Monday, December 23, 2013

The Duck Dynasty / Phil Robertson Controversy And The Roloff Family

Our frequent episode reviewer, Rap541, graciously decided to submit an article about the recent Duck Dynasty controversy where one of the stars of the show, Phil Robertson, made some very anti-gay remarks during a magazine interview. Rap dissects the similarities or differences between the Duck Dynasty family and the Roloff family when it comes to being upfront and honest about their beliefs.


Written by Rap541

The Duck Dynasty thing has been amusing the hell out of me. I don’t really watch the show any more. I tried the first season and while it was funny at times, it was also really repetitive and really staged. I also am not shocked by Phil Robertson’s recent comments because a) it was pretty obvious that the family was right wing b) I was curious and found some of Phil’s sermons because someone told me he was a brimstone and fire preacher and he is and btw CNN has a clip where he pretty clearly is not “love the sinner hate the sin” about it and c)because Phil has been mouthing off in prior interviews that he isn’t happy. One of the reasons Duck Dynasty never made it on to my view list is that I didn’t care for Phil and his views on women and on anyone who doesn’t live the way he does. Sorry, but the yuppie bitching and the disdain for anything that isn’t hunting just got old too quick for me. 

So it wasn’t a surprise to me when Phil interviewed that gay people were the moral equivalent of terrorists, “pre-entitlement blacks” never told him (a white man in the early sixties) that they were unhappy, or that “Shintos” bombed Pearl Harbour - the last just makes me sad because despite the schtick, Phil has a master’s degree and should really know the reasons why the Japanese entered the war (a lil hint, it wasn’t about their godliness, it was about oil) because frankly, its not well hidden. This quote from one of Phil’s sermons – “Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil." Is easy to find and yes, Christians, this is a Christian judging others… But it did surprise me that people really didn’t know because they are pretty clear about what they are. 

Where am I going with this? It is no surprise that the Robertson family has fundamentalist Christian beliefs. In fact, some of the criticism that A&E is facing is that they’re just now having a problem with the Robertson family’s religious views. I posted about this on my live journal, describing the Robertsons as anti-gay and virulently Christian and… My pal Andrew posts: 

“So when do Matt and Amy show up?” Which made me laugh but I corrected pal Andrew with: 

“Dude, those two *wish* they had the Duck Dynasty audience” 

Pal Andrew snarks back with: 

“That's both true and mean. Ha, ha, ha!” 

Here’s the thing. It IS true. Let me explain. 

I don’t particularly care for the Robertsons and their viewpoints on various topics but I really can’t say that they aren’t loud and proud about them. If you ask Phil Robertson his view on homosexuals, he apparently will on record state he thinks they are going to hell and are God haters. Please see the above quote from his *sermon* on the topic.

Do you think a member of the Roloff family would ever give that firm of a statement on their religious views? Really? 

Not a friend, not one of the many anonymous buddies who let us know just how much Jeremy James Roloff loves the views of the Solid Rock church and thinks gays are going to hell, much like his beloved pal John Mark Comer. 

 Jeremy Roloff's favorite Pastor, John Mark Comer of the Solid Rock
Church in Portland, OR, (a Church that the entire Roloff family have
attended) has given sermons that Jeremy has shared and recommended
where he describes gay people as having a perversion and being broken
in their soul. He recommends a website, , which
converts gay people into being "straight".

Does anyone think Jeremy will ever say that? How about Molly and her love of Kirk Cameron’s stance on homosexuals? 

Shortly after Kirk Cameron's controversial comments on CNN's 
"Piers Morgan Tonight" where he said gay peoplewere ultimately 
destructive for civilization, Molly expressed her support of Kirk Cameron
 to her friends. However, none of the Roloffs have ever went on the record 
(16 year old Jacob has been the closest) to say exactly what they think publicly. This 
leads many feeling that the Roloffs are intentionally being deceptive so they
don't jeopardize their careers as paid public diversity speakers. 

How about Amy and her “I like some of the message but not all of the message” stuff where she never actually outlines what part of the message she doesn’t like?

