You might be a redneck if you go to family reunions looking for girls. Pretty funny stuff right there. God forgive me. Duck Dynasty is a reality show airing on A&E. The premise is simple – some rednecks living in the swamplands of Louisiana became rich selling hand wrought Duck calls. But, alas, they remain rednecks – so that has to be funny, right? They are funny, like all rednecks, until they are not.
I watched about five episodes of Duck Dynasty after the commotion about one of them making derogatory comments about homosexuality. Until the commotion I did not realize they existed. A&E was pretty smart in signing this bunch for a reality show. The Robertson family plays their redneckism as well as Larry the Cable Guy. I suspect that no one regrets the homosexual comments more than the Robertson’s themselves.
The Robertsons Duck Dynasty program focuses on the stereotype of the redneck. They fumble around trying to get the honey from a bee hive, have lawn mower races, clown around at beaver hunting, and are masters of self-deprecating humor. They are also multimillionaires.
These are some very intelligent people – and they are not typical rednecks. I know rednecks. My family is infested with them. The typical redneck is more likely to carve his own duck call out of native timber than he is likely to purchase one at Walmart. The typical redneck will boast at the local Quik Trip about the merits of his duck call compared to commercially created duck calls. It would never occur to a certified redneck to actually make some money off his invention. Real rednecks invent all sorts of things – and the reward is simply bragging rights.
The Robertsons are a dynasty of entrepreneurs. Their skill is in making money. They are happy to play the fool redneck for the entertainment of A&E viewers. They laugh all the way to the bank. The Duck Dynasty program was intended to entertain by presenting themselves as bumbling backwoods characters trying to get by in life. They are anything but bumbling – until it comes to real-life issues of religion and politics.
The man they identify as the CEO, is that Willie?, is as shrewd as Warren Buffet. He recognizes a profit from fifty yards out. In a recent episode Uncle Si bought a new truck. His old truck, affectionately called the Gray Ghost, was retired in a ceremony of capitalistic redneckism. They blew the truck up with who knows how many pounds of explosives. It was a great cinematic moment for the Duck Dynasty program. Huge fireballs entertained all. This is not about blowing up trucks – it is about entertaining and getting paid for it. The truck was worth more as an explosive exhibit than as a trade in for another truck. The Robertsons are not stupid until they are.
This show was not designed to promote any particular politics or religion. Duck Dynasty was designed to entertain. Every episode concludes with a prayer around the family dinner table. The idea of simple people enjoying life under the protection of a forgiving God is appealing to most. Do not kid yourself – that prayer is designed intentionally to capture the hearts of viewers. The fans see and hear the prayer and they sigh with relief – they know that there is a loving God who looks over the simple people of the world. Geez – is this not obvious? Every thing about Duck Dynasty is contrived to entertain and win the hearts of fans who hope for the riches America promises while remaining simple and humble. The Robertsons are not simple bumpkins and are hardly humble servants of the poor and disadvantaged. I do not begrudge them their riches – that is the promise of Capitalism – if you have a product that others will purchase then more power to you. The flip side of that logic is this “Let the buyer beware!” Be careful – do not buy a pig in a poke.
That CEO redneck, Willie?, deeply regrets his father’s comments on gay people. Why? Simple, prejudice is contrary to humbleness and dismantles the carefully crafted image of humble people making a living with their pocket knife.
Phil chastised homosexuals in an interview with GQ Magazine. The purpose of the interview was crafted by Willie as free advertising for the program and their multitude of commercial products. The purpose was to generate more money. The controversy solidified some of the fan base – but those fans were going to watch anywho. Advertisers on the program were not so impressed.
Redneck hilarity sells – redneck prejudice does not.