Is This The New American Gothic?American Gothic
is an iconic painting by Grant Wood in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was meant to be a satire on rural life and American values. Nowadays, small town USA takes on a whole new way of thinking. Duck Dynasty is an American reality TV series that portrays the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander. The business makes products for duck hunters, primarily a duck call named the Duck Commander. The Robertson men—brothers Phil and Si, and Phil’s sons Jase, Willie, and Jep—are known for their long beards and strong religious views. Is this the NEW American Goth?The show has broken several ratings records on both A&E and cable television as a whole. The fourth season premiere drew 11.8 million viewers; the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history.In mid-December 2013, an interview with GQ magazine resulted in an indefinite suspension of Phil Robertson by A&E, due to controversial remarks he made. The suspension started a national debate about tolerance, religion and free speech. Following public pressure on A&E to lift the suspension, he was reinstated nine days later.The show had $80 million in advertising sales for the first nine months of 2013, and merchandise has generated another $400 million in revenue, about half of which is through Walmart.With all the interest, we thought we’d find our own local Duck people to get their ducky take on the subject.Hello, my name is Ricky LaBruyere. I was born and raised in St. Francois County and so was my wife of 24 years, Kelly. She was 16 and I was 19 when we met. We married three years later. We have a son and daughter. Our son, Garrett, is married to Natasha, and they have a son, Jorian, our first grandchild. Our daughter, Tori, attends college at MAC. Kelly and I both work full-time jobs. We are members of Elvins Baptist Church, where Kelly teaches a children’s Sunday school class. Faith and family is what it is all about for my wife and me.We stumbled across Duck Dynasty about a year ago and have been watching ever since. We love that what matters to them is faith in God and their family. They are not holier than thou.I always grow a beard when it starts getting cold, and with the popularity of Duck Dynasty, people at work and my family started asking me if I was trying to look like the guys on the show. I am not, but I do get a kick out of being compared to them. That is how I found out about this article in 573 magazine. A friend on Facebook tagged me and told me I should send my picture in. Kelly saw the article, too, and she sent in a photo. So here we are.I sat in on Kelly’s Sunday school class and the kids started calling me Jise because they said I was a mix between Jase and Si. Guys at work continuously call me Si. Even though Si is older than I am I don’t mind being compared. Si is a funny guy. One of three of the books I got from my mother-in-law for Christmas is SI-Cology 101. And in the opening of the book Si says: “If you know anything about me, you know I’m a hard rascal to figure out.” So, hey, that about sums it up. JACK!!!! Just living and loving life with a sense of humor. And no—we don’t hunt duck.