I write from a Southern perspective because it’s the only perspective I have. So it’s not surprising I was infuriated when the A&E television network decided to spank Phil Robertson for something he said.
Now I don’t know the “Duck Dynasty” folks but have my doubts that patriarch Phil is all that easy to spank. Just this week he blew off Barbara Walters’ most interesting people show to go duck hunting.
The other day, a news blurb announced something had hit A&E’s fan, and Phil was the one who threw it. He’d made comments in a magazine interview about his biblical beliefs regarding sexual preferences.
I personally couldn’t care less what anybody believes as long as they don’t shove collection plates in my face. As I understand his transgression, he said out loud what he thought and that didn’t sit well with the gay-rights community.
After reading the interview text, I see why they won’t ever watch “Duck Dynasty” again or buy any of their duck calls. Good for them. But apparently simply turning the channel isn’t adequate punishment for expressing personal beliefs, so Phil was given a “time out.”
Holy Honey Boo-Boo, he’s got a reality show. That entire genre is short on propriety, so everyone should get over it.
You tune in to shows about naked couples traipsing around jungles. Or perhaps Jersey Shore, with young folks whose vocabularies have few words containing more than four letters, not counting hyphens.
If we want grown-ups, tune in “Real Housewives” from various locations showcasing hormonal imbalances. Because such programs represent “reality,” it’s likely sensibilities might get bruised now and then.
It’s about personal preferences. I’m quite sure PETA folks don’t view “Life Below Zero.” Truth be told, I’ve become so domesticated I’m uncomfortable watching a trapped furry animal dispatched “humanely.”
Applying my southern perspective mentioned in the first sentence of this column, it’s my best guess the whole family will take a hike and turn off the light. I also suspect on their way out the door, they’ll tell the A&E suits to go do something that’s anatomically impossible.
Phil wasn’t inciting anybody to violence, but I understand what huge transgression he committed. Nowadays there are particular groups in political vogue that threaten hissy-fit eruptions if they uncover “incorrect” opinions or thought.
Phil’s preaching lit one of those fuses, but surely all of us entitled to our own Charlie Rich worlds behind closed doors. When I was a kid, I didn’t have doors but fogged-up windows of my 1953 Mercury in drive-in movies was a very adequate substitute.
Phil had an opinion that he expressed in response to an interviewer’s question. The public can vote him on or off the island by choosing what and what not to watch and buy, but in this case would put the speech police out of business.
I’m curious how or even “if” the network can put the “Duck Dynasty” humpty-dumpty back together again. I wonder how crow tastes compared to duck? We’ll see.
In the words of Miss Kay, “This is going to be fun!”
Otis Gardner’s column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.