RANGER AGAINST WAR: Walks Like a Duck <

Monday, December 23, 2013

Walks Like a Duck

 --graphic from RAW friend Alan Cring 

Because you can’t starve us out
And you can't makes us run
Cuz we're them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn 
--Country Boy Can Survive, Hank Williams, Jr. 
_____________________

Everything represented in the media comes with spin engineered to make the viewer feel one of the basic emotions (sad/mad/happy). Concomitant with this is the catharsis achieved by feeling like one is among the elect for understanding and identifying with the right side (the side to which one chooses to cleave.)

What masquerades as debate today erupted this week over a television character's opinion that homosexuality was disordered behavior, akin to bestiality. The media feigned at being aghast, stating that this point of view was "un-Christian". 

Sadly, no: In fact Mr. Duck was echoing exactly the Christian party line. In fact, it forms one of the pillars of belief in our main faith system in the United States. The problem is, proclaiming one is anti-homosexual is a bit embarrassing today when government agencies are recognizing homosexual partnerships as being a valid route to conferring employment benefits and inheritance. It is a bit démodé, quaint, to be polite.

The offending character was the patriarch of the Robinson family, a redneck family represented by a group of ZZ Top look-alikes who supposedly represent the Tea Party archetype in rural America. To some, they are subjects of derision, others doubt their veracity. Still others identify with them, and find kinship with their guns-and-god stance. Why did some t.v. executive feel these American Taliban look-alikes would make for good programming?

Further, why does anyone watch this? Is this a subtle joke, reflecting America's zealotry and in this way, kinship with the Taliban, back at us? (That seems too subtle a project.) Is it a bone thrown out to the marginalized backwoods of America, egging them on to be just who they are, then flogging them when it seems appropriate to do so? 

Is this spectacle a cultural expiation on a grand scale? Is wearing Mossy Oak tree bark the new scarlet "A"? In a theatrical biblical flogging, Mr. Duck the elder has been banished from his eponymous program -- ostracism and scapegoating for the new American project.

Whatever the Ducks are, the patriarch exactly voiced not just Right-wing zealotry when he disparaged homosexuality, but in fact the stance of mainline Christianity vis-a-vis homosexuality. As the late Christopher Hitchens wrote, you either are or you aren't. Cafeteria Christianity is no Christianity at all. 

The text for Christians, the bible, is clear in its stance against homosexuality. Therefore -- why would someone be ostracized for being Christian? Or are we so hypocritical that we hold these views, but may not voice them? Does constitutional freedom of speech no longer cover freedom of speech and religion?

Just last week it was reported that a Presbyterian minister was defrocked for wedding his gay son to his male lover. Show me the mainstream Christian church that marries gay couples and I will agree that Mr. Duck Sr. is being un-Christian. Until that day, he is being exactly Christian, and being ridiculed for it. Were he in a Brooks Brothers suit at the Washington National Cathedral, no one would bat an eye. 

New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz hops on by writing in his fake story, "Scalia Calls 'Duck Dynasty' Decision Unconstitutional": 

He warned that the suspension of the "Duck" star would have a "chilling effect" on freedom of speech in America: "If Phil Robertson can be muzzled for expressing this perfectly legitimate view, what's to prevent the same thing from happening to, say, a Justice of the Supreme Court?

But Borowitz's attempt at satire is not. Mr. Robertson's "perfectly legitimate view" is not only that, but it is the raison d'etre for his hiring by A & E, and the exercise of those American rights which he is supposed to embody (free speech and religion).

It is completely disingenuous to feign disdain over his doctrinal thinking. It's a travesty for the media to yank us about, and for us to spend time doing anything but feeling disgust for the tripe we are mainlined on network t.v.

U.S.A. -- Ducks are us.

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11 Comments:

Blogger jo6pac said...

e ducks are just about one thing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/20/1264354/-Duck-Dynasty-is-a-Fake-Yuppies-in-Red-Neck-Drag-Con-Job?detail=email

Fake ducks? They received a lot of free time.

Have a safe Holiday.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 5:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

TV, the gift that keeps on giving to old skeptics like myself.

When I moved away from Tallahassee over a decade ago, one of the things I left behind, besides my health and a marriage, was my television. I've never replaced it (or the other 2).
So I'm reduced to learning about the world through internet commentary *about* TV... ;-}
I did find out that Robertson pere holds a Master's degree from a major uni, and had amassed a multi-million dollar family business selling hunting accessories (the non alcohol kind) long before A&E started looking for the next clan of dysfunctional beards.

"Get me another ZZ Top!". 'Sir, no one else plays like that...'

"Well, get me another ZZ Top with motorcycles!!". 'Sir, they're suing each other like crazy and scaring the clients...'

