Laughing all the way to what really matters
Mike Brown

Some friends recently brought me a T-shirt. If you know what Duck Dynasty is you’ve already smiled.

If you don’t, it’s now my obligation to explain it to you. However, I’m not that good a writer.

Let’s just say Duck Dynasty is the A&E Network’s breakout mega- hit television series. It follows the lives of the Robertson family of West Monroe, Louisiana.

The Robertsons are, ah, unique. They struck it rich, so to speak, when patriarch Phil came up with the gold standard of duck calls. He and son Willie parlayed that product into a multi-million-dollar business.

But anybody who tunes in expecting The Beverly Hillbillies is disappointed. It’s technically a “reality” series but the reality is that it’s not that at all. It’s quite a bit more. Last Wednesday I wore my Duck Dynasty T- shirt on my paper delivery route.

Rockdale resident Brandi Caffey recently met Si Robertson in West Monroe. Rockdale resident Brandi Caffey recently met Si Robertson in West Monroe. Three people, all complete strangers, beamingly told me they had the same T-shirt and we visited like we were old friends, big grins on our faces.

People from other states, northern ones, the last I’d ever imagine being approving of anything hinting at southern or redneck culture, have gushingly endorsed my affection for the show. Duck Dynasty has obviously touched a nerve and hit it deeply. Sort of like what happens right after your dentist says “you might feel this a little bit.”

And I don’t think it’s too hard to explain. As our culture has become increasingly coarse, shallow and mean- spirited, Duck Dynasty is anchored firmly in the things that really matter.

Really? Yes, really. Consider this:

• The Robertsons really care about each other.

Sure the brothers seem to be perpetually at odds. Brothers do that, but underneath they’re family personified. I imagine if you’d try to wrong one, you’d find that out.

• Politically Incorrect I: They pray, and they mean it.

Every show ends with the huge family around a table and Phil saying grace.

I have no evidence nor inside knowledge but I’ll bet you that’s something the family came up with and probably had to fight A&E to get on the air.

Oh, and when you hear Phil pray you can tell. He’s done it before.

• Phil and Miss Kay are deeply in love and it shows.

How refreshing to see the real thing, the kind of committed love you and I know exists but so rarely is shown in what passes for entertainment.

And how refreshing to see that love displayed between two people who, to put it bluntly, won’t ever be mistaken for a teen heart-throb and a Victoria’s Secret model.

• The American Dream is alive and well.

The Robertsons are rich and they deserve their money. They got it the right way, by coming up with something people wanted, and were willing to pay for, and by working hard.

• Politically Incorrect II: They go to church. Not only do they go to church, some of them are ministers.

• They honor their Vietnam veteran uncle.

Si Robertson is the breakout performer on the breakout show. He’s not shy about invoking his military past. (He’s also not shy about anything else.)

While Si’s reasoning may be difficult to follow, at times, the family cuts him a lot of slack. Real families do that.

• Politically Incorrect III: Boom!

Squirrels, snakes, ducks, deer and several other species really need to be shot.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Miss Kay doesn’t have a recipe for whooping crane somewhere.

• The grandkids say “yes sir” and “no ma’am.”

You know why? ‘Cause somebody is raising them right.

• They’re putting us on, you know.

Shhhh, but the Robertsons are ahead of us all. They’re plenty smart (several have graduate degrees) and they’re laughing at us laughing at them.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if their term for the entire show, and their celebrity status, wasn’t “witnessing.”

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2013-03-21 digital edition

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