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Friday, July 21, 2006

What's Become Of Country Music?

I suppose it was inevitable that, with billions of dollars flowing into country music, simple people who once felt grateful when they were able to find a gig at a local honky tonk in Nashville and could make enough to pay for a few beers and a change of underwear now find themselves fabulously wealthy and therefore feel it their duty in life to preach to the rest of us.

Call it the Dixie Chicks syndrome.

The latest annoyance comes from none other than the king and queen of country music, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

The Ballad of Tim and Faith
By Alanna Nash, Ladies' Home Journal, August 2006, pg. 108

... McGraw, who grew up in Louisiana, and Hill, who is, as her song says, a "Mississippi Girl," got tough about the government's woeful lack of progress on the [Katrina] cleanup and rebuilding effort. "It's wrong," Hill said. "It's embarrassing. It really gets us fired up. That's our homeland."

McGraw took it one step further, focusing directly on President Bush. "There's no reason why someone can't go down there - who's supposed to be the leader of the free world - and say, "I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done," he said. [print version only available]
I've never been much of a Tim McGraw fan, in part I think because he tries his best to come across in his mannerisms and dress as being, for some inexplicable reason, gay (although Paula tells me she'll throw me over the side in a heartbeat if he knocks on her door) and because he has no range in his singing voice. And, as far as I'm concerned, Faith Hill hasn't sung a country song in several years, preferring instead - like the Chicks - to belt out pop hits (and misses) these days.

To their point, Congress has appropriated $63 billion for Katrina relief thus far and some estimates put the final cost to the government (that would be you) at somewhere around $200 billion, making the reconstruction of the Gulf coast more costly than all other post-hurricane cleanup efforts in the history of the USA combined. And President Bush isn't doing enough ...

So what explains the attitude of Hill and McGraw? The fabulous wealth? The daily dose of servile flattery? What gives?

The article does mention that McGraw, a Democrat, "might want to run for governor of Tennessee" some day. Perhaps he's testing his political wings and feels the need to be part of the looney left that rules his party these days. Or maybe he just seized on the opportunity to bitch about our President - a la Natalie Maines.

To quote Don Williams: “Fame and riches are fleeting. Stupidity is eternal.”

In any case, it would do both of these spoiled stars well to reflect on the fact that they're not that far removed from the days when they were yodeling for their supper - and were thankful for the opportunity.

As a great American advises, "Shut up and sing."