It had never happened before. When big, powerful TV executives ask a star to apologize for what they deem inappropriate comments or behavior, the star simply complies. A team of publicists is assembled, the star does the obligatory apology tour for the press and promises never to do or say what he did or said again. Ever.
The ecology here has been so perfectly manipulated that it feels as if two giant hands reached down from the sky and molded the land itself, an effect that I’m sure would please Phil. Whatever you think of Phil’s beliefs, it’s hard not to gaze upon his cultivations and wonder if you’ve gotten life all wrong.
Magary wondered about his own life, and his own priorities, and if they may indeed need to be reassessed:
I shouldn’t be sitting around the house and bitching because the new iOS 7 touchscreen icons don’t have any [f***ing] drop shadow. I should be out here, dammit! Killing things and growing things and bringing dead things home to cook! There is a life out in this wilderness that I am too [chickens***] to lead.
The reporting from Magary ended as gracefully as it began, with the two men leaving the wilderness after a day together.
We hop back in the ATV and plow toward the sunset, back to the Robertson home. There will be no family dinner tonight. No cameras in the house. No rowdy squirrel-hunting stories from back in the day. There will be only the realest version of Phil Robertson, hosting a private Bible study with a woman who, according to him, “has been on cocaine for years and is making her decision to repent. I’m going to point her in the right direction.”
As we reflect on all matters at the turn of the new year, maybe we should think about how lucky we all are to live in a country as rich, diverse, and beautiful as ours. One that allows the Robertson family and Ellen DeGeneres to live their lives freely, and to make a living without fear of reprisal for simply being who they are, and for believing what they believe.