Weekend Roundup: Buckwild II?

Rural legislators and same-sex marriage in Minnesota • Marketing guns to pre-schoolers • NRA starts annual conference • Federal education official defends president’s budget proposal.

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MTV canceled the reality show “Buckwild” after the death of one of its young stars. But the network may not have had its fill of shows that target rural young people for cheap laughs and outlandish behavior.

Jason Linkins in the Huffington Post reports on an MTV memo saying the network is looking for a replacement to the program. The memo (which the network says isn’t accurate) says they should look for a “Buckwild” replacement “set in the south with loud, unpolished young kids.” The original show focused on the antics of West Virginia young people.

Linkins says he hopes the network doesn’t go through with the show. But if it does, he’s got another suggestion:

I am nothing if not charitable, and since this strain of reality television seems to do nothing but latch onto someone else’s original idea to make a cheapened version of it, might I suggest something like “The Real Locovore Hipsters Of Portlandia”?

Same-Sex Marriage in Minn. A rural lawmaker in Minnesota says he’ll support a bill for state-sanctioned same-sex marriage if such legislation comes up.

“To further deny equal rights to all people would be a black eye on this institution and certainly on my own career,” said Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby.

Last fall, voters in the counties Radinovich represents voted 62 percent in favor of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The measure was defeated statewide, however, so the legislature is not proscribed from enacting a marriage-equality law.

Proponents and opponents of such legislation are courting rural representatives, who are seen as swing votes in the debate.

Pre-schoolers and Guns. The marketing practices of gun companies who sell weapons for children are coming under scrutiny after a 5-year-old Kentucky boy accidentally killed his 2-year-old sister with a rifle he’d received as a birthday gift.

The boy was playing with a .22 rifle called a Davey Cricket. The gun was pink and marketed as “My First Rifle.”

National and international press have covered the incident. Many of the story lines raise the question of whether the shooting was a tragic accident or the unavoidable result of gun manufacturers designing and marketing products for children who are too young to use them safely. Most of the stories we’ve seen also report on a rural “gun culture” in which firearms are more accepted than in metropolitan areas.

NRA Culture War. The National Rifle Association opened its annual conference this week in Houston, Texas, with a declaration of a “culture war.” In an emotional appeal to members, the president elect of the organization said the NRA was about more than gun rights, it was about leading a “culture war” for freedom.

Rural Education in the Federal Budget. A rural specialist in the U.S. Department of Education gives a point-by-point response to Daily Yonder correspondent Caitlin Howley’s critique of the federal education budget.

John White, in a blog post by Diette Courege Casey on the Education Week website, says the president’s proposed budget does a good job of addressing the needs of rural school districts.

He addresses the Rural Education Achievement Program, inter-agency cooperation and competitive funding, all issues the Howley addressed in her analysis of rural provisions of the president’s proposed education budget.

 

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