Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Phil’s vindication

Note: This is a companion piece to “Center of being.”

Hollywood intended for Duck Dynasty to make fun of Christian, “redneck” America, but it backfired:

“It is our understanding that when the TV executives came up with the concept for the show they wanted it to be a case of people laughing at a bunch of backward rednecks.

“But when it didn’t turn out like that and people actually started identifying with the way the family behaved and were laughing with them, not at them, they became uncomfortable. It did not sit well with the New York TV types.”

Jim Goad at Taki’s Magazine has a good read on Phil Robertson’s “homophobia”:

The consensus on the outraged celebrity left seemed to be that anal sex between men wasn’t vile; it was vile for people to say it was vile.

...

What happened to the art of simple, cordial disagreement? Maybe I have a head injury, but I seem to recall a time somewhere in the 1970s and 1980s where people didn’t freak the fuck out and scream for blood over simple ideological disagreements. This was a blissfully quiescent era right after Red Scare paranoia had peaked and just before PC totalitarianism began its ever-strengthening chokehold on the culture.

Though many of the duck-hating dick-lovers would likely claim they’re atheists, what we have here is a basic sandbox dispute between competing religions—traditional Christianity versus Cultural Marxism.

Goad also has it right on Robertson’s “racism”:

Phil’s comments reminded me of what a friend from North Carolina once told me about his family. He said his folks had lived for generations as sharecroppers in a shack on a farm alongside black families, and everyone got along swimmingly until meddlesome Yankee activists stuck their beaks south of the Mason-Dixon Line in the 1950s and 1960s to begin sowing dissent.

As a Philly-born expatriate Yankee who’s lived in all four corners of the USA and in Georgia for the past seven years, I’ve seen blacks and whites get along with far greater ease down South than anywhere else in the country—far more so than in Philadelphia, which is a de facto apartheid state simmering with self-segregated hostility.

It makes sense that down in the despised South, where whites and blacks have lived alongside one another in greater numbers for far longer than they have anywhere else in the USA, they’d have developed enough shared cultural pathways that they get along more smoothly than anywhere else in the USA. It also makes sense that snooty cosmopolites who view everything between New York and LA as “flyover country” would have a distorted, fearful, and, yes, bigoted view of Southern culture.

This point about urban “self-segregated hostility” calls to mind an observation Wendell Berry made in his essay “Racism and the Economy”:

It is no exaggeration to say that, in the country, most blacks were skilled in the arts of make-do and subsistence. If most of them were poor, they were competently poor; they could do for themselves and for each other. They knew how to grow and harvest and prepare food. They knew how to gather wild fruits, nuts, and herbs. They knew how to hunt and fish. They knew how to use the things that their white “superiors” threw away or disregarded or overlooked. Some of them were becoming capable small landowners. In the cities, all of this know-how was suddenly of no value, and they became abjectly and dependently poor as they never had been before. In the country, despite the limits placed upon them by segregation and poverty, they possessed a certain freedom in their ability to do things, but once they were in the city freedom was inescapably associated with the ability to buy things.

At which point, poverty translates to slavery, and the displaced, formerly “competently poor” resent it. Thus you have ghettoization in 21st century American cities like Philadelphia that surpasses the segregation of the Jim Crow South.

Robertson’s memory of blacks was accurate. All things considered, blacks were happier when they knew how to depend on themselves. That’s generally a rule for most people, regardless of color.

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