What will it be, Pope Francis, Santa Claus or Duck Dynasty?
Pope Francis, Santa Claus or Duck Dynasty? As my favorite French History professor at Baylor University used to say, with a world-weary and exasperated sigh: “What a world.”
First, let me offer a few relevant confessions on my part.
I would like to echo the following Twitter comment by one of the scribes who often hangs out in my favorite coffee shop here in our neighborhood on Capitol Hill. Yes, this man is a bit of an elite Yankee, but he is what he is. Ross Douthat works for The New York Times. So, sue him.
A&E is ridiculous. Robertson is ridiculous. America is ridiculous. Merry Christmas, and may God have mercy on us all.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) December 19, 2013
I’m good to go with all of that, except for the “Merry Christmas” reference — since we are still in Advent, after all. Douthat must be one of those post-Vatican II Catholics (just kidding).
Another confession: I have never watched a single episode of “Duck Dynasty,” although I have tried to do so several times. It’s just not my style. Frankly, when it comes to the masculine virtues I favor Jane Austen’s Captain Frederick Wentworth over the the guys in the duck crew. I also lived in the mountains of Tennessee for six years (and plan to live there again someday) and I’ve never even watched a NASCAR race on television. I do, however, like barbecue. A lot. I also like ZZ Top and Eastern Orthodox bishops, so I’m OK with the beards.
There, I needed to get all of that off my chest. Now, I can confess that there is one element of the Duck Dynasty media storm that fascinates me.
Let’s try, for a minute, to ignore duck patriarch Phil Robertson’s reflections on genitalia — although I rather think that if he had rapped that stuff with a strong backbeat, it would have viewed as a kind of elderly Eminem thing. You know, Eminem has to keep his street cred. Elite media folks from places like Harvard and Yale tend to respect street cred way more than they do swamp cred.
No, I want to join the once and always GetReligionista M.Z. Hemingway in thinking that the key to this particular duck blind spot is found in this chunk of Robertson GQ prose: