|Phil Robertson extends the mighty finger of judgment, because HE knows.|
(Why is anyone paying attention to this person)?
In my experience, purposely going on a quest to find out how stupid the world is has never taken me on a magical carpet ride to spiritual elevation. Needless to say, I don’t seek out these “hits” of inecstasy. I'm usually the last to know everything, but I am privy to the latest dum-dum move in the universe of “I be right, because I say so, (Skeeter)”: the GQ Duck Dynasty homo-faub pas. While I generally don’t gratify such obvious bursts of mental incompetence with even minimal recognition, I couldn’t help but seize upon the chance to use this social blunder as an example of how progressively stunted we all are.
That being said, while mentally incompetent buffoons occasionally jump out of the woodwork to say, "Don't worry! There are still plenty of us racists/homophobes/sexists/hypocrites, etc. around," I feel that the consequent eye-role inducing that they provide is good for the soul. Truth be told, I love a good bigot. I love fools, charlatans, or a quasi-mentos, not just because they make me vainly feel like a superior person and brilliant individual by comparison, but because they make me laugh. Hard. Know-it-alls who don't know anything are the best! It's just... The things they say... You can't take it seriously! Observe:
"It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus."-- Phil "Duckman" Robertson
What?! Who says these words?!?! [Pause for head slapping and cackling at the tiny brained specimen]. Robertson followed this up with a soliloquy extolling the treasures of the vagina, which he believes has more to "offer" than the average asshole. I couldn't agree more... I mean, there are so many things to find up there; so many mysterious adventures one could take. If you stick your head way, way up, you can find the urethra, fallopian tubes... Hell! You may even find a growing fetus (or similar tumor). But the butt? Meh. And Phil knows, because his head clearly spends a lot of time up... there.
Naturally, some took offense to Phil's words of wisdom. By identifying the male-female version of coitus as the sole form of acceptable bodily fusion, he did insult all others who choose to approach love and lovemaking a little differently: homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, etc. He also identified cheaters, bestiality indulgers, and non-Christians as inherently evil. I mean, bestiality is... icky, so I'll give him that one. Any who fall into these categories are naturally going to Hell. Now, he doesn't judge these people, mind you. He loves them like he loves guns. He just doesn't agree with their choices. But, that's their tough sh*t. While they're burning in the flames of Hades, he will be after-livin' it up on the right hand of God!
|During his reign as the Church Lady on SNL, Dana Carvey comically |
exaggerated the frightening ability uber-religious fascists have to
identify sin in absolutely everything. Even Santa. SATAN!
There are so, so, so many things wrong with this guy. It's hard to put them into words. I honestly don't even want to gratify his stupidity with the mildest form of recognition. He is just another example of an un-evolved man. Homo-erectus dysfunction: one who chooses to build a fortress of self-professed omniscience around himself as protection from the knowledge that he, like everyone else, is going to die. This vulnerability is every human being's Achilles' heel. So, if Phil can imagine that there is a beer-swilling Jesus waiting for him in a mansion in the sky, he can get through his days a little easier. His end is erased. To bolster this sense of security, he makes his entre into this blessed haven more certain by identifying those who won't make it. This makes his paradise more real and exclusive. More majestic. Needless to say, any introspection or true social consideration is left unexplored on his part. Thinking creates doubt. Thinking would force him to confront his fears and his own tangible place in the universe, and gawsh durnit, that makes him cry tears of moonshine!
No, I'm not going to contradict him, if only because he contradicts himself. The thing with bigots is, they out themselves. They identify themselves by immediately back-pedaling and admitting their prejudicial flaws. Even before he was called out on his very strong opinions, Robertson confessed to their lack of foundation. It's the old, "This is how I feel, but hey, that's just me," tactic. If I had a nickel for every time I heard some self-absorbed jerk-off say this, well... I would be able to devote much more time to writing these wonderful articles. Abroad. In any case, this deflective kind of phrasing is one of my favorites, because the speaker is doing two things: a) admitting that his opinion is one that will draw forth much antagonism, which he secretly knows is deserved and b) ineffectually protecting himself from the imminent onslaught by putting a kibosh on any naysayers with the immediate retraction of his idiotic opinion. "You can't get mad at me. I unsaid it! It doesn't exist!!!" People use this wonderful tool in every day conversation, even kids, who apply it in a more physical sense: "Not touching! Can't get mad!"
