30 October 2012

Honey Boo Boo and Flannery O'Connor

Here's a great post from Jonathan Rogers on Why Honey Boo Boo Is Like A Flannery O'Connor Character. He draws some insightful comparisons between O'Connor's writing and TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." My favorite:
In a detail prescient of Honey Boo Boo's go-go juice and Pixie Stix, the mother [of a white-trash family] remarks that her grubby children subsist on "Co' Cola and candy." Mrs. Turpin [the hypocritical protagonist of O'Connor's "Revelation"] knows exactly what to think of them.
 Rogers is spot-on, too, in his analysis of O'Connor's ultimate purpose: to show her readers that we all are the freaks, the misfits, the monstrous pariahs. "Revelation" is a perfect counter-point to our culture's righteous indignation (commingled, of course, with voyeuristic obsession) over people like Honey Boo Boo's family, whose problems are so much more visible than ours.

O'Connor's warning to us is just as relevant as it was to her original readers: In the Kingdom of Heaven, the respectable-looking people will be upstaged by the lowly. More than that, when the day of judgement comes, even their virtues will be burned away, leaving nothing but their reliance on the King.

I reckon this will make me think twice next time I am tempted to have a derisive laugh at the expense of Honey Boo Boo and her family.

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