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Good Ol’ Boy, Inc.
National Review Online, by Victor Davis Hanson

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 12/31/2013 5:46:32 AM

The hysteria over Duck Dynasty reminds us that cable TV is currently inundated with working-class, white-guy reality shows. Top-drawing, relatively low-cost realities showcase gold miners, oil drillers, hunters, locomotive drivers, off-the-grid backwoods eccentrics, fishermen, crabmen, truck drivers, ax men, moonshiners, or the new generation of Beverly Hillbillies. The list of the particular subspecies of the muscular classes is endless. These shows share a few common themes. They do not take place in an office, where most Americans work. They are not Kardashian psychodramas about plastic surgery gone bad, or a Gucci purse that underwhelmed the latte bunch in Brentwood. The men


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Knotwyrkin, 12/31/2013 5:58:34 AM     (No. 9673739)

The phrase "They do not take place in an office, where most Americans work" instantly declares the authors ignorance.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Mobyclik, 12/31/2013 6:10:06 AM     (No. 9673742)

Or...maybe people are sick and tired of the trash the 4 networks show. You know the the ones...Stupid Dad (or no Dad), all-knowing Mother (or no Mother), slutty daughter and the smart-mouthed son. Or...Let´s move move on to the office workers shows: Sex. There, took care of that genre.

Skipping thru the channels or seeing a commercial for some of them always brings to my mind these questions: Who writes this crap? Who WATCHES this crap?

Gimme the Good Ol´ Boy stuff.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Spidey, 12/31/2013 6:37:35 AM     (No. 9673754)

Maybe people just like some reassurances that there´s some remnants of real America somewhere.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: philsner, 12/31/2013 6:54:41 AM     (No. 9673773)

Even though scripted, it is the opposite of the forced, false conformity of Washington.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: bgarrett, 12/31/2013 6:57:02 AM     (No. 9673778)

"most" people work in an office???
Really? Is this true?

I dont know the numbers but I doubt that it is true

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Reply 6 - Posted by: MissMolly, 12/31/2013 7:17:02 AM     (No. 9673787)

More likely almost everyone VDH knows works in an office.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: TNVolunteer, 12/31/2013 7:18:58 AM     (No. 9673789)

I live in both worlds. i have an "office" job although I am hardly ever there. I telecommute a lot. I raise horses as a hobby. This is an insulting article to many to most of the males in fly over country. My recommendation in for the author to spend a little time here. It is a different world.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: FlatCityGirl, 12/31/2013 7:32:31 AM     (No. 9673793)

Toward the end he finally started making sense --or else I finally had enough coffee down to understand where he was going.

I don´t know if he´s right in his assumptions as to who, or why people watch the Good Ol´ Boys.

I worked [before I retired] in an office, and for a while I watched Ax Men and Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch, et al, but not because I needed a glimpse at Real Men or Real America [I live in Ranch Country in Texas], but because those shows didn´t feature that crazy Alec guy who does the credit card commercials or the guy who is the drugged out son of some old Communist Lefty --I can´t think of those people´s names, but I´ve seen the promos for their shows and just the promos made me want to take a shower.

What finally drove me from the Reality Shows was " . . . we have to make do with bleeped-out swear words and . . . "

The shows became uninteresting to me, unwatchable, because you can not follow the dialog for the bleeps.

Then came Duck Dynasty. I don´t doubt for a minute that the show is "scripted," but at least you can follow the script and you don´t feel like you need a shower when the credits roll.

So I´m now down to Duck Dynasty, Food Network and Home and Garden.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: StormCnter, 12/31/2013 7:39:50 AM     (No. 9673804)

#8, I agree about the bleeped dialogue on too many of the shows. Also that Duck Dynasty is largely unscripted. I read a Miss Kay interview where she was asked which of the family members were most like their off-television selves on the show. Her immediate answer was "Si!! He´s always been like that, but we never thought he´d do it on TELEVISION!"

I also like "Alaska, the Last Frontier", although I could never live in that way. Even Texas ranch folks need a bit of luxury from time to time.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Former lurker, 12/31/2013 8:02:01 AM     (No. 9673831)

VDH is not only a brilliant historian and writer, he still lives on the small ranch that has been in his family for generations. Read some of his articles about maintaining the fences, machinery, and livestock against the almost constant raids by the army of illegals that occupy his corner of inland California. He is not making fun of hard working Americans.....he is one.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: bugger, 12/31/2013 8:32:35 AM     (No. 9673885)

You are correct #3, many of us long so much for the America we knew growing up (or thought we knew). Immediately after the gut wrenching realization that we were going to be stuck with the marxist and his clan for another 4 years, I started ordering Rawhide seasons. It is a nice way to escape reality for awhile and reminds me of much happier and more secure times.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: lilo, 12/31/2013 8:38:07 AM     (No. 9673897)

