January 4, 2014

I read Phil Robertson's autobiography.

1. Here, you can buy it on Amazon, as I did.

2. I have no idea how accurate it is, but I know that the GQ article calls it "a ghostwritten book he says he has never read." I assume he talked to the ghostwriter and didn't check the ghost's work by sitting down and reading through the book. I'd be interested to know what books Phil does read. He reads the Bible. I got that. Phil purports to be such a godly man that I feel entitled to believe the book is accurate, but it has the feeling of PR, and I took it in that spirit.

3. My favorite part of the book was the first chapter, his boyhood, especially all the stuff about living off the land:
Nearly everything we ate came from our land. The eggs came from our chickens, the milk and butter from our cows. Bacon and sausage came from the hogs we raised and butchered... My entire family took part in harvesting fruits and vegetables. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had enough to eat. From the beginning of May, when the mayhaws and dewberries ripened, until the end of fall, with the gathering of muscadines and pears, my family and I could regularly be found in the area’s swamps, fields, forests, and abandoned home sites. With our buckets and tubs, from the youngest to the oldest, we would be stooped over or stretched upward gathering whatever fruit was in season.
4. As an adult, he keeps coming back to the land. The orientation toward living independently off one's own land is strong and appealing. He ties it to religion, quoting God in the story of Noah: "Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

5. I made 5 highlights in my Kindle as I read:
1. In a lot of ways, I was withdrawing from mainstream society. I was trying to drop back about two centuries to become an eighteenth-century man who relied on hunting and fishing for his livelihood. But I was living in the twentieth century, and everything was constantly changing around me.

2. Nothing stands out like a white surrender flag in a duck blind more than a white man’s face! [NOTE: The topic here was the decision to wear face paint.]

3. I’ve always believed that if we did what was morally and ethically right, while continuing to steadfastly believe in what we were doing, we’d end up okay in the end.

4. Now, I’m not a man of great intellectual depth, but it sounds to me like God Almighty has said we can pretty much rack and stack anything that swims, flies, or walks, which I consider orders from headquarters.

5. After studying several political parties to find out what they believe and stand for, I decided my political ideology was more in line with the Republicans. I definitely was no Democrat—that’s for sure—but I don’t really consider myself one or the other. I’m more of a Christocrat, someone who honors our founding fathers and pays them homage for being godly men at a time when wickedness was all over the world. Our founding fathers started this country and built it on God and His Word, and this country sure would be a better place to live and raise our children if we still followed their ideals and beliefs.
6. I liked the stories about taking new opportunities, seemingly in response to the next thing that turned up in front of him, trying to make things work even when he didn't really know what he was doing (like trying to market the duck calls at first with no packaging and no labeling and just walking into a Walmart store as a way to get Walmart to carry his product). It's a nice combination of ambitious entrepreneurship and stubborn refusal to join mainstream society.

21 comments:

Sorun said...

2. Nothing stands out like a white surrender flag in a duck blind more than a white man’s face!

That's so true. Some people spend lots of money on camo clothing, but then don't cover their face. What looks more like a human in the woods, a blue plaid shirt or a white man's face? We stand out like a dorsal fin on a calm ocean.

Strategist said...

I'm trying to reconcile Ronan Sinatra and Phil Robertson. Can't seem to do it.

cubanbob said...

I have no idea what books he reads but considering his wealth it's a pretty safe be the reads his industry's trade magazines and the financial papers.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Nothing stands out more in a duck blind than a white man wearing white.

Skeptical Voter said...

I don't know if the book was ghost written or not--will probably not read it. But what Ms Althouse reported re "living off the land" in Monroe Louisiana in the 1950's and early 1960's rings true.

I have a friend--a patent lawyer--who was one of six children who grew up on a farm in Nacogdoches Texas--maybe 150 miles from Monroe as the crow flies. He was the youngest in the family and got out of high school in 1964. They four boys and two girls were bright--and good at school. Being good Baptists most of them went off to Baylor for their college education. They became teachers and prison counselors, and one came back to run a big feed and supply store in Nacogdoches.

My friend Tom went to Georgia Tech for an engineering degree. He said he chose Georgia Tech because it was a day and a half's drive away from Nacogdoches, and he couldn't get called home from college to help with the harvest.

But it was a simpler time; one of the crops on the family farm was watermelons. When the watermelon harvest was ready the family took the melons into town and sold them.

The proceeds from the crop were used to buy school clothes for the year. Each one of the four boys got five new pairs of blue jeans, five white T-shirts and one pair of black shoes and some socks. That was it--the wardrobe for the entire school year. I doubt that the two girls fared much better.

So if Robertson claims his family went out and harvested things in the woods and swamps to eat--he just may be telling the truth.

eric said...

"Our founding fathers started this country and built it on God and His Word, and this country sure would be a better place to live and raise our children if we still followed their ideals and beliefs."

This is clear evidence that he's a racist and wants to bring back slavery.

EDH said...

Duck calls. Blinds. Camo. Face Paint... What am I missing?

Every duck I've met came up to me looking for a morsel of bread.

FullMoon said...

Purports: appear or claim to be or do something, esp. falsely; profess

AA says" Phil purports to be such a godly man that I feel entitled to believe the book is accurate, but it has the feeling of PR, and I took it in that spirit."

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Every duck I've met came up to me looking for a morsel of bread.

Shocking. Baiting game animals is illegal in most states, I'll have you know.

FullMoon said...

EDH said...

