If you’ve watched the news at all over the past few days, you may have caught wind of how a certain duck patriarch ran afowl of his employment contract for expressing views in an interview - ones he’s been known to have pretty much his whole life.
In exchange for $200,000 per episode, Phil Robertson knowingly signed an employment contract which stated he would not do anything which would reflect badly on his employer, A&E, nor the Duck Dynasty brand.
And then he went and did an interview where he, without being prompted by the interviewer, stated his viewpoints on homosexuality and race relations. Suffice it to say, they weren't what you would call politically correct.
So, A&E put him on hiatus (which means they did NOT fire him - they just wanted him to go quietly away for a little while until the next shiny object distracted the television sheeple, and then they could bring their rainmaker back with little fanfare).
Except, well, before you could say “duck commander” everyone from Charlie Sheen to Sarah Palin was weighing in about how abhorrent Phil Robertson’s views are (which, I have to agree, they kind of are) to how the liberals were trying to put a chokehold on ole Phil’s constitutional right to free speech (which they kind of weren't) to how “shocking” and “horrible” and “disgusting” and “racist” and... all this is.
Now wait just one cotton-pickin’ minute.
Don’t we still have soldiers in Afghanistan?
Isn’t genocide still happening in Syria?
Doesn’t North Korea still want to nuke everyone?
Isn’t our healthcare system still in crisis?
Aren’t homeless people still freezing to death on our city streets?
Aren't children going hungry as the government reduces their food benefits?
Don’t we have bigger things to worry about?
My cohort and sometimes partner in crime posted something on Facebook about how he just wanted everyone to shut up about all this. And, as things often do in Facebook, it turned into a troll war about liberals vs. conservatives.
Holy shit people, are we really politicizing this? THIS is our issue?
And then to top things off, one of his “friends” called me his “old lady” and a liberal. And I don’t even know who the hell this asshat is.
You know what? I’m irritated. On a LOT of levels. I’m irritated by the stupidity of people making this an issue. I’m irritated how there are big problems in the world, and we care more about two jackasses who named their offspring after points on a compass, and how much a 21 year old child acts out by shaking her ass.
I’m irritated someone did an interview with a 60 some year old redneck from the deep south and then acted surprised when he espoused opinions which didn’t fit the current culture’s version of correctness. People, opinions are like assholes - everyone has one and most of them stink.
I am irritated how, when A&E, in a stroke of genius marketing, pulled Mr. Robertson from his Dynasty and then everyone cried they were trampling Phil's constitutional rights. Dear Tea Partiers: If you’re going to use the Constitution as the foundation for your actions, it would probably be a good idea to have a basic understanding of the document. But let me take a moment to try to educate you in a really small way. If you make a stupid comment and someone tells you you’re stupid, that doesn’t mean your freedom of speech has been violated. You have not been imprisoned or persecuted for saying your stupid thing. You were simply informed it was stupid. And as for Mr. Robertson being put on hiatus for saying that stupid thing? That wasn’t persecution... that was exercising a clause within the employment contract he signed and was fully aware of.
And I’m irritated about another thing. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. Phil Robertson exercised his right to express homophobic and racist comments under the guise of Christianity, and other people expressed their right to say, “holy crap! That guy is batshit crazy!” and then A&E exercised their contractual right to put Papa Phil in the time out corner.
But lastly, I’m really REALLY irritated someone called me a liberal (with a sneer). God DAMN that pisses me off. I had a friend (now a frenemy) who used to call me that a lot. It annoys me to no end. Here’s the thing:
I don’t like organized religion
I think our new pope might just be a Saint.
I am agnostic: I belong to the church of “I don’t know”
I would fight for your right to believe in whatever God you want.
I voted for Bush, twice.
I also voted for Obama.
I’m a welfare recipient.
I support drug-testing for me and any other welfare recipient.
I support capital punishment.
I also support gun control laws.
I think the healthcare system in our country sucks.
I don’t believe ACA is going to fix it.
I support equality in all things, even saying the “N” word: That word is so powerful, so hateful, no one should say it. No one. The idea that the color of your skin dictates one person's right to say a word, and bans another from saying it, is ridiculous to me.
I believe the world will always be unequal, divided by the haves and have nots, the dos and do nots, the ares, and are nots.
And so many other things. To label me as a “liberal” is just a sign you don’t know me.
I am nobody’s old lady.
And I am overducked.
Addendum: For the record, I like Duck Dynasty. I like that their motto seems to be God, Family, Nature, Country. I may not believe in their God, but I can appreciate how much they do. I think Phil and Miss Kay are adorable. I think Jase is kind of hot. And I have to remind myself that Willie's oldest son is still underage (have you seen those dimples? My goodness!) I don't support Phil's viewpoints, but I don't support the viewpoints of a lot of people. I don't think that makes them Satan. I can simply agree to disagree and move on.