As much as I don’t like Phil’s views on religion, I sure can’t accuse him of hiding those views now can I? Christian fans of the Roloffs – and I assume a few of you like and agree with Phil’s views – do you really think the Roloffs are in agreement with Phil? 

Because I am fairly amused that the Roloffs, who so many *anonymously* insist are in accord with fundamentalist values haven’t come down on the side of the oppressed Robertson clan. Well, let me be honest, I am not surprised in the slightest that the Roloffs are shutting their mouths on this one. When it comes to saying anything other than “We’re diversity speakers, we want all people to *appreciate* (not tolerate, *appreciate*) each other’s differences and yes we attend a church that advocates that gays are going to hell and can be cured of being gay but we are under no obligation to say whether we agree with our church or not because that’s private and our privacy is so very precious” – well, members of the Roloff clan don’t like direct questions about their faith, now do that?

It’s funny also, that there’s really never been any anonymous friends who have braved the trend here to insist that the Roloffs are secretly *liberal* and actually hold moderate views. No, that has never happened. It’s always, *always* anonymous friends letting us know how *Christian* and *anti-homosexual* the Roloffs are. At which point, the part of the fanbase that this pleases starts to harp on how the Roloffs always stand tall on their morals and principles as shown by well, their attendance at church events where praying out the gay is preached, Amy listing Focus on the Family in her links for a while, Matt’s cute little references to Focus on the Family on his facebook, their fairly open support of anti-gay marriage political candidates, Jeremy and how he loves the views espoused by the Solid Rock church. When I wonder out loud why the Roloffs themselves never want to speak out on how proud they are to support traditional marriage, no one ever really wants to answer. And when people likewise ask why the Roloffs never speak on this topic in a definitive way…. There’s usually an anon who rushes to explain that even though the Roloffs are diversity speakers, as long as they never ever say what their views are, and even though everyone who knows them knows they are against gay marriage, no one can actually hold them accountable for having an opinion at all. 

Amy Roloff originally linked the controversial group
Focus On The Family, who is arguably best known 
for their opposition to gay rights, on her official
website. She removed the link to replace it with
her own Charity Foundation link.

Have you noticed that they’re not coming out in support of the Robertsons? 

Let me explain. Unlike the Robertsons, the Roloffs aren’t actually independently wealthy. To be fair, I don’t think the Roloffs were close to applying for welfare when the show started, but I think they needed the money. The Robertsons in contrast, were already pretty well off with the Duck Commander business. Also, unlike the Robertsons, the Roloffs have portrayed themselves as diversity advocates. 

I’m sure someone will make the argument that “TLC told them not to say anything!” which btw is likely true. Here’s my response to that. I am absolutely certain someone at A&E told the Robertson clan to not mouth off on certain topics as well. The difference is that the Robertson clan has the money to say what they please, and have consistently marketed themselves as redneck hillbillies (even though that isn’t accurate) while the Roloffs don’t have the financial freedom to speak freely and very much want people to think they embrace diversity. 

If you genuinely believe that Matt and Amy Roloff are against gay marriage, the gay lifestyle, etc, because of their religious views, you really can’t tell me they aren’t keeping that on the down low. They won’t answer direct questions on it because instead of standing tall with their Christian friends, they don’t want to tick off the liberals who pay them for diversity talks. They let their friends, who also won’t stand up and say “I am Lisa “insert lastname” and I know Matt and Amy personally and they believe homosexuality is wrong” and then whine and moan that people seem to think they just might be a bit against homosexuality. Matt, Amy, if you genuinely don’t harbor the view that homosexuality is wrong and against God, you have the power to say so, and you might want to protest all these kind friends of your family who anonymously insist you do believe this. And if you do believe this… well, you’re not the Robertsons, now are you? LPBW never had the marketing value, and Matt’s previous businesses, his protests aside, clearly weren’t the empire that Duck Commander is and was. 

