Brad Paisley, The ‘Accidental Racist’
Posted on 04.08.13 by Danny Glover @ 11:41 pm

Back in 1997, President Bill Clinton tried to cement his legacy as America’s “first black president” by initiating a national “conversation about race.” The conversation didn’t last long — or yield much.

More than a decade later in a speech during Black History Month, Attorney General Eric Holder called America “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race. And a few weeks ago when a Philadelphia newspaper ran a piece on “Being White in Philly,” Mayor Michael Nutter responded by calling for a formal rebuke of the paper.

This is what happens when political and media elites try to shape public opinion. Maybe it’s time to give a redneck and a rap star a voice in the conversation.

Country boy Brad Paisley, who was born and raised about 40 minutes up the Ohio River from my hometown, and rapper LL Cool J certainly want to be heard. They’re trying to bring enlightenment to the race debate through the lyrics of Paisley’s new song, “Accidental Racist,” which approaches the subject from the perspective of a white Southerner wearing a Confederate flag and black man in a do-rag.

Here’s a snippet from Paisley’s part in the duet:

The red flag on my chest somehow
Is like the elephant in the corner of the South
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms
Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view
I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the southland
Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be
I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done
And it ain’t like you and me can rewrite history

And here’s LL Cool J’s take on the current state of racial affairs:

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and History and Media and Music and News & Politics and People and Redneck Music and Rednecks
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Don’t Be Two-timing Our Little Girl
Posted on 02.21.12 by Danny Glover @ 11:38 pm

I learned tonight that our sweet, 10-year-old Elli loves this song. She even lip syncs it:

The Christian angel on my right shoulder is telling me to be horrified; the redneck Daddy devil on my left shoulder is insisting that I should be beaming with pride.

Filed under: Entertainment and Family and Music and People and Rednecks and Video
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‘The Pride Of West Virginia’ … And America
Posted on 12.10.11 by Danny Glover @ 2:57 pm

I didn’t know until moments ago, when a colleague forwarded a video, that the West Virginia University band, known to all Mountaineers as “The Pride of West Virginia,” is a viral hit on YouTube.

The video, viewed more than 1.1 million times so far is from the band’s performance at a game played this year just before Sept. 11 memorials. The show, a tribute to the U.S. armed forces, features a medley of songs from all U.S. military branches and amazing choreography that matches each song.

At one point, band members form into airplane to recognize the U.S. Air Force, and as they march forward, smoke billows from the area where engines would be on the plane.

I have family connections to the band. My brother marched with “The Pride” as a trombone player during college and still returns regularly to march as part of the alumni band on homecoming weekends in the fall. Even better, we’re related to WVU band director Jay Drury. His grandmother (my grandmother’s oldest sister) was my favorite great aunt during my childhood. I looked forward to visits with Aunt Kate during her weeks-long stays at my grandmother’s house.

If you appreciate WVU’s tribute to the military, donate a few bucks toward the band’s travel fund to reward the directors and performers who created the show.

UPDATE, Dec. 10: Fans of WVU and of the band’s tribute to the military are trying to get the National Football League to invite the band to perform the show again at the Super Bowl. Join the Facebook group if you like the idea.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said the show was performed before Memorial Day.

Filed under: Family and Human Interest and Music and Video and West Virginia
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Country Roads Lead To WVU, Not Marshall
Posted on 08.23.10 by Danny Glover @ 10:43 pm

Bad things happen when rednecks “think outside the box” — bad things like Marshall University’s band ending its tradition of playing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” at the behest of unenlightened Athletic Director Mike Hamrick:

Hamrick, who is beginning his second year at Marshall, said the university wanted to go a different direction because of all of the changes being made at the stadium. New video scoreboards and an updated sound system are a few components of the $3 million athletic facilities overhaul that fans will notice next month.

“We’re changing our approach to the game presentation,” Hamrick said. “We want to put together a new concept for the presentation, and ‘Country Roads’ is just not part of that new concept.”

Taking “a different direction” than “Country Roads” in West Virginia is like traveling the wrong way on a one-way street. Marshall has gone to the dark side, giving West Virginia University alumni like me yet another reason to despise the Thundering Herd.

But that’s OK because no band performs “Country Roads” better than WVU’s band. Now the master musicians in the Pride of West Virginia will have the tune all to themselves. I hope they play it with an extra dose of passion when we beat Marshall on the Thundering Herd’s home field come Sept. 11.

Filed under: Music and News & Politics and People and Redneck Music and Sports and West Virginia
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Tim Hawkins: ‘Somebody Broke Wind’
Posted on 07.12.10 by Danny Glover @ 9:54 pm

Sheer genius. I wish our minivan had a DVD player just so I could play this video repeatedly on our next road trip when one of the kids “breaks wind” and forces us to roll down the windows for fresh air. It’s the only sure-fire way to get me to stop so the culprit can take a bathroom break.

Filed under: Entertainment and Family and Just For Laughs and Music and Redneck Humor and Video
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‘West Virginia On My Heart’
Posted on 07.03.10 by Danny Glover @ 12:26 pm

West Virginia remembered Sen. Robert C. Byrd at a state Capitol service in the great Mountain State yesterday, and Mark Knoller of CBS tweeted one of the moments that will stick with me:

“He once said, ‘When I am dead and opened, they will find West Virginia on my heart,’” GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell said of Byrd.

That much Byrd and I have in common. West Virginia will forever be on my heart. (The words also were etched into postcard-sized memorial photos of Byrd.)

The other moment from the memorial that moved me, literally almost to tears, is when a bluegrass band started playing “Country Roads” and the crowd sang the lyrics to John Denver’s famous song while the honor guard carried Byrd’s casket back into the Capitol.

