Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Reality Doesn't Always Bite

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where life is never dull except sometimes! I'm your hostess, Anne, aka She Who Worships Buzzards. Here! take a seat! Just don't stain my upholstery, please. Spotless sofa cushions are top priority in this household.

A year ago I could have canceled my cable and ditched my t.v. altogether. I don't watch much t.v. Five minutes of Bill Maher sends me running for the shelter of my Mother's Little Helper.

Alas, in the past few months I've succumbed to some really, really bad t.v. habits.

Have you seen some of these new reality shows? I'm not just talking about "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," my 30-minute weekly reminder that many American students are not ready for national testing. No, I'm talking about other evil pleasures, like "Bridezillas" (a show where awful women throw fits as they're preparing to marry) and "Pawn Stars" (three generations of ugly men buying other peoples' stuff).

Lately I've become addicted to a show called "Pickers" about a pair of dudes who go through hoarder houses (and barns) looking for cool stuff. I like that show because the one Picker is a hottie who brims with enthusiasm over rusty tin signs and motorcycles that don't work.

One lazy afternoon I stumbled upon a marathon of a reality t.v. show called "Moonshiners."

As its name suggests, "Moonshiners" is about various men in Appalachia who are making and selling liquor illegally. There's actually a disclaimer at the beginning of the show that says, "This is illegal. Don't do it." So, how do they film it with a big old camera crew, lighting, and that stuff? Can you imagine going to court for making moonshine, and the prosecutor cues up ten episodes of a t.v. show called "Moonshine," all of them featuring you breaking the law?

I suspect that the secret, in this case, is the fact that moonshine is the same color and consistency as water. The viewer sees a clear liquid dripping out of a still, and some hillbillies cooing over it -- but that doesn't make it alcohol.


If you take a look at Exhibit A. some of the cast members of the reality show "Moonshiners," you may be prepared to dismiss this rot as more stereotyping of the Appalachian male. Which of course it is. But at least these fellows really are Appalachian males. You see, they've got the accents. And it's the accents  that hooked me on "Moonshiners." Voices from home, don't you know. Every time anyone speaks in that show, it's like all of my old, dear uncles have come back to life. Or, in the case of some of the younger men, my school chums and cousins.

There was a national park near where I grew up, and for awhile they had an exhibit of a moonshine still. They really could brew liquor in it. Trouble was, enterprising visitors to the site were able to take notes and make copies of the technology. I think someone even had the audacity to activate the exhibit! Anyway, it got torn down.

People commit crimes everywhere, but there's always been considerable romanticism attached to moonshiners. If you ask me, it's the scenery. If you're going to be fascinated with outlaws, it helps to have a nice view of the sunset over the purple mountains' majesty.

Don't judge me for watching "Moonshiners." Everyone needs a little guilty pleasure. Mine is just listening to people talk with a certain regional inflection.

And no, I've never tried moonshine. Hard liquor makes me a wild woman -- I steer clear of the stuff.


Lois said...

We don't have cable anymore, but I was so addicted to Pickers and the whole House & Home station... And Hoarders just intrigue me. After an episode, I would be inspired to de-clutter everything in sight.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I had a shot of moonshine once. Burned all the way down.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

We (and I don't mean me of course, but Seffricans) make a moonshine called mampoer. I tried it, many many years ago.
And oh yes, I've caught Pickers as well, and found myself rooted to the spot, jaw hanging open, forgetting what I was in the process of doing.
It's the mounds of rubbish these guys are literally crawling through to get stuff.
Telly really is silly, huh?
Terri in Joburg

Chas Clifton said...

I saw one episode of Moonshiners too and wondered about the legalities. Some possibilities:

1. As you suggest, they fake it.

2. They distill a little bit of whiskey but do not actually sell it--maybe under BATF supervision?

3. They actually go through the bureaucratic malarkey.

#1 is probably most likely.

I like the variety of accents too, from hill country to coastal Southern.