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‘Duck Dynasty,’ Beyonce’s Album, ‘Sound of Music’

All I want for Christmas is a new TV remote so I can see what all this fuss is about “Duck Dynasty.” Confirming that I live under a rock, I’ve never seen the ballyhooed show about a family of Louisiana bayou duck hunters.

I’m not sure we get the A&E channel. Elizabeth says we do, but our remote only advances through the channels in one direction. The reverse button jams. If I miss a channel going forward, I have to go around the world to try again.

Our TV doesn’t like me.

I find it easier and more rewarding to watch my old Westerns. I can recite the dialog to all the Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies. I like them, and I don’t have to fight with the TV remote. “Duck Dynasty” isn’t on my play list.

The grand pappy of “Duck Dynasty” seems destined for a starring role in the next Western if he continues to stir America’s social pot. The outrage over the comments by the TV show’s “Duck Dynasty Commander” Phil Robertson, published in GQ magazine certainly seem to be better entertainment than the actual show. A&E suspended Robertson after the comments in which he condemned homosexuals as sinners.

Sin is not a popular topic. A&E’s quick suspension was followed by outrage about political correctness and free speech. The A&E channel is now in danger of losing its most popular show and offending half of America — many of whom, like me, have never seen the show.

Cracker Barrel sells Duck Dynasty merchandise and announced it was pulling back some of the items to quell the outrage. It quickly reversed course when Duck fans howled. The Tennessee restaurant chain, unlike A&E, has a better finger on the pulse of its customers.

The funniest comment I have read about the duck kerfuffle has been this: Why was a sophisticated gentleman’s fashion magazine interviewing an in-your-face backwoods hick?

I don’t know the answer, but there is growing evidence that I have lost my place in social culture.

Unlike many of my friends and TV critics everywhere, I thought Carrie Underwood did a fine job in the TV musical version of “The Sound of Music” a couple weeks back. True, she is no Julie Andrews, but not even Julie Andrews is Julie Andrews at this stage in life.

I’m partial to Miss Underwood because she’s from Oklahoma. I listened and watched with sympathetic ears and eyes, and from my uncritical point of view, she did just fine. The actress Audra McDonald who sang “Climb Every Mountain” improved upon the 1965 movie version.

To make everyone happy, ABC replayed the original movie Sunday.

I am also uncritical about the beautiful Beyonce, but I found myself blushing when I heard her new album last week. The 828,773 people who bought the album in the first three days can’t be wrong, but I found the songs too steamy for my prudish taste. I did like the song “Heaven” and told my second born to play it at my funeral. I also liked “Blue” which includes a cameo by daughter Blue Ivy. Some of the other songs, however, are better left to a young shock rocker such as Miley Cyrus, not to someone of Beyonce’s superior talent and caliber.

My musician son explained that the new album is meant to be a “visual experience,” watching the many videos that accompany the songs as the music is played. I only listened to the songs. Looking at Beyonce is indeed pleasurable, but the words would still be too racy. She’s a mother now. Time to act like it.

— Dwight Sparks