Now I will be honest. I don’t care for Phil Robertson’s views, and because the Robertsons are independently wealthy, I don’t think Phil is taking a life altering risk when he decides to do interviews because Phil has the money to say “screw you” and walk away. A rich man being an asshole because he knows he can get away with it, in other words. On the other hand, this has never been hidden and his sermons are pretty easy to find. I have to respect that he’s willing to stand up for his beliefs and say them, knowing that there’s a potential for consequences. 

I don’t see the Roloffs doing that at all. I get it, it’s about the money, but don’t tell me that wiffle waffling about not liking “some things” in their church and never ever protesting that all these anonymous friends who say they are proud to be against homosexuality, and never stating their opinion in a way that makes them accountable is “The Roloffs standing loud and proud in their faith”. Because if they genuinely believe homosexuality is wrong…they sure aren’t willing to say so and they aren’t willing to buck their masters in order to say it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Episode Of Little People, Big World Featuring The Roloffs: "Crossroads For The Roloffs" December 17th at 9:00pm On TLC

This is a preview and then review of the new episode of "Little People, Big World" airing tonight  at 9:00pm on TLC.

The episode is called "Crossroads For The Roloffs":

The Roloff Family dynamic is changing. Jeremy and Molly return to school as Zach moves into a new house. Pumpkin season catastrophes push Matt and Amy to their limits - and after 25 years of marriage, they question whether there’s still a future together.


Review written by Rap541

Weird thing I noticed while watching reruns. Amy is all “why is it leaking??” in the wine cellar, but she’s standing right next to the gaping hole in the bricks. Also when Matt is giving Jer the pep talk on doing good in school, Jeremy is rolling his eyes and unable to look directly at his father. And who wants to bet we never see Heidi again? Oh and despite the serious concerns everyone expressed in the Family Game Day episode, not once in the other episode did I see a Roloff, or anyone with a Roloff put a seat belt on while driving the mules. There’s even one lovely scene of Matt and Heidi rolling up and there’s a full on shot of Matt not wearing a seat belt.

Also the commercial leading into this final episode are cloying. And if Molly and Jeremy expect to be provided a bed over summer break, Christmas break, and whatever break, and for their stuff to be stored at the house, and Mom and Dad pay for their places at school, they aren’t actually moved out.

Btw Person of Interest was really awesome!

So in previously, Matt and Amy bitch at each other.

The farm is desolate and Amy and Matt eat dinner by themselves.  Apparently Zach moved out and now since Matt and Amy are alone (screw Jacob, they’re already talking grandkids) Matt pointedly states “I’ll move to Maui and call me when the grandkids arrive.”

Four weeks earlier, Matt is chiding Amy how he’s sooo beat and he doesn’t like the weddings and he clashes constantly with Amy. Matt harps on pumpkin season and he’s so exhausted. Amy notes that she’s told Matt to calm down for years and doesn’t appreciate his bitching.

Matt and Amy check the pumpkins and the harvest looks like crap.

Also the kids are doing headshots with camera equipment. Jeremy notes this is the last summer (as opposed to the various last summers) Amy notes her empty nest and how she misses the dog.

Matt notes how despite not showing any of it, there’s been a massive push to build the funzone. Matt says he’s been working so hard he hasn’t seen the kids.

Molly demands a car from Amy.

Jeremy notes Molly wants a car. Molly wants a small SUV. Jeremy and Molly drive the jeep. This is all about how close they are, nicely staged since in the actual scene they barely speak out loud.

Now there’s a staged scene with some kids who are “testing” the fun zone for the cameras.  Matt notes Amy needs to shut her mouth and let him work with the kids because she’s in his way.  In fairness Amy is a bit gripy but really neither of them are good with kids who aren’t theirs.

Amy enters the sacred office. Matt notes all the kids hated the fun zone and he’s sure it’s a disaster and he’s too old and is throwing in the towel! Is Matt bipolar. He wants to close down pumpkin season because he’s old.

Now Jeremy and Molly are leaving and even tho Jake is home, Amy notes she and Matt are alone. Jeremy notes his life is now in Santa Barbara despite his incessant whining that he’ll always be an Oregon farmer. Interestingly he finally seems to see the dysfunction.