Ever debate a movie/book/restaurant with someone and they say, "Well, I hated it, but, humph, that's just me?" Pisses you off, doesn't it? Yeah, because the person you're talking to is a f*cking coward who doesn't have the balls to truly argue their paper-thin assessment. They want the argument to be over, and they want to feel like they've won it. So, they shut you up by simultaneously shutting themselves down. As such, Phil, after his "Jesus hates homos" and "the slaves were happy" orations openly said, "This is what I think, but that's just me being a bigot." (Don't hate me because I'm stupid). Believe it or not, this is a win-win situation for everyone. The immediate need to defend an opinion is a glaring concession that it probably isn't a good one. It is an equal indication that the speaker has an obtuse and yet closed mind (paradox!) that fears nothing more than its own exercise. Bigotry is survivalist compartmentalization. It is for cowards. Settling on a single idea with strict adherence is the same as proclaiming your own shamefully finite God complex.
|Confession Panda illustrates the tactical backpedaling of the|
Robertson further lambasted himself when he was forced to apologize for his comments and face A&E's typical ass-saving suspension. Basically, he said "Look, I feel this way, but that doesn't make me a bad person... I truly love all of God's children. I don't have any hate for anyone, I just disagree with what they do." YOU GUYS! He's openly admitting he's an asshole here! If he's telling the truth, and I sincerely believe this poor, sad idiot is, at least in his own mind, then he wouldn't wish any real harm on any of the same individuals he previously identified as so sinful (in the eyes of himself). No pain; just blame. This is him acknowledging that homosexuals are also human inhabitants of planet earth. Which means, some part of him knows that his viewpoints are inherently wrong, that the love he preaches is hypocritical, that his own claims of salvation are shaky at best, and that these people didn't deserve the judgment he casts upon them. He's proclaiming his bigotry. It's, "Everyone deserves the air they breathe, I just choose to look down on some of them," right there in black and white.
Human behavior isn't complicated, and most impulses that lead to negative action, unless they are the product of some level of mental illness or instability, are instigated by pure fear. Ergo, all exhibitions of the many colors in the bigotry rainbow are the product of man's deep phobia of himself. Nothing a raving lunatic ever says should be taken seriously (aka Hitler). I remember when one of many groups of enthusiastic life coaches, or whatever they were, came to my high school to give us students the low-down on bullying. Did you know that when you point your finger in judgment at someone else, there are THREE more left pointing back at you? The question remains, “What about the thumb?” Life experience has convinced me that it is lodged up the sadistic pointer’s ass. Maybe that’s why all hypocritical bastards have the same, dumb look on their faces. Still, as cliched and embarrassingly simplified as this metaphor is, it speaks the truth. Most human judgment is pure deflection. We distract from our own disease of dysfunction and existential insecurity by saying, “Hey, what’s that!?” Then, we dive under a bush. (If it worked for McFly in his Biff evasions, why shouldn’t it work for everyone)? God bless the Hypocratic Oaf.
Having said all this, it is perhaps more understandable why I am always surprised by the cataclysmic reactions people have to such idiot-speak, which is consequently fueled by the rabid media. The "news" preys on our always easily provoked emotions and churns tirelessly to present itself in whatever version of the idiot box (TV, Computer, iPad, etc) it can. Not to diminish the heinous nature of Robertson's ignorance, but honestly, who cares what he has to say? First of all, he clearly isn't an Edison. His light bulb does not turn on; articulation is hardly his forte. Secondly, was anyone really surprised by his Revelations? Being shocked that he has irrational prejudices is the same as being surprised that Keith Richards had drug problems. (That guy is just indestructible. The Terminator's worst enemy. IndeTerminable...?). Anyway, Keith looks worse for the wear, doesn't he?
