Friday, December 27, 2013

League of the South is deceived by "Duck Dynasty" Update:

One would think that the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) would have learned from the life of the Southern Avenger. When I first heard about the Southern Avenger, Jack Hunter, who had been formerly a professional wrestler, and was then a columnist for the Charleston City Paper in South Carolina, I saw him as an individual hired to basically entertain the readership of the paper as a freak.

To the LOS the Southern Avenger was a hero and I was an elitist to even think that the paper hired him as a freak show to amuse there readers. For the LOS references to him go to this link.

Later it turned out that the editor for the Charleston City Paper explained that the Southern Avenger was hired exactly for the purpose as I had stated to amuse the readers as some sort of atavistic curiosity.

It also turned out that the Southern Avenger in an attempt to hold his job with U.S. Senator Rand Paul repudiated everything he had said as Southern Avenger. This disappointed the LOS as they explained in their blog postings.

So you would think they would have learned their lesson.  They haven't learned at all, this is LOS President Michael Hill's public announcement about the show Duck Dynasty.

This concerns Phil Robertson's statements in an interview in Esquire magazine which have caused him to be suspended from the show Duck Dynasty by entertainment channel A&E.  This has gotten all of the American right wing in an uproar.

I had been vaguely aware of them by seeing articles about Duck Dynasty here and there, but haven't been much interested. Though their appearance called up certain stereotypes, I thought it was probably likely that off camera they could be quite different. I haven't seen a single episode, I don't watch TV and don't like reality TV.

However, with recent reporting I have gotten a sort of idea of what A&E was presenting in the show which is a cast of characters living and acting out a certain type of southern rural stereotypical existence. A&E were evidently doing very well with this show. The show avoided various statements about gay or racial minorities that would have gotten it into trouble.

What the LOS doesn't seem to comprehend is that Duck Dynasty is a product which is sold to make a lot of people a profit.

The Robertson's clan's role was to act out stereotypes on camera, but without saying things that would offend different groups. This way they could appeal to two different audiences. One would be those would identify with the Robertson clan or would want to be them and would assume they had additional attitudes about gays and minorities. The other audience would be those who wanted to watch them as a freak show and would assume likely they had certain attitudes about gays and minorities.

A&E could make money off both audiences without being seen as pandering to homophobia or racism. Everyone, Phil Robertson included, could have laughed all the way to the bank. His job description was to lead his family in living out stereotypes for the amusement of the viewers without getting A&E or the show in trouble.

This cartoon in the Los Angeles Times explains succinctly the purpose of the show.,0,2345996.story#axzz2ohovKTPa

Evidently Phil Robertson didn't understand this, or perhaps he understood it all too well, and upset the whole arrangement by saying what he did in Esquire magazine. Suddenly A&E was at risk of seeming to have knowingly pandered to bigotry to make a dollar. Yes, the Duck Dynasty show does make money, but A&E has a lot of other shows also, and an ongoing brand image to maintain. So they suspended Phil Robertson. A&E would be irritated that he didn't understand his job description which should have been obvious to him.

I think Phil Robertson understood exactly what he was doing. He and his show has gotten a lot of media attention. Though I am not sure he has calculated very well. The reports are that other channels are interested. However, I am not sure mainstream media channels want to risk their brand image by picking him up in this type of situation. Also, media channels are likely to be wary of a product that might come with problems and a producer of that product who is reckless or doesn't care about his media partners. So Phil Robertson very well might find another channel but not one with the ability to promote his show or deliver audiences over the long term.

I tend to believe that Phil is sincere about his beliefs, he isn't making them up. According to reports when he was younger he was into drugs and excessive alcohol and his rigid religious faith keeps himself in line. Without it he might fall back into his old ways. He can't afford to have a flexible religion, things have to be a choice between heaven and hell, otherwise he might go to back to his prior habits before he found his current religious beliefs.

In the end though it is about selling a certain southern stereotype to the public for profit. If Phil hasn't figured this out, he will. The LOS is likely to be disappointed in the outcome when he does. When the LOS figures out that it is about selling a certain southern stereotype to the public for profit they might be embarrassed.

What is surprising is the the LOS loves Duck Dynasty but abhors Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. They really are the same thing.


A&E has reinstated Phil Robertson. A&E have a lengthy statement of many nice sounding things. I think everyone involved decided that they needed to make lots of money.

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