Monday, November 26, 2007

The Economist: "Dollywood Values"

Image by Peter Schrank, from The Economist

This long holiday weekend, as I sat in my in-laws' living room watching the "football" and sipping red wine, I flipped through a copy of that legendary publication all students of international politics are giddily attached to, The Economist. That is when I came across this article on two subjects near and dear to my heart: Dolly Parton and her happy little kingdom in Sevier County, Tennessee. It's a great little read and it gives me a taste of the happys. Let me give you a test paragraph:
Sophisticates sneer at Ms Parton's theme park. The Daily Express, a British paper owned by a man who also peddles pornography, calls it "tacky". But the values it represents are as American as a 3lb-pound slice of apple pie. Dollywood's calorific abundance is quite healthy compared with Hershey Chocolate World in Pennsylvania. Its patriotism seems restrained next to nearby Patriot Park, with its annual Patriot Festival. Its brand of Christianity is less in-your-face-than, say, the Holy Land Experience in Florida. It is tolerant, too. Ms Parton has many gay fans, who who hold unofficial get-togethers at her park. Her grandfather was a hellfire preacher, but Ms Parton has an empathy for sinners. As a girl, she thought the town hooker in her make-up and stilettos was the prettiest thing she had ever seen. "She was trash," Ms Parton tells interviewers, "And I thought: That's what I want to be when I grow up."
Good stuff.


GingerSnaps said...

*cheers & applause! cheers & applause!"

A great post.

Johnathan Gay said...


Thanks for the lead. I get the Economist but haven't had time to read it lately.

Cool blog, btw.

Another Hillbilly

jagosaurus said...

Fantastic. Thanks for sharing this. I love Dolly Parton and I love it when others recognize her goodness and intelligence.

Buzzardbilly said...

Great post and read.

J. Keeling said...

It's nice to see a foreign publication actually portray Appalachia in a positive light!

Tennessee Jed said...

Dolly is one clever woman, thanks for the posting that!

Anonymous said...

I met Dolly on an airplane once when I was coming back into the country from being overseas.

She was very kind and the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in person. I reckon some people are more attractive up close when you can see even more clearly the goodness in their hearts.