|A real Duck Dynasty.|
I've debated with myself for days about whether or not to even "go there," but since I can't seem to push the subject out of my mind I've decided to talk about what has turned into an astonishing controversy in the United States.
It's the one about the Doyen of the Duck Dynasty (DDD) reality TV series who told GQ magazine in explicit terms what he thought about homosexuality. Then, outraged, GLAAD shot back expressing its shock and distain for his homophobic diatribe. And finally, a chorus of loud public voices began to defend his right to free speech, guaranteed, as we know, under the First Amendment to our constitution. Interestingly, he was defended by those on the right and left of the political spectrum.
As you know, my opinions in this space tend to run along the lines of: "I would never wear green, give me navy any day, " or, "I really hate Sauternes; please pass me a coupe de champagne." Clearly, not outrageously controversial by most anyone's standards. Good friends and my family know where I stand on issues that I consider morally important.
I'm not sure whether it's because I live in France and am on the outside looking in, although I doubt that's the reason, but honestly I just don't get the fascination with reality TV. Where's the substance, where's the purpose, where's the point? How can people who shamelessly expose their lives to the public become "stars"? I don't watch much television, but I don't think this phenomenon has reached France as yet, though I'm sure it will. In fact, I do believe the Kardashian family is on some obscure channel here and the girls have been in Elle, so clearly some producer is probably trying to find a French family willing to live large with a television crew.
I admit I have never seen any of these programs, but my inclination is to wonder how the opinions of the participants can have any significance in the grand scheme of things.
I understand there is a little voyeur in all of us. I have a good friend who told me the definition of blogging is an exercise in egotism supported by voyeurs. She too has a blog. Maybe she's right, but perhaps a little harsh.
Now that I've rambled, as is my wont, let me get to my point: Never mind political correctness, what happened to good, old-fashioned decorum; good manners; respect; and dare I say, a soupçon of kindness?
My daughter and son-in-law have a friend who has been hosting Sunday night dinners for more than 20 years. It's a sort of open house formula, everyone brings something and Georges, an exceptional cook, always makes a couple of divine dishes. His invitees range in age from very young to very old, typically the group is a sort of United Nations of nationalities, colors and cultures. It's impossible not to have fun chez Georges. However, Georges has house rules by which everyone must abide. They are: "No chicken, no turkey, no religion, no politics." Break the rules and you're not welcome to return.
We all have our prejudices. Mine extend to the people who broke into our house because we and the gendarmes suspect specifically who the thieves were and we are talking about a nationality reputed to live by crime and intimidation.
Perhaps it's the vanity of human nature to believe that our sentiments and opinions have merit, but isn't it interesting that when another's positions do not jibe with one's own up come the defences, out comes the bile. If the DDD could dish it out, why couldn't he take it when some referred to him as "ignorant"?
Thank heaven and the Founding Fathers for free speech, n'est de-pas? What a shame there isn't an amendment that mentions tolerance.