"Well, get me an unsophisticated ZZ Top!!!"
'Sir, there's this whole family down in Louisiana...'


And I presumed that ole Brer Phil was well aware of the standard industry boiler plate clause about not upsetting the advertisers.
At this point, I would have to assess that the city slicker attorneys just got briar patch-ed into letting him take the show over to a much more receptive and lucrative network... maybe alternating time slots with Ted Nugent?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 10:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

Ugh!

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! I am The Great and Powerful OZ!"

This whole 'Duck Amuck' media blitz is disgusting not only for the distraction it caused from the real issues but is inane on a number of accounts.

To whit:

1.) We bombed a friggin WEDDING PARTY in Yemen last week, murdering at least 11 but anywhere up to 17 people (depending upon the source used). Yet the Duck Flap took most of the news cycle.

2.) Only 15 US Senators (12 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent) opposed the NDAA 2013 which STILL INCLUDES clauses for indefinite detention of any suspect, including US citizens. The 84 scumbags who voted Aye includes Progressive Hero Du Jour Elizabeth Warren. So much for actually having, I dunno, ethics other than that of a Mafiosi.

3.) The whole Duck Commander interview flap (and I say this as a Deist and NOT a Christian) is telling that most people did NOT read the whole interview but parsed it to make it sound worse:

“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.”

..............

As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “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?”


I think people forget the whole point of Grace supposedly being eh basis for Christianity. Last time I checked, ANY SIN was washed away by Grace. Of course, plenty of Christians don't bother with the whole "Love the sinner, not the sin" concept (that is a fair cop, I believe, of most American Christians in my experience).

4.) Irony of ironies, this comes not three weeks after a Colorado State Judge ruled that a cake shop owner had violated the civil rights of a gay couple for refusing to bake them a wedding cake. This is ironic for 2 reasons:

A.) The judge apparently forgot that Freedom of Association is an inherent right of all human beings, regardless of whether you are a businessman or not. Equal Protection under the Law as per the US Constitution ONLY applies to interactions with the government!

B.) If we applied the SAME STANDARD to The Duck Commander as to the Cake Baker, then A&E could be forced to revise its termination for what amounts to religous speech (and therefore, violates CRA '64).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 9:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

Of course, where you sit on the political spectrum often determined where you fell on these two related issues. Progressives basically decried what the Cake Baker did (going so far, no kidding, as to advocate the use of violence against the baker in the form of government goons with guns tossing him into a cage where he could be terrorized, brutalized, raped and possibly even murdered) while saying that the Duck Commander flap was not about Freedom of Speech. Conservatives, on the other hand, said the gay couple's rights weren't violated but A&E deserved to be prosecuted for violating Phil Robertson's Freedom of Speech.

The real answer is that the Cake Baker (while an idiot, in point of fact) has every right to associate with whomever he chooses and refuse service to anyone, at any time and for any reason. Private Property is the Right from which all other Rights are derived. You own yourself and therefore own the fruits of your body up to and including your labor. He did not violate anyone's rights by saying "No, I refuse to bake you a cake". If people did not like this fact, they can organize a boycott of this business and let the marketplace determine whether the baker should suffer for his beliefs.

A&E, as a non-government business, has every right to can whomever works for it, at any time, for any reason whatsoever. Phil Robertson's rights were not violated. If people didn't like that fact, they can organize a boycott and let the marketplace determine A&E's future.

The moment people turn to the government to 'sort out these problems' was the moment that this went off the rails. The government doesn't care one iota about you, me or the man behind the tree. It only cares about its own power and maintaining it. As was shown, it will lie, cheat and MURDER and people will be outraged over trivial crap because that is what they are told.

Now, what I love to do is flip these problems back on their advocates:

What if the cake baker had been German-Jewish and the couple were actual, honest to God, Nazi's who wanted the National Socialist Worker's Party swastika as a cake? Would the baker's right to freedom of association be violated then if the judge said "No, you have to bake them a cake!"

What if Phil Robertson had been fired from A&E for expressing support for Gay Marriage and/or getting the government OUT of the marriage licensing business? Wouldn't A&E have the right to hire and fire whomever they choose, for whatever reason and without notice and/or cause? Isn't supporting The Free Market (and all that freedom entails) what you claim to be all about?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 9:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Cholo,

I don't watch t.v., either. I only heard about this at a friend's house, who was watching ET. Before I could get away the commentator had declared the the Duck's pronouncements, "UnChristian". LAUGHABLE! What choreographed pap and feigned remorse.

Like anyone in Hollywood could i.d. true Christianity if it bit them on the arse?!?

The scripted liberal response, however, is the tempest in a teapot I'm talking about. The garbage on t.v. is predictable, but the liberal commentariat is the truly frightening thing, IMHO.

Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 3:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

BRL,

"Isn't supporting The Free Market (and all that freedom entails) what you claim to be all about?"

