Even though he’s in the far corner of the room, Phil dominates the house. There are times when he doesn’t look you in the eye while he’s speaking—he looks just off to the side of you, as if Jesus were standing nearby, holding a stack of cue cards. Everyone else in the room just stares at his phone, or at the TV, or holds side conversations as Phil preaches.
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
Whatever you think of Phil’s beliefs, it’s hard not to gaze upon his cultivations and wonder if you’ve gotten life all wrong. This is life as summer camp. It’s gorgeous, in a way that alters you on an elemental level. I feel it when I breathe the air. I feel it when I survey the enormity of the space around me. I shouldn’t be sitting around the house and bitching because the new iOS 7 touchscreen icons don’t have any fu**ing drop shadow. I should be out here, dammit! Killing things and growing things and bringing dead things home to cook! There is a life out in this wilderness that I am too chickensh*t to lead.
It’s a shame when people are complicated, innit? See, that’s why I like the Pastrix. I think her creed is something like 180 degrees to the other side of Phil Robertson’s beliefs. But I bet she can see the integrity and the worth in him, even though she thinks he’s wrong about important things. There is life outside the politically correct bubble, whether your PC is on the right or the left.
For the record, I knew that the Duck Dynasty thing was past it’s sell-by date when I found a “Duck the Halls” Christmas album on Spotify the other day. The thing I like about the Robertsons is they’ll be good country people after this is over with. I know those people, so to speak. I live with them. They’re real. They believe things that would curl your average urban or suburban liberal’s toes. But if you got yourself in trouble, they would be the first ones there to help you out. That’s how they roll. Like I said, life is complicated outside of Manhattan and West Hollywood.