Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From White to White Trash

I really enjoyed exploring Price's analysis of "white trash" on the website because I think he did a great job explaining how the representations of working class whites in popular media are responsible for this dissemination of the "white trash" stereotype in society. In this case, Price describes the white trash folk as "the other" in comparison to the typical, white country folk. So, I want to examine an example of this idea of "the other" in media, such as in the movie, Joe Dirt.It doesn't get much more low-class than a low-budget movie containing incest, crazy sideburns, mullets, auto trader, and daisy duke shorts. I tried uploading the video of my favorite quote from this movie but it won't load so here is what Joe Dirt says as he tells the tale of his life story, "Well, I was born without the top of my skull and I guess a little bit of my brains was showin' and it was grossin' everybody out so my mom put this wig on me to cover it up and then the bones grew together and it got all infused and entwined. I mean I don't mean to get all scientific with you.." This is very poor speech, exemplifying Joe Dirt's low-class because this is a long,run on sentence, and it is neither grammatically or socially correct. Before this statement, Joe Dirt talks about his previous jobs of being a janitor at a grade school, a walking billboard, and even a circus carnie- not exactly high paying, respected jobs. Furthermore, as Joe Dirt continues his journey in search for his estranged parents, he has incestuous sex with his assumed sister, gets pelted by hot chili and hot dogs, beat up by thugs, receives mental torment via Kid Rock and his white-trash crew, and finally shoots fireworks at gasoline-filled tubs.
It's too bad that instead of exploiting the ignorance and ridiculousness of the white-trash mentality, Joe Dirt is portrayed more as a sympathetic loser who continues through life by believing in his motivational statements such as "Life's a garden, dig it." Unfortunately, he still illustrates all of Price's qualities of a white trash character because he embodies "ignorance, violence, filth, and base desires" Joe Dirt operates on the "outside of societal boundaries" by committing actions such as hooking up with a family member- something very unacceptable in society, and corrupting the peace by vandalizing and committing stupid acts such as shooting fireworks at gasoline tubs and therefore loses any respect from a typical classy, white, middle class member of society. However, I can't lie, he's pretty funny!


  1. Sadly, I enjoyed this movie, i thought it was really funny! But this is a great example of a movie which totally embodies the stereotype of "white trash". I think the quote "life's a garden, dig it" was hilarious! And I was actually thinking about this movie when I was reading the articles from class. Good example!

  2. Joe Dirt is a great portray of the white trash stereotype in the media. David Spade with a mullet is not pretty

  3. That mullet...
    OMG... hilarious!!

    Totally loved the movie!

    Sadly... its ironic that we enjoy these stereotypes over and over again.

  4. I thought of Joe Dirt too! This is such a great example with great characteristics you brought out. I can almost hear his voice when he tells the story of his life, and yes, it sounds southern.

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