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The Full Phil Robertson

Here’s the entire GQ article about Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. [1]Excerpts:

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.”

And:

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.

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33 Comments To "The Full Phil Robertson"

#1 Comment By RadicalCenter2016 On December 18, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

Not just West Hollywood but all of the L.A. area seems to be rife with anti-Christian bigotry, mockery, and disdain.

#2 Comment By RadicalCenter2016 On December 18, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

Frequent exchanges between my wife or me and a store or restaurant employee over the past couple weeks: “Have a Merry Christmas!” “Yeah, okay, thanks.”

“Have a good one.”
“Have a good night.”
“Happy Holidays.” And again, when we smiled and said “Merry Christmas”, a look of annoyance and a louder repeated “Happy HOL-idays.”

What a sad, intolerant little bunch of people. Unfortunately, kind of a BIG bunch of people.

#3 Comment By EngineerScotty On December 18, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

Life is complicated everywhere. Your friends in neighbors–you know they’re good folk, even though they may say stupid stuff. The guy saying stupid stuff, half a
world away–probably an irredeemable A-hole.

That said–I find it interesting that someone might consider “homosexuality leads to bestiality” to be acceptable public discourse, or at least a forgiveable sin when uttered by a good-hearted good-old-boy, but when a waiter objects to “Merry Christmas”, this is an intolerable act of bigotry.

(And FWIW, I have yet to meet anybody, even here in the People’s Republic of Portland, that gets offended by “Merry Christmas”. I’m sure they exist, but I haven’t met them…. just since there are a few anecdotes being posted. Can’t speak for LA.)

#4 Comment By Puller58 On December 18, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

A photo was posted of the boys sans beards from years ago. They’re about as real as the Kardashians.

#5 Comment By MargaretE On December 18, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

I love this, Rod. Right on. Thanks!

#6 Comment By Michelle On December 18, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

Radical Center– I don’t know where you live in L.A. but when we lived in Santa Monica a few years back, I heard Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays quite often. I even saw carollers on the Promenade, a big outdoor mall, singing actual religious carols as opposed to the generic ones. Amazingly enough, deep in the heart of blue America, they drew a crowd and nobody heckled them. Amazing!

That said, L.A. is a miserable place to live if you don’t have a lot of money. Heck, it’s a miserable place to live even if you do. Store and restaurant employees are particularly stressed this time of year. They responded nicely to you, just not in the way you wanted. Who’s intolerant here?

People are complicated–whether it’s your liberal urbanite and your basic redneck. Neither is more real than the other and both are likely to be there to help people they know and care about. It’s tiresome at this time of the year, which is supposed to be about peace and goodwill, to hear the same old stereotypes repeated.

#7 Comment By stillaninterestedobserver On December 18, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

No offense but are you sure you’re not exactly looking for people to complain about there. “Hmm, gee, they didn’t respond to my wish the way I exactly expected, therefore I’m going to repeat myself.”

#8 Comment By qasedede On December 18, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

@Rod. Life is complicated in Manhattan and West Hollywood. Trust me.

@Radical Center. I worked in retail once, long ago, and bade a customer farewell with a “Happy Holidays.” I’ll never forget the look of rage and triumph on her face, and the tears in her eyes, as she virtually snarled back “Merry Christmas, young man.”

#9 Comment By stillaninterestedobserver On December 18, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

Meantime, getting back to Phil R., and thinking in context about Rod’s various reflections on growing up after open segregation in Louisiana and complicated legacies therein, there is this excerpt:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

…which frankly just makes me think of:

#10 Comment By Darth Thulhu On December 18, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

Rod wrote:

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.

Well, so long as you weren’t a blues-singing, uppity black, or an “indistinguishable from bestialty” gay person. Then they’d quite possibly wag their finger, harumph, and find some way to decide that you don’t deserve any help because you got yourself into that trouble when you should have known better. After all, black people in the 1950s were never complaining! You just want a handout!

Funny how that works.

