I don't know if it is set up for the t.v. cameras or not, but that little girl is better than most of the Toddler and Tiera kids. While she loves to compete, and wants to win, it is not her whole life. She seems to have a certian joy in life, even with the little she has, and she seems to appreciate her family and the little things that we all take for granted these days. Perhaps you should view it with more of an open mind and you might feel differently, that is what I did after a while. I do think this would be a better world if we were not so judgmental of people who are different.

    •  Right. And TLC gives (0+ / 0-)

      them almost nothing.

      Got to rest and have time with MY girls tomorrow.

      The things that we share has nothing with things sticking on the wall.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 11:58:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I heard that is about to change, they will be (0+ / 0-)

        getting more per episode, and good for them. I think pressure should be put on the sponsors to pay them more, they certianly need it. Too do otherwise looks like TLC is truly exploiting these folks.

        I wonder if once these people get more money per episode if it will change their lives, if they will live better, eat better, and seek a better place in life? I think that would be a good thing. It might be a good lesson to all of us, that poor people are just people without the same advantages and this is the way they behave because of lack of resources.

        I know that is what I will be watching for in the future.

    •  I agree, Vera (4+ / 0-)

      I had a family therapy practice for years.  I already tended to be nonjudgmental, but the families I worked with took me further down that path.  I saw some families who had similarities to this family - usually "sent" to me by someone in authority who thought they really could use a "good talkin' to."

       In general, these families spent significantly more time together, talked with each other more than many of the other families I saw. The extended family often got together for birthdays, probably a good "pig feet bobbing," who knows?

      I have a feeling that Honey Boo Boo's mother was a little Honey Boo Boo herself.  She is parenting the way she knows how.  She looks to me like she is proud of her little girl and her little girl is having a good time.  Hopefully with the extra resources they now have, they will also have opportunities and choices that they did not previously have. I am aware that this is possibly unlikely.  

      And, why wouldn't they do it for the money? Lots worse things are done for money.  Again - at this point it looks like they are enjoying their fame.

      I've learned through the years to relax and look at things with an open heart.  I can always take a different point of view if things lead in that direction.  But it is much better for me to start with an open heart and mind.

      I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

      by maven98 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:32:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of my gulty pleasures is the Real Housweives (0+ / 0-)

        at first it was a bit of a novelty and I loved it for the fashion, but it has evolved into a hate fest and that is on every level. I just can not watch any longer, it sickens me the way the fame and money has shaped these people into what they have become.

        I hope the same doesn't happen with Honey Boo-Boo, however, I don't think it will, they don't seem to take themselves all that seriously. I realize that you think change and upward mobility is unlikely for them, but I am hopeful it is possible.

        I grew up in N.Y., moved to California at age 35, so I never knew anyone like the Boo-Boo family. I have only heard about the sterotyple of "rednecks", it was interesting to me to see (if we are really seeing the truth)  what goes on. It just seems to me like a simple life, one where family is close and included in most activities and lots of love is expressed. Everyone is accepted for who and what they are, and I have grown fond of that. For example, Honey is the center of attention, but her sibliings have no jealousy towards her because of it, they are all there supporting her in her pagents. I like that the Mom, as gross as she might be, is not concerned with how she looks or her weight, or even the weight of her kids, although she could feed them healthier food for health's sake. Too many people today are forcing their young children to undergo severe dieting and even in some cases plastic surgery, how can that be a good thing.

        I agree with your looking at things with an open heart, that is what I am doing with the Boo-Boos, perhaps they will lead me in another direction, but for now, they are teaching me a lesson and I like that.

    •  The first time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator

      I saw the little girl, I thought she was about 4, not 7.
      She is developmentally about 4 years old.  Does she go to school? Is she, God forbid "home schooled"?
      I've taught infants, toddlers and preschoolers for 46 years and think I'm a pretty good judge of where kids are developmentally.

      Sunlight is the best disinfectant

      by historys mysteries on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:36:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I jes' cain't look at Mama June... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, Translator

    It ain't free speech if it takes cash money.

    by Uncle Igor on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:12:51 AM PDT

  •  (cont) without seeing characters from... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    Steve Odenkirk's parody films like "Thumb Wars" and "Thumbtanic."  Check the photos at IMDB to see what I mean.  I swear Odenkirk should do a special--mebbe a thumb made up like Mama June and a pinky for Honey Boo Boo Chile.

    Little HBB and her clan also got skewered on this week's "South Park" episode.  Check that out on Comedy Central if you get the chance.  Savage but necessary.

    It ain't free speech if it takes cash money.

    by Uncle Igor on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:21:20 AM PDT

  •  The Family Research Council (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, Translator

    and other right-wing social outrage organizations are strangely silent about this abomination of a show. With all its manifest godlessness, you would think that these religious groups would be out there protesting it the way they do any show that has a gay character. But no. Apparently reality TV gluttony, pride, greed and lust just don't warrant God's wrath as much as a gay dude in a sit-com.

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:15:45 AM PDT

  •  love the show, fun family (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Barbie02360

    hater

  •  This show and all the others like it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    ...make me long for the days of my childhood, when every week Red Skelton, Jack Benny and Jackie Gleason would thank us for inviting them into our homes.  That phrase never made any sense to me in my youth.  After all, they weren't in our home, they were on the tv!

    Now I get it.  They were saying that in exchange for our time (the real salable product of television), they would be good guests, people we would enjoy having around.  

    The programs you've described, along with the assorted Real Housewives, Teen Moms and Bridezillas are all people I would do anything within my power to avoid in real life.  Why in the world would I bring them into my living room to spend time with them?

    "If you want me to treat your ideas with respect, get better ideas." John Scalzi

    by SoCalJayhawk on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:33:48 AM PDT

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