Thursday, December 19, 2013

Not ducking the issue on Duck Dynasty. And a thumbs-up for Sister Wives?

This Duck Dynasty thing is tricky. Personally I find Papa Robertson's observations on race (which have gotten relatively little play) far more problematic than his thoughts on gays, which at least are anchored in his understanding of the bible and its mandates for God-fearing Christians. In contrast, his views on blacks seem anchored in little more than bigotry and a decided Plantation paternalism. He makes the blacks he once worked alongside sound almost like happy-go-lucky field dogs in the Old South.

Having said that, I do not believe that Phil Robertson should've been summarily suspended by A&E, at least not in advance of a referendum by the show's audience. America should have been allowed to vote with its collective remote control. The scope and diversity of today's TV, especially on cable channels, is such that there is, or probably ought to be, a place on the airwaves for just about everything, regardless of whether a given slice of that everything is ethical or legal at the moment. Laws are malleable, after all. Society evolves (and sometimes devolves). So do ethics. What is legal today may be illegal in 10 years or vice* versa. And what was considered criminal or immoral 50 years ago is not necessarily eternally wrong, even if we've come to see it as such. (We simply don't know what's eternally right/wrong, if such a condition exists at all.) I believe that there should be a place in the public dialog for things the average American finds reprehensible/abhorrent... And by the way, let's face it, there are still a lot of Americans who find homosexuality itself reprehensible/abhorrent.

Finally, can anyone seriously argue that a show like Duck Dynasty does more damage to the moral fiber of America than shows like, say, Teen Mom or The Glenn Beck Program? (And yes, I hate Teen Mom. I think it's terrible and should never have been on the air. But I'm wrong.)

While we're sort of on the subject, I have to report being intrigued by the other day's entry-level court decision favoring polygamous marriage. I see no reason why polygamy, as an alternative lifestyle, is any less legitimate than homosexuality (leaving aside the abusive pedophilic overtones that exist, say, among the Warren Jeffs crowd). It does indeed take a village to raise a family nowadays, and it may well be that having several wives or husbands around helps alleviate the normal pressures of monogamous marriage and ensure more quality time for the kids. Besides, bottom line, if we're talking about consenting adults...whose business is it, anyway? Or to put it less subtly: Get the frickin' government out of America's bedrooms!

This may get interesting.
* pun intended.

1 comment:

fred said...