The GQ Duck Dynasty Opinion

I finally took the time to read the GQ article causing the “Quackaroo,” and it really doesn’t change my Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson opinion from what I previously wrote.  The writer of the article decided to use what I would generically label as shock words in his commentary.  If my generic label for the language troubles anyone, during my rearing such words spoken resulted in the cleaning of my mouth with soap.  I may have written about that in this forum once as that is one time when the taste of something store bought is better than being homemade.

My earlier pieces reflect my opinions of the events as a whole, but here I’m going to cite some of the specific quotes which I often read or hear about from friends and colleagues.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Yes, Phil Robertson is expressing his opinions on sex, and the reference to sin for many turns that quotation into a religious topic.  Just for a bit, though, let’s try to pull any religious feelings from that quotation by omitting the word sin.  Again, I’m not attempting to alter the context, but trying to see how or if that single word affects perceptions of the other opinions expressed.

At one of the institutions I worked, I got to know the leading general surgeon in the area.  His undergrad work had been at Vanderbilt, and he enjoyed the writings of Robert Penn Warren.  He did not know, however, that the writer was a part of a group known as the Vanderbilt Agrarians.   The Agrarians were 12 writers at Vanderbilt who during the 1920s and 30s wrote a collection of essays which helped revive Southern literature. His reading of Warren, being an alumnus of Vanderbilt, and my professional background in Southern history which included exposure to and studying some of the works of these writers presented a topic of high mutual interest.  For those interested, essays from the Vanderbilt Agrarians are available in a work titled I’ll Take My Stand:  The South and the Agrarian Tradition.  It’s been published in a number of editions, but I’m linking the 1978 publication because it has that “Look Inside” feature to read a sample.

The surgeon was married, and he and his wife had a couple of kids.  They appeared to be a happy and “normal” family to me.  As a general surgeon, a vast number of his patients actually saw him for colonoscopy procedures.  When polyps or other matters necessitated additional measures such as surgeries to remove a part of colon, he performed those procedures.  Here was a man with a wife and children who saw and I guess you could call it explored anuses of men and women for who knows how many hours straight.  It was years ago, but we first met in a medical situation involving a family member.  I asked about his experience, and he had at that point performed over 2000 colonoscopies.  That’s more anuses than I think most people see regardless of sexuality or profession.

On the other side, technically inches away, I once knew another doctor who was an OB GYN.  Her husband and I went fishing a few times together, and I was friends with their two oldest sons who were a few years older than me.  They had 4 children and had been married 40+ years before they passed away (RIP).  When someone has delivered probably a thousand or more babies and performed who knows how many exams on female patients, that’s a lot of vaginas.

On average, I’m guessing that delivering a child takes longer than a routine colonoscopy, so one can safely assume without medical training or basic anatomy that there are more things present on that side.

What I wrote above may seem crass to some; I actually find it crass to a degree.  I agree that it’s also illogical because neither MD conducted their profession in a manner which brought them sexual gratification.  I don’t consider either specialty as sinful.  Both are needed in my opinion for a healthier society.  Still, I would not want to be in either profession.  No amount of money or anything else is likely to make either career choice logical for me.  Now combine those anuses and vagina’s with another statement from the same interview.

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

It seems to me that many people are merely focusing on the start.  As he “morphs out,” it appears that a whole lot of people casting stones are under the same umbrella according to Phil Robertson.  Even Phil Robertson and members of his family are under that umbrella, and that’s according to Phil and his family whether you only cite this article, view the video on I Am Second, read the written publications be they self written, ghost written, or with another writer, or listen to each in person.

From the article:

During Phil’s darkest days, in the early 1970s, he had to flee the state of Arkansas after he badly beat up a bar owner and the guy’s wife. Kay Robertson persuaded the bar owner not to press charges in exchange for most of the Robertsons’ life savings. (“A hefty price,” he notes in his memoir.) I ask Phil if he ever repented for that, as he wants America to repent—if he ever tracked down the bar owner and his wife to apologize for the assault. He shakes his head.

 

“I didn’t dredge anything back up. I just put it behind me….”

Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

I think I can understand why some people are upset, but Phil Robertson is merely an individual.  Whether someone agrees or disagrees with his positions, those opinions are his.  I don’t think Phil Robertson needs or wants anyone defending him.  He seems to have overcome and accomplished a lot in his lifetime.  On the other hand, what does attacking him as a person achieve?  Did he say anything personal against you or me or anyone?  Believe it or not, but the man is ignorant of many subjects.  I’m ignorant of many subjects, so that’s not a negative assessment of Phil Robertson on my part.  Even if another considers me as an “expert,” any expertise is that I have learned enough about the particular topic to realize how little I actually know about that particular topic.  My Grandfather, Dad, and major professor in graduate school were and are not all knowing either, and that is not neither a secret nor a claim that any made.

