The Story of Everywhere

The identity ideology has eaten our brains to the point where people watch Hillbilly Elegy (or hear about it, which is more likely) and immediately assume that it’s about geography.

It’s not, though. There’s a Bev – a chaotic, cruel, terrible parent – in every neighborhood of every country. Bevs aren’t created by geography, poverty, or regional characteristics. They aren’t created by addiction. My husband’s parents were stone-cold sober. They weren’t particularly poor. They were very educated. They loved poetry. They were married and never got divorced. They had no idea what Appalachia was. But they were exactly like Bev.

This dysfunction is inherited. It goes on and on from one generation to another until one person makes an enormous effort and finds a way to break the cycle. Unfortunately, that’s the only recipe, and most people never escape. They promise themselves not to become like their parents but they always do. Exceptions are very rare.

Hillbilly Elegy actually shows very well what can be a source of energy to propel a person out this cycle.

4 thoughts on “The Story of Everywhere”

  1. “people watch Hillbilly Elegy …and immediately assume that it’s about geography”

    Haven’t read/seen HE, but…
    The modern liberal/progressive/leftist (lpl) mentality can’t see any universals in art – it’s all a murky combination of literal-representation of the party narrative.
    There’s also the idea that the lpl naturally are attracted to and sympathetic towards the dysfunctional and are offended by the idea that individuals can break free of dysfunction… it seems to infuriate some of them.
    I’m reminded of the Agatha Christie novel set in an experimental reform school run by a benevolent philanthropist when someone says words to the effect of ‘why doesn’t anyone want to help poor children who don’t go into crime?’


  2. Our household was pretty chaotic. Nobody cleaned. My parents despised each other. One never knew when a screaming match might break out. Eggshells. For 18 years. Couldn’t ever invite anyone over. But we felt (and still feel, really) bad for complaining, or even noticing it, because we always, always knew kids who had it worse. Lots of kids. Our parents didn’t have schizophrenia, never abused drugs or alcohol, didn’t beat us or each other, we were never molested, never went hungry, and nobody ever pimped us out. And we knew kids who fell into ALL of those categories. We met them at school, at church, in our neighborhood, and among our parents’ friends. It’s depressingly common.

    Given the numbers, though, I think it’s actually a minority of kids who grow up in such homes, who then continue the pattern with their own children. A lot of them end the cycle by choosing not to have children, but some make a really gigantic effort not to treat their kids like they were treated, and not to make the mistakes their parents made, with varying degrees of success. I think it tends to dissipate down the generations. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any functional households left by now.


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