Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck and Cover

I got more than a little bit of a laugh out of this:
"Robertson, the patriarch of the backwater Louisiana clan on the reality show about hunting, fishing and domestic squabbles, was put on indefinite "hiatus" by A&E for his remarks to GQ magazine characterizing homosexuality as sinful behavior."
But it did bring a couple of things to mind that I wanted to throw out for the comment-hounds to gnaw on.
First, I think that the Snarky PenguinTM has the right overall take on this whole ridiculous magilla:
"Phil Robertson is who he is, and always will be that person. He could have been steered towards realizing why his statements were offensive to so many people, and perhaps even apologized, but now that A&E has canned him for the exact same reason they hired him, well. Guess that teachable moment didn’t last too long, did it?"
Ol' redneck bible-banging dude believes stuff that ol' redneck bible-banging dudes often believe?

Whoa! Stop the presses! Film at 11!

Second, what is kind of irritating to me is how this brings up, again, how many "Christians" seem to have a bug up their ass about who goes up whose ass (or who's licking whose coochie, if the "whos" are lady-whos) or who is vacuuming out little blastocyst- and embryo-Americans as a feature of their faith.

Now I'm as unchurched as a mole rat but my gaffer, my mom's father, was a Salvation Army officer, a hardcore Jesus-pesterer with a degree in Jesus-pestering to prove it. Somewhere I've still got the awesome old King James Bible he gave me as a kiddo and I even read the thing (mostly for the smutty parts of the Old Testament but, still...) and I don't recall Jesus ever saying anything to the effect "Cursed are the faggots, for they bone each other up the butt and made me cry when I was a baby."

He doesn't even mention suctioning babies out of ladies' insides probably because, well, back in those days the ol' man just took Rebekah out behind the manger and kicked her in the belly to abort the little sprog (or she whipped up some nasty sort of abortifacient which killed either her child or her - either way the family didn't have another mouth to feed, which was often the point...)

Either way, the Reason for the Season didn't have much to say on either point.

Rich people, though?

Powerful people? The Galilean 1%? The Son-o-God has a pantsload to say about those fuckers and none of it good.

"You cannot serve both God and Money" he says. "There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." and then adds:
"My children," he said to them, "how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." They were more astonished than ever. "In that case," they said to one another, "who can be saved?" Jesus gazed at them. "For men," he said, "it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God... Many who are first will be last, and the last first."
No question there - The Christ is telling his believers; you want riches? You want power? You want to be a Big Star?

Forget me, then. I'm the guy who pals with lepers, prostitutes, and sinners.

You need to worry more about your poor brothers and less about where your next million is coming from.

So. Given his boss's directives, who did the old crackerfamilias (God love Charles Pierce, I tell ya...) tell his interviewer were going to Hell? Let's roll tape:
"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."
So the Robertson Hell Bucket List includes: three sexual offenders (adulterers, whores - but only rent-boys, and homos), idol worshippers (you know how those Baal-bangers are such a PITA nowadays), two economic offenders (greedheads and swindlers), drunks, and slanderers.

So Phil didn't let the wealthy off completely but his ire at those rich men his personal Savior says won't be there when He returns in Glory is outnumbered 6-2 by his irritation with people who put their totem pole in the wrong donut hole or who are sacrificing to Athena.


I guess that's what irks the shit out of me about this.

My take on the New Testament is pretty clear; the whole deal is about Christ and his sacrifice. And central to Christ's teaching is the notion that the Lord loves him some poor and humble. That the single easiest way to earn yourself a one-way ticket to the Lake of Fire is to be a rich, selfish dickhead.

But...all the furor I hear, all the billboards I see, all the T-shirts, the televangelist rants, the Fox News crap, the whacko Rightwingnut books, the Teatard tricorn-hat-waving, and now even duck guy interviews...all the heat seems to be on things sexual.

So I guess my ultimate take on Phil Robertson and his stated beliefs is; dude, if you're more worried about doin's of "Adam and Steve" than the greedy, grasping Servants of Mammon?
Christianity; U R doing it Wrong.

Oh, and just as a parting observation:

I learned to hunt from the Master Chief, who himself learned to hunt growing up back in the Depression, when a 10-cent shotgun shell meant dinner that would cost half a buck at the butcher's shop. I'm really a terrible shot, and nobody but me at the Fire Direction Center likes duck, and the first lessons the Master Chief taught me about wingshooting were 1) kill cleanly, and 2) don't kill what you can't eat. So I don't hunt a hell of a lot.

But I enjoy hunting. I love the dawn light, the birds coming in over the dekes with their wings cupped for landing, the satisfaction of making a tough shot, and the taste of mallard breast fresh from the field. So every so often I drag out the waders and the deke bag and go.

