19 December 2013
Duck Dynasty and Individual Liberty
Now, y'all have probably heard about this issue with that Duck Dynasty guy Phil Robertson being fired ("suspended") from his hit A&E series. I had not heard of Duck Dynasty until not that long ago when, at the store, I saw cupcakes with pictures of old men on them. I could not imagine kids wanting to buy these things, but I brushed it aside. Days later I came across a pillow with those same old guys; on the reverse was the words "Duck Dynasty". I decided to look it up (okay, I asked some friends). I found out it's a reality series about a family that manufacturers duck calls and it is "not bad, as far as reality television goes." I also caught a video of one of the sons and his wife talking about not having sex until marriage. That's always good, what with the rampant outbreak of bastard children and the toll it is taking on the welfare system, not to mention the psychological damage children of single parents face (as just such a child, I can assure you, not having a good female and male role model to teach you properly in feminine and masculine ways how to be a responsible adult does have negative effects).
That said, I have not watched the series. I have no opinion one way or the other on the series. I do not have cable, I rarely watch television, except for the weather and sometimes The McLaughlin Group and Nature on PBS, and the occasional NFL football game.
What this all stems from is an article in GQ (and I had to search through a forest of links to find the original article - one thing I've learned is the value of original documents cannot be downplayed) where Phil Robertson was interviewed to cash in on the meteoric success of his television series Duck Dynasty. And I am not exaggerating. With 11.8 million viewers for the season premier this year they brought together numbers that network execs have wet dreams over. It is the highest rated series in A&E history. This is a gold mine, no question. I say this purely from a marketing standpoint (since I have never seen the show before and am writing this article just to draw traffic to my site) it is a huge mistake, financially, to anger 11.8 million dedicated viewers by messing with the formula of their program (14 million, according to the original GQ article itself - more than the Breaking Bad finale).
From the article (written by Drew Magary, who has a completely nondescript appearance, like any random sloppy beer belly guy you will see on the street and not some hoity toity Left Coast journalist):
"[Phil Robertson] is welcoming and gracious. He is a man who preaches the gospel of the outdoors and, to my great envy, practices what he preaches. He spends most of his time out here, daydreaming about what he calls a “pristine earth”: a world where nothing gets in the way of nature or the hunters who lovingly maintain it. No cities. No buildings. No highways.
"Oh, and no sinners, too. So here’s where things get a bit uncomfortable. Phil calls himself a Bible-thumper, and holy shit, he thumps that Bible hard enough to ring the bell at a county-fair test of strength. If you watch Duck Dynasty, you can hear plenty of it in the nondenominational supper-table prayer the family recites at the end of every episode, and in the show’s no-cussing, no-blaspheming tone. But there are more things Phil would like to say—“controversial” things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut."
Now, before I get into the controversial things, let's look at what this Phil guy likes. He likes wilderness free of cities and highways. An environmentalist's dream (even the World Wildlife Fund acknowledges that regulated hunting of elephants has increased their numbers and dealt a serious blow to poaching in African countries where hunting is legal. Cities and highways produce carbon, which is bad, and forests absorb carbon, which is good. Need-e forget that all those indigenous groups liberals like to say lived in perfect harmony with nature were hunters. A recent survey in Wisconsin found that 92% of hunters wanted to be closer to nature and only 19% wanted trophy kills. 60% wanted meat that was not tainted by GMOs and artificial hormones created in factory farms that kill millions of animals a year and produce carbon, which is bad, and methane, which is much worse.).
Now here's the controversial part. In Phil's own words: "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."
Here's another quote that is not the subject of ire in today's manufactured outrage: "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."
Drew takes the time to point out next: "And then, of course, there is their faith, which plays no small role here. During the family’s initial negotiations about the show with A&E, Jase told me, “the three no-compromises were faith, betrayal of family members, and duck season.” That refusal to betray their faith or one another has been a staple of every media article about the Robertson family. It’s their elevator pitch, and it has made them into ideal Christian icons: beloved for staking out a bit of holy ground within the mostly secular, often downright sinful, pop culture of America."
Or as one brilliant martyr of this sinful world once said "come as you are."
Phil began his life as a sinner, as he would say. He was a drug addict who went out picking fights (one of which got him kicked out of the state of Arkansas). He hit rock bottom and then found salvation in Jesus Christ and turned his life around. In his own words: "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
He also said "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?"
