I don't think a manifesto would do the trick, so there's not a lot Kinja can do, but if there are any nutjobs reading this who would like some attention, please get cracking. The media needs something to obsess over during the holidays and I'm sick of hearing about Duck Dynasty. (So, I'm going to post about them)
If it were just people talking about the show or their licensing extremes, I'd still be tired of it by now, but instead the discussions have become a big widening cultural divide from which neither "side" is going to give ground. There are some people who like assplay and some who don't. There may be statistically fewer homosexual males who don't like assplay, but there are some in every demographic and a bunch of arguing over whether saying it's not attractive to an individual is "hate" isn't going to change any minds.
I knew a girl about twenty years ago, when this latest tattoo trend began. She was the first person with whom I regularly interacted with what people called "a tramp stamp". Late one night, when a bunch of us were sitting around smoking dope and looking at porn, I asked her what the Chinese characters on the small of her back meant and she replied, "exit only".
Though scripted comedy isn't indicative of anything, except what might get a laugh, there have been several primetime jokes over the years from gay male characters who say "gross" at the thought of picturing a vagina, or who say that looking at one is of no interest to them.
Phil Robertson believes in sin and there are certain things which he finds sinful. It's not an act.
A few months ago, I was sitting on a deck with some folks, a couple of whom were big duck hunters and because we were overlooking a lake, it was something they wanted to discuss. Well, I've got a couple of stories somewhat related to deer hunting, but that wasn't their thing and my hunting stories are basically that I kind of participated once when I was a kid and that I know a couple of people who hunt, so I brought up "Duck Dynasty".
The only time I ever saw their show, I was sick in bed and consumed a season's worth via a weekend marathon. On one of my previous blogs, I had linked to a story out of Kentucky, where one of them was going to appear at a fundraiser for the high school football program and were going to talk about "faith". Prior to my sitting around with the duck hunters one night, it had been announced that another of the Robertson clan was going to appear here locally, where they were going to speak on the same theme and also raise football funds. Instead of focusing on the religious aspect in my deck conversation, I made joke about how $250 would get you admission to their talk, a handshake and "photo opportunity".
(Disclosure: I thought about buying a ticket, writing it up and trying to sell my snark to Gawker for the lolz. I didn't because I couldn't see it being a $250 post)
In response though, possibly because the duck hunters on the deck were all millionaires, instead of scoffing at the idea of paying $250 for a spot on a receiving line, what I got in return were stories about how they used to have a booth at a big local hunting fair, long before they were on A&E and how Phil took his religion so seriously, he wasn't any fun to be around. His sons were "all right", but their father had a one track mind. Drew's story confirmed this stance.
Robertson and his fan club are not going to change their ideas about what they find distasteful or consider a sin based on the media reaction. If anything, it will make them stronger in their beliefs. Also, I kind of think it's squicky to say that having this particular belief is "hate". Is it hate for someone to say that they have no problem eating pork and can't understand how anyone can pass up bacon? Is it hate to say that pre-marital sex is okay and everyone should be "living in sin" or is it hate to believe the reverse? (At least a virgin can be "broken" by the blogs and media harping on how someone shouldn't wait? Is the idea that if people keep ragging Robertson, he'll go outside his marriage and start boffing dudes or is he supposed to have a come-to-jesus moment and announce that he thinks an asshole is a beautiful thing?)
There's really no end to this; no other conclusion that can come about.
What has happened with this discussion is that everyone gets to feel superior. Those who look down upon people like the Robertsons get to feel they're better and so do those who hold Phil's beliefs. Nobody is going to change anyone else's mind, so all we get is a bunch of shouting and posturing as people try to drown each other out, while trying to be cool.
We need another nutjob. Somebody else to draw the media's attention. Because (the "hateful" holiday of) Christmas is on a Wednesday this year and so is New Year's, we're probably in for a two week holiday lull. We need something else to talk about because even if we mine everything a Robertson has ever said, there's only so much that can be done with the quotes.
We need something else to fill the void.