Mr. Robertson isn’t going to really get any trouble for his bro-tastic, fornication-neutral observations that the vag is just so, so good. It’s not actually a disciplined, elevated Christian observation in the least, anymore than what New Orleans straights do with Mardi Gras is actually a disciplined, elevated Christian holiday. “Let your dude flag fly” will be the response to most of that.

No, the two things that are going to get Mr. Robertson into trouble, if he isn’t savvy enough to do a self-deprecating aw-shucks evasion, are:

1) Apparently being incapable of distinguishing consensual sodomy (which is literally every single act other than vaginal sex) from animal rape. Ask Santorum how well sticking to that particular conviction worked out.

2) Apparently believing that his Negroes just had it so, so good 60 years ago. They never complained, or nothin’! Yeah, because lynching happened and the Klan ruled and blacks effectively could not vote.

This is fathomless ignorance, and if he doesn’t shut his trap about it mighty fast, this will rapidly escalate beyond the soft-bigotry of low expectations for rural white people into Deen territory. People will forgive being an inarticulate horndog (if you are a man, anyway), but they will not long endure a rhapsody of nostalgia about Jim Crow.

Mr. Robinson’s a savvy dude, though, so I have some hope he can remove both of his feet from his mouth, make a joke at his own expense, and not double down on those opinions as if they are somehow remotely defensible.

#11 Comment By Jon On December 18, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

You’re claiming that “life is not so simple” outside of Manhattan and West Hollywood, but frankly, Phil Robertson gives the impression of being quite simple, and ill informed, in his view of the world.

“All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero,” Robertson explained. “That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

1) Shintos? Really?
2) Islamists actually believe that Jesus was a Messenger of God, so, they have Jesus to an extent.
3) I won’t even bother to list the atrocities committed by “good Christians” over the past 2000 years.

Then there’s his views on blacks before the civil rights movement:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Then there is this bit of incoherent vaguely racial ranting about Obama

“If I’m lost at three o’clock in a major metropolitan area…I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who’s running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor’s note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o’clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”

#12 Comment By W.E.B. Dupree On December 18, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

I didn’t realize that “Have a good night” was considered anti-Christian. Since I too live in L.A., I guess I be glad that RadicalCenter2016 has put me on notice.

Oh, who am I kidding? All the people I know in L.A. are a bunch of Jews, gays, and atheists!

#13 Comment By K. W. Jeter On December 18, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

Hmm — I think RadicalCenter2016 might be misreading that one. When I worked retail, we were ordered by management to say “Happy holidays” or whatever, rather than “Merry Christmas.” (And then we went right ahead and said “Merry Christmas” anyway to customers, because that was how we rolled.) The annoyance or displeasure that RC is seeing on store or restaurant employees’ faces might come from being reminded about the edict that came down from above, rather than from any War on Christmas-type attitude on their parts.

#14 Comment By William Dalton On December 18, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

“Like I said, life is complicated outside of Manhattan and West Hollywood.”

Isn’t it quite the opposite? Isn’t life in Manhattan and West Hollywood complicated by the fact that you live in constant fear of saying something someone will find offensive and you never know it? I don’t believe life gets simpler than it does for folks like the Robertsons.

#15 Comment By alcogito On December 18, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

No, life is LESS complicated outside of Manhattan and West Hollywood. Live and let live. Do unto others etc.

#16 Comment By Fred On December 18, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

The GQ author does a brief follow-up on deadspin:

[2]

#17 Comment By Josh On December 18, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

Phil’s authentic. And that will always resonate with people. And that authenticity is what is making the gay activists rage. Because there is nothing they can do to change him, and they know it.

We need more Phils and Miss Kays in America.

#18 Comment By Angela On December 18, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

What did you think of his comments about blacks?

I know these people too, I grew up with with some of them in rural Kansas. They will be there in a heartbeat for one of their own. Once you leave, either in thought or deed, seems like not so much.

#19 Comment By ck On December 18, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

“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 . . .”

You’re right about folks like this, and the thing is that there are wonderful, complicated believin’ type folks who would be the first ones to help strangers not much further from Manhattan than Staten Island. But of course, Staten Islanders – just like Northern Louisiana folks – are the wrong sort of white people disdained by the ‘tolerant’ and enlightened SWPL.

