Monday, August 26, 2013

Don't Yuck My Duck

A week ago, if you’d asked me about Duck Dynasty I would have shared my canned opinion on reality television. In fact, I’ll share it now; I hate it. The writer in me longs for old-fashioned story-telling: the kind with well-developed characters and a stimulating plot, with rising and falling action, and a setting that leaps off the screen. But this was all before I sat down last week and watched three straight hours of sweet tea swillin’, duck killin’, good ole boy shenanigans and hijinks. Now, it’s safe to say I’m a changed woman.

Duck Dynasty pleasantly surprised me. I won’t lie and say that I would have ever thought a show (which I assumed was) about a bunch of bearded guys making duck calls would be my kind of show, but life’s full of surprises. I don’t know exactly what it is that won me over. Maybe it was the way Si charms the ladies or the way the boys in the warehouse are constantly getting out of work or the way Phil delivers a line, Jack. Maybe it’s all of it. Maybe it’s refreshing to watch a show with family values and good, clean laughs. Maybe it just makes me happy, happy, happy. Whatever it is, the spell has been cast. I’m a non-believer no more.

I feel kind of bad now though. For all the times, I dismissed the show. For all the times, I crinkled up my nose when it was mentioned. For all the times, I thought, who would want to watch a show like that? It’s just another reality show, another Jersey Shore or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Another, dare I say, Honey Boo Boo? Gasp!

But at the end of the day, what’s wrong with any of these shows? What’s wrong with reality television for that matter? Other than the fact that I just don’t happen to care for it myself. If I gave it half a chance, a chance like I gave Duck Dynasty, who knows? I might just like it after all.

I try to live life with an open mind. I would hate to miss anything in life because of my own misconceptions or stubbornness, but even in trying to do the right thing and live the right way, I often mess up. I often yuck other people’s yums.

What do I mean by yucking a yum? Well, back in March, Jeremy and I were watching television, which for us means hulu, Netflix, and lots of random web series on youTube. One of the random web series we watch is by a very insightful comedian named Ze Frank. Ze did a video on yucking yums, and since then, I’ve tried to be more aware of my interaction with others, particularly when it comes to something they love.

For some unknown reason, when we hear that someone we know is listening to a band, reading a book, doing an activity, or watching a TV show that we don’t happen to like, we jump on an opportunity to yuck their yum. We criticize them for watching something so silly, stupid, outdated, “insert your worst insult here.” Even when we know that that thing brings them great joy, we make it a point to share why we don’t think they should like it anymore. I did this every time I rolled my eyes at someone for watching Duck Dynasty.

“You don’t watch that, do you?”

Well, what if they do? Why does it matter? If the yum is harmless, what harm could possibly come from its enjoyment? Ze Frank reminds us to not steal someone else’s joy just because we might not have the same tastes, and I’m here to remind myself to not dismiss these yums quite so easily. Because someone else’s yum, which I may think of as a yuck, may eventually be my own yum and source of happy, happy, happy. 

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