Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nerd Alert

So last night, I meant to write another Thailand post and share our pictures from Phuket. 
Instead, Cam and I ended up watching a two hour documentary about the Amish on PBS

Random, I know. 

We are actually both big fans of watching documentaries and we also don't have cable TV anymore.
We do have an antenna for our TV and so we can watch stuff on broadcast channels/PBS.
Aka Downtown Abbey and Sherlock (which Cam is obsessed with right now). 
Hence the title of this post :)

I saw a preview for this feature on the Amish during Downton Abbey on Sunday and actually marked my calendar to watch it. (Like I said, NERDY...but I'm fine with it) It's an episode of the PBS series American Experience (and I think it originally aired almost two years ago now), and I thought it was super interesting. I know that there are a few different shows on various networks right now about the Amish as there seems to be this intense fascination with their way of life, as well as those that decide to abandon it. Which I totally understand. As someone who has my phone in my hand pretty much 75% of the day, it's really hard to wrap my mind around how people can just willing choose to reject modern convenience. However, what I appreciated about this feature on PBS is that it didn't aim to sensationalize anything, rather it just portrayed this group of people for who they are. 

Growing up in Michigan, I had some early exposure to this way of life; my grandpa and my aunt and uncle on my dad's side lived in the central part of the state where there was quite a large Amish population. When we'd go to visit them, it wasn't uncommon to see horse-driven buggies on the road or Amish people out selling quilts or other handmade items. I'll admit, many of their beliefs seem very arbitrary to me, like how they can ride in a car but they can't actually drive the car, and other things like that. However, I can also see some positives to their way of life as well. I thought this documentary was really thought-provoking, particularly the idea of how America, especially in the past 100 years, has been very focused on the importance of "self", whereas the Amish choose to reject that idea and focus on their community and it's just a totally different perspective of viewing your life.

Here's a preview, if you're interested...

Also, I totally didn't mean for this post to come off as "Oh Cam and I are so cultured, we watch PBS and only watch educational television for fun!" Ha! I just thought that it was really interesting and I wanted to post something today since I never did get around to those Thailand pictures. 

You can watch the entire episode of American Experience 'The Amish' here

PS: I am linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday because I'm pretty sure this is one of my most random posts ever. Happy hump day y'all.


  1. Hello to a fellow cable-free person! I also gave it up a few years ago and do a netflix/ iTunes thing. It's a good thing I love documentaries too, bc I wind up watching a lot of nature shows and re-runs of myth busters. Your avatar is super cute too! Take care,
    Merrie K.
    Merrie @

  2. Jealous that you get PBS with your antenna! We do not and it is such a bummer! Sounds like a cool documentary. Maybe some day when we get internet in the boonies as well we can watch it! Haha :)

  3. Is it weird that I am excited to give up cable next month?? I am happy to say I'll be giving up trash tv and switching to documentaries on netflix!! I am a nerd about random stuff like this too. I should check that one out. I also really like watching documentaries on cults. Strange, I know!!!

  4. We too are cable-free Oregonians who LOVE documentaries! I actually watched one last week that I plan on posting about. 'It's A Girl' is on Netflix and it's an eye opening documentary on gendercide in India and China. It is one of those that you just hate to watch, but you can't stop watching because you want to know more and are sort of 'in shock' about what they have to say.

  5. it's cool, one time Bradley and I watched a special on the dust bowl .. it was a two part-er on multiple days. we ended up making a note and came back to watch the second part the next day. also, I just started watching sherlock on netflix. i am so obsessed!

  6. I LOVE THE AMISH!! I grew up just south of PA and my grandmother lived in Lancaster county for most of my life so we often went to the Amish markets when I was younger. Also, when I worked for Schwan's I had a few routes in Chester County, PA which has a few areas that are predominately Amish. I had a few Amish customers and they were so nice and really funny! I actually got pissed at my grandmother when I was really young because she told me I couldn't be Amish and I really wanted to be!

  7. Brian and I love watching documentaries too. They're so interesting! I always watch the Amish documentaries on TLC and it's so interesting!


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