"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.09.2006

can't make it here anymore

I am really looking forward to this week's Frontline documentary on PBS. David Sutherland's film Country Boys is the coming-of-age story of a couple of kids in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and it's supposed to be a fantastic exploration of issues facing America's rural, working poor. Plus, one of the guys has a Christian death metal band!

The fact that this was filmed in one of the most deprived regions of America (along with the Mississippi delta) makes it all the more interesting. I grew up going to camp with the girls whose father owned Harlan County, Kentucky. They went to fancy boarding schools, spent years as foreign exchange students, and were very sweet girls. (One is now in the peace corps in Niger.) But I've often wondered if they realized that their lifestyles were built on the backs of Harlan's working poor. It's so easy to separate ourselves from the realities in our own backyards, which is part of the reason I'm looking forward to seeing the film. People struggle in America, too.

Conveniently relating to these issues, Jess has a link to this great demonstration of how hard it is to survive on minimum wage in America.

Country Boys airs in three parts beginning tonight at 8 central/9 eastern in most markets.

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