And yet, we continue to be surprised. I’m sure, by now, you’ve all been heard about Phil Robertson’s anti-gay and (seemingly) anti-civil rights remarks and his subsequent suspension from the A&E® cash cow Duck Dynasty. If you haven’t, log into Facebook®. I’m sure your conservative aunt is up in arms, posting heated rants about freedom of speech and what-not.
Hey, that’s fine. Freedom of speech is a real thing, after all. Phil can say whatever he wants. Besides, I’m sure 9 out of 10 gay people in America aren’t going to lose sleep over one more redneck (Phil’s term, not mine) condemning their way of life.
The truly awful part of this whole thing is all the absurd overreaction. Right-wingers are pissed at A&E® for suspending Phil. Super-pissed. Come on, people. A&E® is loving this. Hell, it might all be one, big, calculated PR maneuver. Turn Phil into a martyr! Perfect! You see how this plays out, right?
It’s simple: A&E® suspends Phil for gay-bashing. Conservatives go insane, screaming, “How dare you, A&E®! Phil is awesome!” Conservatives rush out en masse to buy Phil Robertson shirts and hats travel mugs to show that with Phil they stand. A&E® pockets the cash from those shirt, hat and mug sales, while talking heads on every 24-hour news network give Duck Dynasty a crap-heap of free publicity.
It’s not so far-fetched. Look no further than the fact that the rest of the Roberston clan is obviously just fine keeping the cameras rolling without lovable old Phil. The timing is perfect, too. This becomes another battle in the ongoing (and imaginary) war on Christmas/Christianity. “The battle of Paula Deen is over! Now, we fight for Phil! And for Jesus!”
And we’re all just along for the ride, religious and political blinders firmly attached to our big, stupid horse faces. “Hey! Hey! America! Pay no attention to homelessness or hunger or a broken public education system! Look! Look over here! Some hillbilly said gays are sinners!”
And here I am—blogging about it. We are all, truly, awful people. So, I leave you with an appropriate quote: “Who hasn’t asked himself, am I a monster, or is this what it means to be human?” (Clarice Lispector)
♫ Black Wizard ► Wicked Wanderer