Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hankerin' for Trouble

I can't believe that I'm the only one who got mightily tired, years ago, of Hank Williams Jr.'s Slim Jim-, Jack Daniel's-, and testosterone-fueled bellowing of the Monday Night Football theme song all during the NFL season. Well, fortunately, he seems to have blown his major (only?) paying gig by running full-tilt into the PC juggernaut. The offense in question was... well, that's the question, actually. What, precisely, was his offense? And this is not to say that there had to be one; after all, if just about anything can send the thin-skinned American political class into a high hover, this is doubly true in election season – and yes, sorry to say, that doleful season is already upon us.

So anyway, here's what our man Hank is supposed to have said, referring to a golf game between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner: ''It'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.'' OK... first of all, you don't play the “Hitler” card anywhere within 100 miles of the nearest Jew, living or dead. But aside from that, my first question, on reading the quote, was “which is which”? Are we to automatically assume that Obama = Hitler and Boehner = Netanyahu? The assumption, of course, is that Hitler and Netanyahu are polar opposites, which... well, let's just say we could have an interesting discussion about that. And the further irony – which I'm sure escaped Ol' Hank entirely – is that Obama and Boehner are both working for the same boss, namely Netanyahu. So he actually said, at one and the same time, both more and less than he intended to say. Not a bad night's work, and certainly more interesting than hearing the Monday Night Football theme for the umpty-umpth time.

But actually, Hank did offer an immediate “clarification”, in the best political tradition. Obama and Biden are apparently “the enemy” -- which I guess means Boehner/Netanyahu is the friend. I guess there's no room in Hank's philosophy for the possibility that they're all enemies -- of normal Americans, that is -- whom Hank supposedly speaks for.

See why no one who makes a living singing should ever be asked to talk? It's a train wreck waiting to happen, every time. But ESPN did its bounden duty, and instantly pulled Hank's intro song from the program – which must have been a great relief for the fans, one which I would have shared if I were able to pull in ESPN on my rabbit ears.

So... well, I guess Hank has already apologized to Obama. But is he going to apologize to Boehner? I'd think that he would. But let's return to that golf match for a moment. I have to admit I felt a certain frisson of horror when I saw the O-man and the B-man exchanging Bozo the Clown grins across the green. That voice that always lies just below conscious awareness suddenly spoke up: “There is only one Regime. There is only one party.” I could never look at Boehner the same way again – although I was never a fan anyway. (No white man is that color, I'm sorry...) And I have to give Hank credit for at least representing the chronic bewilderment of the vast lower stratum of American society. They don't understand politicians, or why they do what they do; those sorts of speculations are left up to someone else. And they don't understand what a black guy is doing playing golf instead of basketball – and how someone who is supposedly his sworn enemy during working hours can get all giggly and wiggly when in his august presence o'er the greensward. Yes, these are all puzzling things; Hank got it right. The only thing he did wrong was to point it out in public and use some unfortunate names for comparison. After all, only liberals are allowed to compare people to Hitler; when anyone else does it it's racist, anti-Semitic, blah blah. Oh well, he'll learn. Free speech is a thing of the past in this society, but it's perfectly acceptable to retain the delusion that it still exists.

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