I know I haven’t been keeping up with the Rich Asshole of the Month section, but sometimes a special case just reaches out and demands your attention. August’s Rich Asshole of the Month just couldn’t be ignored…
I’m choosing the Robertson family from A&E’s unexplainably popular Duck Dynasty. [They recently received a raise to where they’ll make 200,000 an episode.] They fit a very special type of Rich Asshole status that might be called “the Redneck millionaire who pretends to speak for poor folks” or the “Larry the Cable Guy Rich Asshole.”
See, they appeal to a very poor demographic. People all over rural, might-not-have-indoor-plumbing America and especially little boys of a certain socioeconomic bent——–it’s usually the type of kid who might wear camouflage to school——-idolize the Robertsons. They turn on the TV and think “Hey, there’s some regular folks who stand for what we stand for in this Kardashian world!” In fact, a lot of the internet comments said exactly that when news of their hefty raise broke.
One poster said, and I quote, “It’s nice to see a family on TV that prays together, isn’t half-naked or swearing all the time, and actually stands for my conservative values.” And the five minutes of an episode I watched of Duck Dynasty had the head of the family saying he would save America from “Hollyweird.”
I’m not sure how the hypocrisy police didn’t arrest him on the spot for denouncing “Hollyweird” with his mouth while cashing their checks with his hands. If Hollywood is so bad, why demand more money from them? Why have a TV show where you play yourself at all? It seems as though Hollywood is okay if it’s backing a wheelbarrow full of money to their front door (no doubt made of aluminum) but not “morally” okay.
Seems like a pretty good analogy for Tea Partiers who hate “da gubment” but don’t mind cashing government checks on everything from disability to tornado relief. It seems as though the government is only okay when it’s writing them checks, and not those “welfare bums” in the inner-cities. The same way Hollywood is only okay with the Robertsons if it’s making them rich, and not someone like Kanye West.
The fact that they can get paid to be poor as dirt and essentially have no truly useful skill sets doesn’t actually make them any better than the Kardashians, but their fans seem oblivious to this and hold them up to a higher standard, perhaps making them the ultimate phonies. In that regard, maybe the Robertsons are a pretty good symbol of rural, conservative America.