May 05, 2018

From the Front Porch to Parts Unknown

Apropos of nothing, meet Jeffrey and Maude Lebowski, new residents of Goat Rope Farm.

For the last three years, I've had the opportunity to rant on WV Public Broadcasting's weekly program/podcast The Front Porch. The premise was to bring together people with different worldviews to have civil discussions of current issues, sometimes with guests.

The program was the brainchild of outgoing WVBP's outgoing executive director Scott Finn, who is leaving to take a similar position on the mean streets of Vermont, where life is cheap and death lurks behind every maple syrup-making sugarhouse. Unfortunately, the program is probably ending with his departure as new leadership takes charge.

It was fun while it lasted. I hope they bring it or something like it back...or that we find a new venue. In any case, I'm grateful for the chance to try it. I also appreciate Laurie Lin and Jessi Troyan, who "appeared" on the program along with Scott. We had some interesting discussions.

In our last episode, we look back over the issues we discussed and debated and we also talked about the recently released episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown, which featured West Virginia. 

For natives of the state, it's almost never a good thing when WV gets national media attention. Stereotypes, over-simplifications and poverty porn about. But I'd have to say that aside from a few minor criticisms about certain outliers, he and his crew got it right. The school featured, Mount View High School, is one of the schools my domestic partner teaches at and she knew kids well. I saw some friends as well. And I love McDowell County, which was where most of it was filmed.

I know some people had issues with it, but I think it could have been SOOOOO much worse.

I'd encourage people to take a look at the program--and I'd be interested in hearing what others think about it.

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