About Brent Brown
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0 thoughts on “Stereotypes

  1. Mysterylogger

    Poor attempt at humor, and a poor attempt at a satrical look at the Pigdemic cartoon.

    MX is a day late and a dollar short add this to the poor attempt at explaining why and the sorry excuse, as failure.

  2. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, Brent Brown’s “Stereotypes” cartoon is quite humorous and a great improvement over Molton’s “Pigdemic,” even though Brown’s “hillbilly” character is the only person of the five types in his entire cartoon who is portrayed as being ignorant for real, ignorant beneath his stereotype. (It’s hard to get away from it, isn’t it?)

    Even the double-negative frame, although borderline, is humorous.

    I think the cartoon would have been even funnier, though, if Brown had left out the stereotypical language “whatchoo you in fer” and instead had the real person behind the ignorant stereotype saying something unexpectedly erudite.

    It clearly is possible to poke fun at stereotypes in ways that are not insensitive or insulting toward a person, group, or culture, and except for “whatchoo you in fer,” this cartoon does that quite humorously.

  3. Betty I think you are confusing a regional dialect or accent of speech for ignorance. That would come under stereotyping on your part in my book.

  4. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Christopher C NC wrote: “I think you are confusing a regional dialect or accent of speech for ignorance.”

    Christopher, it’s not a matter of dialect or accent. It’s a matter of standard vs. non-standard English. Why are none of the other groups portrayed as speaking non-standard English?

  5. First of all Betty are you assuming that anyone who does not speak standard English is ignorant? Secondly are you suggesting that Brent Brown’s depiction of some of the local vernacular is severely off?

    In the book, My Memories of Spring Creek by Clyde D. Webb, there is a pronunciation dictionary of sorts.
    Here is a short list of a few choice words.

    ain’t… hain’t
    all most ….purt nigh
    between….betwixt
    carry….tote
    fought…fit or fout
    fire…far
    heard…hear’d
    just….jist
    not a one….nary one
    out…outten
    ruined… ruent
    sure…shore
    there…thar
    this…iss
    asked…axed

    I’ve heard talk like this in these hills. I would never be so rude as to treat them like they were stupid because they don’t speak standard English.

    I reckon you’ins hear’d talk like at in thar hills, you’ins thank they ’s be needin’ some learnin’.

  6. Betty Cloer Wallace

    To Christopher C NC:

    Of course I have heard these words all my life, more so by far when I was growing up compared with now. I even recommended (in a previous post) the big fat DICTIONARY OF SMOKY MOUNTAIN ENGLISH, which has thousands of these words, including their etymology and historical usage in our region, because they ought to be preserved and used appropriately and treasured—not ridiculed.

    I myself use these words in informal situations with my friends and in informal e-mailing and texting with my friends, but I do NOT use them when applying for a job or in any other situation when standard usage is required, i.e. do I get the job or does someone else who knows when and how to use standard English vs. informal or non-standard English.

    Therein lies the definition of “ignorant.” As Loretta Lynn said in Coal MIner’s Daughter, (something like) “I may be ignorant but I’m not stupid.”

    By the same token, the Cherokee language has its own set of informal language with friends and formal language in a formal context. So do all other groups of people, including the unnamed Asians in the cartoon, the “men in black” (from wherever?) who use standard English, and the hippies who use standard English, albeit slang. Listen to Cherokee Chief Michell Hicks sometime and see if he knows the difference between standard, formal English and non-standard English (and the same for the Cherokee language) and when to use each.

    The dichotomy in this cartoon that spoils the humor and gets my neck hairs up is that the cartoonist resorted to the age-old stereotype of hillbilly non-standard English (double negatives, non-standard contraction) to once again portray a hillbilly (the real one, not the tourist attraction character) as not knowing standard English and therefore appearing less intelligent than the other characters who do know standard English. He is portrayed as expected by tourists: sub-standard. That is offensive.

    So, yes, the issue here is one of standard English vs. non-standard English and knowing when to use it.

    Obviously the cartoonist does not.