Yes, and the Constitution, which is precisely why I am horrified by the reaction to muzzle of the liberals. To me, they are as scary as the Salem witch burners.

Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 3:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

@Lisa
Ted Nugent was able to boost his popularity and highlight 'liberal intolerance' the same way.
One of his classic quotes was 'Now, I've just got one thing to say to all of you people who come to America, and refuse to learn a word of English...'.

Rationally, at that point Ted could have recited the libretto to Aida, and it wouldn't have mattered, because he had carefully delineated his target audience. Irrationally, the media editorialized that "Ted says that he hates immigrants'.

Notice the similarity in tactics and knee jerk response?

Now, here's the scary part (to me). StormFront has morphed from an idle 'tirade-platz', to a very media savvy PR firm and meme generator. Consistently I see the comments sections of the internet fill up with the same constructs... i.e. every school shooter was a 'registered Democrat', and so on.
And this 'all liberals are intolerant of the harmless beliefs of others', meme has transcended a few ironic observations about limousine liberals, and grown into an Orwellian New Speak that anyone failing to accept any expression of dogma, is part of the worst sort of intolerance.
It's a significant refinement of David Duke's 'oppressed white minority rights' rhetoric.

GLAAD seems to have played right into the hands of that, this time.

Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Cholo,

The fight over the construction of your thoughts is as vigorous as project as it ever was. Call it a "meme", sound byte, or what you will, someone is feeding you your ideas 24/7.

We, like the amoeba we are, simply engulf, digest and excrete them. Per this: "all liberals are intolerant of the harmless beliefs of others", you would have to expand for me to understand this. IMHO, liberals are the one's who front the meme, "all liberals are TOLERANT of the harmless beliefs of others".

I would add to that, liberals wish to be tolerant of any cause, any perceived underdog, because they view themselves as social activists. I am saying, they are as INtolerant as the next guy.

Friday, December 27, 2013 at 10:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

It is New Speak/pretzel logic. Up is down, right is wrong.

Speaking up or acting against intolerance is denying someone else's right to their cherished 'harmless' beliefs, and is therefore a bad thing.

It comes from the same poisoned well as 'miscarriages are murders', and 'teaching the history of Mexicans is 'denigrating' the white race and therefore, illegal. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/01/12/403118/school-suspends-mexican-american-history-program-to-comply-with-arizonas-ban-on-ethnic-studies/

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Cholo,

I'm not sure I understand your position.

You say we have,

"an Orwellian New Speak that anyone failing to accept any expression of dogma, is part of the worst sort of intolerance."

and

"Speaking up or acting against intolerance is denying someone else's right to their cherished 'harmless' beliefs, and is therefore a bad thing."

Understanding that we are discussing the expression of a t.v. character, but, are you suggesting that the liberal commentariat (or anyone who would seek to muzzle someone's beliefs) is "acting against intolerance" in their hue and cry? If so, what precisely did Mr. Duck say that was intolerant?

Christianity is intolerant, no? Yet we are not intolerant in the main of those intolerants who walk amongst us. That's what freedom of speech and religion is about.

This seems to be scapegoating and a peculiar need to be always "on" in terms of the crucifixion mindset. From whence did this immediate Fight Club mentality arise?

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

Lisa - Reporting on what StormFront and ALEC have concocted and injected into the political landscape of America, in no way translates to me agreeing with them, quite the opposite. I am stating that we are no longer standing against a few angry and irrational KKK loons, or a Lester Maddox, we are being mugged by a well oiled machine.
Describing how effective that machine is, is a warning, not admiration.

It's an incremental process... start with some well known examples of liberal hypocrisy of the sort that Phil Ochs skewered, then build up the absurdity that white people are oppressed victims, and black people are the oppressors, mix in a dose of actual liberal intolerance ala Al, Jesse, and Carville, distract with as many Big Lie hoaxes (birthers, etc.) as possible, and reframe the discourse to *blame the victims*.
Voila!... liberals are now painted as the problem, and poor old innocent Phil is a martyr... but not because he couched his words ever so carefully. To those drinking the KoolAid, Phil needs defending because he's 'one of us', versus 'Them'.

These shady manipulations have been around forever, but I haven't seen them this well orchestrated in my lifetime. This is the 21st century version of agit-prop, and it is being wielded as effectively as Madison Ave.

Also notice that the past mistakes of McCarthyism have been learned from and refined... today there is never one scary lone haranguer... it is one bland face after another spewing irrationality like it was elevator music. The Romneycoulterlimbaughcruznugentcuccinelli pop political machine, is as pervasive (and therefore familiar) as the pop music machine.

That should sound sufficiently paranoid for a while, hmmm? ;-}

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:48:00 PM GMT-5  

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