Matt notes how tough it was seeing *Jeremy* leave. Not all the kids, just Jeremy.

Matt hands off a brand new SUV to Molly. Because all normal families have the new car driven by the salesman to their home. There’s a deathless scene between Molly and Jacob. Molly notes she hopes Jake moves the hell out.  There’s a lengthy good bye and Molly diplomatically notes Matt and Amy will have to “rediscover”.  Now Zach moves into a house. Matt doesn’t bother to show for this.  Zach notes how having kids was keeping Matt and Amy together.

Matt chides Amy for not planning. Matt notes how Amy is a piece of crap who never listens to him. Matt notes how if people aren’t lined up, they’re screwed.  Now pumpkin season starts. I note btw that no one seems to be in the pumpkin pavilion. Also the credit card machines are down.  Oh the farm has an ATM?

Amy apologizes to the customers.  Matt is grabbing some wireless gadget.  Matt wants to have the trebuchet fire because his *dream* has been to have it fire off, and of course he insists on having Jake fire it. And of course because it’s a piece of crap, its lucky no one was killed with it. Amy does a tractor tour.  To be fair, she’s fairly funny on the tour.  Amy notes life isn’t actually a fairy tale.

So Matt does a tour for the cameras as well.  The power goes out on the microphones and Matt notes he’s emotionally exhausted. He talks as we see film clips of the family in younger days and Matt notes how maybe he’s done with the farm now that the kids are moved out. Matt tells Amy he is fried from the work. Matt bitches and moans and he notes how careless and stupid it was. There’s lots of bitching and moaning. Now we’re back to the show start of the eerie farm and Matt bitter and angry. Amy makes Matt steak. Amy haybales that she prefers to stay married but things need to change. A rarity, Matt and Amy pray before eating. This is a rehash of the start.

Matt and Amy talk with their mouths full. Amy wants to see her kids and grandkids. Matt notes how small that is and feels he’s stuck on the farm and wants to quit. Matt notes how they are in a dark transitional stage, and how he has nothing in common with Amy. Oddly, Amy is pretty happy with her life. Matt notes how they don’t travel well. Amy notes she’s not going on a trip with Matt if she’s just going to be tested the entire time. Amy notes Matt doesn’t care about anything with the farm and the house and their life. Amy notes Matt’s isn’t happy unless whatever is in front of him is new. Matt notes that things shouldn’t be this hard. Oh Matt, stop being a douche. You want your way. Amy has called it completely – a trip together is Matt judging Amy on everything and Matt isn’t required to make any concessions.  I don’t particularly care for either Amy or Matt at this point but Amy does concede a lot to Matt while Matt constantly calls Amy out as a useless incompetent bitch a lot.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Episode Of Little People, Big World On TLC Featuring The Roloffs: "Come Rain or Come Shine" - December 10, 2013

This is a preview and then review of the new episode of "Little People, Big World" airing tonight on TLC at 9:00pm.

Little People, Big World Come Rain or Come Shine 

The Roloffs need to prepare for pumpkin season - but with the last wedding of the summer still demanding their attention, the entire family is scrambling! Matt suffers from intense shoulder pain, and rain threatens to put a damper on the couple’s big day.


Review written by Rap541

So people are working. Amy meets with Caryn and Matt on the mule. Matt goes on about how they are way behind on pumpkin season. He’s totally worried about the kiddie fun zone that seems to involve large tractor tires. Amy notes how Matt doesn’t communicate squat.

Amy wanders into the sacred Matt office to chat up Matt. There’s a new wedding couple, Liz and Mike. They want a candy shop.  Its four weeks to the wedding and TENT ONLY IF RAIN.  Yup, Mike is a war vet… funny how the Roloff boys who aren’t handicapped never consider service. The bride wants rustic but elegant. Matt and Amy make it very clear the barn isn’t for people. The bride likes the church. The church is looking a tad ramshackle.

Matt screeches to no one “Lets get some work done!” He orders people to build an adventure park. Oh look, the Roloff kids put in a an appearance for under ten seconds. Matt tells Amy she’s in charge of the wedding because he needs to handle pumpkin season. He repeatedly insists its all on her and she repeatedly says no.

