I’m beginning to feel like the prerequisite for writing an opinion column for LA Times is “be personally offended by something, find a way to make it ‘about’ some over-arching, pervasive sociocultural crisis, and then tell us about it, using other people’s research and writing to justify your hurt feelings.” Just read this piece of garbage (pun intended) and wondering if the editor who published this had anything in mind other than trying to ride the crest of the second wave of the tired-before-it-really-even-began Dynastygate.
Let me summarize this for those of you who don’t feel like wasting the next 90 seconds of your life: the author surmises that America would be far better off if we eliminated what he calls “trailer-trash TV”, a position he feels “uniquely qualified” to hold since he himself has lived in a trailer even though he has never actually watched Duck Dynasty.
For reference, here are the types of shows that the author considers trailer-trash (his name is Paul Whitefield, hi Paul, do you have Google alerts?):
- moonshiner shows
- gold miner shows
- logging guy shows
- Alaska fisherman shows
- truck driver shows
- polygamist shows
- doomsday people shows
He then goes on to wax poetic about how he grew up in a trailer, got called names because of it, and rose above all of that to attend college. Congratulations, Paul. You won America.
But let’s follow this logic for a second. What all of this implies, then, is:
a) Loggers, Alaskan fishermen, truck drivers, duck hunters, etc. are all “trailer trash”, which, by the author’s definition and implication, is a derogatory, lesser existence
b) All people who live in trailers are “vulgar, racist, sexist, crude”
Mmmkay. Not only has the author made a massive, inexplicably illogical leap from “people who live in trailers” to “people who enjoy hobbies and livelihoods that Paul Whitefield is not personally interested in” (transcript: “full disclosure, I don’t care much for ducks, either eating them or hunting them”), but, let’s keep in mind that the people on Duck Dynasty are mad rich! Rich as shit, actually! Richer than whatever the author’s 78 Twitter followers and dollars-per-word LA Times thinkpieces could ever dream of buying!
But the biggest thing being overlooked here, the real point worth mentioning if we are going to flick our wrists a few times over a keyboard in an attempt to champion What’s Best For America, is this simple fact: if you do not care to watch TV shows about duck hunters or people from the deep South or people who have more than one wife or hunt aliens or set up ghost radars or sip champagne with six of their peers who have paid a sum total of ten million dollars trying to disguise their AARP status, THEN DON’T WATCH IT.
It is actually incredibly not American to think that because you lack personal interest in a certain type of entertainment (the author couldn’t cite any evidence aside from his own aesthetic tastes and the unsupported claims that this show—a show he has never seen—is crude, vulgar, racist, etc.) that it ought not to exist.
The article closes with a false dilemma asking America to choose between “the penthouse or the outhouse.” Just because the author feels proud of himself for having risen from the latter to the former (metaphorically, I’m super damn sure) is not enough to support an actual deductive argument. Obviously.