Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Hate

Reason number 10,256 why liberals lose.

Huffington Post's Max Blumenthal's screed on Toby Keith's song "Beer For My Horses":
While Keith belted out "Beer For My Horses," Colbert's studio audience clapped to the beat, blithely unaware that they were swaying to a racially tinged, explicitly pro-lynching anthem that calls for the vigilante-style hanging...
Anyone who has listened to the song in THE PAST SIX YEARS understands that Keith's rather campy ode owes more to Clint Eastwood than Leo Frank.

But for liberal's just now discovering this literary treatise, it is confirmation of the long held suspicion that country music is filled with subtexts of hate and violence.

And they wonder why the NASCAR crowd generally hates them.

P.S. Note to HuffPo people. You might want to soliticit the opinion of that famous dope smoking right winger Willie Nelson who appeared in the video. Of course its understandable why you didn't know old cousin Willie was hanging out with the horrible Toby. I mean who would want to soil their precious hands by ever changing the channel to CMT?


Nikki said...

I do not have an opinion on Beer For My Horses, but I do think that "boot in their ass" bit of his is plainly awful. I don't mind country music but I do not like Toby Keith, Willie's endorsement notwithstanding (also, I grew up on The Highwaymen and the like).

griftdrift said...

I don't think its a particularly good song either. But it is the kind of overreach of trying to connect it to Leo Frank and racist lynchings in the south that is the reason why liberals lose people. Even people who might be sympathetic to parts of their cause.

It's just plain fucking stupid and I cannot tolerate abject stupidity.

Nikki said...

I agree that's taking it a lot farther than TK or anyone writing the song probably meant, unless they are bonafide card-carrying racists, which I don't know, so I can't say. But, outside of the actual lyrics, TK doesn't help himself with his being pro-free speech for himself and con-free speech for others (Dixie Chicks fiasco, anyone?).

Sara said...

I was about to come say that if liberals want to get upset about something, they should start with the boot in the ass song. But I see Nikki beat me to it.

Frankly, I've heard Beer for my Horses a million times and never was bothered by it. Perhaps I wasn't listening closely, or perhaps I wasn't reading in subtext that's not there.

griftdrift said...

Which was stupid and which he admitted later upon realizing he had hitched himself to idiot wagon. He all but said so in a Playboy interview. A change in position (including his stance on the war) which was not well publicized.

But I'm not hear to defend Toby Keith. I think he's an average songwriter at best. And he certainly exports a brand of "ahh those were the good old days" ("Who's Your Daddy?!).

But this type of arrogance by liberals is exactly what kills them with average people (see What's Wrong With Kansas?)

griftdrift said...

Or perhaps Sara is was never there except in the "open minds" of certain segments of liberals who somehow claim the high ground while simultaneously ignoring their own prediliction of pre-conceived notions.

Tim said...

agreed with Sara, hate the song but only b/c it sux as a country song. I much prefer Rodney Atkins or someone such for a rowdy honky-tonk song, but not Toby.

I think Who's Your Daddy is it, he aint gonna top it :)

The HuffPo post is reaching for air.

Sara said...

Tim, I think "As Good As I Once Was" is the pinnacle of his songwriting abilities. It's a low pinnacle, to be sure.

Do we really not have anything more important to tackle than attacking singers for years-old song lyrics? Something tells me Huff Po and Blumental intended to ignite a firestorm with this commentary.

Fearless Leader said...

Toby Keith has painted himself into an unfortunate corner. I know we keep harping on it, but outside of the contemporary country fanbase, "Courtesy of The Red, White and Blue" replaced effectively anything else the man did prior or since.

Back when he was singing "How Do You Like Me Now?!", he was innocuous, just a younger, blonder Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson. Travis Tritt without that distracting obsession with dressing up like a Vietnam Vet in his music videos. He was never going to be admired like King George Strait or Clint Black, but his future in contemporary country was sound as a pound. Log a few hits a year, do Fanfair every other summer, take home a CMA Entertainer someday, so on and so forth.

