Monday, December 30, 2013

Real World, Real People, Real Problems

I don't remember how it actually happened since it was months ago, but I believe I had posted on Twitter something to the effect that my youngest brother lived in Monroe, Louisiana. I then was asked if I had ever watched Duck Dynasty by someone who lives in that area and knows the Robertson family. I had and hadn't been impressed. She convinced me I needed to give the program a second chance and I discovered these people were silly and likable. So, we watched the program on a marathon day and laughed our fool heads off.

For a couple of months we watched it at every opportunity and then I started noticing how Duck Dynasty was taking over society. At first it was a sign outside the Walgreen's drugstore I pass everyday. Sign was advertising a sale on Duck Dynasty posters and T-shirts. That lasted maybe 2 weekends and then Walmart took over. Suddenly there was Duck Dynasty everything all over the store, even in the bakery section. There were Duck Dynasty sugar cookies being purchased by guys with long hair and long beards wearing camo clothing and Duck Dynasty T-shirts. I had a *stop the Duck Dynasty world I want to get off* moment and haven't watched the program since.

I wasn't the least bit surprised at the GQ interview, nor at the reversal of Phil Robertson's A&E suspension. The program gives new meaning to the words *cash cow*. And the idolatry of the Robertson Family by their fans is unheard of in my lifetime.

The most popular TV shows in my lifetime were programs like "I Love Lucy" and M*A*S*H. None of us went around dressed in scrubs carrying IV bottles filled with booze as they did on M*A*S*H, but the swag generated by the Robertson family is in just about every household here in central NY. The entire concept of this brand of idolatry makes me uncomfortable, but it seems to be what's normal these days. I'd prefer it otherwise since, in my opinion, it borders on crazy.

It appears to me that we no longer just like things like celebrities, TV shows, politicians and some bloggers, we love them, we worship them. If they've done something to disappoint, there is a rush to defense that totally discounts the damage that person does. We do this in the name of our Constitutional right to "freedom of speech" which we don't truly understand or in the name of Jesus. And that puzzles me beyond measure since the message of Jesus was one of love and redemption, not hate and condemnation. I believe that and even I don't get it right all the time.

I know from personal experience that hate and condemnation is easy, it's the love and redemption part that's hard. It takes a lot of work and self awareness to achieve. We talk a good game but when the chips are down the masks slip and the Phil Robertson moments come out. Sometimes the outrage displayed is far more than the situation has earned and we give up and let the outrage win. Dialogue not poisoned by outrage would be a better way to handle it, but that's a personal opinion and not the popular way to do things. I'm going to take the unpopular path and let the Almighty sort things out in the end. I've got other things to work on.








8 comments:

  1. It's a cult, I tell ya! Not the Robertson clan as such, but their followers. I'm only surprised that someone has yet to create a golden statue of a duck as a symbol. (A golden statue of Phil Robertson would be a bit much even for the most devout followers, at least for now.)

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    1. Yep, that's who we've become here. We're cult members. Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo Boo, politicians like Sarah Palin, all seem to have a cult following. It's not sane if you ask me.

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  2. Egad! I was already logged in, pressed the button to publish my comment, and had to log in anew.

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    1. Yep, Blogger seems to be making it harder for people I want to hear from. Blogs being stolen, people not able to comment, it's not making me happy.

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