Phil Robertson's (whose initials are comically PR) impromptu assertions about the sexual order, and general order, of mankind are a perfect example of bread and butter prejudicial tourettes. Manners and fear of confrontation usually teach bigots to keep such thoughts locked away in the shame-shame closet, as our subject normally would have. However, he probably got the big drawers when he became a tee-vee phenom'. The only thing worse than him saying what he said was people reacting to it with such gargantuan antipathy. This only lent credence to his preachings. Suddenly, the guy's Goliath. Is he? Is he? This guy, whose words should have disappeared like a midget, pot-bellied porcupine's queef, became front page news. The dunce is suddenly "important;" the inmate-- who chooses to remain incarcerated in Behind-the-Times Land-- is now unexpectedly running the larger asylum of the world wide web. Oh, and he's a martyr now too...
What followed in the ever insatiable media storm of “hard news only” was the completely understandable uprising of LGBT "Team No" offensive, A&E's suspension of Robertson from the show, and the consequent Freedom of Speech "Team Yes" defensive reaction. The latter move was most likely, and most sadly, backed by people who secretly agreed with Robertson's sentiments and used the First Amendment to distract from the main issue. It's a brilliant form of diversion, because unfortunately, it is logical. You can't play the double standard game of "Freedom," unless you want to risk being at the losing end of that argument some day. Should dumbo Phil have said what he said, "Hell to the No." Should he be allowed to say it? "Well, yeah (rah)." The crime wasn't in his speech but in his diseased brain/heart/whatever. The crime is that The (Bigot) Strangers Are (Still) Among Us. (That was a reference to a German film, btw. Sorry).
What someone thinks or feels is utterly out of our hands. It's an easy and lazy play, really, to catch the escaped thought and try to bury it. Slapping a hand over PR's mouth is playing the Hear No Evil game. Censoring the bad thought, ignoring an issue and sweeping it under the rug, doesn't make it go away. Clearly, immoral cretins can live silently around us, undetected for years. Does their silence make them less threatening? Were the Columbine shooters any less harmful because they didn't reveal their sinister plot before they opened fire? No. They were ticking time bombs. The point is to try to alter the thought processes that lead to these irrational acts of verbal or physical violence before they erupt. It isn't the word; it's the man. The roots of malice run deep. THIS is the issue consistently overlooked in every pathetic media battle. Yet, we always wind up jabbering on in instinctual attack mode, letting ourselves get caught up in total political misdirection.
At the height of the initial victim's offensive-- demanding that A&E remove the bigot from view-- the prejudice game was twisted against them to make them look just as corrupt. Their attempt to force Robertson to the shadows in perpetual muteness was interpreted as another level of bigotry-- intolerance toward the redneck "who don't know no better." Converse to everyone's wishes, things just got louder. This intensified standoff is where such arguments always end. Duck Dynasty went into damage control, the fires of anger calmed as the issue stalemated, Phil was allowed to come back to the show, and life on the Boob Tube continued as if nothing had happened. Just another hiccup in the land of There Is No Solution.
|How taking a ride in the amusement park of life often makes you feel...|
(I referenced GOLIATH again. Serendipity).
This is the source of my actual irritation: the cycle of non-progression. A bomb goes off, controversy builds, people get increasingly angry and offended, action is taken against an identified villain, the villain is defended by the opposition, the villain is made a martyr, both sides are deemed correct and incorrect (one side in its offended sense of decency but misdirected retaliation, the other in its invocation of the law but insensitive motives), and everything goes back to normal. It's all a senseless, media masturbation. It's nonsense. It shouldn't even exist.
Unfortunately, it's a necessary evil, because you can't not look at it and you can't identify the moment when the travesty could have initially been stopped or corrected. Would Phil being irrevocably fired have cured anything? No. Someone else would have given him his own show, and his foolish comments would still be in the stratosphere. Would it have been the offended parties not raising their voices to protest a dumbass being a dumbass? No. As much as it may stain someone's integrity to even address such imbecilic remarks, you have to confront a bad dog when it's bad and reprimand it. Otherwise, you're behaving like the mother who watches her child hit another kid in the sandbox but says nothing-- because she's tired. Was it the fault of the journalist who originally printed the story in GQ? No. He's a journalist. He has to print the story and its truth. He is also always looking for the scoop too, and you can't blame him for working to sell copies.
