The Liberal Country Music Fan

Welcome to the Liberal Country Music Fan blog. Life sometimes gets a bit Blue for us country music fans on the Left. With any luck, this blog will provide a home and a voice to us Roosevelt-lovin' Rednecks. It'll be our "Big Blue Note".

Friday, April 21, 2006

Wussifying "All Jacked Up"

To my non-country lovin’ “friends” and "family", I frequently describe Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up”, one of my favorite new tracks, as a song that warns against drunk driving in a humorous fashion, but without a tongue-in-cheek tone. In other words, I believe the song, co-written by small town-native Wilson (iTunes), to be an honest warning against the perils of DUI from a person for whom such warnings are not trite and obvious, and targeted toward a similar audience. It is not commonly understood by we urbanites, but drunk driving is still a way of life for many people in rural America. In many cases, the rural culture has not rejected the practice as definitively as urban culture. Taken in its rural context, when Wilson jokingly sings “Two foot later backed into the light pole / All the town folk got a good show” and “One thing I’ve learning when you get tore up / Don’t drive your car...”, she is not glorifying drunk driving. Rather, she is warning against something saddening in the manner that the blues legacy of country music demands: with a smiling face.

So why is this blog-worthy? I just saw the video for “All Jacked Up”, and, at the risk of sounding Limbaugh-esque, I was pissed. The political correctness of the urban culture interfered, and the video shows a sober person taking the keys from a drunken Gretchen and crashing the car into a light pole. Rather than having the effect of demonstrating the dramatic effects of DUI, the video just shows a minor car accident. Although depicting drunk driving may not be politically correct, whitewashing the important message of a song is definitely not morally correct. Which is more important?

In this case, I am in 100 percent agreement with liberal independent Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman’s aim to dewussify culture by catering less to political correctness. While in some cases political correctness can be an effective means for demonstrating sensitivity towards others, for Wilson’s video and similar situations, sensitivity comes at the expense of important social education.

The video is available for viewing at CMT and Yahoo! Music.

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