Daily Archives: October 26, 2009

Hill Billy Wisdom

Good morning. I have decided to recyle a few of my earlier blogs. I didn’t have very many readers when I first started out.

Good morning. I love October weather in Texas. I don’t have to spend money at the carwash this week. All I have to do is drive. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunnyagain. I saw in the paper that we  are expecting a colder, wetter winter than usual thanks to El Nino. If all the rain we’ve gotten lately is any indication of things to come, maybe the prediction will prove correct.
A friend of mine sent me the above video in an email titled “Hillbilly Genius”. It was intended to be laughed at and a put down, but I don’t always see humor the way other people intend.
In fact, I thought this demonstration was really quite clever. I’m all for whatever works.
I guess people have always had a yen for making themselves feel superior to others. The “rednecks” and “hillbillies” and “white trash” certainly do live in a manner that often makes it easy to look down upon them. My email from time to time contains pictures of shoddy (by middle class standards) attempts to “make do”. We are supposed to laugh when we see these pictures.
Actually, I often see the effort behind these creations as an attempt to make do in often dire circumstances.
I watched the Red Green show occasionally a few years ago. Many of his skits can still be found on You Tube. Now granted he performed his show as strictly comedy with his inventions and did not intend to be taken seriously. But I think underneath his comedy was a message that most Americans have either never learned or have forgotten. That message is that sometimes, out of necessity, it is imperative that we “make do”. I heard the phrase, “It’ll make do”, many times during my childhood. We recycled long before it was fashionable to do so. Clothes became quilts and rag rugs. Sheets became bandages. Dolly Parton sang of her coat of many colors and many of my classmates could identify with that song in some way.

When I was growing up we had so little trash that our family of four only had one can of garbage a week to set out for pick up. Now it is not uncommon to see homes with two or more cans out twice a week to be emptied into the truck. Back in the 50s and 60s we weren’t so ready to use once and pitch. There were actually repair shops. The television repair man used to come to the house at least once a year to replace tubes. Now we have “planned obsolescence” where it is less costly to buy a new device once it becomes out of date or broken than it is to have it repaired.
Although I feel empathy for the poor and always have, the families I feel more sorry for are the middle class families where jobs have been lost and the families have no idea what it means to “make do”. They have no clue as to how to get into a survival mode mentality.

Our national unemployment rate is now 10%. That means there are a lot of families out there that are thrown into the same economic classification as those of whom they used to make fun, albeit, probably not permanently. Many of them can’t even begin to have a clue as to how to survive. It will take a while before they learn as Dolly sings, “you are only poor if you want to be”.

I have a dearly beloved friend who often speaks of her difficult childhood growing up in “hillbilly country.” She talks of the many things her family had to do just to survive. Yet she DID survive as do countless others from the same area where she grew up. She and her family knew the value of creative thinking and “making do”. In these troubling economic times people like that are much more blessed than those who grew up with a “use once and toss” mentality. Enjoy the videos. If you are in the market for computer workstations and chairs, think like Red Green. “Make do”. Y’ll have a blessed day now, y’hear? Namaste Attic Annie


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