2013 was the bad luck “year of the backfire.” In real life and entertainment shows it was all about the great backfires and the growing backlash.
This past year we only watched two entertainment shows with some degree of regularity and persistence: American Horror Story: Coven and Duck Dynasty. The drama Coven is a little noticed, almost 100% women, wicked, filthy, lewd, campy, shocker, about witches in modern day New Orleans, Louisiana. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and the fat girl (no apologies to thought totalitarian Jennifer Lawrence) who starred in the movie Precious Gabourey Sidibe, romp though this exhilarating playground for actresses with near criminal glee and the choice evil they unleash.
The few men in Coven are toys for these despicable (as well as lusciously wicked) witches in this particularly campy Coven. The only male of significance (the humpy Even Peters) is essentially a sex toy for some of the younger witches who reanimated the boy after his death. This post death galvanization of the sexy boy backfires for many reasons. It’s a cautionary tale.
Also based in Louisiana, Duck Dynasty. We began to watch the Ducks several months ago and lucked out because the first show we saw was a rerun (the shows are constantly rerun five at a time) of what we think is the best episode of the Ducks. In that episode the children and their spouses want to do something special for the (48th or 50th) wedding anniversary of the parents Phil and Kay. Enlisted to distract the couple while a surprise party is organized is the zany Uncle Si (Silas) who takes the unfortunate duo down into a warped “memory lane” which does not comport with their recollections of their early romance. The episode ends with a touching wedding party as tears flow from the youngest son Jep and his wife.
Our favorites in this swamp monster comedy reality show are Si and Jase. Phil the patriarch is not someone you want to mess with; and Willie the CEO of the company based on the manufacture of duck calls invented by Phil is a bit of a bore. All clearly love their families and one another.
In a sense Duck Dynasty is a modern day Beverly Hillbillies. Those Hillbillies had lots of money too, a love of family, and exotic tastes in food – eating possum and gizzards and all sorts of things that we regularly see the Ducks cooking – such as squirrel and frogs. The Hillbillies series started out mocking the family that called their luxury swimming pool a “cement pond” and outsmarted by simple technologies such as phones. America however wound up falling in love with the Beverly Hillbillies and especially with the tough and zany Granny. Soon enough the joke backfired as the series converted the mockers into fans and the jokes increasingly came at the expense of the city slickers.
“Duck Dynasty is not the show that they wanted, it is the show that got away from them.
It seems what the producers intended and what A&E envisioned with the show is much different than the show that they ended up with, but they didn’t do anything about it because it was so wildly popular and so wildly profitable. But even with all the money, they have never really been comfortable with what happened.
This is what happened. The whole idea of the show was to parade these nouveau riche Christian hillbillies around so that we could laugh at them. “Look at them,” we were supposed to say. “Look how backward they are! Look what they believe! Can you believe they really live this way and believe this stuff? See how they don’t fit in? HAHAHA”
When the producers saw the way the show was shaping up, different than they envisioned it, they tried to change course. They tried to get the Robertson’s to tone down their Christianity, but to their eternal credit they refused. They tried to add fake cussin’ to the show by inserting bleeps where no cussword was uttered. At best, they wanted to make the Robertson’s look like crass buffoons. At worst they wanted them to look like hypocrites.
They desperately wanted us to laugh at the Robertsons. Instead, we loved them.
A&E wanted us to point fingers at them and laugh at them. But something else happened entirely. Millions upon millions of people tuned in, not to laugh at them, but to laugh with them.
And then we pointed at them. We pointed at them and said things like, “I wish my family was more like them. I wish we prayed together as a family. I wish we were together like the Robertsons.”
Watching Phil Robertson shoot various animals, disembowel the same, skin animals, then watch Mrs. Kay cook clearly discernible squirrels and ducks and otherwise engage in a cuisine that is foreign to us is part of the Ducks “charm”. We don’t have to enjoy the cooking to appreciate the lifestyle and love the Robertsons enjoy. We don’t have to agree with the religious opinions or even like all the cast members to enjoy the company of the Duck Dynasty crew and family.
As with the Beverly Hillbillies the Duck Dynasty is all about family. This family has had trial by fire. The patriarch Phil was a drunk and all around nogoodnik who abandoned his family and caused all sorts of trouble for himself and those that loved him. Eventually Phil, because of the love and persistence of his wife, corrected course. Today, it is clear that the family not only loves but respects Phil.
When a lizard escapes in the company warehouse, it is Phil that is called. When business pressures build up after a large order that cannot be fulfilled due to lack of workers it is Kay that comes though by organizing family and friends to the rescue. At every turn, in every situation, the parents are looked up to and respected. It is something shocking to see because that is a long gone narrative on American TV.
