Virginia in the Spotlight

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Dopesick

Beth Macey says she does not use stereotypes in her book. That is just not true. All the pictures in her book are very black and white with people looking like the bottom of the black and white heap. While there is a glamour shot of her on the back cover. Her writing is very negative and she does not interview anyone actually a victim of addiction in Lee County. Dr. Van Zee is from Nevada and Beth Davies is from along Island New York. In the filming, all the scenes within the region are shot dark. All the people have greasy hair and second hand Walmart clothes. Even Danny Strong got into the act. He created the women coal miner. If she and her father were working in a contract mines they would each be making six figures. They would have had tricked out trucks, ARVs, much nicer houses. They would certainly been middle class. She would not have been a quilter. There are a lot of filming techniques and language technique to make the mountain folks look and sounds like pitiful others. The story is great but it is not great for the image of Appalachia. Barry Meier wrote about the Lee County problem in his book, Pain Killer. He talked to local folks. He wrote that story before Ms Macey. Why didn’t Ms Macey go to Maine and write her own story instead of stepping off the back of another author in obviously othering, negative tone? Everyone says to me, but it’s such an important story to get out there. I agree the story is important but not at the expense of a people and culture that is Central Appalachia. When is the stereotyping going to stop and the othering stop?

Sue Kobak 33 days ago

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