Pin It
Favorite

Bomb Garden 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & To Keith Olbermann, If I May & r & & r & Is Toby Keith the worst person in the world? It's a question I've pondered a lot since 2002's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" unabashedly beat the war gong in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion scoring a platinum record -- and won more country music awards than Keith ever had before.





I returned to the question last weekend watching the opening scene of Stop Loss, where young soldiers in Iraq pump themselves up by singing that song before being cut to ribbons by insurgent fire. Watching the film just happened to come on the heels of a month-long marketing blitz by Keith's people, trying to get me to promote his Spokane Arena date. It got me thinking. He'd been such a pro-war figure from 2001 through the release of "American Soldier," another big-selling pro-war single, I was curious whether he'd kept it up. He totally hasn't. Since 2005's Honkytonk University he's pulled out of the war for hearts and minds completely, adopting a totally apolitcal stoney party guy image: the Jimmy Buffett of Nashville.





His new tour -- an extension of his vanity record label, Show Dog Nashville -- blatantly sells sex (Carter's Chord are the Dixie Chicks minus introspection plus several cup sizes) and willful stupidity. Trailer Choir's "Off the Hillbilly Hook" adopts tired hip-hop slang while reveling in Confederate culture and bragging about raising hell with shotguns. I'd call it obliquely racist if the band weren't so dumb. Any racism they were to spout would be upfront and direct, not oblique, I'm sure. Nothing in Keith's personal work since 2004 even hints at patriotism.





What makes him such a repulsive, cynical figure, then, isn't that he's a sometime-patriot and redneck and merchant of base desires -- I grew up in the sticks; I come from a military family; God knows I'm a fan of base desires. It's that he dons these hats as their market values dictate. He ditched the patriot pose as soon as the war became unpopular. If there is a time the troops need support, it's when the nation's resolve goes south.





But no, at just that moment, Keith decided to reinvent himself again, as America's favorite horny middle-aged frat boy with a cowboy hat. So: worst person in the world? Dude's got my vote.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • American Fabric
  • American Fabric

    Racism is alive and well in our symbols and society
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • America's Yin and Yang
  • America's Yin and Yang

    Publisher's Note
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • After Charleston
  • After Charleston

    Taking down the Confederate flag is a good start, but overcoming centuries of suppression won't be that easy
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation