Sister Mine by Tawni O’Dell read by Renee Raudman

Hitachi’s beautifully directed High Definition video series called True Stories features a segment on “Coal’s Comeback”. A bunch of old em·phy·se·mic grandpas are fishing, muttering into the wind, when the voice of Bruce No of Hitachi America announces that Supercritical Technology is the new generation of Coal, the clean generation of Coal.

Then back to the toothless grandpas, “I want to make sure that when my grandkids go fishing … that they’ve got something to fish for”.

The whole thing, with the baseball caps and the feckless red neck river kid talking about his favorite fish and the plain unchanging faces of Cowdunk, America, is so heartfelt and hokey that it could be the opening show at the Democratic primary.

But instead it is the green, whitewashed version of an industry which corrupts every aspect of life in small Pennsylvania coal mining towns, where abused daughters grow up and sisters disappear and little girls dress like porn stars and don’t know why its wrong to try to sell their brothers in exchange for rides to the Mall.