Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:13 pm

Reading this book now.  Since the CH elite have declared that uninformed people like me don't understand the sociocultural underpinnings of middle class dissatisfaction with life and the reasons why Hillary lost, this is my attempt to correct the situation.
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by Hellsangel on Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:21 pm

Aww! Are your feelings hurt, Il Professore?
#DramaQueen
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by silvermani on Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:56 pm

Aww, poor thing! Would have been joyfully rubbing the noses of the "intellectually inferior rednecks" in the dirt so bad after Madam President's crushing victory if not for a small change of plans.
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:25 pm

J.D.V writes lovingly of his people, the hillbillies, their generous spirit and fierce devotion to family. But he doesn't spare them for their cultural failings and many hypocritical stances.  He sounds utterly believable being born and raised in the culture, with everything falling apart around him except for a grandmother who is ferociously ambitious for him.  He was essentially saved by her and the four years he spent in the U.S.Marine Corps. More later.
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:34 pm

Haven't watched this interview, but it probably covers a good portion of the book:
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:37 am

Finished reading it.  JDV takes the moderate conservative position that government programs don't and can't solve all the problems that afflict the WWC in Appalachia and the rust belt.  He also introduces us to the many hypocrites among the WWC that we have always suspected of existing -- those who rail against welfare while at the same time benefiting from it, not having worked a single day in their lives.  These are the people whose very existence is often denied by conservatives when folks like Idefix and I point out the divide between red state/blue state prosperity and welfare usage.  JDV's book makes it absolutely clear that not only do these people exist, but they are also very much the hypocrites that we always suspected them to be. He doesn't provide too many solutions, however, other than saying that families and institutions like the church should step up to solve problems that no government programs can ever hope to solve.  Constant bickering and violence and neglect of children at home, taking on mortgages they can't afford, drugs, reckless spending during the holiday season on baubles and toys they can't afford are some of the many many problems that beset the WWC that government programs can do nothing to solve.  So also the tendency to not step up for training and education opportunities as manufacturing jobs have left the region, and instead railing at the "elite", the government and corporations whose actions they have no immediate control over. He also grudgingly admits that the very liberals who are supposed to have lax moral values are the very people who are staying married, building stable families, and gasp, attending church at higher rates! It's a damning judgment.  The book came out before the election, so it's clear these are the people who made Trump's election possible.

And there is NO earthly way he is going to do anything to help these people. If anything things are going to get worse for them, as Trump, Paul Ryan and company dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, and give tax cuts to the people who don't need them and further destroy the fragile existence of these people.

An excerpt:

One guy, I’ll call him Bob, joined the tile warehouse just a few months before I did. Bob was 19 with a pregnant girlfriend. The manager kindly offered the girlfriend a clerical position answering phones. Both of them were terrible workers. The girlfriend missed about every third day of work and never gave advance notice. Though warned to change her habits repeatedly, the girlfriend lasted no more than a few months. Bob missed work about once a week, and he was chronically late. On top of that, he often took three or four daily bathroom breaks, each over half an hour. . . .  Eventually, Bob . . . was fired. When it happened, he lashed out at his manager: ‘How could you do this to me? Don’t you know I’ve a pregnant girlfriend?’ And he was not alone. . . . A young man with every reason to work . . . carelessly tossing aside a good job with excellent health insurance. More troublingly, when it was all over, he thought something had been done to him.
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:46 am

Interesting tidbit -- JDV is married to a second gen Indian (Telugu) American woman, fellow Yalie, and law school classmate.
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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by garam_kuta on Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:29 pm

actually quite a insightful guy..i watched him on CNN, commenting a couple of days ago, when I inferred that the Dems might have totally missed out on the warning/alarm for the reason of the rise of trump, specifically, over all other candidates, during the republican primaries; unlikely they missed it but, clearly they undervalued it or worse, thought it was advantageous that trump was winning which they could easily deal with later...the rest is history.

* may be all this is well known and analyzed already, but i was overseas and likely to have missed the discussion.

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Re: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Post by garam_kuta on Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:54 pm

there was a woman handle, much loathed by many, O'lena or something like that, who used to detail her high-end lifestyle in many metropolis, later moved to midwest with her physician husband had well narrated, quite a bit on these hillbillyfolks..it's quite an interesting read, i must say

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