Dunne shapes the narrative. He chooses the juiciest sound bites. He majors in extremes.
He focuses on the fringe-finding: the must-see cultic,
Appalachian icons that fit the prescribed "hillbilly" mold. He is the sculptor of words and phrases, chiseled propaganda furthering his filmmaking fantasies.
The truth is Oceana has a drug problem. Dunne is dead-on correct.
Oceana has had its share of drug-related casualties, and drugs have ravaged many southern West Virginia communities.
Scratch that. Drugs have ravaged communities across the whole United States.
But for the seniors who share cups of coffee each morning in the Oceana McDonald's (where I am presently writing), for the Church of God men and women who graciously shared with me their chocolate peanut butter Easter eggs, for the impressive local Westside high school girls basketball team that demonstrated resolve and competitive courage, for Dr. Joy Kissel, the local optometrist who exemplifies professionalism and a kind-hearted disposition, we are not the uncultured hillbillies Dunne portrays, our only festivities expressed through "firearms and poor decision-making" (www.oxyana.com/about.html).
If Dunne so desires to take a slice of a community's drug culture and portray it as the norm, he need only to look in his own New York backyard (or block).
There he will find all the down-and-out, drug-addicted pop-culture icons he needs to exploit, embellish, and sensationalize.
Mitchell is pastor of the Pineville Church of the Nazarene.