"Most people work in offices"? Victor I love ya, but....who mans hospitals, police departments, fire departments, gas stations, truck stops, restaurants, utility repair crews, mass transit-land, sea, and air, prisons, nursing homes, radio stations, box stores, and transport of goods for markets (truckers) 24/7/52? Feel free to ad to the list.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: lilo, 12/31/2013 8:42:41 AM     (No. 9673905)

And the biggest one of all, all of the US Armed Forces.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: FlatCityGirl, 12/31/2013 8:57:15 AM     (No. 9673932)

The statement regarding "most people work in offices" that most here seem to think is off-base might surprise you. For everyone who works "not in an office" there is probably at least one person --support staff, who does work in an office.

I personally know a rancher who employs six people --support staff, who work in his office; someone has to keep the books and keep up with what pasture of Feeders are being shipped on what date --and to where, and which trucking company is going to pull those Feeders out of the pasture and get them to where they are going. The support staff that he employs in the Ranch Office doesn´t include his lawyer and accountant who don´t actually work on the ranch, but off the ranch, and are in his employ --and they all have support staff.

Someone has to keep the plumber´s books and file his taxes and take his calls and schedule his work.

A furniture store is not considered an office, but aside from the salesman on the floor, there is a support staff behind the scenes who fields the phone calls and keeps the books.

This Reality Show Ax Men you see? Someone in an office somewhere is handling the details.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: JAN, 12/31/2013 9:00:06 AM     (No. 9673934)

Wasn´t a big part of the TV viewing audience watching Roseanne Barr´s crazy family do their thing.

Certainly they didn´t represent most of us back in the day but we watched, enthralled.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: kanphil, 12/31/2013 9:10:01 AM     (No. 9673956)

Those on this thread who are crowing about VDH´s ignorance are only showing their own ignorance. He is one of the most learned and consistently conservative persons writing for publication today.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: thelmalou, 12/31/2013 9:19:02 AM     (No. 9673965)

#10 and #16 are correct - VDH is a farmer from WAY BACK, and is one of the most brilliant and perceptive writers out there. No fool, he.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: snakeoil, 12/31/2013 9:40:12 AM     (No. 9673993)

I miss the show that featured Cajuns hunting alligators. It had a cultural bias in that subtitles were placed under the Cajuns while they talked although I understood every word. They don´t do that for The View and I cannot understand BaBa WaWa.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: wyowumin, 12/31/2013 9:54:17 AM     (No. 9674009)

VDH´s only mistake was in lumping Duck Dynasty in with those other reality shows. The reason DD is so popular is because it is nothing like them. A&E´s big mistake was assuming that they were getting another Honey Boo Boo bunch of Southern white-trash ignoramuses and what they got were a smart, funny, interesting, hard-working, independent, close-knit family who work and pray together. This is very inspirational and heart-warming in the cultural wasteland that is present day television and life.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Clinger, 12/31/2013 9:54:31 AM     (No. 9674010)

Although constrained by the chains of PC they do represent a glimpse outside at the country that once was, and to an extent still is. Self sufficiency vs. dependency, both strong women and men behaving with convictions.

Much of our divide as a nation breaks down to rural vs. urban. We are bombarded with displays of urban/suburban life and as perhaps VDH himself fell into a bit, the presumption that we all live that way with high tech toys etc... Sometimes I wonder who the heck the talking heads are talking to, so much of their perspective is contrary to my life. We are a much more diverse nation than one might assume by viewing conventional TV. These glimpses into, perhaps an extreme endpoint on the spectrum, provide a bit of balance. I´m sure to some in the elite class it´s just a freak show.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: mabel normand, 12/31/2013 10:53:10 AM     (No. 9674099)

Sounds like most of you work in offices.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: farmwife, 12/31/2013 11:34:28 AM     (No. 9674163)

I think the point Mr. Hanson is making here is that most people life a very regimented life. Their livelihood depends on their walking a tight line of political correctness. They live in boxes, work in boxes, drive in boxes with thousands of other boxes with very little actual freedom. They are comfortable, but it comes with its own kinds of stresses. They watch these shows and envy that kind of freedom.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: berthabutt, 12/31/2013 7:15:37 PM     (No. 9674689)

Reality[not] TV is for a spectator population seeking entertainlightenment, wishing neither to sweat nor smell dirt. Less mosquito bites while kicked back in the Lazy Boy, too. VDH has callouses on more than his remote finger.

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How do you ensure that you won’t be ostracized, denounced, or fired if you are a media celebrity, captain of industry, or high public official? For some, sexist banter is certainly no problem. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c–t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around “sweetie” as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women.

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