Tolerance Lessons From Honey Boo Boo

Honey Boo BooKathleen Geier is doing the blogging over at Political Animal this weekend. She apparently knows a lot more about reality television than I do, which she displays in, Your Mandatory Duck Dynasty Update. She compares the bigotry on display among the Duck Dynasty clan to the open-mindedness of—Wait for it!—Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

The thought had never occurred to me, given I haven’t seen either show. But as Geier notes, how could the family not be accepting of the LGBT community when they are so involved with the beauty pageant circuit. That’s about as gay as it gets, and it is unlikely that those sets get dressed without a good deal of homosexual help. But she also sees the show in a way that is different from anyone else’s view I’ve ever heard:

The family in it is being mocked, of course, but they are also in on the joke. Above all, what viewers see is a family that is fun, loving, enormously likeable[1], and tolerant. As has been made clear more than once, the Thompson clan is very gay-friendly.

I guess you would have to be tolerant. All I’ve seen of the show is a two minute clip that Andrea forced me to watch. Based upon that, how could they not be tolerant in a general sense?

But there is another aspect of this that I first discussed in, The Sad Reality of Duck Dynasty. The Duck Dynasty clan are pretenders. They are just members of a family that has been rich for generations. They are, in other words, the Romneys with long beards and camouflage. And that is just a business decision for them.

The Thompson clan, for all that I find offensive about them, really are the loud redneck Mountain Dew downers who they claim to be. And as wealthy as I know they must by now be, they are still what they always were. They are what the Robertson clan is not: authentic.

Now I have no use for either family. But I at least appreciate a bit of honesty. And what do you know: the truthful ones are also the accepting ones:

Afterword

I don’t think I’ve written about it here, but I have in the comments on other blogs. What was most offensive about Robertson’s GQ interview was his racism. It sounded just like what bigots were saying in the early 1960s, “None of our coloreds was unhappy until them northern liberals got ’em all worked up!” In a nation that had any shame, this would be the last season of Duck Dynasty. Because no one would watch it anymore.


[1] I hate that spelling. It is older than “likable.” But in the US (Which is where Political Animal comes from!) the spelling is pretty much always the newer “likable.” My project is to make English usage and spelling simpler. “Likeable” looks like something out of a Ben Jonson play. I have enough headaches!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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