Why Hillbilly Elegy Is A Bad Title

ABOUT HILLBILLY ELEGY: I refuse to read this book by JD Vance nor will I watch the movie. A “hillbilly” is “an unsophisticated country person, associated originally with the remote regions of the Appalachians.” I am one of them and I’m proud of it. I’m more self-educated than not, having come from a “hillbilly” family who believes reading books and “larning” things is so much fun it don’t leave any room for foolishness.

Where JD went wrong is he blames his terrible treatment while growing up on what he calls the “hillbilly culture” There ain’t no such thing. Bad people and bad treatment are everywhere, probably more so in the cities and towns than in the mountains. Why slander “hillbillies!” It’s a misuse of the word through blaming the lowest level of society on the mountain people.

His title and the book’s premise are both wrong.

I did watch his interview with Megyn Kelly and my heart went out to him. I could see he had withstood terrible hurts from his past. To be completely healed he may have to hold those who mistreated him accountable, cut them from his life. After all, there is no excuse for the mistreatment of children, not due to drugs nor anything else. Instead of him forgiving others at his own cost, the ones who injured him should be the ones made to suffer.

I made a previous post about JD Vance’s book before I watched the Megyn Kelly interview. Watching him respond to her many questions aroused my feelings for him. I wish him a true healing from what was obviously a horrible childhood.

A Little Bit of Nonsense

This is how the world ends, not all at once, just a little bit at a time.

 Why is J. D. Vance’s little bit of Jabberwocky making such a big splash? Twas brillig and the slithy toves –you know the rest–doesn’t everyone?

I’m appalled by this pandering to an opportunistic quasi-hillbilly who has indecently laid claim to the name. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised since it’s simply more of the same: disrespect for a people who fought to independently carve out a life for themselves and their children in the wilderness through their own labor.

Although I left eastern Kentucky many years ago in order to find employment I continue to be proud of my heritage. My ancestors were pioneers in eastern Kentucky, several generations (including one great great grandfather who was about two years old) coming into what is now Letcher County in the Adams Wagon Train.

I’m proud because I know what we stood for in the beginning and still do. I took my heritage with me when I left, passing my values along to my own children. I taught them to take pride in our ancestors who built this country from scratch. There may be a few bad’uns somewhere in our lineage but if there are, then God Bless Them.