I am a fan of "Duck Dynasty," and that's saying a lot because I tend to steer far away from so-called reality shows.
But in this case, I can't look away. The boys from West Monroe, La., who run the Duck Commander duck call business make a heck of a television show.
What's not to like? Millionaire rednecks, guns, hunting, ducks, trucks, pranks, explosions -- all wrapped up in the setting of the backwoods but firmly grounded in the old-fashioned values of a good Christian family. Each show spends the first 20 or so minutes entertaining us with the antics of Willie, Uncle Si, Jace, Phil and Miss Kay and the rest of the Quack Pack, but every single one ends with the family gathered around a big dinner table (remember when people did that?) and Willie narrating a summary of what sort of lesson was learned from that episode's silliness.
With a new season starting this week, the cast was set to appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" along with musical guest Morrissey. Two more opposites you could not find.
Morrissey is a British singer who has made a career out of producing some utterly depressing indie rock and made a reputation for being outspoken and controversial. Among his many causes is animal rights, and because of this, he canceled his appearance on Kimmel's show, saying he couldn't be on the same set with people who are essentially "animal serial killers."
Now, I can't fault the man for sticking up for his beliefs. But he is one of those liberal-elite celebrity types who takes it too far. Like Sean Penn, Michael Moore, et al., he can't just calm down and enjoy a day without pointing out an injustice, and he has now moved into the realm of forcing his views on his fans. He originally said that for a performance tonight in Los Angeles, the Staples Center would go meatless in deference to his vegetarianism. The Staples Center is only adding vegetarian items, though, not actually forcing its vendors to go meatless.
Yet Morrissey is apparently so engrossed in his own perceived importance that he essentially says to his fans, "I'll sing for my supper, but you'll eat what I tell you to for yours." It's not the first time either. He once walked off a stage because he could smell meat cooking, saying, "I hope to God it's human."
Fanatical animal rights activism aside (he once called the Chinese a "subspecies" because of their treatment of animals) I just can't stomach entertainers who look down on people and force their will on their fans.
I go to a lot of concerts. Many are the kinds of shows put on by bonafide rock stars, people known for wild lifestyles and big egos. But oddly enough, I rarely go to one where the performers don't take a moment to sincerely thank the audience for being there.
You have to respect celebrities who get the relationship between themselves and the fans. I once watched the race car driver John Andretti stand by a fence at a track and sign autographs for fans until every single person left satisfied. The rock band Kiss made a point of extending a special thank-you one time to those of us who'd been standing in a driving rain storm for hours to hear them play. And the actor Robert Mukes recently told me at a convention that despite being exhausted and jet-lagged that he would be there at his table meeting fans every hour the convention was open because he owed it to them for making sure he had a job.
That's what I want out of entertainers. Appreciation. Humbleness. I don't want them "dictating what we eat," as "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil said of Morrissey on Kimmel's show.
But mostly what I want from entertainers is entertainment. That's what I get from "Duck Dynasty."
I guess what I'm saying is, given the choice between Louisiana bird-brains and British whine, I'll have the Duck.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.