I tried to finish one episode of Duck Dynasty and failed. The popular A&E reality TV show is about a white Louisiana family that made a fortune from duck-call things that come in different colors. Robertson is the name of the family, and Duck Commander is the name of their company. Thousands upon thousands of ducks have been drawn to their deaths by the calls manufactured by this rural and rather rude family. The Robertson men have ZZ Top–like beards, wear bandannas, and practically live in hunting clothes. The women dress like ordinary country types. The men are all about being manly men. The women are all about being womanly women. Everyone has a deep Southern accent, and everyone also believes that Jesus is the son of the man who created the moon, the stars, whatever else is up there.
Duck Dynasty is in its fourth season (51 episodes!), which is amazing because superhuman strength is required to reach even the middle of a single 20-minute show. The one I watched, "Spring Clean Pong" (it was first screened a year ago), opens with the beards picking berries (Mama, we are told, makes the best pie with these here berries). The men shake a tree, the berries fall, and the men pick the berries from the ground. One of the beards decides to eat a berry he has just picked—but almost immediately he spits it out and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "Damn! That berry tastes terrible." Another beard, pointing at something on the ground: "Did you pick it up from right there? You did? Because that's a coon turd [not a berry]." This is entertainment? And why in the world is a city person like me even watching this nonsense? Because the hicks who make the duck calls have decided to make wine.
The Robertson family—or rather the Trinchero Family Estates portfolio of brands, in collaboration with the Robertson family—sent three bottles to The Stranger: a red blend, a chardonnay, and a pink moscato. The red? It begins well enough but has a poor finish. The pink moscato? It's just too sweet for me (clearly, it's meant for the womanly women). The chardonnay? It's perfectly drinkable. Apparently, the duck family also sells cigars (handmade in the Dominican Republic). Capitalism knows no limit.