Two weeks to the wedding! Matt has an idea for “the special moment” an event that first and foremost leverages the farm. They have a little house in the woods idea but Amy worries about rain. Matt notes he may not have the strength to walk because life has taken its toll. Normally Matt guts through the pain to please us but…. He’s struggling and makes sure we know it. They examine the ratty barn. Matt basically bitches Amy out and says she likes to make him miserable and walks off.  Matt also hates the whole candy store idea and bitches Amy out again. Matt notes he may divorce her.

Now Matt is redoing the tour road and notes he is in excrutiating pain and it sucks to be Matt Roloff. Amy hauls the kids into the barn to clean it… again. I mean really, why is the wedding barn constantly needing cleaning? A tent goes up on the property. The wedding planner is fairly forceful but the groom insists they will marry in the rain.

Matt and Amy chat on mules. Matt wants to cancel the wedding. Amy notes he’s being ridiculous. Matt notes he’s in a ton of pain and has taken on too much. I’d be more sympathetic if a) we were talking about a real business and B) Matt wants the attention of the show more than his health.

One day to the wedding. Amy makes the kids play with Hershey kisses again. Amy tells them to make it look like an old fashioned candy store. The kids all look bored. The candy thing looks dumb. Matt wanders in and Amy fakes it with Matt for a bid. Btw, why is Matt the diabetic constantly stealing candy?

The dad of the bride is super happy.  They rehearse. The bride cries with dad.  Dad is real proud his girl didn’t have sex before marriage.

On the wedding, Amy is taking down the decorations from weddings past. Matt notes how he’s in constant pain.

The bride heads in to the “bridal suite”. They are still making the candy store? I think this is creative editing and Molly gets the plus points for artfully shilling the Hershey sponsor.

Matt notes he’s in horrible pain. He’s on the couch noting how the pain is sucking his energy.

Bridal stuff. The bride is wearing her grandmas dress but one of the bridesmaids screws it up. Panicky, they scrub it. THAT’S NOT WORKING!!

The bridesmaids consult Amy on stains. She heads over with club soda and no one (the bride especially) seems to question her wandering in with one bottle of club soda.

Matt rolls in, noting again how much pain he’s in but he needs to check on Amy’s work because she’s nothing but his vagina to plow.  Oh good god really? The candy store needed to be worked on hours before the wedding?

The bride is really into wearing Grandmas dress. Btw, the storm of the century is coming. It begins to pour.

So the bride heads out despite the rain. The groom thinks the downpour started on cue. Its really raining and thundering. It is like *pouring*. Now they are hauled into the barn and are soaked. Now the candy store and ice cream bar is opened.  Caryn suggests Matt and Amy try to help the bride. There is hair dryer drying. Matt notes how horrible the bride’s situation is.

Amy reads off some lines about the bride and groom being wet. Huh, the special moment is a pretend house in the barn. Then we have the bride’s dad talking. Then slow dancing by the bride and groom.  Finally the couple is thrown out by the Roloffs. There’s endless chatter. Matt notes the most important thing is pumpkin season.

Oh hey, next week where Matt and Amy discuss divorce. Ain’t that great?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Episode: Little People, Big World Featuring The Roloffs December 03 "All Tangled Up"

This is a preview and then review of the new episode of "Little People, Big World" on TLC tonight at 9:00pm.

Little People, Big World All Tangled Up

"A job opportunity may mean big changes for Zach and Tori. When Zach looks for advice, Matt brags that he and Amy have worked well together this summer and suggests Zach take notice. Baffled, Zach challenges his parents to spend 24-hours tethered together!"


Review written by Rap541

So it’s the farm and Matt is playing with the piles of wood. Matt and Amy both work the cameras how they are learning to actually behave like children. Meanwhile Tory is looking for a real job teaching but she works on the farm for now. Zach tells Matt how she’s looking for work and Matt wonders how Zach and Tori work together. Zach notes they can’t work together for 24 hours. Matt finds his penis and one ups Zach and insists he could be physically tied to Amy. Amy notes how this won’t work. Matt notes how he doesn’t know how Amy spends her time and this will be good because he will see where Amy wastes time in her day. Matt calls Amy the ball on his chain.