American TV today tells only one story when it comes to family: the kids are smart and the parents are idiots. That story is told in every entertainment show, movies (ever see Home Alone?), and commercials. The parents are dopes unable to function without the wise guiding hands of the children. That notion even reached into 2008 presidential politics as Barack Obama’s campaign organized the young to lecture their elders on the wisdom of electing Barack Obama.
We disagree with much of what Phil Robertson recently said to GQ magazine. But we don’t think his is a voice that should be silenced with the totalitarian force that the American left has decided to deploy against him. For a long time we have based a great deal of our opposition to Barack Obama and the forces that propelled him into the White House as resistance to a totalitarian mentality. That totalitarian mentality seeks to destroy all thought not in conformity with the DailyKooks and their fellow travelers. Ironically, gay rights was the issue the last time we wrote about these Stalinists. Camille Paglia also cites Stalin:
“I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday.
“In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,” she added. [snip]
“To express yourself in a magazine in an interview — this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,” Paglia said. “This is the whole legacy of free speech 1960’s that have been lost by my own party.”
Paglia went on to point out that while she is an atheist she respects religion and has been frustrated by the intolerance of gay activists.
“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” Paglia said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”
“There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement,” she added. “And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”
We’re quick to oppose fanaticism when Muslims engage in it and we will do so when our compatriots for gay rights and feminism engage in the same ugliness. Our favorite Quotes of the day cite totalitarianism as the threat it is:
“In the 1960s, radical philosopher Herbert Marcuse popularized the “repressive tolerance” theory of modern progressives. “Liberating tolerance would mean intolerance against movements from the right and toleration of movements from the left,” Marcuse pontificated. “Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed.”
The tolerance mob’s insatiable quest for power and control has led to such unhinged witch-hunting that many of its own erstwhile allies are balking. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis called GLAAD the “gatekeepers of politically correct gayness.” He was attacked as a “self-loathing gay man,” but unlike A&E, he didn’t give in.”
In the broader sense, it’s totalitarian. It’s that simple and must be opposed by those that prefer freedom to totalitarian thought and expression control.
TMZ gay gossip-meister Harvey Levin joins the side of free speech. Gay and Jewish, Harvey Levin understands religious tolerance and the glories of free speech. The reptilian Obama loving gay Andrew Sullivan is at least “befuddled”:
I have to say I’m befuddled by the firing of Phil Robertson, he of the amazing paterfamilias beard on Duck Dynasty (which I mainly see via The Soup). A&E has a reality show that depends on the hoariest stereotypes – and yet features hilariously captivating human beings – located in the deep South. It’s a show riddled with humor and charm and redneck silliness. The point of it, so far as I can tell, is a kind of celebration of a culture where duck hunting is the primary religion, but where fundamentalist Christianity is also completely pervasive. (Too pervasive for the producers, apparently, because they edited out the saying of grace to make it non-denominational and actually edited in fake beeps to make it seem like the bearded clan swore a lot, even though they don’t.)”
The totalitarian thought police attack on Phil Robertson is only beginning to backfire. When Duck Dynasty returns from hiatus in January expect the ratings to scald the totalitarian thought police. Already Walmart reports that all the Duck Dynasty merchandise (DD junk comes in every variety imaginable) is sold out. On TV “TMZ reported that Duck Dynasty is taking over A&E’s Christmas schedule. The network will air four separate rerun marathons of the show in four days – from December 22 until 25, totalling 33.5 hours of airtime.”
The backfire and the backlash are just beginning on TV.
In the reality show of life, the debut performance of backfire and backlash begins this Monday. The ad labeled as every Obama Dimocrat’s 2014 nightmare is already here:
“It’s a very powerful ad indeed,” Grace Marie Turner, the head of the Galen Institute, a health-care advocacy group, told me.
Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post’s top political blogger, says “Obamacare’s growing unpopularity makes the ad’s message dangerous for any Democrat.” The latest ABC News poll shows 70 percent of independents oppose Obama on health care. Nearly half of all voters think Obamacare is making the health-care system worse versus only 19 percent who think it will improve matters. Cillizza’s conclusion: “You have a very scary situation for Shaheen — and any other Democrat, which is almost all of them, on the record supporting the ACA. Get used to this ad. You are going to see it thousands of times — in various forms — before 2014 is over.”
