The Help

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Beautiful day here in the mountains. Looks like the weather will change on Sunday, though. The rains are moving back in for a few days. My tracking of the world famous Whiz O Meter and its machinations continues. Today was evaluated as a “9”, even though the high is projected as 66, 4 degrees closer to the optimum than yesterday’s 62. Seems there will be a few clouds in the sky today, tarnishing an otherwise near perfect day.

If I had a few more brain cells that worked properly, I might spreadsheet the Whiz O Meter for a year or so. I’d like to conclusively prove to the world that the daily ratings at Channel 11 are pulled out of someone’s hat. Now, that’s ok, it is the prerogative of channel 11 to consult with some guy they keep hidden in a back room and ask him to give them a number. I think the “man behind the curtain”, we’ll call him Maury, never leaves the back room. In my scenario, Maury will spend his days predominately looking at his radar screen for clouds. The more clouds, the lower the Whiz O Meter score, regardless of temperature. Since Maury never leaves his back room, ambient temperature has lost all meaning to him. To my mind that’s the only explanation for scoring days that the highs are in the 40’s, as “9”s. Maybe I should start a “Free Maury” movement. It might be easier than the spreadsheet and subsequent math it would entail. I’ll have to cogitate on that a while.

Speaking of folks who work unseen, Mulva brought home a wonderful movie for our date night. Mulva dug deep into the $2.99 movie bin at the Walmart and pulled out a superb period piece called, “The Help”. The movie was based on the 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett. “The Help” details the relationship of black maids, the help, to their white employers in the 1960’s in the South. It was like someone had made really good home movies during the ’60’s and put them in a time capsule. It recaptured the period that well for me.

Now, I can’t speak for how things were done up North, but I suspect they weren’t too different than here in the South. The story is set in Jackson, Mississippi, and I feel that it is representative of most areas in the South. That was not how things were done here in “Whitopia”, though. The folks in Union county added one more caveat to the oppression, “Don’t let the sun set on you in Union county”. “The Help” serving the well to do folks in Union county had to live in the surrounding counties. They were not welcome to live in the same county as the people that they served. Even today, you can see from the 2014 census that less than 1% of the population in Union county is black, just slightly higher than the Native American population. Statewide the black population comprises almost one third of the general population in Georgia. The roots of bigotry run deep, even when they go contrary to convenience.

“The Help” outlines the loyalty and service of people who were abused, under paid and under appreciated by the people they served. I don’t want to give the impression that all of the whites in the story were Klan members, they weren’t. The sad part is that even the “enlightened” didn’t stand up for values that ran contrary to what the Klan espoused back in the time of the story.

The story of “The Help” is about a local girl who wants to break into journalism and decides that she wants to tell the story of the maids. The stories are fabulous and two scenes will stay with me forever. The revelation of, “The Terrible Awful”, and the firing of the maid who is taken from the child she adores. The terminated maid leaves the distraught child with the blessing, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”. That was as sad a scene as the “Terrible Awful” scene was hilarious.

The movie runs the gamut of emotions, and the bevy of talented actors really make the audience engage in the story. It was very powerful for me, and it took me back to the brief period of time when my family had a maid. Maybe we should take a closer look at the “reparations” issue.

“The Help”, by all means, check it out.

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