    This reminds me of my decade of working in the Alaskan Arctic. The tourists would come up to Barrow expecting the Eskimos to live in ice-house “igloos” as are portrayed in most 5th grade textbooks and beer commercials, waddling around in polar bear furs.

    By the way, tell me what “rimption” means. Use it in a sentence that shows you know how to use it. If you don’t know, look it up in the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.

    And also, FYI, “purt nigh” in your list above means “almost,” not “all most.”

  7. Piffy!

    brebro rules all of you.

    bow down.

    oh, and can someone flush again? that mysterylog keeps floatin around, poo-pooing anything and everything.

  8. Piffy!

    My God Betty…

    Trust me, You speak for yourself, not the entire South.

  9. “Therein lies the definition of “ignorant.” As Loretta Lynn said in Coal Miner’s Daughter, (something like) “I may be ignorant but I’m not stupid.” So Betty I guess if you agree with Loretta Lynn you are the one calling mountain folk ignorant for speaking the way they do.

    Obviously the cartoonist had his character staying in character and you have cast judgment from your preconcieved notions about when, where and how a person can use a particular dialect. Only an ignorant hillbilly would speak like that in an inappropriate situation.

    And also, FYI, “purt nigh” in your list above means “almost,” not “all most.” I never claimed to be a native mountain speaker. You’ll need to take that particular beef up with Clyde D. Webb, born and raised in Spring Creek and the author of the book from which that came.

    What I said was I would not assume someone was ignorant for speaking in a certain way which you have obviously done.

  10. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Christopher V NC,

    You are correct. The cartoonist had the stereotypical hillbilly character stay in that same old stereotypical character with his double negatives and “whatchoo in fer,” making him for real as ignorant as the character he was playing for the tourists.

    It’s the century-old stereotype. Nothing new. Same as with Li’l Abner, Snuffy Smith, Jethro Bodine…….

  11. Piffy!

    Betty,

    You need a new hobby, really.

    Maybe you could make corncob pipes or something?

  12. Piffy!

    As a stereotypical hippie, i am deeply offended by this comic.

    It is racist.

  13. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Susannah G wrote: ” The most useful response to insult is to ignore it (Pigdemic cartoon), rise above it, and move on- think how many more people have seen this cartoon now that there has been an outcry- if there had been no controversy it would have been forgotten in a day. How many more people have heard the phrase “nappy headed ho” because of controversy in the media, versus the number of people who would actually have listened to Don Imus’ radio program in the first place?”

    Remember, Susannah, that Imus was fired for making that “nappy headed ho” comment, and he will certainly not be so blatantly racist in such a manner again. It will happen again, of course, but his firing did dampen the racism coming out of many mouths. Same thing with Kramer’s racist language in the LA comedy club. Same thing with the closing of the old Sambo’s Pancake Houses.

    Southern Appalachian people have tried to overlook blatant cultural stereotypes for over a century to no avail. Trying to ignore the insult and taking a “step-n-fetchit” response has reinforced it and perpetuated it in the minds of so many people that they think it is all right to continue the insult.

    Simply ignoring it and allowing it to continue in such a blatant manner is an awful legacy of submission to leave to our children and grandchildren.

  14. Piffy!

    I find it disgusting how you use a term like “step-n-fetchit”, Mrs. Wallace.

    As for the legacy being left to your children and grandchildren–I think they will be more concerned with clean air and water (getting more scarce e’rry day) than they will about some words.

    Everyone uses stereotypes. It’s gone on since the dawn of time, and no amount of articulation from you is going to end that. It’s okay.

    now, go fight Mountaintop Removal if your worried about your grandchildren’s legacy.

  15. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Pluto wrote: “As for the legacy being left to your children and grandchildren–I think they will be more concerned with clean air and water (getting more scarce e’rry day) than they will about some words…..now, go fight Mountaintop Removal if your worried about your grandchildren’s legacy.”

    Pluto, you are absolutely correct. Rape of our environment is the main concern of most local people precisely because we are worried about clean air and water, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy for our grandchildren.

    We live in a beautiful place filled with natural resources, but when those resources are exploited, the money goes outside the region and leaves us with less and less of everything.

    No one truly believes the local people in West Virginia and Kentucky are removing their own mountaintops or benefitting in any way from that travesty, and ironically the jobs that went with the old mining methods are even gone now as the mountaintops disappear (sometimes even whole mountains).

    The same thing, but in a less obvious manner, is happening in our own immediate area with paved roads snaking up every peak to luxurious second homes, golf courses and cookie-cutter shopping centers and airports sprouting everywhere, redesign of our communities that changes the patterns of human interaction, and pollution of our water tables and rivers.

    So why is this happening to us?

    For the past 125 years, especially during periods of economic depression, zealous missionaries and opportunistic writers and rapacious industrialists have flocked to our mountains, considering us easy targets as they misrepresent our culture, destroy our environment, and mine our geological resources, all the while defining us as they want to see us, as ignorant and needy—which, of course, justifies their exploitation.

    So, how can we stop it? You tell me.

    When outsiders do not consider our opinions worthwhile (because how could an ignorant hillbilly possibly have something to say), it’s awfully hard to do anything to stop those faceless outside interests with money from sending in those bulldozers.

  16. The exploitation of the natural beauty of WNC is not unique to this region in any way. It has happened all over this country. Second homes on mountain tops are not a phenomena confined to these mountains. It is a function of a once wealthy society with an ever expanding population. The local population here is no more put upon than any other region that has developed in this manner.

    The question you need to ask yourself Betty is who are the local politicians, bankers, land owners and developers who allowed and profited from this development you frown upon. None of this happened without the explicit cooperation of the locals in power politically and financially.

    It is easy to blame the other, the outsider. The problem is it isn’t the real truth of the matter.

  17. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I agree with you, Christopher.

    To quote myself from an earlier post: “Further compounding the problem, too many of our local governments are now made up of second-rate pseudo-leaders who are interested primarily in promoting tourism (and development) at any cost.”

    This is probably more common in surrounding areas than in Asheville proper.

    Coal mining by mountaintop removal farther north, though, is a far more complex matter, and local people have not been able to prevent that kind of exploitation, even though they have tried.

  18. Piffy!

    [b]For the past 125 years, especially during periods of economic depression, zealous missionaries and opportunistic writers and rapacious industrialists have flocked to our mountains, considering us easy targets as they misrepresent our culture, destroy our environment, and mine our geological resources, all the while defining us as they want to see us, as ignorant and needy—which, of course, justifies their exploitation. [/b]

    Betty, that has happened almost EVERYWHERE around the planet, and in many places in this country, for AT LEAST that long. Sorry, but the hillBilly is no more maligned by those factors than anyone else.

    The HillBilly never existed and the Hillbilly will never die. Complaining about a stereotype has never made it go away. It’s just made it Politically Incorrect, and therefore hidden behind closed doors.

  19. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Piffy wrote: “The HillBilly never existed and the Hillbilly will never die. Complaining about a stereotype has never made it go away. It’s just made it Politically Incorrect, and therefore hidden behind closed doors.”

    Yes, hidden behind closed doors is where we should stash away that H-word, make it so politically incorrect that our grandchildren will not be blatantly smacked in the face with it–just like those other initial-words we no longer say in polite company or in public without getting fired or thrown off the stage (think Imus and Kramer).

  20. shadmarsh

    The idea of something being “politically incorrect” and therefore off limits to speech or thought is just one of the dumbest things I have ever heard…maybe as dumb as trying to somehow equate the term “hillbilly” with various racial slurs.

  21. shadmarsh

    It’s called having a sense of proportionality and history. Now all we need is the barefoot folks to show up again and tell us how they are like Rosa Parks because they refuse to put on shoes in a public place.

  22. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Perhaps we’re making some progress after all. Bigoted slurs are beginning to seem more pitiful than either comical or reprehensible these days, often revealing more about the bigot than the object of his/her ridicule.

    Prince Harry, for example, was recently forced to apologize after making “raghead” and “paki” statements. Yes, a better sense of proportionality and history would serve us all well, at least move us toward a more civilized world.

    And the best part is having children’s books significantly cleaned up now so that young people are less likely to grow up thinking that derogatory stereotypes are acceptable.

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