Duck calls. Blinds. Camo. Face Paint... What am I missing?

Every duck I've met came up to me looking for a morsel of bread.


Feeding the ducks is a misdemeanor in California.

Unknown said...

A lot of us who were hippies back in the day decided to live off the land. My husband and I almost applied for one of those homesteads on the Peace River in Canada, but then decided to stay in the U. S., bought a little acreage and raised ducks, chickens, geese, rabbits, goats (for milk and cheese and kid) a few cows for milk and calves and a dozen pigs for sausages and pork chops. That, along with a big garden, a milk separator, a butter churn and a freezer, and we were set to go, UNTIL one night our house burned down and the dream was over. But, I have to say, it was a good life - a lot of work but nights of deep satisfaction of a life well lived.

betamax3000 said...

I Will Meet Althouse at Four AM. Silent Duck Call. Landscape Painted White and Gray. Meade Asleep. Mac Lighting the Room That Faded Peculiar Color.










What the Hell Time Zone IS Wisconsin?

Jack Wayne said...

He may/ may not have read Solzhenitsyn, but he knows what the Russian believed.

Jack Wayne said...

He may/ may not have read Solzhenitsyn, but he knows what the Russian believed.

Michael K said...

I grew up in Chicago but we had a family farm in Illinois and every three weeks we sent a 12 dozen egg crate to the farm by Railway Express. The full crate came back a week before we ran out of eggs. My father bought a side of beef at a time in Indiana from a feed lot. It was butchered and frozen in a large freezer.

We went hunting every fall on the farm and duck hunting on the Illinois River when I was 9. It wasn't like Robertson's life but it was a lot different from my kids'

JohnSteele said...

If you're interested in this idea of poor whites who can live off their own independent land and croft farm, you might try "Rainbow Pie," by Joe Bageant.

http://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Pie-A-Redneck-Memoir/dp/192164091X

Rusty said...

EDH said...
Duck calls. Blinds. Camo. Face Paint... What am I missing?

Every duck I've met came up to me looking for a morsel of bread.

Instead of building a blind every fall, we've considered building a park bench and dressing up like little old ladies with bags of stale bread.
Living off the land is hard work.

Simon Kenton said...

I have been tempted by a van with dark windows, a silent, scoped PCP air rifle capable of 0.5 MOA accuracy, and park after park replete with voluble canada geese all industriously pecking blue grass and voluminously shitting green cheetos. A tiny, nearly inaudible "pfft" inside the van, and one of them undergoes a strange anti-gravity transmutation; it is sowed a watch goose, and raised up a resting goose. (So to speak, that is, virtually raised up - except for the death, which is actual, and lays them low.) Why, you could get a stand going. A reflective sort of stand, where you thought, "Look how tall and alert that one is! Look how resolutely she/he sticks his chest out! Why, I'm just sure he was a congressperson in a past life. I'm going to leave him/her strictly alone, she/he's such a stately example of their kind." But for the others, not pardoned by your appreciation for metempsychosis, pick them up after dark in a big camo baggie.

Then, of course, you'd be stuck with a stiffening of dead geese, and that's not necessarily your basic gourmet delight, at least in quantity. That time Ol' Bob P____ and his roommate illicitly harvested just about the whole rafter of wild turkeys, he got pretty god-damn tired of Wild Turkey Jet Puff Marshmallow Surprise by the time they had chawed their way through the flock. I expect Teriyaki Goose Morsels and Goose Legs En Croute would get to be the same after a month or so; toothsome would become tough, flavorful would become gamy, goose would become vexation of stomach. Still, though - an honest-to-Jesus stand. Why, in a modern sort of way, all you'd need is a set of fringed, oleaginous buckskins and you'd be imaging yourself shoulder to shoulder with the ranks of 19th century bison hunters. Though I do think that after nodding approvingly at your greasy leather shirt with small tube-tracks where you wiped surplus dinner fat off your fingers onto it, they'd take an assessing sort of look at your .177 pellet gun with its fat scope and tiny darning-needle bore, glance significantly at the cavernous muzzles of their .45-120-550s, and wrinkle the lip of contempt.

Kirk Parker said...

"Why, I'm just sure he was a congressperson in a past life"

Dude, you owe me a new keyboard.

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But .... WHAT????? No, for all that lives and breathes, no!!! The ones who were politicians in previous lives are the ones most deserving to be done away with! These are the ones misdirected by the Galactic Reincarnation Service; maybe next time around they'll be properly situated as snakes, weasels, toads, and insects.

Kirk Parker said...

Unknown @ 8:11pm,

Wow, you lived my high-school (late '60s) dream! What are you doing now? For me, fwiw, one of the happiest days of my recent life was when my wife agreed to sell our last remaining breeding buck and does, and we are completely animal-responsibility-free (except for two dogs, but you'd be amazed how much easier it is to farm them out of you need to be out of town for a day or two than it is for 4 adult plus who-knows-how-many-litters-worth of rabbits???)




betamax3000,

"What the Hell Time Zone IS Wisconsin?"

Dude, it's winter; thus: FROZEN.

Duh.

JRH, esq. said...

>> "Phil purports to be such a godly man . . ."

The Prof's inability to hide her contempt of the religious is one of her most consistent blogging tics.

Does it play well in the classroom? I recall most of my east-coast law school compatriots being inclined to look down on anything that didn't line up with the Elite mindset, and dishing out the aspersions as a way to prove their Progressive bona-fides.