The danger appears to be from those on the outside who only care to see and believe what they want.  Nothing is new, and has what he said honestly changed the opinion of anyone?  These are conflicts in society which have existed and sadly will continue to exist because a small group on each side feels it necessary to turn everything into a fracas.

As to the Civil Rights arguments, it’s unclear to me whether this passage is actually a part of the GQ interview or an excerpt from the ghost written autobiography mentioned.

Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

In reference to race in the South during what would have been Phil Robertson’s childhood days, I can see a rationale of validity here.

Before the uproar begins:

I’m not suggesting racism did not exist. I’m not suggesting that racism does not exist today.  I’m not suggesting that everything today involves race.  In some form and to some degree, I doubt if all implicit and explicit bias can be eradicated from the face of the earth.  We aren’t perfect, and few if anything is done with 100 percent execution.  Whether we intend it to happen or not, some iota will subtract itself from that 100 percent.

I’m taking the position that in certain areas during Phil Robertson’s younger days, many of them rural, blacks and poor whites had better relationships with each other than a poor white had with a wealthy white.  A poor white and a poor black had far more in common with each other than with those at the top end of the economic ladder. In some cases unless you were a victim yourself of some racism, discrimination, or violence, hurt or anger might not be present.

While this dates well before the time period in question, consider the disenfranchisement state constitutions which started being ratified in the 1890s.  Poll taxes, literacy tests, and other devices in some areas took the right to vote from many poor whites as it did from the freedman and his descendents.  Personally, I cite the potential damage to the ruling class in the Solid South if ideas and practices of the Populist Party took root and bore fruit in the South. In that setting and day and age, regardless of skin color, many people were thankful for just having health, food, clothing, and a roof over their heads.  They knew of nothing different and therefore were satisfied and happy with the little that they had.  Other things were for dreams and imagination, and the reward might exist in this world or another depending upon one’s spiritual beliefs.

Now I do not agree with the imagery created by the inclusions of per entitlement and pre welfare, but in certain environments it was possible for either a white man or black man to have the same opportunities.  That’s true today, although it is also true that in some environments race and gender make it more difficult for some.  The reasons may be implicit or explicit, but they do exist.  During Phil Robertson’s time of upbringing, however, not every person in the South was some radical idiot spraying fire hoses, unleashing police dogs, bombing churches, and committing other atrocities.  Acts of vicious and despicable violence and brutality did occur.  Those atrocities, however, were not limited to the South and while not as publicized or popular there were similar episodes in regions outside of the South.

Not directly related in the interview, but a large part of the “Quackaroo” has been the tossing of the accusation of hypocrisy.  Bristol Palin has even joined that game.

Everyone needs to leave Phil Robertson alone for expressing his beliefs. I think it’s so hypocritical how the LGBT community expects every single flippen person to agree with their life style.  This flies in the face of what makes America great – people can have their own beliefs and own opinions and their own ways of life.

Everyone needs to treat others like God would, with love.

It goes both ways.

I hate how the LGBT community says it’s all about “love” and “equality.” However, if you don’t agree with their lifestyle, they spread the most hate. It is so hypocritical it makes my stomach turn. They need to learn how to respect others’ opinions and not just jump to the conclusion that everyone who doesn’t support homosexuality and gay marriage is homophobic.

They take the easy way out every time anyone speaks out about their beliefs on the Bible.

If I were Duck Dynasty, I would take my show to another channel.

So much disrespect.

It’s sad that hypocritical refers to one’s own perception.  Yes, I know the actual definition of the term, but I mean that “walking in the shoes of another” is a lost art.

Is it hypocritical when you or one group has opportunities that do not exist for another person or group and they express dissatisfaction?

What if you could not legally marry the person of your choice if both individuals are capable of independent thought and making decisions via their own free will?

Think about it, a monogamous couple for let’s say 50 years may not receive the same benefits as a couple of 6 months who in that time period have each cheated on the other with multiple people and on multiple occasions just because the monogamous couple of 50 years are of the same sex.

I’m not homosexual.  The lifestyle would not be right for me.  Who am I, though, to speak with authority on others, and especially people who I have never met?

Why or how is seeking fair and equal treatment an equivalent of “hate?”  I tried watching Bristol Palin’s reality show with her son.  The language used by the sisters and their friends and verbal arguments with anyone who differed with their opinions, however, ended my viewership.  Others may find the show entertaining and possibly it still airs, but I did not.  My not watching has nothing to do with hate, I simply did not like the show or find it edifying in any manner.

Now, it is not my intent to enter into a battle of Biblical quotations and interpretations on the subject because regardless of what I read elsewhere, this passage remains in my mind.

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” Luke 6:37 KJV

I cannot judge others but for me personally, I would rather live next door to the broad description of monogamous couple mentioned above than the couple cheating on each other.

