Duck Dynasty: Shoot or Work? December 2013

I watch Duck Dynasty.  I find the show entertaining and will remain a viewer as long as I enjoy the television show.  Since the show began airing in any of its formats on cable TV, I have not purchased any of the brand merchandise.  Before television fame, however, I purchased a few Duck Commander and Buck Commander items as gifts for friends and family.  None of those items were dust collectors sitting on some shelf.  All were tools used in their respective hunting outings.  Readers and people who know me personally are aware that I have always preferred fishing and affiliated swamp and bayou activities to hunting in any form.  Therefore I do not have any Robertson family business produced products myself, but I would certainly consider purchasing and using any of their outdoor goods because they are a quality line of products in terms of materials and craftsmanship in my opinion.

The more media attention that this Phil Robertson controversy and “Quackaroo” with Duck Dynasty, A&E, special interests groups, and every politician or personality who profits from telling people what they want to here has led me more and more to this is all a work.  By work, I’m using the old “rasslin” terminologies for a planned episode versus a shoot which is a legitimate match where any contestant can win.

After some remembrances of TV shows past and a description of my own viewing habits, I provided links to an interview Phil Robertson had with Parade Magazine back in July 2013 in my “What the Duck?” piece.  In that Parade interview Phil Robertson expressed his desire to move away from the camera lens, but he spoke for himself personally and not for the other family members.

Now think back only a single month.   In November 2013, we saw all of these stories about “the dark side” of Duck Dynasty.  FOX news ran features about how members of the family themselves divulged “details about their past demons, opening up about the drinking and infidelity that almost tore them all apart.”

Parade Magazine ran a story.

It seemed like every “conservative” outlet covered the trailer and later release of the slightly less than 30 minute Christian motivational film produced by I Am Second.

You can view that video at I Am Second.

It wasn’t just conservative, Christian, or American groups interested.

Media outlets associated with either side of the ideological political fence in the United States had stories because something about Duck Dynasty would sell to a vast number of people.  One month before the I Am Second film, October 2013 for historical dating, various world media outlets had stories about Uncle Si and his battles with alcoholism which he included in his book Si-Cology 101:  Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite UncleOf course one must consider the big picture in terms of popularity as Si-Cology only reached the #1 ranking on ranking on the New York Times bestseller list.

I still haven’t read the GQ interview.  I don’t know exactly what Phil Robertson said, but I believe that he has the right to express his own opinion.  I don’t know what was written in his contract with A&E, but I believe that as a private business A&E has the right to terminate or extend its relationship with any of its employees or associations.  As an individual with formal education extending through Louisiana Tech University, obvious business sense with the company he built, and who appears to be very intelligent and articulate (I was reared on similar expressions and analogies, and I will attest that some of those stereotyped as “country bumpkins” or similar are every bit as intelligent as many of the PhD’s with whom I currently work) understands that there are consequences to any statements or actions.

I’ll admit that one’s “15 minutes of fame” can be fun and for some addicting, but popularity and attention aren’t always a good thing.  Think about the number of “celebrity” youths on television shows of the past.  How many had a seamless transition into adulthood?  Yes, exceptions exist, but for those leading healthy and productive lives, those who passed away, those sitting in prison, and all in between a number of variables make each result independent of another.

With Duck Dynasty for the older cast members, the demons they relate in I Am Second are often from their pre fame past.  Some of the younger cast members, however, have encountered demons because of the fame resulting from the television show.

I just don’t view the current events as either a free speech issue or some type of attack on Christianity or anything else.


It might be about money, and the possibility of a better deal with another network.  It might be about A&E wanting to go in a different direction whether that is from an ideological position or financial position as the financial costs of the show exceed what they are willing or able to pay.  I don’t know, but I guess it is possible to have a free agent show in television just like you have free agents in professional sports.

It might be that Phil Robertson desires a return to being a part of the crowd and not the center of attention all the time when out in the public.  The recent family statement might be about doubts of other members that the show can survive without the on air presence of Phil Robertson.  The family as a whole might desire some “return to normalcy” and this is a path into the sunset which offers future opportunities with the next horizon.

I really don’t know, and I doubt anyone outside the Robertson family and executives with A&E know the truth.

To the Bobby Jindal’s, Sarah Palin’s, Ted Cruz’s, and these “conservative” talk and media figures on television, radio, and internet, my opinion is that you should stop trying to profit off creating attacks from everywhere and playing on the emotions of others.  In the hypocritical world anything that doesn’t fit your personal agenda for either financial or political gain is an attack on some right or liberty.  Rights and freedom only apply to those who echo your opinions, and everyone else is the enemy.

How does every mosquito bite, bruise, scrape, or any minor “boo boo” or “owey” reach the level of real atrocities or suffering?  I don’t see Hitler or Stalin running around the world, but I do see cases of genocide, people suffering from the lack of necessities through no fault of their own, cancer and other diseases, and so on.  Those are the ills, and seemingly those do not matter to a few because that world can be closed off.

To the Gay and Lesbian groups, Christian groups, and other groups crying foul, what difference does the opinion of one man who invented a quality duck call make?  Has GQ magazine, Duck Dynasty, or A&E changed your opinions?  Group A might not agree with Group B who does not agree with Group C but agrees with Group D who does not agree with Group B but shares common positions with Group C.

That group sentence made sense…

They have a right to their own opinion and so do you.  It’s easy to disagree.  It’s easy to condemn something that you know little about.  It takes two, however, to earn mutual respect for the opinion of the other whether you agree or disagree.

It’s not the responsibility of you, the responsibility of me, of him, of her, or of them.  It’s something that we all must work toward.  It’s you, me, him, her, them, those, you know all of us together who are needed to make any changes or stop any changes from happening.  The reason to stop or to proceed should be because in the long run the best interests of all will be better.  In the short term, one side will seem like it is being taken advantage of, but if we thought it through those feelings will reverse in the next term.  Those transitions will always remain, but the goal should be moving in a positive direction as a whole unit.

Just my 2 bits.