Working on my book about America’s opiate epidemic, I’m just back from rural southern Ohio, along the Ohio River, and a town of 20,000, with a lot of abandoned buildings that once housed factories that employed people, called Portsmouth (area code 740).
This is rural heartland America, and it’s looking very rough. Lots of dope.
Heroin in the heartland. Who’d have thought? Depleted white culture. Tough to watch.
I’m not the biggest rap fan, but this video, put out by some Portsmouth kids known as RWR (Raw Word Revival), is pretty much journalism. The new town criers with a post-industrial, post-rural apocalyptic kind of groove.
(Turns out they filmed the whole thing on an iPhone. How punk rock/DIY of them….)
What they came up with is certainly truer than all those Nashville country songs about small towns, shit-kicking good old boys working hard and drinking beer on Saturday and in church on Sunday out there in God’s heartland — all of which sounds to me like propaganda.
Actually, I found Portsmouth to be an optimistic kind of place these days, with a lot of new energy and recovery.
But more on that later. For now, I’ll just leave you with the RWR video.
Share it if you like it….
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My website: www.samquinones.com
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