Honey Boo Boo Child and Incentives

by W.F. Price on October 5, 2012

I became aware of an unfortunate pop phenomenon known as “Honey Boo Boo Child” while clicking through channels not too long ago, and at first simply wrote it off as another example of the depravity that characterizes entertainment today. For those who don’t know, Honey Boo Boo is a little girl named Alana who participates in beauty pageants. She hails from a working-class Southern white family (AKA redneck), is overweight even at the age of six, and also happens to have quite a talent for getting attention. Her mother, known as “Mamma June,” is an obese woman in her 30s who has four children by four different men.

Although it’s tempting to write the mother off as another example of the typical Jerry Springer type trailer trash and simply laugh at the dumb rednecks, there’s more going on in that family than meets the eye. I looked at a few of the videos of their home life, and Mamma June, AKA “the Coupon Queen” actually manages to stock her home fairly well. In fact, the house is loaded to the gills with essentials such as detergent and toilet paper that she’s picked up on the cheap. So well-stocked that I suspect June is a compulsive hoarder, and not exactly a psychologically normal individual.

A lot of these compulsive types have above average intelligence, and June looks like one of them (she can do math in her head pretty damn well for a high school dropout). She may be trashy, but she isn’t dumb, and she has a good eye for material opportunity. Hence the praise she’s garnered for managing to wrest child support from four different men, which adds up to a lot more than she’d get if she’d had all four with the same man (in my state, twice as much). Even if all men are low earners, she could still pull down about $1,200-1,500 month, which is more than enough to house, feed and clothe her kids and herself in rural Georgia.

From “Mother Nature Network:”

No doubt, the Thompson-Shannon family lives in rural poverty in a tiny house right next to the train tracks. But they’re also industrious, hard-working folks — or at least Alana’s father, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson is — and 32-year-old family matriarch “Mamma June” Shannon, a recent grandmother and a high school dropout with a wicked sense of humor, exhibits a keen business sense. She’s also skilled at wrangling up child support checks from each of her four children’s fathers…

But perhaps the biggest opportunity was the beauty pageants she’s enrolled her daughter Alana in. She certainly knows that Alana is not going to grow up to be Miss Georgia (the girl is too big boned), but she has such a talent for amusing people and acting outrageous that people can’t get enough of her. She’s a very entertaining girl, although in a very inappropriate manner. However, inappropriate has become the norm in entertainment, so June saw an opportunity and pounced on it.

In order to maximize her daughter’s antics on stage, June jacks her up with a sugary, caffeine packed concoction of mountain dew and red bull before acts. Given that the girl is already overweight, this is beyond questionable, but apparently it works, and June defends it, saying “at least I’m not giving her alcohol.”

A lot of people in the middle class and above probably look at this and say “what a train wreck! How could a mother do this?”

Well, let’s look at the facts. June is obese, far from wealthy and stuck in a dead-end life. She did the best with the opportunities provided to her, and in contemporary America that meant having children with multiple men to maximize child support. Next, she took advantage of trash culture and voyeurism to capitalize on her daughter. Now she has her own reality show and is being paid thousands of dollars per episode, and richer than she’s ever been.

Each “bad choice” she made was incentivized. Every time she did something we look down on, she was rewarded for it. If she had simply buckled down and lived a modest, decent life, she’d be in a pretty lousy place today. The idea that simply doing what we’re “supposed to do,” presented to us in that enormous fake of a movie Forrest Gump, will pay off, is just plain wrong for a growing number of Americans.

We have engineered a society that punishes the common people for making socially responsible choices. Men who “do the right thing” and marry young end up divorced, childless, impoverished and indebted. Women who stay with their man have to work harder for less. People who bring their children up with the values of hard work and honesty find that there aren’t any jobs for their kids, or that the jobs that do exist pay Latin American wages. This is true for most Americans under the age of 40 now. It is a real catastrophe, and our elites are doing absolutely nothing to change it. No, instead they fly around the world with their billions involving themselves in third world projects, ignoring the collapse at home.

There’s a lot of blame for this to go around. From willful ignorance to outright class hostility, many upper income Americans are complicit in wrecking things for the more fragile lower half. Fundamentally selfish ideologies like feminism have played a very important part, but if we’re honest with ourselves selfishness will find any excuse for the damage it does; if it weren’t feminism it would be something else.

The collapse of values amongst the lower classes, the blame for which can be laid squarely at the feet of our “leaders” and cultural elites, is a grim portent of things to come. If there is a collapse of order in the United States, and it’s starting to look more like a “when” rather than an “if” at this point, having half or more of our population devoid of any notions of responsibility, integrity and social obligation will make the outcome that much more brutal and savage. Think Hurricane Katrina X 100.

Whatever the case, I wouldn’t count on one or the other of our presidential candidates to save us from it. Things are too far gone.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: