Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gentlemen's Quarterly? Think Again.

Is it just me or did anyone else read the actual Phil Robertson interview article in GQ Magazine? I wanted to read the thing, since it seemed that the entire media world had read it and had an opinion about it. But it was difficult to find. After extensive search combing through related articles however, I did find it, and now I wish I hadn't.

If you would like to read it, go ahead, but don't say I didn't warn you.

My feelings towards the article are that it was awful. The writer, Drew Magary, seems to be trying to appeal to teenagers with his excessive and unnecessary cursing. And it is written in such a way, as to cause the reader to assume that Phil Robertson just volunteered all of the quotes and comments featured. (Which are now causing insane amounts of backlash.) But what bothers me is that the writer doesn't include any of his questions to Phil Robertson, or details on how he came to offer up those statements. And I am going to venture to guess that he didn't offer them up without a lot of digging on the part of the interviewer.

Because the things he said were gross. The kind of things you hear and get a mental picture that you wish didn't pop into your head. It is offensive to talk about the details of the private sexual experience of another person or group of people, no matter who they are. It's the kind of thing you might only hear or say around your close friends, and probably not even in mixed company. 

I am also going to venture to guess that GQ Magazine planned the entire article knowing that if they could get some controversial quotes out of Phil Robertson, it would bode well for their own publicity. 

I imagine there was a meeting where several well dressed editors and executives sat around discussing how an extremely religious family has so much popularity in our liberal society, and that it is like a ticking time bomb, and scheming how could they be the ones to light the fuze. I'm sure they considered their interviewer carefully. Someone who is easy to talk to, yet who has no moral compass to worry about, who can get in real good with the interviewee, make him feel as if he is talking off the record, and then really get to the good stuff. (Or should I say the dirty stuff) Someone who is a good shot, and who won't hold back any incriminating comments out of respect for the interviewee.

"How about Drew Magary? He is a man's-man. And he curses like a sailor, nay like a teenager with something to prove. I wonder if he has ever done an all day interview on location, or if he will be able to get Robertson to really talk. Also since he isn't a staff writer, we won't have to fire him if things end badly when the article is published. We can just simply stop giving him work. This could be just the thing the magazine needs to increase our publicity."

Judging from the article, I am going to guess that the actual interview between Drew Magary and Phil Robertson lasted for several hours. No one climbs into their recliner and kicks off their shoes at the end of an interview unless they are trying to hint that it is time for the interviewer to leave. 

Now don't get me wrong, I am not excusing what Phil Robertson said. It was not appropriate at all. But I don't think he meant to say it in that way. I think that the questions leading up to the quote he gave most likely asked him about his own sexual promiscuity, and specifically if he himself had ever tried sodomy. Because in the quote that everyone is fired up about, he seems to be sharing his own personal assessment of the act, and not his feelings towards the homosexual community as a whole. Later he states that Homosexuality is a sin and lumps those who do it with several other types of sinners in a loose quote from the bible. This could also be considered offensive to the homosexual community. But I doubt anyone would be up in arms about it, if it was the only such quote. And I doubt he would have freely offered it up to an interviewer, if he hadn't been asked earlier that day if he himself had ever engaged in sexual homosexual acts.

I don't know about you, but this really disappoints me. I am not a reader of GQ magazine normally, but I really feel that they acted in a trashy manner in extracting and subsequently publishing such a quote. I expected more from a magazine which was once called Gentlemen's Quarterly. I feel that the entire article is littered with baited questions, and deceit, as well as things that are unpleasant to read. So much so that I felt I couldn't even show it to my own father, because he is an actual gentleman.

I hold GQ Magizine responsible for the mess they have created. I invite them to issue a public formal apology to Phil Robertson and A&E.

1 comment:

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