And here's the thing.

From twenty years of observation and practice, I've kinda figured out that a fucking duck call is a fucking duck call.

A duck call is an extreme case of the operator being a thousand times more critical than the equipment.

I've seen a great caller coax greenheads down out of a bluebird sky onto a half-assed set of decoys under a blind that wouldn't have fooled a retarded scaup.

I've also heard a shitty caller quack his lungs out while the birds sail past overhead, probably making high-school-level-duck-jokes about the voice of that duck-derp on the pond down there.

You don't need a goddamn one-hundred-and-eighty-fucking-dollar duck call to call fucking ducks.

You need to know how to call ducks.

So if this is ol' Phil's racket?

Shaking down wanna-be Nimrods with more money than sense with 180-buck duck calls?

He should probably stop and have a little chat with his buddy Jesus. His Savior-pal might have something fairly cutting to say about those piling up riches here on Earth.

All's I'm sayin'.


Julia Davis said...

It is the question of our time. Why do Christians not act like Christians? You hit it well. I was born in northwest Louisiana and it is part of the bible thumping belt and they thump it hard.

Yet, more racists folk you will never meet. More intolerant folk you will never meet. The big J taught love above all. In the book of John Jesus is asked what it takes to get to heaven and Jesus replies "love God with all your heart and your fellow man as yourself".

Seems that love is the answer. There is a whole lot of love missing in the Christian religion. How about "judge not, lest you be judged"....the bible tells us that it is the heart condition that will be judged.

What is in your heart Mr. Double Duck. I am also wondering what is in your bank account. Not to worry, YOU know you have the right and might of God on your side. Little else matters.

Stand on the pulpit that fame has given you and preach brother preach. That is your right.

I was going to sign off, Amen. But instead....Keep on quackin'.

FDChief said...

I guess the whole issue of faith and works is what I found compelling about Catholicism back when I flirted with the idea of being churched. The idea - not the practice, mind you - but the idea the Church sold was that "faith without works in meaningless".

So all that stuff about loving thy fellow man, the Golden Rule? That needed to be accompanied by actually LOVING those people, helping them. Not your family, nor your friends - that comes with the kinship - but strangers, the outcasts, the scorned.

My problem was that when I looked around what I saw was, mostly, the most "churchy" people acted the least like their Church seemed to want them to act.

This guy is certainly no worse. But he's no better, and his whole claim to fame is his down-to-earth goodness and devout life.

Well, I'll bet that there are probably people not far away from the ol' duck pond - maybe down at the rescue mission or in the homeless shelter - who could use a little help. Maybe a little kickdown from one of those $180 duck calls?

Thing is, I KNOW for a fact that there are people out there who ARE living a Christian life. Living frugally, giving what they can to the poor and desperate, working to comfort the sick and liberate the oppressed.

But those people somehow never seem to show up on the 700 Club or in the popular press or television. Instead we get this guy, who seems like just another good ol' boy.

Why would I want my son or daughter to be like him and not like the guy who runs the local rescue mission or who is working for Doctors Without Borders or is an attorney for someone imprisoned without charge?

We seem to have some very skewed ideas of what represents "faith".

Leon said...

Waitasec, who the hell are these pod people you live with that don't like duck? Chief, I'm going to suggest some surreptitious DNA testing because something suspicious is going on... just a thought... but it rhymes with spartians. Just saying.

FDChief said...

Well, Leon, the Bride likes her meat "light"; doesn't like dark meat chicken, doesn't like the richer cuts of beef. I've made her my Crispy Duck with Peanut Sauce and she's okay with it. But roasted? Or glazed? Won't go for it.

And the kiddos are too softhearted. The Boy says flat-out "I won't eat any poor duckie you kill, Daddy!" I've tried pointing out to him that the cow in his hamburger didn't expire from old age and the chicken in his McNuggets (assuming there WAS an actual chicken involved) probably wasn't exactly talked into giving up whatever part of it went into the awful things. But it's no soap.

And the Girl agrees with him AND says that she just doesn't like the taste; she's tried duck at our local dim sum joint and didn't enjoy it.

So it's just me, I'm afraid.

Big Daddy said...

Chief, the short form explanation is that the boldface all caps "Christians" are too busy thumping their bibles to actually read them.

FDChief said...

BD: All that thumping doesn't seem to inhibit their ability to squeal like a boar hog with his testicles caught in a crack about how "persecuted" and "oppressed" they are.