We are all trapped on this carousel, and it never stops. It never... friggin'... stops. It makes us dizzy, frustrated, angry, hurt, exhausted, and left depressed and languishing in the quagmire of socially segregated limbo. While this is happening and everyone else is losing his mind, I may be laughing at the stupidity, but I am still thinking I HATE YOU WORLD. But then I drink... and I'm okay. I'd rather have a good buzz going than be in the snake pit. Of course, I then think about my own apathetic passivity, and I start drinking more. It is a vicious, vicious cycle. God damn you, existence. God damn you...
… BUT I DON’T, BECAUSE:
|Do not accept. Do not irrationally pounce. Question. Always question.|
(PS: JB is a genius and you should all read his work).
America is big. We often forget this while living in our separate corners, thinking that we live in the real America and all other places are distant mirages. Yet, there are secret, separate, but equal A-holes everywhere, whether their closets house their KKK ghost costumes or all the ingredients necessary to make a bomb, which they will explode at the location of their choice. Our pledge of allegiance to what in theory makes this country great, or could make it great, is dependent upon equality— equal freedom for everyone. This means you are going to hear a lot of bullsh*t from a lot of people. This means that you are going to have to suppress the desire to punch many, many people in the face. This means you are going to have to share space with people that you wouldn't even share air with if you had the choice. True, we don't have to like each other. We don't have to agree. It would be nice if we did, but we are too busy fighting for ourselves to consider our neighbor most of the time. What's important, what lies at the heart of the issue, is respect. This is why we hit the stalemate wall, and it's good that we do. It means, "Well, sh*t. There's nothing I can say to change your mind and there's nothing you can do to change mine, so we're going to have to keep on coexisting." That coexistence is the respect, even if it goes down a little bit bitter.
Life doesn't make sense. It doesn't add up. But, the exhibition of frothy retaliation that resulted from this stupid moment in our country’s history is a brilliant example of why we aren’t a loss cause. We all got a chance to scream our freedoms from the rooftops. That's something. Shutting this ignorant bastard down wouldn’t have been a victory, but forcefully voicing a more progressive perspective on humankind-- one not just of equal rights but of equal respect for everyone-- forced him to face his own prejudice. For a brief moment in time, Robertson was caught red-handed. He experienced an "Oh, sh*t" moment; a "come to Jesus moment," if you will. Hm, gee, "Maybe I can't just insult other human beings like that and expect to get away with it..." The reaction, his hand slapping, may have seemed like a weak punishment, but what more can you expect? You can't control what's inside someone. You can only work with or against it.
If anything good came of this, it is that the shock effect left an eek of light in Phil's brain. He, as a deer in headlights, was at some point probably scared by the wrath crashing upon him, which hopefully made him ponder the thought that, maybe, he is indeed not God, and while he may be answerable to a God, he is inarguably answerable to his fellowmen. When our enemies and villains are humanized, like the hurt voices shouting back at Robertson, it makes unfounded beliefs harder to cling to. Let’s face it, the guy probably will go back to the way he was before, thinking the same things, and making a saint of himself. That’s how mankind operates. But even he secretly knows he’s wrong. Every daft, misguided, ignorant-as-Hell son of a bitch knows he’s wrong. That place in his heart that tells him he’s wrong, the one that makes him say things like, “That's just me,” is an admission of guilt for his own apparent inadequacies as a human being.
|Jesus HATES gays, but Pope Francis thinks they're ah'ight! (Look. He is|
giving these haters the hand and the cold shoulder). Truthfully,
he hasn't established that Gays are A-OK with the Catholic
Church, but he is at least making positive progress.
Living in this brain-scrambling rut called "life" and trying to find a sense of peace and reason can feel like trying to mold sauerkraut into the Venus de Milo with your feet. The end product may not be that grand, but that isn't important. It is the not the end but the method that matters. Are you going to use grace and compassion or impatience and hostility? Don’t hate your fellow players, hate the game. In fact, pity the players. Thank them when they're idiots, and let their errors be your fortune. Learn from them, and teach them if you can. Most importantly, take what they have learned and use it to teach your own kids respect. Cross your fingers. Laugh at obscenity. Be above it. Remember that the "good will out."
As for Phil... He can keep his self-crafted religion that pretends to be something else. (You know, the faith practiced by the Pope)? Meanwhile, all us sinners will be laughing on the way to our gay friends' weddings. Peace!