Phil Robertson is just an individual like you or me.  He has been successful in his field, and others have been successful in theirs.  In some areas, I would defer to his experience and expertise but not in all areas.  This GQ article passage provides an example:

Phil On Why He Voted Romney in 2012

“If I’m lost at three o’clock in a major metropolitan area…I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who’s running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor’s note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o’clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”

That would not influence my vote.  I’m not sure if that should or would influence any informed voter.  Sadly, I often find myself pulling the lever (in this state touching the screen) for the candidate who I feel is the lesser evil.  Now I haven’t been to Chicago, Salt Lake City, or Boston, but I doubt if my level of comfort would be high navigating any of those cities.  To be fair, I wasn’t comfortable in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and at times even Hammond.  I certainly feel out of place in Baltimore or Washington DC even though we chose to live in this area.

Put me out on a gravel road anywhere, I’ll probably be more at ease.

I used to know the Manchac swamp like the back of my hand.  Atchafalaya is a night and day difference, but I think I could be lost in the Atchafalaya Basin and have an easier time getting back home than I could finding the correct bus stop and bus in this area.  Case in point, I had jury duty in Rockville, MD, last week and took public transportation.  Public transportation is cost effective and parking my truck in that congested area is difficult.  I got off at the right stop and walked to the court house without any issues.  Leaving, however, I learned that the correct bus would take hours to reach that stop.  Not wanting to wait with nothing to do, I asked someone for directions to another stop where I could find another bus on the route I needed.  They directed me to a stop with many bus routes, but that stop did not match my needs as the specific route I needed was not directly served from that location.  Therefore, I just started walking in my internal compass direction of home knowing that sooner or later I would see the bus route I needed.  After walking about 3 miles and reaching the main highway, I saw the bus I wanted on a side street.  I jogged up the road about 200 yards to get to the next bus stop ahead of my bus, the bus stopped about 2 minutes later, I boarded and headed home.  Yep, I’m not a city boy.

As I wrote in the previous pieces, I do not view this “Quackaroo” as either a free speech or religious perspective.  Phil Robertson had every right to make his statements, A&E had every right to their decision, you, me, and everyone else has the right to their own opinions of who is correct or incorrect.

These statements do coincide with my earlier conclusions on the drain of being in the limelight:

It’s why Willie Robertson can walk out of work on a regular Thursday afternoon and be greeted by a cheering crowd that seemingly stretches back to the horizon. He shows me a video of the crowd on his phone.

“This was one day just in the summer,” he says. “I was just going in my car to go home.

Does it ever wear you down?

“Oh yeah.”

The Robertsons receive more than 500 media requests a day, and Willie had to negotiate down to four shooting days a week with A&E just so the family would have a bit of breathing room. Phil knows it won’t last. He can already see that the end is near, and he’s prepared for it.

“Let’s face it,” he says. “Three, four, five years, we’re out of here. You know what I’m saying? It’s a TV show.

This thing ain’t gonna last forever.

No way.”

When the show runs its course and the production trucks drive off the Robertson property for good, there will be nothing keeping Phil from his greater mission. He could step back if he felt like it, given that he’s now a very wealthy man. He could stay in these woods and live out the rest of his days hunting. But he has a flock now.

Regardless of if you agree or disagree with me, here is something to consider.  Season 5 is still scheduled to begin on 15 January 2014.  Nine (9) of the ten (10) episodes have been filmed, and A&E did not announce that the editing of those episodes are complete and that no additional changes are planned regardless of whether it involves Phil Robertson on the screen or not.  Season 6 has not been contracted.  Will Duck Dynasty on A&E end?  Will the Robertson family negotiate a contract for more than the reported $200,000 episode in the current contract they negotiated upon expiration of the first at a far lesser amount after the success of the series?  Can A&E afford to pay more?

Myself, I think the decision rests upon whether the family wants to remain on the air or not.  If they do, they will take the best offer whether it is from A&E or another network.

The “Quackaroo” is a non story to me.  Yes, a non story even though I have written how many words?  Nothing said or being done is going to change anybodies’ way of thinking.  Those who want to hate, unfortunately will continue to hate.  Those who take the time to try and see the other perspective may discover a few things about themselves that they do not know.  People can be different from you or from me.  Labeling, stereotyping, and such are too easy to do when one is ignorant or too stupid, lazy, or egotistical to learn about someone other than themselves.  When you get to know someone, however, how many of those labels can you apply to that person you know?  Skin color, sexual preference, religion, matters of course, but do they determine by themselves who you call a friend?  Do any of those matter about a person who you respect?

At times I think it might be beneficial if we were all transparent in a manner that allowed us to know each other as individuals before any of the outer wrappings were placed to create an appearance.  It’s that judging a book by its cover thought.

Other times, I wonder what the world might be like if everyone looked, thought, and believed as I do.  Hopefully, each time I wonder that I will continue to wake up from such a nightmare.  That’s not a world I like to imagine.

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