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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Classic '80s Sitcom Offers Apt Lesson in Peace, Love, and Understanding in Age of Robertson's 'Dynasty'

The recent controversy regarding "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson is an early Christmas present to Unreal TV in that a post that reproduced a March 2013 review of the DVD release of "Family Ties" S6 was planned for today weeks ago when knowledge of "Dynasty" was largely limited to its title and Robertson's name was completely unknown.

The theme of the planned essay (and this post) is that "Ties" is a good reminder of an era of civilized and respectful political discourse. Technical difficulties regarding pasting the "Ties" review into this space require asking that interested readers please use this link to access it.

Reading the "Reality Stinks" manifesto that Unreal TV posted four days before the "Ties" review helps explain why knowledge of "Duck Dynasty" is so limited.

The incredibly frustrating partisanship on Capitol Hill, Main Street, and Hummingbird Lane motivates using the holidays to remind folks of the truly "kinder gentler" times that "Ties" reflects. The "Dynasty" incident is only icing on the fruitcake.

This event provides an even better example than the filibusters, government shutdown, Obamacare debacle, etc. of how America has become a deeply divided country and that (like Dana Carvey's grumpy old man from "SNL") our leaders apparently like it. They surely are doing very little to put on their listening hats and play nice with each other.

Robertson's own biography strongly supports the common perception that he is not particularly insightful or well-rounded. There is no doubt either that the lame "duck" holds some very ignorant and out-dated opinions or that he has the right to express them in any available forum.

The fact that former-Governor Sarah Palin and other Robertson supporters are blindly kicking up such a fuss without thinking that the "out" and "closeted" homosexuals who collectively comprise roughly 30 percent of the people in their lives do not deserve to be damned simply because of their preferences regarding which "Slot B" that they enjoy inserting "Tab A" shows part of the problem. These "ducklings" also seem to ignore both that the traditionally uber-conservative military largely did not enforce "don't ask don't tell" and have subsequently revoked that policy.

On top of this,same-sex couples are much closer to fully experiencing marriage "equality" even in Utah, which is the Mormon capital of the world.

Asserting the matter as a First Amendment issue further shows the blind faith, lack of reasoning, and scary level of hate (which exists on both sides of the political spectrum) that is completely absent from "Ties." It is particularly disturbing that a woman who could have been the Vice-President of the United States (thus occasionally having the powers of President) is among those who apparently  does not know that the First Amendment refers to suppression of free speech by the government, not a basic cable company or any other private business.

(In all fairness, it is equally despicable that potential First Lady Michelle Obama stated that she would be embarrassed to live in a United States in which her husband was not president.)

For that matter, Palin and the other "ducklings" out there should realize that any company can discipline anyone to whom it issues a check for service rendered for virtually any act that that employer deems harms the business.

The final word regarding all this is people who feel inspired to chime in the next time that a celebrity expresses an opinion that creates a national (or international) scandal are advised to remember the TRUE wisdom of Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, that it is better to remain silent and consider a fool than open your pie hole and remove all doubt.

Thoughtful and respectful responses to the views expressed here are welcome and can be emailed. Those who do not respect the request to be nice are reminded of the rubber and glue rule.