Watching “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia”

I tell stories about my family.  Dysfunctional, or perhaps Malfunctional would be a better word.  Sometimes I forget that I’m not exaggerating.

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia is a documentary about a family named White, who, suffice it to say, law enforcement is both familiar with and reluctant to visit.  One of them is a famous “hillbilly tap dancer.”  One gives birth to a baby, laments the lack of opportunity in their geographical area, and promptly snorts cocaine in her hospital room.  Another explains how, when her mother dies, she may be so upset that she will have to kill someone.

Entertaining, in  a sad way.

But what really struck me, as I watched the scene of the matriarch’s birthday celebration — drugs and naked hijinx are featured — I noticed the house they were in looked JUST LIKE where my brother lives.  Furniture so tacky it could never have actually appealed to anyone.  Lots of sentimental knickknacks dusted with crack.  Extremely large TVs in the midst of squalor.

I’m still figuring out how to feel about this one.  But I recommend it.


About hipstersmother

Writer, Teacher, Observer, Amateur Therapist, Killer of All Things Grown in Pots, Living Room Comedian
This entry was posted in Something is Boring Me But I Don't Know What (Entertainment). Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Watching “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia”

  1. Beth Clary says:

    Is it ‘life is stranger than fiction?’ Apparently they look a lot like each other! May have to watch this just to get the full visual impact right rather than trusting my imagination with your stories!!!

  2. Kay says:

    We watched this last night. The physical surroundings were very much like my dad’s family’s homes, minus big screen tvs and crack dust. Just poor, poor, poor. But everyone in his family was sober. On welfare, but sober. And mostly unarmed. I think their sobriety can be traced back to Grandpa Aldridge, the strong patriarch. He was opposed to liquor, but also, oddly enough, opposed to education. Thought education made people weak. Thus, lack of job skills (beyond farming, a losing proposition in Seminole County) and therefore deep, deep poverty. What they ate was mostly what they raised, kind of a continuation of the Great Depression.

  3. @Beth: Just keep Alleve handy.
    @ Kay: Words fail me. How sad. I congratulate your dad for getting out.

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