By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
For nearly two years now, they have been the scourge of proud, loyal Americans everywhere. Their threats have been a constant presence in our lives, leaving us all feeling tense and on-edge. "When and where," we collectively ponder, "will they strike next?"
Of course, we're talking about the evil of bad, ill-informed country-music songs, the jingoistic überpatriots who warble them, and the wartime environment that allows these aural anthrax bombs to fester quicker than you can say "Okie From Muskogee."
Item: Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)" is rife with the sort of stinky poetry that wouldn't pass muster in a high school English class: "Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list/And the Statue of Liberty started shakin' her fist/And the eagle will fly, man, it's gonna be hell/When you hear Mother Freedom start ringin' her bell." The (shit)kicker line: "And you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A./'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass; it's the American way." Would said boot-putting include the 100,000 Iraqis—many of them children—our not-very-smart bombs killed in 1991?
Item: Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?"—the hottest country track in the land right now—conveniently propagates the far-from-proven theory that Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11: "I hear people saying we don't need this war/I say there's some things worth fighting for." Things get even more cringe-worthy: "Have you forgotten when those towers fell?/We had neighbors still inside going through a living hell/And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden/Have you forgotten?" Actually, we haven't heard of anyone, right or left, who has said anything in regard to not worrying about Osama (though there is this matter of a nuclear North Korea we might want to be concerned about). We suggest Worley stuff his artistic license back in his pants.
Item: Proving you don't have to actually sing to strike terror into the hearts of intelligent Americans everywhere, Charlie Daniels a few weeks ago sent out an "Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch" (we assume he means people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Fred Thompson). "Okay, let's just say for a moment you bunch of pampered, overpaid, unrealistic children had your way and the USA didn't go into Iraq," ranted Charlie, who at one time campaigned for Jimmy Carter, frequently advocated marijuana use, and wrote tunes protesting the right-wing leanings of the government—until he became buddies with Pat Robertson, that is. He continued: "Why, you bunch of pitiful, hypocritical, idiotic, spoiled mugwumps. Get your head out of the sand and smell the [World] Trade [Center] towers burning. . . . You people protect one of the most evil men on the face of this earth and won't lift a finger to save the life of an unborn baby. . . . The day of reckoning is coming, when you will be faced with the undeniable truth that the war against Saddam Hussein is the war on terrorism. . . . America is in imminent danger. You're either for her or against her. There is no middle ground." Wow! Has Charlie given up the roach clip for the crack pipe, or what?
Item: Even the old Reagan-era tunes have been revived to wreak havoc on American eardrums. In the case of Lee Greenwood's sonic botulism anthem "God Bless the USA," the song has now seemingly become as sacred as "The Star Spangled Banner." Two weeks ago at a Houston rodeo, some drunks stood up and sang along to Greenwood's ultra-schmaltzy ballad and started screaming at people who weren't doing the same. Felix Fanaselle, 16, had spit and beer raining down on him and wound up getting punched by a guy named John McCambridge, who told Fanaselle to "go back to Iraq." Problem: dark-featured Fanaselle is half Hispanic and half Italian.
So be a loyal American! Prepare yourself! Help defend the homeland by breaking out the emergency ear plugs and duct-taping your CD players shut, for we're sure there's more of this musical terrorism to come. (Rich Kane)ALL APOLOGIES