Drew asked "What, in your mind, is sinful?"
"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."
And that's the problem. Homosexuals are the pet minority of the power elite in 2013. They'll be dumped really soon, as we're seeing the rise of politicians openly supporting polygamy. It's not moved into the arena of hard and fast laws, yet, but those in power are letting the people know they will not tolerate polyphobia! That was quick. And they said the slippery slope was a fallacy. Newsflash: The government does not give a single fuck about homosexuals. The government does not give a single fuck about black people, or Hispanics, or women, or anyone else. They are using minorities to grow their own power. When a single unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat dictates something by fiat without putting the issue to a vote, everyone's voice is silenced, even if you agree with the decision (as happened in New Jersey, where 1 judge got a single vote and the other 9 million people got a middle finger, even the ones who agreed with her). You may be happy now, in your slave chains, growing fat off of massa's scraps, but they still hang from your neck. And there is no telling when massa will see you as no longer useful and cast you aside like yesterday's trash.
He's also badmouthing adultery, prostitution, bestiality (sex with animals, which is legal in Jersey as long as you can prove you're not hurting the animal), drunkenness, greed, slander, and theft. He's also badmouthing swinging, or the "hookup culture," where young people have anonymous sex out of boredom. He also did not compare homosexuals to zoophiles (animal fuckers), unless you are 1. dishonest or 2. admit he compared heterosexuals who have sex out of wedlock to zoophiles too, since they both appear in the same list.
What I think is interesting is his choice of wording. "Homosexual behavior" is sinful, as are "homosexual offenders" but he doesn't outright say homosexuals or homosexuality is in and of itself sinful. Having desires is not a sin, whether they be desires for certain types of sexual acts or for drinking alcohol to excess are not themselves sins, but acting on those desires is. That's at least how I interpret what he is saying.
In a general sense I agree, that acting on desire is sinful while having the desire itself is not, though I disagree with the specifics. I don't think homosexual behavior is a sin. In fact, when I started out with the idea for this article I was going to talk about sex in the context of Classical Greece and the good and bad ways men can have sex (between the thighs is good, up the butt is bad, that's the brief synopsis). This is getting very long, so I'll hold that off for a future date. I also think prostitution is a lot better than casual sex and should be legal, though well regulated to prevent the spread of diseases, and that pornography is also better than causal sex, even if the people all look pretty much the same and multiple cuts create the misperception that guys can go for hours without ejaculating. And what's with the sudden fashion of chopping off all pubic hair? Not having bush looks gross, plain and simple. You don't have to have an out of control forest down there, but try to keep some ground cover for display purposes. As for vaginas themselves? They're great. Too bad they're attached to women.
But I dye grass.
After the interview A&E released a statement: "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."
Just a quick note, guys, the Robertson family agrees with Phil, though they're not as "outspoken," and his opinions are reflected in the series Duck Dynasty (according to the original GQ article). He's a gazillionaire. He's not doing the show for money, he's doing it to spread the gospel as he understands it.
Now onto the meat and potatoes of the notes I prepared earlier on this issue (everything above has been off-the-cuff synopsis of the article, which I read in full, and the news I heard on the situation, interspersed with my own brand of flippant humour).
Regarding A&E firing Phil, I don't care. I am of the position that a business should be allowed to hire and fire whomever they want for whatever reason. That's not the politically correct answer, but that is my answer, just as it is my position on private property rights.
Don't like blacks? Fine. Don't like whites? Fine. Don't like Democrats, Republicans, fat people, skinny people, people who climb rocks? Don't like men, women, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, atheists, homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, pansexuals, omnisexuals, asexuals, transgender, cisgender, whatever? Don't like anyone for any reason? I don't care. I really don't. Adults should be treated like adults and have the right to discriminate against whomever they want, and hire and fire whomever they want, for whatever reason they want. Political correctness and quotas destroy our dignity, our productivity, and our freedom.
Are you a "white" Christian man with long hair who speaks out against the government all the time? You will be legally discriminated against. Any other kind of person? You still will be discriminated against, only in your favour. Not as qualified as the white guy? If you meet the racial quotas you can get that job!