They are tied together and immediately the stupid arguing begins as Amy notes she needs to make dinner and Matt can’t articulate his needs but doesn’t want to concede to her plan.

Amy continues to demand how she needs to make dinner. They argue and finally Matt concedes. As Amy works, she is also required to make him a sandwich and also listen to him bitch how she doesn’t manage her time well and how wrong she is. He notes how Amy doesn’t understand what a snack is. Zach and Jake discuss how ridiculous the storyline is. Zach btw plans to follow Tory to her job.

Matt refuses to do dishes and notes how wrong Amy is to do dishes and how dumb she is and how she has no sense of what needs to be done and how she has no sense of anything and is a stupid stupid bitch. Matt accuses her of showing off and he notes he’s getting nothing done. He notes he doesn’t recommend performing a stupid sitcom skit. Matt insists on stacking her work  and he continues to bitch incessantly how awful and dirty she is and he wants to quit as she takes out the trash. He ditched the tether because Amy is sooo awful.

Amy notes Matt needed a time out from being tethered. Matt notes how Amy has changed. He notes how they never worked out fundamental differences. Amy demands Matt rejoin the experiment – and despite his incessant bitching to the cameras how Amy is useless and dumb, he tells her to her face that he respects her and needs to get work done.

Zach finds Jeremy fiddling with a camera. Funny how Jeremy isn’t doing his school work and has no time to work on a wedding but has time to dick off in a field and play with a camera. They vaguely discuss their girlfriends.  Jeremy continues taking pictures of the trestle and not studying.

Zach returns to the house and Matt of course insists on lying to Zach about the tether and lying lying lying like a liar how he has been tethered to Amy. Zach clearly knows this is a lie but there’s cameras and when Matt lies, Jesus loves his lil dickens.

Also, in real, not made up for the tv, bets, Matt? Matt lil crybaby dickens? You lost the second you untethered so all the bragging at this point is Matt lying and making Baby Jesus cry.

Matt hauls Amy around on the forklift and insists she could be more useful to him if she tried. Apparently there was an abandoned dune buggy in the woods. Then Matt makes Amy do his paperwork. He acts like its amazing she knows the address to the farm. Matt condescends how helpful she is. Meanwhile Amy notes how Matt refuses to see that she has a place in the world that doesn’t match his vision.

Amy is in the kitchen making supper and Matt demands protein. Matt insists on going out and takes her to Pondos for a product placement. Meanwhile Zach, Molly, etc are left at home. Everyone is really warmly dressed for summer. Funny how Jeremy is not in this scene.

Pondo meanwhile makes a sex joke about the tether. Matt continues to pretend he didn’t dump the tether like a little whining bitch and acts like he’s gutting it out. Pondo hands out sage wisdom in exchange for the product placement. Pondo basically tells Matt to go screw his wife. Amy btw describes an evening with Matt as Matt sitting on the bed for hours watching tv.

Now its morning and Matt whines, despite quitting already, how hard it is to deal with Amy working out and making breakfast. Matt insists that the pancakes need to cook on his time. They proceed to have an argument over the pancakes.

Matt insists to Molly,Zach, Jeremy and Jake that they didn’t cheat.  All the kids note that Matt lied and lost and the stupid tether thing is done. Oh, and Tori that gold digging bitch who only sees Zach to be around Jeremy per Jeremy’s fans, has gotten herself a job teaching. Funny that.

Matt and Amy debrief from the tethering. Amy thinks Matt needs to be concerned about more than just himself. Matt asks what she thinks pillow talk is about…. Honestly I always thought pillow talk was about sex. Matt notes he goes right to the bedroom when he comes home. Amy notes that’s why he has no idea what the dining room table or the living room is like. Matt chides Amy for the very fact that they are sitting when they could be working. Matt insists he wants to watch the tree be pruned.  Matt cuts off all the reflection by answering his cell.