By Catherine Sawyer • Guest Columnist | When I think of the stereotypes against Appalachia, what comes to mind is what popular culture has had to say about Appalachian people. The mockery, generalization, and misunderstanding that Hollywood has been producing for generations is the most glaring. I also think of the lesser known impacts of the stereotypes, such as the way the government and our fellow Americans treat the area. I’ve said before that growing up here, in a small town as widely known and simultaneously forgotten as Bryson City, was somewhat like growing up in a novelty store. “One of the cutest small towns in the country,” they boast. “Rated top in the nation for small town living” is displayed across the covers of national travel magazines.