I can’t hear that song without getting chills. I love my home, and no matter how long I live in the Washington, D.C., area or anywhere else, I’ll always be a proud hillbilly from West Virginia.

Filed under: Music and News & Politics and People and Redneck Music and Rednecks and West Virginia
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Violent Musical Fantasies That Make You Smile
Posted on 06.26.10 by Danny Glover @ 12:23 pm

Country musicians have a twisted knack for making violence seem amusing. The latest entry in this niche music genre is the song “Pray For You,” by Jaron and the Long Road to Love.

Here are the deadly wishes for a wife scorned from the chorus alone: “I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill. I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the head like I’d like to. I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls. I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls. I pray all your dreams never come true. Just know wherever you are, honey, I pray for you.”

I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help but smile, especially when I watch the video.

I unsuccessfully fought the same urge — being entertained by violent, sometimes deadly fantasies set to catchy music rather than offended by them — when The Dixie Chicks released “Goodbye Earl” and when Carrie Underwood’s tune “Before He Cheats” rose to the top of the charts. The latter is still one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite singers. Enjoy these online encore performances:

Filed under: Entertainment and Just For Laughs and Music and Redneck Music and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

Broadband For Rednecks Everywhere!
Posted on 03.11.10 by Danny Glover @ 1:37 pm

In my new role as the editorial director of Digital Society, I’ve been focused like a laser on high-speed Internet the past few weeks. The FCC will be releasing its national broadband plan in six days, so leaders of the commission have been making the rounds on the speaking circuit to promote pieces of the plan.

The central message of the plan is that all Americans need broadband access — Commissioner Michael Copps this week even joined the chorus of people proclaiming it as a “right” — so the government must take steps to ensure that the poor, minorities, the elderly and, yes, rednecks in rural areas are enlightened by the Internet.

The FCC is so committed to selling its plan that Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke to the Country Music Association’s board of directors at its meeting in Washington yesterday.

Of course, country bumpkins are way too backward to understand the high-tech lingo of the FCC, so Genachowski’s staff translated his speech into “Nashvillese” that features country music titles:

When I think of those “Country Roads” and “Wide Open Spaces” without broadband, I “Fall to Pieces” and say that’s “Crazy.” We need to address these “Unanswered Prayers.”

As FCC chairman, I have friends in high places and “Friends in Low Places,” and I’m pulled to and fro on policy issues, but “I Walk the Line.” That’s because telecom politics is like a “Ring of Fire.” First I have Senator Rockefeller telling me about a “Coal Miner’s Daughter” who can’t get wireless service in some “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” Next, “I’m on the Road Again” to where “The Grass is Blue” and “A Boy Named Sue” stops me and says we need super-duper fast broadband all the way from “Boulder to Birmingham”” — and beyond, to “Galveston” and “El Paso.” He complains that his slow dial-up service can’t get to “Amarillo by Morning” and laments that America has gone round and round for years without a National Broadband Plan and plaintively asks, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

I explain — to the “Boy Named Sue” — that this issue is “Always on my Mind” and the lack of a plan should not make him “Hurt” or a “Man of Constant Sorrow” with his “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” Instead, I tell him to “Take it Easy” — “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” … just try to “Keep on the Sunny Side” and dream “Sweet Dreams” — because A National Broadband Plan is coming. Next week.”

Don’t you feel so much more enlightened about broadband now?

Filed under: Entertainment and Government and Music and News & Politics and Redneck Humor and Redneck Music and Rednecks and Technology
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Sen. Ben Nelson Loses Redneck Vote
Posted on 12.24.09 by Danny Glover @ 12:51 pm

America is on the verge of taking a huge step toward socialized medicine, and Sen. Ben Nelson is a key player in that move. The Nebraska Democrat gave his party the 60th vote it needs to limit debate on the health-care bill that the Senate passed today on a 60-39 vote.

Nelson’s decision to sell his vote in a deal dubbed as “Cash for Cloture” doesn’t sit with the the rednecks in his state. Several of them rallied in the capital city of Lincoln on Tuesday to protest Nelson’s support for the legislation in exchange for tens of millions of dollars in federal dollars to Nebraska.

“We’re proud redneck Nebraskans, and we go big red and we’re not for sale,” Lincoln musician Gary Redden sang. The crowd answered back, “We’re not for sale!”

Nelson had plenty of opportunities to hear that message before selling out, but he closed his ears. Unfortunately, Nelson isn’t up for re-election until 2010. Hopefully the rednecks will crank up the volume between now and then, so the state doesn’t forget Nelson’s betrayal.

Filed under: Government and Health and Music and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
Comments: 1 Comment

Pink vs. Prince William
Posted on 12.12.09 by Danny Glover @ 3:48 pm

American singer and songwriter Pink (her given name is Alecia Beth Moore) thinks Prince William of England needs a better education. That’s the only explanation she has for why someone as royal as he is would stoop so low as to hunt:

U.S. rock singer Pink has called Prince William of Wales … a “redneck” after he responded to the letter she had written to him protesting about fox hunting. … [She] told the U.K. music magazine Q that she was shocked by the manner in which Prince William … responded to her letter regarding fox hunting, saying:

“I wrote to him to protest about fox hunting and I figured he would be this stuffy, privileged a**hole. But he’s like a redneck from the South. If you’re brought up shooting and hunting animals, if you really think it’s second nature and you’re blasting away then it’s hard to see the other point of view. You need educating.

Wear that redneck label with pride, Prince William. And keep on hunting. Pink, like everyone else who works with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is the one who needs educated.

Filed under: Hunting & Guns and Music and People
Comments: 2 Comments

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