December 31, 2013 by gregrabidoux2013
So, Phenomenal Phil, the patriarch of the bearded, “camo-clad,” Duck Dynasty Robertson clan is making duck waves for his controversial views. Again.
This time it is for video footage of a revival style “sermon” that preacher Phil gave some time ago at a sportsman’s ministry in the peachy state of Georgia. There he urged all good sportsmen and fellow duck hunters to marry young (15 or 16 is apparently when they are most ripe), make sure your future bride knows her scripture (especially the parts about gays) and test drive her cooking skills (real men don’t come home after a long day of calling ducks to some yuppified microwaveable grub).
But mostly, your young not-yet-out-of-high school future little duck commander cooker bride better be able to “pick your ducks.” Now before you go getting yer Yankee spandex all in bunches, in duck hunter lingo “pick your ducks” means to clean and pick the feathers off of your caught duck. Just so we are clear.
You may recall, that the inventor of the Duck Commander (a copyrighted Duck Call back in 1972) and scripture enthusiast, Phil, got himself temporarily in some hot duck-soup a couple of weeks ago. Seems the head-duck gave an interview for GQ (wait, what?, GQ still stands for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, right?) and served up some rather choice morsels for gays everywhere (he doesn’t approve) and as he sees it, blacks in America were quite happy, content and did a lot of singing during those blessed times when they were being segregated, beaten, discriminated and lynched. Who knew?
So, if you are following along at home, Phil and presumably his fellow duckers see homosexuality as an abomination and sin, don’t quite see what ever was wrong for blacks under Jim Crow era and wait patiently in the reeds for a 15 year old duck lover gal to come by who can cook. And pick your ducks.
Is this how millions of (White) Americans think? Or maybe just the roughly 12 million who adamantly and I mean adamantly tune in to this A&E Cable television phenomenon?
While you scratch your beard on those queries ponder these undeniable facts: Since its premiere, Duck Dynasty has proven to be a ratings and revenue bonanza for A&E and its sponsors and primary (Walmart) retailer. The reality show has called in nearly $100 million in advertising sales along with a preposterous 1/2 billion (based on estimated recent Christmas purchases) in merchandising. Walmart alone has sold nearly $250 million in DD stuff.
As I watched my Midwest, decidedly upscale relatives open up their DD T-shirts and mugs this holiday with unabashed glee, it hit me just how universal (at least across these freedom-loving states) the appeal is of this show and its family.
Is it because deep down lots of non-camouflaged Americans who may or may not cut their shirts off at the shoulders really feel the same way that Phil does about gays, blacks and females? Well, I’ve lived in Tennessee and now Georgia for awhile. I’ve even attended some tent-revivalist sermons in my day. Phil’s views strike a responsive chord among a lot of folks, especially males who tend to think Larry the “Get ‘er done” Cable Guy is just about the funniest dude alive.
But let’s be realistic. It goes deeper then that. The Duck Dynasty Clan is living the American dream. Maybe not the exact dream for all Americans but close. No real boss to have to answer to. No dehumanizing office cubicle. No 8-5:00 boring living life for the week-ends routine. Being outdoors, with nothing but your own Duck Commander, shotgun, camo and maybe a little (maybe, a lot) of Jim Beam or his pal Jack Daniels. Plus, the little, almost ready to drive legally wife, at home, cooking up some duck stew for her man.
What Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda riding the open highway on their “Hogs” represented to lots of Americans the DD clan represents today-Freedom. At least for a particular set of Americans. Gays, Blacks and Career-minded women need not apply.
And, like all American Dreams and television “reality” shows, Phil and his Clan are not exactly as portrayed. Phil has a Master’s Degree in education, and the youngest son has a B.A. in business from Harding University where he learned the tricks of the merchandising trade. Seems like it paid off for the DD Clan.
Look, while the media paints this latest duck dust-up as clashing religious and social views in America (religious, intolerant White, mostly Southerners) versus (liberal, godless, Northerners) the real truth I’d argue lies deeper in the duck pond.
The DD Clan is doing it their way and making millions along the way. Money. Family. Ducks.
And you? At least you got a T-shirt and a mug. Live life on the edge, my friend. On the edge. And be sure and pick your own ducks from time to time. Keeps you sharp.