Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hank Williams Jr. and Adolph Hitler

Hank Williams Jr. has been doing the lead-in song to Monday Night Football for over 20 years. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? has become an icon. Any MNF fan not in a coma is aware of it.

Now he's in trouble and they yanked him off the air, at least for now. It seems Hank mentioned the names Obama and Hitler within a few sentences, along with a few others, notably John Boehner, the current Speaker of the House, while giving his opinion on the current state of politics, and in this hyper-sensitive politically correct society, one shouldn't do that, I suppose.

I've been to several Hank Williams' concerts and, think what you will of his music, he's a superb musician. He writes most of his own stuff, sings, and can play the guitar, keyboard and drums. At Pine Knob (it will always be that to me) Hank could get everybody on their feet, people dancing in the aisles, and have the bikers and rednecks screaming at the top of their lungs. 5 minutes later, he might throw a change-up with a ballad and make some of the big girls cry. That's the epitome of a performer.

But I guess it's not about that. People in the public eye aren't supposed to mention the name Hitler, though I don't know why. The dude's been dead for 66 years. Did he commit atrocities? Of course. So did a lot of other people in history. How many millions of his own people did Josef Stalin do away with? How about Genghis Khan? Body count unknown, but likely in the millions. The Spanish Inquisition? Probably the granddaddy of them all was the Crusades. We can talk about all of that stuff but the name Adolph Hitler is off limits, for some reason.

Am I defending Hank? You betcha. He's an American citizen and can exercise his First Amendment freedom of speech rights whenever he wants to. Personally, I agree with him. Obama and Boehner playing golf together doesn't make a lot of sense. While there's a remote chance they might actually agree on something in private, there's probably about the same chance the highest seniority season ticket holders at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park would have of doing the same thing. The odds are slim or none, and Slim died a while back.

So he compared Hitler and recycled current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the same scenario. Big deal. Nevermind that Ben was a little boy when Adolph died, and modern-day Israel wouldn't be created until 3 years later, so obviously the time frame was hypothetical.  Further nevermind there was never a direct comparison between Barack and Adolph. And if there was -- so what? Agree or disagree, but the man's got a right to say it. I'll go a step further. Hitler was white. Obama is considered to be black. Boehner used to be orange, but they fixed that. Can I say those things? I just did, because it's only stating the obvious.

If MNF wants to be closed-minded about it, then they can keep him off the air. That's their call. If YOU want to be closed-minded, then don't go his concerts, buy CDs, shirts, caps, or whatever.

I'm glad that, so far, Hank hasn't given in to the pressure and groveled with an apology like so many others have done before for merely speaking their mind.

If he comes around to Pine Knob again -- I'll be there.

It's a family tradition.


  1. I appreciate your love of family. I hope you have many children and grandchildren, and each of them will marry a jew, a black, a muslim, a conservative Christian, a liberal Christian, a pro-lifer, a pro-choicer, a Mormom, a Scientologist, an atheist, and at least one of them will be a reasonable normal person like you and HWJr. Bing the reasonable and wise person that you are, you will happily and effectively hold the world together. YOU, being open-minded, will also happily attend the musical concerts favored by each of your diverse array of chldren. Why not start now, even before your family expands?