I guess that's the other thing about this that gets me in the giggy; how this had become about the ol' crackerfamilias's "rights" and his "free speech" and not how he:

1. compared homosexuals to sheep-fuckers,
2. claimed African-Americans were better off under Jim Crow (you notice the sound of crickets chirping on THAT little gem), and
3. Essentially claimed that all non-Christians are potential (or actual) murderers (his actual statement was something to the effect that "if you look at other Godless cultures you see how murderous they were/are" and used the Nazis, Islam, Communism, and - most bizarrely - Shinto in Japan; the poor ignorant old bastard actually claimed that Japan's entry into WW2 was because of the lack of Christianity in Japan..!)

Fine; so far, so-ignernt-redneck. But A&E has no obligation to subsidize that level of ignorance. Disassociating themselves from this goober now that he's publicly trumpeted his gooberosity has nothing to do with "suppressing free speech" and everything to do with smart corporate politics.

Of course, to fucking idiots like Palin and O'Reilly and company that means nothing - other than another chance to gin up outrage amongst the Pig People...

Lisa said...

Why doesn't BT ask WHY "his statements were offensive to so many people"? The "brew-ha-ha" is all so scripted, aimed at raising your hackles (whoever you might be.)

The reality is, the words of this Duck dude are pretty much line doctrine if you're a Christian. I don't see any gay marriages in Christian churches, do you? No lady Priests, either.

Like Hitch said, you either are a Christian, or you're not. The bible's not all about love, nor is it about pick-and-choose -- there are some harsh proscriptions in there ... "thou shalt not's" kind of things.

For any supposed Christian to be shocked by Christian dogma is pretty stupid, no?

Hire Mr. Duck for being a Christian redneck then put him on the firing line for being one. A joke, no?

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Can a mean old pagan sort say "Amen"?

Yes, the Penguin called it. But that said, I will say I am bloody disappointed in A & E. I find nothing artful OR entertaining in a show about a bunch of yahoos who made a fortune selling implements to lure ducks to their doom.

As for the shrieks about Duck Dickhead having his "freedom of speech violated" (never mind that the very phrase makes me think of unspeakable acts of sexual violence directed AT him, that's just MY inner barbarian) --- the GOVERNMENT did not TOUCH him, and THAT is what the 1st Amendment promises, that the government won't gulag your ass for shooting off your mouth. Freedom of speech does not guarantee you the ability to shoot off your mouth without consequences, just as legal firewords doesn't guarantee idiots won't blow off their own fingers.

And I am sick to death of seeing both hatred and ignorance "sold" as some kind of religiously valuable virtue. Ignorance is NOT synonymous with innocence. And hate is NOT love….for folks who keep screaming about "God is Love", you would think they'd know the difference.

And if they don't approve of homosexual sex, abortion, eating bacon, drinking booze or anything ELSE verboten by some religion or other…then they can fucking ABSTAIN from doing/getting/having said forbidden thing. Religious freedom does NOT let them force me to live by their cocked up precepts.

And yeah, my daddy never needed a duck call that cost more than about $5 to bring home sackfuls!

FDChief said...

Why doesn't BT ask WHY "his statements were offensive to so many people"?

Well, when you call homosexuals murderersby definition you're gonna offend a lot of people. When you claim that the happy darkies were happier before they had all that welfare and entitlements, you're gonna offend some more. And when you say that all non-Christians are pretty much dangerous, murderous warmongers?

You've pretty much run the table. So I don't think that there was much to "ask"; the offensiveness is pretty much right there in the remarks.

But: "The reality is, the words of this Duck dude are pretty much line doctrine if you're a Christian." seems about as wrong as can be, Lisa.

Line doctrine for what passes for "Christianity" amongst the sorts of churches that ol' rednecks go to, sure. The fact that Pap Robertson was one of those ol' rednecks going to one of "those" churches shouldn't have surprised anyone.

But as I've discussed here; the New Testament written basis for Christianity - as opposed to the toxic sorts of "traditions" grown up around it - is as free of fag-hating and woman-hating as can be. Abortion doesn't even make it in there. What should be shocking is that ol' rednecks and other "religious" people have their panties all in a twist about these things. There's no real New Testament Scriptural basis for that. Or, if there is - that is, if you insist that the Levitican prohibitions and all the Old Testament baggage comes with your religion - then they should be all asses up about shellfish consumption and the wearing of mixed fabrics, too.

So the "brew-ha-ha" is fairly expected; celebrity dude says ignorant shit and gets slammed for it (ol' Phil should call Mel Gibson and ask how well that works out...). It's the source of the ignorance that's kind of depressing. There's no real reason for it. A "Christian" taking his religious object's words at face value would be out there with Occupy Cornhole Louisiana and feeding the hungry, not making expensive duck bling and slagging off on homosexuals.

FDChief said...

