Thursday, December 26, 2013

Duck Dynasty & The Admission of Who 'We' Is

It's pretty much a given that the country is split down the middle as to what to do about Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson in light of his recent comments of race and sex. At least those of us who have paid at least a scintilla of attention fall off on one side of the ideological side of this debate or the other.

Now, before you get too far into reading this, you need to know that I don't watch 'Duck Dynasty'. In fact the only time I've paid attention to it was when I was watching it when visiting my step mother several months ago. On my list of favorite shows it doesn't rank...

But it is telling that the show's stars are themselves a minor industry. It is also telling that the characters are popping up all over the tube, so whether or not you're interested your senses and sensibilities have most likely been assaulted.

So of course, when Phil Robertson shoots off his mouth about gays and goes even further in by recalling a kindler, gentler era when blacks he worked with were happy - before food stamps and other types of entitlements, it makes noise and it makes news.

But here's a larger point that no one seems to mention: aren't these networks aware of these characters feelings about things before they let them on the air. I mean, let's face it, I don't expect Phil Robertson to change. But I am startled to find out that the A&E Network would banish Robertson from filming as if he just showed up on the scene and started spouting this irrelevant nonsense.

Who was sent out to talk to the Duck Dynasty clan? Who did investigation on them to make sure they were either politically correct, or refreshingly incorrect? And what is the difference between this crew and the Real Housewives of Atlanta, for instance, who say things equally upsetting on their show but are somewhat reticent when it comes to their personal lives?

And I guess that's why I'm not too worked up about the Duck Dynasty flap. Phil Robertson has an uninformed point of view. He is hardly going to recruit followers. Viewers will grow and bail depending upon how outrageous the Dynasty crew gets. The real question is will networks continually let these unvetted characters appear on camera and then feign shock when other networks and reporters dig into their pasts and find something unsavory.

When I think of Phil Robertson and the rest of the Dynasty crew, I can't help but remember my old deacon at the church I pastored. I stopped by his house for a visit and somewhere during the course of our time together the deacon declared with ungrammatical profundity, 'You know Rev., you can't be nothing but what you is!"

These backwoods, backwater fundamentalist believers can't be anything but what they 'is'. The real question is who is 'we' to put up with this...

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