You might find it hard to believe that up until a few days ago I’d never heard of Phil Robertson. So before you ask, yes, I do live under a rock and, yes, I like it here.
I’d heard of “Duck Dynasty”, of course. I’d heard that somebody associated with the show had run afoul of some other body or some thing. Headlines to that effect had been streaming for the better part of a week from every corner of the known universe. But I’d heard also that “Duck Dynasty” is a reality show and that was enough to make the whole tempest, its teapot and the cart they rolled in on parties of no interest whatsoever.
Then Red Ice Creations host Henrik Palmgren posted a podcast interview with Patrick Henningsen, editor of the alternative news site, 21st Century Wire. Red Ice is one of my regular haunts.
Henningsen proposed during the interview that Robertson’s story, at its most basic level, is all too common. According to Henningsen, Robertson is now a fugitive from what Palmgren calls “the politically correct matrix.”
Which got my attention.
As matrix references usually do.
Robertson, I learned, had spoken on the record with GQ magazine and said a few things that the producers of his insanely popular show might have preferred that he’d kept to himself. So I read the GQ article in question, read it from beginning to end, looking for trouble. I read it expecting to be offended, or at least to understand why others might feel justified in being so, but I wasn’t and I didn’t.
I did recognize a discomfiting stereotype, but Robertson, unlike the writer who interviewed him, neither judged nor ridiculed. Here’s what he did do:
- He unapologetically identified himself as a “Bible-thumper” for whom “Duck Dynasty” is a means of surreptitiously bringing people to Christ.
- He denied any awareness of resentment or unhappiness among the Jim Crow-era black people he knew as a child.
- He expressed a preference for women’s vaginas over men’s anuses, penis-wise.
Curiously, it’s the last of these gaffes that’s drawing the most fire, one that even Al Jazeera has termed “gay-bashing” and an “attack on homosexuals”. But if what Robertson said was gay-bashing, that bar has gotten awfully, awfully low:
“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.”
That, dear reader, is the casus belli. The whole enchilada. It’s also why I believe that if you flip this kerfuffle upside down, you’ll find “Made in Hollywood” stamped on the base in big red letters.
In other words, there was was no offense. There is no controversy. The revolution is not being and will not be televised, not unless Robertson’s evangelical agenda is real.
And it just might be.
- Here’s Robertson preaching to a congregation in California.
- Here’s an extremely well produced half-hour biopic featuring Robertson and his family.