And Amanda Marcotte put it better than I could:

"Duck Dynasty was a major P.R. coup for conservative America because it was free of comments like the ones Robertson let loose in GQ. The show was carefully scripted and edited to make the Robertsons seem like they aren’t bad people, just a little kooky and “old-fashioned”.* It made conservative America look cuddly and warm and fun-loving, instead of what Drew Magary of GQ actually exposed it to be, which is miserable, resentful, and hateful. While I think most conservatives and most liberals understood implicitly that there was a whole side of this family that wasn’t on camera—was anyone really surprised by the GQ interview?—by carefully hiding it, A&E allowed conservative America to play up their own mythology about being decent people, deep down inside.

Now their cover is blown, and like morons, instead of blaming the guy who blew their cover, they’re whining that the cable networks are a bunch of meanies. Look, idiots, the cable networks bend over backwards to help conservative America out. How many times now has some right wing conservative TV hero turned out to be an embarrassment? Paula Deen? Dog the Bounty Hunter? I can’t believe, for instance, that the Duggars have managed to stay under the radar, since Jim Duggar thinks 1/3 of American women are Nazis because they’ve had abortions—I guess he was smart enough to argue his point through implication, knowing the media needs direct quotes in order to get the story to stick with people. TV networks bend over backwards to put a shiny, happy face on the rot that is conservative American culture, and instead of thanking them profusely, wingnuts just whine that they can’t be more bigoted on camera. Jesus."

Ael said...

Chief raises a vital point.

In my lifetime, I have seen a strong evolution towards tolerance of racial and sexual orientation differences.

However, my government institutions (and maybe even people themselves) seem more mean spirited towards poor and homeless folk.

Podunk Paul said...

tiThat’s a good point, Ael. Yet for the first time in memory, a few of the powerful are speaking out for the dispossessed. Francis I seems deadly intent of shifting the focus of the church to the poor and Jose Mujica, who, after more than 14 years in prison for revolutionary action, was elected president of Uruguay in 2009.
What follows are quotes from interviews Mujica gave to Al Jazeera and The Guardian:

"We have sacrificed the old immaterial Gods, and now we are occupying the temple of the Market-God. He organizes our economy, our politics, our habits, our lives and even provides us with rates and credit cards and gives us the appearance of happiness…It seems that we have been born only to consume, and to consume, and when we can no longer consume, we have a feeling of frustration and we suffer from poverty, and we are auto marginalized."

"I’m just sick of the way things are. We're in an age in which we can't live without accepting the logic of the market. Contemporary politics is all about short-term pragmatism. We have abandoned religion and philosophy … What we have left is the automatisation of doing what the market tells us… I'm opposed to waste – of energy, or resources, or time. We need to build things that last. That's an ideal, but it may not be realistic because we live in an age of accumulation…We can almost recycle everything now. If we lived within our means – by being prudent – the 7 billion people in the world could have everything they needed. Global politics should be moving in that direction, but we think as people and countries, not as a species."

"Those who describe me so are the poor ones. My definition of poor are those who need too much. Because those who need too much are never satisfied."

FDChief said...

Paul: that's an awesome quote from Mujica. I'm going to have to follow the guy more closely.

Anonymous said...

" A "Christian" taking his religious object's words at face value would be out there with Occupy Cornhole Louisiana and feeding the hungry, not making expensive duck bling and slagging off on homosexuals."

There you go - pretty much what I was thinking.

I never watched Duck Dynasty until this silly flap. I could stand only about five minutes. It seems a standard "reality" show. People displaying narcissistic, rude, and boorish behavior.

Jay in N.C.

Lisa said...


Jose Mujica is a hero, to me. Such simplicity and humility. He is a real man, of the sort we could not brook in the U.S.

Podunk Paul said...

Yes, Lisa, Mujica brings a fresh prospective to things we already know. And I agree with your recent posts on RAW: we need to stop the bad-mouthing. Nothing is achieved by denigrating those whom we disagree with. If there is only a per cent or two difference in DNA between humans and chimps, then the difference between liberals and conservatives must be miniscule. We all want our children to live secure, happy and productive lives. The approach that Chief used with no one – “to patiently explain” – seems to be the way forward.

Lisa said...

Thank you, Paul. I agree on our similarities.

This Time writer says it well:

The Duck Dynasty Fiasco Says More About Our Bigotry Than Phil’s

But beyond that, what is there to engage Phil in? He believes his Christianity (which is his right), and he says he didn't see mistreatment of his fellow field workers (why do we disallow him his experience?)

Christianity as I understand it could provide quite a helpful example here: Phil is not to carry the cross for those who mistreated blacks. Why do we wish to martyr him? Moreover, this is especially bizarre behavior coming as it does from the liberals who are usually atheistic.