Affirmative action is racism and anti-discrimination is discrimination, and these practices treat adults like children.
Here's a quick test.
Look at any two things. It doesn't matter what they are. Could be anything: eyeglasses, coffee cup, pen, Dodge Chargers, whatever. Look at any two things. Now that you're looking at two things, can you tell the difference between them? It may be a big difference, like a cat and a tree, or it may be two otherwise identical paperclips and the only difference is their position in space. But you can tell them apart at least somehow, right? You can?
You are guilty of discrimination.
That's it! That's as complicated as it gets, as simple as it gets. If you can tell any two things apart you have just discriminated. Congratulations, you bigot.
As I have pointed out before, there's a big, massively hypocritical, anti-discrimination movement that is really a great big authoritarian anti-individual liberty, anti-free association, anti-discrimination against certain politically expedient minority groups who are being used to exponentially grow the size and power of government, largely without said minorities noticing it. It really is about treating adults like children by the peace loving, beneficent autocrats who know better, and the eventual extermination of hundreds of millions of people in the creation of a global superstate whose power cannot be challenged.
Remember, LBJ said in regard to his phony stance on the civil rights movement and the Great Society "I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." (He tried to kill the movement in the 1950s under Eisenhower, as he was one of the most stringent anti-black politicians who has ever held office, and revived in the 1960s to distract the public from his murder of Kennedy and his great love of killing kids in Vietnam.)
The power elite keep blacks as victims through soft racism such as affirmative action and race baiters such as Al Sharpton. Blacks are not good enough to compete on their own, they argue, so big daddy government must give them a hand up and take care of them just as big daddy massa did. "Massa don't want to hear that slave shit, sing him something different!"
If you take a look at just about every problem society faces today you can trace it back to people with power wanting more power, disenfranchising one group to play off another, keeping us all separated so we can't unite and defeat them. Racism has always existed and probably will always exist, but the idea of permanent racial victims exists only as a device by the elite to divide people.
If people do not want to shop at white only or black only places, if they do not want to shop at anti-hetero or anti-homo shops, the market will adjust itself accordingly. There is no reason for almighty government to turn adults into children and force them to do things against their will. People have enough good judgment (and if they don't, then in ten years of free market then the government can come back and clamp down, okay?) to regulate themselves. Problems arise when government purposefully dumbs down people and indoctrinates them into the cult of self-indulgence. Government dividing people is the problem, not people dividing themselves naturally into like-minded groups. All class warfare is manufactured by the power elite so they can play both sides off against each other and steal all the power for themselves.
Why do we need to treat adults like children? "Now play nice with people you don't like." We're not talking about assaulting or killing people you don't like (and Phil has said he loves the sinner but hates the sin, that is, he doesn't hate people, just behaviour). That would still be illegal, as it would be causing gross bodily harm on another person - a violation of that person's right to life (which is something the left has no problem denying the unborn). We're talking about the government denying people the right to free association by forcing them to do business with people they do not want to do business with. Forcing people to do business against their will... kind of sounds like slavery.
Informed by the above, let me reiterate, I do not care that A&E fired Phil Robertson. They should have the right to fire whomever they want if he was in violation of his contract (contractual agreements are still to be upheld, as it is one of the few valid jobs of government). From a financial standpoint it's their loss, but they still should be free to do it. Freedom of speech cuts both ways. Phil Robertson is free to say what he wants and A&E is free to exercise their speech by firing Phil Robertson if he violates his contract. Now, if he didn't violate his contract then he rightly can sue for damages, but that's a separate issue. The left doesn't want to talk about firing people who legitimately violate their contracts when the person being fired is a protected minority, but a long-haired white Christian male? No problem. He should have been fired a long time ago for worshiping a "sky daddy" and owning a gun as far as they are concerned.
I find is humerous, and perhaps hypocritical, that A&E, a network that has made millions of dollars and produced hundreds of shows, if not thousands, on Adolf Hitler, letting him spew all his racist hate and advocacy of genocide, but Phil Robertson says one little thing about not liking homosexual behaviour - not homosexual people - and the shit hits the fan and they fire him. Hitler's rhetoric led to the deaths of tens of millions of people; no one has died as a result of Robertson's GQ interview. The execs at A&E should be a little more consistent and stop airing all Hitler programs. But that's just my opinion.