Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson

Mr. Robertson is the founder of Duck Commander and his family is the center of a reality television show called Duck Dynasty.  This book is his story.

The net is this:  Mr. Robertson grew up in a country setting near Caddo Parish, Louisiana in poverty, but not realizing it all that much.  He went to college, played football, graduated, but his interests had always been hunting and fishing and it was his goal to do so as much as possible.

For many years after marrying Kay Robertson (at age 15), Mr. Robertson was a carousing drunk.  At age 28 he became a devout Christian and credits this for the resolution of his poor behavior.  He founded a business building duck calls, and turned it into a substantial enterprise.  Notably, the business (now turned over to son Willie) takes pride in employing as many family members as possible.

Mr. Robertson writes about his belief that hunting and fishing are, literally, god -given rights, including a bible reference to support his claim.  In spite of this authorization, he is (reluctantly) willing to abide by hunting regulations.  Although he describes a long career in poaching and generally ignoring and running from game wardens.  Presumably Mr. Robertson doesn't understand the concept of waterfowl conservation that hunting limits help with.

The book has a fair amount of proselytizing, especially at the final chapter.  Mr. Robertson's faith is such that he doesn't believe in evolution nor in abortion, and he believes in a personal god who affects his life.  Mr. Robertson also writes that the US could solve most of its social issues through more religion, and decries the separation of church and state.

Mr. Robertson really likes rural life, and expresses disdain for civilization - that is, cities and the complexities they represent.  Between that, his social conservatism, and his religious beliefs, his book could just as easily describe a successful Taliban warlord in Afghanistan; I suspect he'd be a big fan of strict sharia law (certainly if it were re-named "the Christian law").

Mr. Robertson seems like a happy guy, and as I hear it the television show about his family portrays them well, but he comes across to me as unpleasant.

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander

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