Honey Boo Boo and the Sweet By and By


It’s easy. It’s so easy to skewer the American South, to depict its denizens and cultural products and religious values as a homogenized clutch of deprivation and backwardness. It’s so easy that The Learning Channel is riding high in the ratings game these days with Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the latest offering to confirm mainstream media’s deep investment in portraying a one-dimensional and abject South. The old weary stereotypes slide down smoothly, like the creamy underlayer of a hashbrown casserole. It takes too much work to refract the South through a variegated interpretive lens; and besides, would consumers buy into this multifaceted vision anyway? If ever there were a bullseye target for this kind of elitist and unhelpful framing, it would surely be Southern Gospel music.

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