I don’t expect the pop culture version of the world to bear much resemblance to the real thing. It exists to distract and entertain, of course, and in doing so, must grab our attention for as long as possible and by any means necessary.
But even when we admit our disbelief is suspended (as we stare at the antics of those flickering screens), the stereotypes and imagery have a funny habit of burrowing into our minds and rooting there.
因此，自耕农在观看流行文化对他们生活的描述时，也面临着奇怪的误解。有时候，将我们在自己家中的体验与电影、节目或视频游戏中的平面屏幕进行比较是一件很有趣的事情。Other times it can be frustrating as we realize that our friends or family in the city believethose images are anywhere close to an accurate representation. As someone living this life, all I can tell you is that being misunderstood is par for the course. Not everyone will understand why we do what we do unless they’re living the life themself.
1. Hay Piles
One of the most iconic elements of the “Assassin’s Creed” series is the leap of faith, where the likes of Altair and Ezio fling themselves from the heights of historical landmarks and land safely on the ground below (with accompanying eagle sounds, of course). The key to the eponymous assassin’s survival is landing in a conveniently located, shock-absorbing haypile.
Those of us who deal with actual hay piles would never launch ourselves into them, though. True, loosely-piled hay is springy to walk on, but a real haystack is surprisingly dense and solid. These fodder-keeping structures are the barn’s so-called root cellar, keeping food for the larger livestock dry and edible well through the cold winter months. And they’re packed tight. In order to fit as much food for the stock as possible, many old-time hay piles were densely, strategically, and expertly arranged to both stay dry and shed water.
从它们的表现方式来看，无处不在的鸡是好莱坞最不为人知的生物之一。I’d give bald eagles a close second, as they are always shown soaring and screeching with theborrowed, bold call of a red-tailed hawkand not their authentic, somewhat uninspiringsqueaky chitter.
Take, for instance, the chickens in the “Legend of Zelda.” Of course, we accept their ridiculous antics are (indeed) ridiculous, and readily convert it to pop culture lore with a nostalgic grin. Nevertheless, the chickens in this long-running series have been endowed with characteristics that far exceed the natural abilities of any barnyard hen. If you hold a bird over your head, you’re more likely to get pooped on than float safely away to the ground from a height. And if you were to hit a hen with a sword, the rest of the flock would probably just cluster around the rooster in fear of you, rather than mass in a coordinated attack to send you to the death screen.
Thankfully, real chickens are a lot nicer than the death-dealing poultry of the franchise. Some are downright cuddly, such as the floofy Cochin or the gentle Orpington.As you’ll see in our helpful Chicken Breed Database,if it’s a feathery pet or docile, kid-friendly bird you’re hoping for, there’s a breed out there that will fit the bill … er, beak.
I’ll also extend an honorary mention to the chickens of “Red Dead Redemption 2.” The game is rightly renowned for its absolutely gorgeous panoramas and acute attention to historical detail, representing the 1890s western landscape in a complicated, immersive story. But there’s a singular detail to this game that tells me some of the folks at Rockstar Games don’t have chickens of their own. As Arthur gallops across the plains and mountains, he often passes homesteads, and every once in a while, no matter what hour of the night, those familiar fowl are out scratching and pecking. As those of us with coops in the backyard know, no chicken worth its salt would ever linger outside after sundown
I bequeath the 2004 film “Into the Wild” with the award for most erroneous representation of foraging. The storyline of the film itself is a fascinating look into the mind of a young man disenchanted with his upbringing and longing for a more meaningful life — something many of us can relate to, even if we don’t run away to Alaska. The well-known ending of the story is, however, that Chris McCandless dies in an abandoned bus, alone and despairing.
The film is based on a tragic true story. But the cause of McCandless’ death has been completely synthesized and rewritten. Though the true nature of his death is somewhat shrouded, it’s likely that he died of starvation. In the film, however, Chris dies from ingesting a wild plant that the film deliberately wrote to be poisonous for the sake of their story. They even went so far as to write a falsified entry in the real-life plant guide Chris reads in the film though the actual book bears no such toxicity warning for the plant in question.
As someone who uses foraged plants and mushrooms for hundreds of my meals every year, I get frustrated at the Hollywood wild food boogeyman that haunts my conversations with folks who don’t forage. Because of deliberately sensationalized moments in films like this one, they believe I’m playing a botanical game of Russian roulette when I head out with my basket — rather than collecting nutritious and safe foods.
For those interested, a much more thorough and well-written critical essay on theforaging aspect of the film in question can be found in Samuel Thayer’s book“自然的花园”(文章可在此链接阅读)。For those interested in learning how to forage with knowledge and no fear,我谦虚地推荐我们关于入门基础的视频和文章。
4. Backwoods Hicks
When I first moved to the country, the people I left in the city immediately began asking if talking to my neighbors felt like reliving a scene from “Deliverance.” I’m decidedly not a movie buff and never saw the film, but from the way they talked, it seemed they thought a rural community only picked banjos on their porches and had disturbing affections for pigs. Eventually, I looked up the 1972 film on IMDB, and realized I wasglad I’d never seen it.
One interesting thing about《解放》的原因在于它是在乔治亚州的拉本县拍摄的，那是一个阿巴拉契亚山区的乡村社区，里面满是那些被认为是恐怖电影中人物的乡下人。If you’re familiar with the“Foxfire” series, you’re already aware there’s a far more accurate representation of the self-reliant communities of Rabun County to be found.
I recommend the first three or four books in the series. They are full of interviews with the mountain residents who truly knew how to live on their own land. Sure, the elderly folks they interview may be missing a few teeth and may talk in a manner seemingly quaint to modern ears, but I would gladly trade my college degree for the knowledge of how to grow and preserve food through like they did.
My brother-in-law once told me that his favorite weapon in “Dark Souls 3” was some sort of deadly-designed scythe. I couldn’t help but laugh, however, at the thought of this graceful, gentle tool as the weapon he described in the game. “Dark Souls” isn’t the only culprit in scythe assumption, however. The giant, razor-sharp blade on the original lawnmower undoubtedly inspires awe in those who have never handled one. It looks like it would and should deal damage with ease. But the fact is, a scythe blade is a finely-honed, delicate instrument, and you would never swing it around or over your head like the characters in video games.
When it comes to self-defense or battle, pretty much any other garden tool would be a better weapon than a scythe. But when it comes to blissfully quiet hay cutting or gas-free prairie grass maintenance, you could do no better than a scythe.
6. Homestead Daily Life
Cable television shows like “Mountain Men” or “Homestead Rescue” have a job to do: They want to entertain you for a set amount of time. To do so, they need to have some sort of problem for their rural, off-grid stars to face like bear attacks, blizzards, floods, or roads blocked by fallen trees. The general tone seems to be that these hard-living folks are fighting tooth and nail to cling to existence in their wild homesteads, always preparing for the next disaster and not having to wait long for it to arrive.
然而，现实的宅基地日常生活是，尽管它充满了艰苦的工作，它往往是和平和愉快的。这就是我们选择这种生活的原因。当然，偶尔会有生病的鸡、逃跑的山羊或被角虫咬伤的西红柿，但也有很多美好、美妙、安静或令人满意的日子。A day spent mending fences, milking goats, tending the garden, and gathering fresh eggs may not make for exciting television, but it does make for good living.
Since I’m an off-grid homesteader, I don’t like to spend much time vegging out in front of my nonexistent screens. I know I’ve missed out on plenty of other examples. But I’d love to hear from you. Where have you found the mass media representation of homesteading myths totally, hilariously, or frustratingly wrong? Share some examples below and we can all have a laugh in solidarity.