Not since the Marx Brothers introduced America to Duck Soup has such a comic government calamity been introduced. It’s utter chaos Barack Obama Chicago corruption style:
“Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare’s Insurance Mandate, ‘Unaffordable’ Exchanges
It’s hard to come up with new ways to describe the Obama administration’s improvisational approach to the Affordable Care Act’s troubled health insurance exchanges. But last night, the White House made its most consequential announcement yet. The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes” that Obamacare’s offerings “are unaffordable.” These exemptions will substantially alter the architecture of the law’s insurance marketplaces. Insurers are at their wits’ end, trying to make sense of what to do next. [snip]
This means that by January 1, 2014, less people will have health coverage under Obamacare than before. [snip]
For years, these pages have raised the concern that the “Affordable Care Act” will drive up the cost of health insurance. “What is remarkable about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” I wrote in 2010, is “its devastating consequences for the cost of health insurance.” A 49-state analysis I conducted along with two colleagues at the Manhattan Institute found that the average state will see underlying premiums increase by an average of 41 percent in the individual market, the market where people shop for coverage on their own, instead of getting it through an employer or the government. (Our state-by-state interactive map can be found here.)
But this most recent announcement from the Obama administration is the first time it has publicly admitted that Obamacare is making health insurance less affordable, not more so, for millions of Americans. [snip]
This decision by the administration—characterized by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as an attempt to provide “the smoothest possible transition” into the Obamacare era—has instead thrown the individual insurance market into chaos.”
Backfire and backlash. This means war.
If it did not doom so many people it would be funny. And it is going to get worse:
“The “sticker shock” that many buyers of new, ACA-compliant health plans have experienced—with premiums 30% higher, or more, than their previous coverage—has only begun. The costs borne by individuals will be even more obvious next year as more people start having to pay higher deductibles and copays.
If, as many predict, too few healthy young people sign up for insurance that is overpriced in order to subsidize older, sicker people, the insurance market will unravel in a “death spiral” of ever-higher premiums and fewer signups. The government, through taxpayer-funded “risk corridors,” is on the hook for billions of dollars of potential insurance-company losses. This will be about as politically popular as bank bailouts.
The “I can’t keep my doctor” shock will also hit more and more people in coming months. To keep prices to consumers as low as possible—given cost pressures generated by the government’s rules, controls and coverage mandates—insurance companies in many cases are offering plans that have very restrictive networks, with lower-cost providers that exclude some of the best physicians and hospitals.
Next year, millions must choose among unfamiliar physicians and hospitals, or paying more for preferred providers who are not part of their insurance network. Some health outcomes will deteriorate from a less familiar doctor-patient relationship.
More IT failures are likely. [snip]
Be prepared for eligibility, coverage gap, billing, claims, insurer payment and patient information-protection debacles.
The next shock will come when the scores of millions outside the individual market—people who are covered by employers, in union plans, or on Medicare and Medicaid—experience the downsides of ObamaCare. There will be longer waits for hospital visits, doctors’ appointments and specialist treatment, as more people crowd fewer providers. [snip]
Next, the Congressional Budget Office’s estimated 25% expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare will exert pressure on state Medicaid spending (although the pressure will be delayed for a few years by federal subsidies). This pressure on state budgets means less money on education and transportation, and higher state taxes.
The “Cadillac tax” on health plans to help pay for ObamaCare starts four years from this Jan. 1. It will fall heavily on unions whose plans are expensive due to generous health benefits.
In the nearer term, a political iceberg looms next year. Insurance companies usually submit proposed pricing to regulators in the summer, and the open enrollment period begins in the fall for plans starting Jan. 1. Businesses of all sizes that currently provide health care will have to offer ObamaCare’s expensive, mandated benefits, or drop their plans and—except the smallest firms—pay a fine. Tens of millions of Americans with employer-provided health plans risk paying more for less, and losing their policies and doctors to more restrictive networks.”
Then of course there will be more part-time workers and cut backs in workers hours. The practice of medicine will suffer as doctors become salaried workers to big conglomerates. The latest polls show that even the uninsured don’t like ObamaCare:
“Skepticism about the health care law extends to both insured and uninsured Americans, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll. Both groups disapprove of the law overall, and while the uninsured are more positive about the law’s personal impact than those with insurance, more still think the law will hurt rather than help them. CBS News and The New York Times interviewed 702 adults who do not have health insurance for this poll.
Just 15 percent of insured Americans think the health care law will help them personally, but that number rises to 33 percent among the uninsured. Still, more uninsured Americans think the health care law will hurt them (37 percent). Thirty-two percent of insured Americans say it’ll hurt them. Overall, 46 percent feel it will have no effect (49 percent of insured Americans, 27 percent of uninsured).”
The dogs won’t eat the dog food. “The beatings will continue until morale improves” says the totalitarian. “Big government is the threat” say three quarters of the people.
It’s a backfire and a backlash against totalitarians and the totalitarian in the White House – so time for a Hawaii vacation paid for by the oppressed people.