Unfortunately, Keith got more attention in mainstream pop culture for "Courtesy of ..." than he ever had or ever will. For most folks, Keith is just the guy who sang the "Boot" song, who got into a row with the Dixie Chicks. Is it fair to judge the man on one song alone? Probably not. But while it is true that a lot of liberal folk won't turn the dial to CMT, I'd argue that a lot of CMT's regular viewers would rather they didn't. After all, country music doesn't smile kindly on crossover success (see Lyle Lovett, k.d. lang, Dixie Chicks, etc.). Tim McGraw can guest star on a Nelly or Def Leppard track, but at the end of the day, the fans would rather he just stay next to Faith Hill, right where they're comfortable with him.

Have I accused Keith of being a jingo-ist? Sure. "Courtesy of ..." has always struck me as the theme song to every stupid and macho decision the current administration has made. But as time has passed, I've mellowed, remembering that behind all of that patriotic bluster, Keith has a none-to-subtle longing to be a modern day Marty Robbins, riding out from the West Texas town of El Paso. His first and probably best single was "Should've Been A Cowboy," after all. In that light, "Beer For My Horses" makes all the sense in the world. He was too young to be a true outlaw like Waylon or even a latter-day Highwayman, but Willie was available and he jumped at the chance.

Long story short, I don't think that Keith is ever going to get a fair shake in the mainstream, not anytime soon. It's unfair and more than a little stupid to take a rather traditional cowboy song and interpret it as an anthem for lynching, but until Toby Keith is somehow able to put some distance between himself and his ass-planted boot, I'm afraid that this is the kind of scrutiny he can expect.

Anonymous said...

Who is Toby Keith?

What I gather is, it's a old song, aparently not a great one at that.

Perhaps the folks at Huff-Po are in a Obama not overseas news withdrawl.

Lots of bad music out there with all sorts of crap I could get bunchy about, this...Eh, not so much.

Liberal elitist that I am, I seriously don't know what the fuss is all about.


griftdrift said...

Like that Darryl Worley abomination "Do You Remember?" Now there's something to be upset about.

Mike-El said...

To the country music fans: Do any of you guys have a take on why Tim McGraw gets a pass as a relatively outspoken Democrat while Natalie Maines got Dixie Chicked? I understand how Willie and Merle, two legends who trashed Bush, got their teflon...but how does McGraw skate? I would've figure that Tim, being a pretty boy with crossover appeal, would've been ripe for conservative backlash.


Jen said...

I really do enjoy "How do you like me now?" and I'll leave it at that.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

I read somewhere just this week that Toby Keith was actually a Democrat/liberal, but does all this nonsensical I'm A Bigger Patriot Swinging Dick Than You Hear Me Roar Badly stuff 'cause he knows... it sells. And sells big. Just like blogging about it will... drive traffic.

I suppose listening to and writing songs that glorify lynching (Texas-style or Georgia-style pick your poison) becomes hip - if you're stupidly drunk enough. And of course if Willie Nelson plays a laughably awful cameo.

I'd never heard the song before the HuffPo guy (an interesting young documentary producer who's done some very aggressive, edgy, way off the mainstream, squirmy investigative journalism I admire) blogged about it; reading the lyrics, albeit with the blogger's zealous, youthy, advocacy spin as an appetizer, was vaguely repulsive.

His take on the whole thing was counter-intuitive and provocative and lively, a bit insufferable, righteous and ballsy as hell, as is his investigative documentary work.

Even if you don't agree with the dude's "creative interpretation" of the matter, he scores serious points for cutting deeply and ice-soberly beyond the stupidly superficial and pathetically sodden nostalgic, in the making of his point.

And in the process makes us question and roll about in our pea brains something we might never have ever looked at or questioned in the first place; and that is indeed what fiery journalism will make us do. Wish we saw more of it.

Hell, the young-gun blogger is just the kind of hungry and aggressive and zealous advocacy journalist all the old geezers spend their golden years now wringing hands over the demise of!

The Keith/Nelson video version? Well, that's so stupidly bad it should be... a drinking game.

griftdrift said...

Zealotry combined with stupidity breeds the most dangerous monster.

Anonymous said...

How about pop country f*cking sucks.


Reinstate Hank.

Joeventures said...

... liberals who somehow claim the high ground while simultaneously ignoring their own prediliction of pre-conceived notions.

This sounds more like the hypocricy of the postmodern philosopher. You really can't win an argument with a postmodernist, because no matter what, you're arguing from the standpoint of your pre-conceived notions.

Forget that the postmodernist may have pre-conceived notions about both the issue at hand, and about you.