I don’t think these guys are past their sell-by date, but are rather just starting their process of wine aging.

#20 Comment By ck On December 18, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

The more I read of Phil Robertson, the more I think these guys are just getting started:

“But there are more things Phil would like to say—“controversial” things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut. (This March, for instance, he told the Christian-oriented Sports Spectrum magazine that he didn’t approve of A&E editing out “in Jesus” from a family prayer scene, even though A&E says that the phrase has been uttered in at least seventeen episodes.)”

This doesn’t seem to be the end of DD, but seems to be DD unleashed.

#21 Comment By Uncle Billy On December 18, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

“Duck Commander” wears camo and shoots ducks with his shotguns. Wonderful. Has he ever served in the military? Has he ever heard a shot fired in anger? Has he ever had a rifle pointed at him? Forgive my cynical attitude, but killing waterfowl does not a tough guy make. Semper Fi.

#22 Comment By The Mighty Favog On December 18, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

For what it’s worth, from an Omaha World-Herald survey of new Christmas albums:

DUCK DYNASTY’S “DUCK THE HALLS: A ROBERTSON FAMILY CHRISTMAS”

Considering that the Robertsons are neither singers nor musicians, we’re not sure how the clan famous for appearing on reality show “Duck Dynasty” has put out a Christmas album, but they have. That said, we have to be honest: This album is way better than it has any right to be. We’re not sure who provided all the instrumentation, but the Robertsons’ singing voices are pretty solid.

LISTEN TO “Rajin Cajun Redneck Christmas”

A pretty fun track for anyone who’s a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan. (That should also cover anyone who’s a fan of “Duck Dynasty.”)

#23 Comment By Percy Gryce On December 18, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

A+E has now fired Phil. I don’t know what the family dynamics or contract issues are, but I wish the whole clan would just walk away–or move their show to History or Bravo or some other channel. Let’s see if A+E is more afraid of politically organized sodomy or of losing its biggest cash cow.

#24 Comment By Leslie Fain On December 18, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

Phil’s been kicked off.

#25 Comment By Leslie Fain On December 18, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

[3]

#26 Comment By Beth On December 18, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

It seems that A & E has now suspended Phil from the TV show. I say good for Phil. I suspect the whole Duck Dynasty clan would gladly give up the whole thing in a heartbeat if it came to a choice between following their Christian beliefs and catering to the gay lobby.

#27 Comment By john personna On December 18, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

The whole “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays,” thing and many responses above are all about a nervous need to extrapolate from one personal interaction to the future of the world.

If you stop worrying that the next person who wishes you Merry or Happy anything might be “against you” you’ll be much better off.

(I was thought Jewish this year and was wished Happy Hanukkah. I smiled nervously not sure what to do. I’ll try to do better next time.)

#28 Comment By Josh On December 18, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

A&E just became irrelevant.

#29 Comment By DeepSouthPopulist On December 18, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

They suspended him. Liberal tolerance wins again. The most popular cable show ever, featuring good Christians and simple living, is getting attacked because of a HATEFUL minority. This is wrong. And as I said on the other thread, I’m an atheist.

#30 Comment By Aaron Gross On December 18, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

Sheesh.

I feel it when I breathe the air. I feel it when I survey the enormity [sic] 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!

What is this, Green Acres? Or maybe that scene in The Heartbreak Kid when he’s at dinner with the girls family? (“There’s no deceit in this cauliflower.”) Someone get this GQ guy to stop writing.

#31 Comment By mike nimzo On December 18, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

They suspended him. Capitalism wins again. A pretty popular show is dropped after the star makes dumb comments that offend the sponsors. This is how it goes.

#32 Comment By jack On December 19, 2013 @ 2:00 am

It seems like there is no Freedom of Speech or “tolerance” for the conservative point of view. He is entitled to his own beliefs.

[4]

#33 Comment By mrscracker On December 19, 2013 @ 9:50 am

Leaving aside the crude comments, isn’t his take on marriage exactly the same as Pres. Obama’s was until about 6 months ago?