Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Looking down our noses...

Watched a re-re-rerun of a UFO documentary on the History Channel that was narrated by some Englishman. Toward the end of the program, he talked about cattle mutilations and talked to the ranchers involved. In his summary of that particular mystery, he described the ranchers as "superstitious" and afraid of things they don't understand, in effect coloring them as ignorant yokels.

As someone who grew up in a farming and ranching state, I feel the need to defend these men and women from his ignorant stereotype. In modern times, a great deal of large ranches are run by individuals who - brace yourself - actually went to college, earning degrees in agriculture. The days of roaming the range are over and cattle production is a complex and expensive process that, for those in charge, requires a bit more than a GED. These are men and women who understand science and technology. They are not superstitious cowboys, but rather down-to-earth people who aren't prone to wild speculation. In fact, the many I've know can be described as absolutely dull. I say this only to attest to the fact that the image painted of ignorant rednecks cowering fearfully from "all that fancy stuff out there" is erroneous and bigoted. While it may have allowed this documentarian to further his agenda, it was completely unfair to the sensible, intelligent individuals who have often witnessed strange and inexplicable happenings.

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