Thursday, April 28, 2016
I was warned. I'll admit it. Their teacher said it in passing--"If I know them, they'll probably ask you about Duck Dynasty," she said.
I was in a small town in eastern Washington, the visiting writer about to step into a class of ten-year-olds, among whom a "visiting writer" was about as interesting as a wasted magic marker. But I'd held forth in front of kids before, and it wasn't all that difficult to keep them entertained. I wasn't sweating, really.
"What's Duck Dynasty?" I asked her.
"You've never seen it?"
"It's a show about ducks?"
"Just act as if you like it," she said, rolling her eyes.
She wasn't wrong. Fifteen minutes later, some kid in the front raw, only half serious, asked me about Duck Dynasty. Giggles all around.
I told him I really didn't watch it. "What's it about?" I asked. Engage the kids, right?
Laughter. Howls of laughter.
Mental note: watch Duck Dynasty.
I never have. And, truth be told, I never watched The Apprentice either. It was televised for 12 whole seasons, attracted millions of viewers, and made Donald Trump a TV star even though he'd been a real estate mogul on the big stage--New York--for decades.
And the fact is, I watch--which is to say we watch--vastly more TV than we did before we retired. Not even close. Every night, in fact. Somewhere around nine, we turn on Netflix. Last night, forgive me, four--court 'em, four--episodes of West Wing. (Zoey was kidnapped--we had no choice.) The West Wing is ten years old, absolutely ancient via TV time, but we never watched an episode when it came out. Now, as we're about to begin season five, we can barely get up from the couch.
In the Washington Post, Joe Scarborough (whose Morning Joe is hardly Duck Dynasty) says "the media elite," which is to say the talking heads that populate cable TV news and most of Sunday morning, have exotic viewing habits, so exotic they know nothing about a huge other America. A woman named Chyna died a couple weeks ago, and her face and burly body were all over the media. I'd never heard of her.
When the Duggars went through some family horrors, I had to look them up, and I'm an evangelical Christian (most mornings at least). I hate to admit it, but somehow I missed Prince's legendary Super Bowl performance in the rain, even though now it's become more of heaven than earth.
Joe Scarborough doesn't explain the Trump phenomenon on the basis of TV viewing habits, but he regales the elites (of whom he is one) for rolling their eyes at the America of Let's Make a Deal or American Idol.
He may well be right. No one appears to understand exactly how Trump has rolled into all his successes. He does absolutely everything the rule books say shouldn't be done.
No matter. He's a star.
I don't care. Long ago already I determined to vote for Martin Sheen.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 7:05 AM