Briefly Noted: A Country Singer Can Evolve


Although he is a wealthy and successful second-generation celebrity, Hank Williams Jr. has long maintained a populist pose. In addition to his rowdy songs about such popular personal obsessions as sex, drugs, booze, and football, he has praised small-town values, vigilante justice, and generally reactionary politics.

After the September 11 attacks, Williams retooled his agrarian manifesto "A Country Boy Can Survive" into the aggressively patriotic "America Will Survive." Last fall, he turned his politics partisan by transforming his clever "Family Tradition" (which celebrates marijuana and whiskey) into the clumsy "McCain-Palin Tradition" (which sneers at the liberal media and leers at Sarah Palin).

Along with lamenting high taxes, his latest single, "Red, White & Pink-Slip Blues," complains about dangerous streets and jobs that "moved to Mexico." It's an accurate portrait of today's right-wing populism, a movement whose central theme is class anxieties, not small government.


NEXT: Why Jobs Leave Los Angeles (and other high-tax, arbitrary jurisdictions)

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  1. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

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