Hank Williams Jr. Firing: Censorship Trumps Ignorance

I can remember just a month ago walking through the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Family Tradition exhibit, an amazing and reverent tribute to the first family of country music, where you feel the ghosts of country music’s past bristling the hairs on the back of your neck with the sheer weight of historical significance . . . and then you walk around a corner, and there on a big screen is Bocephus, stealing a pair of pom-poms from a scantly-clad line dancer, pracing around like a jackass and screaming, “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!” . . . reducing the whole experience to a popcorn fart.

So apparently he compared President Obama to Hitler. Or did he? It baffles me that in 2011, people honestly think that drawing Hitler mustaches on political adversaries is a form of punditry, or that it holds any bit of effectiveness, like someone sitting on the political fence will look at it and say, “Well hell, I certainly don’t want to vote for Hitler!” Nazifying your foes is anger venting, nothing more, and if anything, it is adversarial to one’s political will. It also baffles me that in 2011 there still folks that think that if we just elect one side instead of the other, all these problems, perceived or real, will go away. We’ve been trying that shit for over 250 years and it hasn’t worked yet. Maybe at some point folks should realize the quickest way to change their circumstances is by rolling up their sleeves and acting themselves to change their own lives.

Jazz hands everybody!

And then ESPN, bowing to the pressure of their boner pill and high fructose corn syrup sponsors, illustrates a fast trigger finger on the censorship button that would have given Judge Roy Bean a hard on. Don’t they know that half their beer and hot wings audience has probably said that exact thing or worse around their kitchen tables? Firing someone for their political beliefs is by far a bigger crime that any politically-incorrect gaff, however ignorant the message behind it is.

And what the hell was Hank Jr. doing on a news show anyway? Was he breaking down the socioeconomic impact of the Greek default by ethnic region? And don’t give me that it was just Fox News, because every major news outlet whores themselves out by shoehorning celebrity appearances into the format. Hell, the Kardashian girls are all co-hosting The Today Show this week. The last time I watched one of those morning shows, it was like watching Martha Stewart fuck a football while the news desk lady whipped up a practical yet delicious and healthy 4-cheese lean chicken Quiche that reduced the family’s carbon footprint. Oh yeah, and there’s some wars going on and massive world economic calamities, or something.

And that’s the real problem, not Jr.’s statements or The World Wide Leader’s whiplash decision, it is the fact that mass pop media is perpetually letting us all down, and giving in to the least common denominator. Hank should be happy. His career had been reduced to a weekly punch line. And ESPN should be happy they’re lighter a 200-pound blowhard who hasn’t had anything substantive to offer for 20 years.

And while we’re shitcanning celebrity theme-song personalities, whose leg I gotta hump to get Faith Hill run out of there on Sunday nights? I’d rather shit a knife than listen to her shriek out one more of those canned openings.

In the end, we run to football and music for the same reasons: to forget all the political divisiveness, and to bridge differences.


Chris Farley as Bocephus

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