I haven’t posted on the blog for a few days. It was a mix of being tired and the content I was writing about. Having to write about film and TV depictions of rural life is hard. Particularly, writing about the way both comedy and horror distort rural life, often from the perspective of the city folks gaze.
The truth is, there are two ways I think this form of media can harm rural areas. The first is internalization. The idea that these images and the message they are sending is something that is true. Whether that message is that rural people are backwards cartoons or monsters or that escape from rural life is the only way to success. I think Hallmark movies try to do something different, but they often still demonstrate an urban savior motif or treating the main protagonist’s (usually a woman) choice to return to the rural space as a sacrifice. The internalized image here being that “we are the places people settle or come to save.”
The second, and I think equally harmful result of this imagery is the either idyllic or grotesque perception city folk gain from this media. I think particularly of people who refuse to go to rural areas because everyone is a drug addict, rapist, murdering, racist. I exaggerate, but I have met people who are terrified to enter rural spaces. A more common idea is that all rural people are uneducated, uncultured, and need saving by the saviors of metropolitan life. Both understandings are dangerous and disrupt relationships and potential futures for rural communities and urban/rural relationships.
All that to say, I’m past that, it was only a few pages, and I’m back to hope.
I also know how to spell Leatherface correctly.
Daily Word Count – 508 Words
Writing Challenge Total – 6047 Words