Skip to comments.Bitter Clingers Have Taken Over Your Television, or How America Learned to Love the Duck Dynasty
Posted on 05/06/2013 11:24:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Did you hear that? The shotgun blast heard round the world? It happened when A&E Networks hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty reached over 8 million viewers in its season premiere.
Like any gunshot, it got my attention. I tuned in to see what all the fuss is about and am now hopelessly hooked on this revolutionary bit of televised perfection. I quickly discovered that Duck Dynasty has very little to do with ducks or duck hunting, and everything to do with traditional American values and the current American condition.
Like all great television, Duck Dynasty works because it follows a proven formula. In the case of Duck Dynasty, that formula is the roadmap to realizing the quintessential American dream. Have a clever idea. Sacrifice. Work harder than the next guy. Make it happen. Earn your wealth the old-fashioned way. Pass the business and its blessings along to your children and grandchildren. Have fun. Never forget where, or what, you came from. Give thanks to God. Repeat.
Like most rednecks and hillbillies, the starring members of the Robertson clan of West Monroe, Louisiana, are as clever as the proverbial old swamp fox. And so are the development execs at A&E. With Duck Dynasty theyve struck more than ratings gold. Theyve struck a vital nerve in contemporary American culture. And I think they know exactly what they are doing.
Each week millions think theyre tuning in to watch the crazy and entertaining antics of a bunch of rich rednecks with beautiful wives, powerful trucks, bountiful firearms, a knack for explosives and avoiding the drudgery of work, and an endless supply of homespun one-liners.
If annual sales, endorsement deals, and TV ratings are any indicator, the brand of Americanism these swamp rats are peddling is white lightning in a bottle. Down-on-our-luck, out-of-hope, and sick-and-tired-of-change Americans cant get enough of Duck Dynastys message, or its messengers. They take us back to the ideals that really work in this country.
Another T.V. rule that proves key to Duck Dynastys success is “show, dont tell.”
Duck Dynasty never tells its audience how to live their lives, what to believe, or whom to accept. Instead, Duck Dynasty shows you its core values. And those values translate to both a refresher course in what made America great, and an object lesson in the values it must cling to in order to weather the financial, political, and culture storms that currently batter the nation now.
For example, the Robertsons shamelessly teach their daughters and granddaughters how to handle a shotgun. They let their sons and grandsons experience the value of hard labor. They resourcefully bundle and sell a mess of fish theyve caught in a friendly competition. They repair a worn-out barbecue grill instead of replacing it under a warranty to which they are entitled. They haggle for deals when they could easily pay the list price for anything they want. Most touching of all, grizzled old Uncle Si gladly allows his grand-nieces to paint his fingernails, apply lip gloss, and attire him in a dress for a real tea party.
If I had to guess, Id say that the crazy old uncle, Silas Robertson, is a Tea Partier, as he reportedly consumes nearly two gallons of this Southern staple every day from an ever-present jug.
If Duck Dynasty staked out a political position on either side of dead center, it wouldnt enjoy anything like its current ratings success. Evidently West Monroe, Louisiana, is the place where viewers of Fox and CNN can actually meet in the middle.
Another redeeming value of the show is that the Robertsons are truly tolerant. They might not understand you or agree with your fashion, sexual, or political choices, but theyll make you feel welcome, work to find common ground, and save most of the beard scratching for later.
I find the Robertson brand of tolerance more genuinely American than the liberal brand of tolerance that dominates American media and which, in my experience, means, Be reasonable. See things my way.
Thats not to say that the Duck Commanders accept the current state of affairs in this country. While Uncle Si can easily discuss the finer points of Star Wars and the Black Eyed Peas (both the band and the entree), his brother Phil often waxes philosophical on the perceived softness and helplessness of todays youth, the wastefulness of modern culture, the destructive distraction of electronic devices, the oppressiveness of office work, and the restorative power of getting back to the woods — something most of his viewers have probably never done.
In the end, Duck Dynasty is just televised entertainment made to peddle consumer products at commercial breaks. Sure, the reality it presents is not entirely real. Many of the weekly scenarios feel like theyre lifted straight from an episode of I Love Lucy. But Duck Dynasty reminds us that a huge majority of gun-owning Americans use firearms responsibly and dont need to be controlled, that the American dream still comes true if you only follow the formula, that you really can build that on your own, and that each days ends a little better when we return thanks to the One who provided it, and for the ones who make it worth living.
We find ourselves watching repeats, just because it makes us laugh and feel good.
Sting like a butterfly, punch like a flea....(((ping)))
I like Jace and Phil.
I keep DD on for background. Moved this weekend and no cable yet... Not doing very well without DD.
Love Duck Dynasty. Now ask yourself, is there any connection — any connection whatsoever — between the core values of Duck Dynasty and that other smash hit TV show, “Gold Rush”?
Gentlemanly ping to onyx.
I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about in what I was reading and convinced the wife we should watch an episode to find out. She scrunched her face but since nothing else of any value was on DirecTV that night, she relented controls of the entertainment wand (remote) and switched it over.
She has now made it her desire to own all of the season DVD’s and she retains control and sets up to all hours watching the re-runs.
The funniest I have seen is when Uncle Si handcuffs himself to Willy.
After about a month now of watching it, I looked to my wife and said, this is the new I Love Lucy.
—— . If anyone in America clings to God, guns, and religion, and did build that, its the Robertson clan. ——
2) Clans are cool. And it’s where we will have to go in post apocalypse America.
3) Willie was photographed with Sarah and Todd recently.
Tried to watch this twice. Can’t get in to it. Just another “staged” reality show.
They are my favorites too (Although I light up whenever Mountain Man makes an appearance. I could listen to him talk all day long.)
One of my Religious Ed students (5th grader) said ‘Happy, happy, happy’ to me yesterday. She’s a big DD fan too.
It is about the only show the whole family can sit down and watch without worrying about language or other objectionable material.
Exactly, cannot even watch ESPN or any chatter during sporting events with hearing about sodomites and how courageous they are...
We have a daughter who turns 15 next month. Too old for cartoons—too young for a lot of the stuff that constitutes ‘tv’ these days. She loves ‘Duck Dynasty.’
The Robertson’s and their friends and co-workers are good people. That is what sets them apart from other “staged” reality shows. They are the American dream writ large. They promote good moral behavior, love of God and family, and do it while having fun.
Sure the situations are mostly planned by producers and Uncle Si’s lines are probably fed to him, but like GWB, they are people you would like to have an iced tea with or bbq with or hunt with.
Never seen it but I do like Backyard Oil.
I personally know and have trained with and scritched the ears of said poodle. Said poodle is UH HRCH MHR Southern Standards Red Creole MH, first poodle to hold the top hunting retriever title in all four associations. His owner/trainer, Rich Louter, is the most patient dog trainer I know. All the dogs in that episode are his or his client dogs. When he started this gig, everybody laughed at the hunting poodles. They're not laughing now.
IIRC, poodles were originally bred as french retrievers. Over the past 100 years or so they have probably been bred for looks instead of hunting instincts, but it wouldn’t be hard to bring back that hunting drive.
I think the best was when Jase took off in the Motor Home to pick up Willy’s new ATVs.
He took a couple of workers and Si with him. They pick up the ATVs and they are hungry. Si looks thru the cubbards and mixes up a slurry of Pork and Beans, Tobasco Sauce and a few other methane producers. Next thing you know the gas leaks are so bad Si straps on a helmet and rides home sitting on of the ATVs that is trailered behind the Motor Home.
Of course explaining that to the cops that pulled them over was a laugh also.
I swear I was watching one of my Family Reunions...