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Toby Keith? A hypocrite? Surely I'm mistaken, right? I know, he seemed so genuine up to this point, huh? Well, he's not, and I'll tell you why. For one, he's a lifelong Democrat. Despite his best friend-dom with the Bush administration at the exact moment his real party needed him, the fact remains that Toby Keith has gone on record as a supporter of the blue. That's doesn't make him a hypocrite so much as it calls into question the authenticity of the Republican talking points that littered most of his 9/11 cash-in work.
In keeping with Toby Keith's unlikely status as a registered Democrat, he's come under fire from conservatives and especially gun owners over the past few months, and for damn good reason, if you ask me.
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That stupid goddamn bandanna?
Here's the deal: Toby Keith has always made it a point to speak out in support of gun owner rights. In 2003, he performed at an NRA-sponsored concert to honor Charlton Heston. His 2010 hit "Bullets in the Gun" was all about the romance of carrying firearms. Then there's the crown champion of Toby Keith firearm talking points:
I'm all about good people, licensed and trained, carrying a concealed weapon. The bad guys are always gonna be carrying guns. There are so many guns in the U.S. and so many bad people that do harm with 'em. If 1 percent of non-felons would go get their concealed weapons license and carry a gun where they can, 1 percent puts you in a pretty good position of being somebody that could save a bunch of people's lives.
I added the emphasis there just in case any non-felons reading this didn't realize they'd received marching orders from upon high. Not so fast, though. As it turns out, Toby Keith isn't nearly as pro-gun as his songs and pretend persona may indicate. See, Toby Keith isn't just a country singer, he's a businessman.
Give the gift of terrible gift card buying decisions.
That fancy pants ad comes from one of his patented Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill franchises. Gift cards are just one of the many things available for you to enjoy at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.
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"All my Muslim fans put your hands in the air!"
Another amenity? The chance to get shot in the face by a rampaging madman with no means to protect yourself.
See, as outspoken as Toby Keith has been on the right to carry guns, he absolutely forbids such chicanery inside his precious restaurants. That's right, fans of terrible music and shooting people: Toby Keith does want you to take up arms and fight back against the random and impossible to spot until it's too late lunatics who occasionally stroll into your neighborhood McDonald's and start indiscriminately blowing people away; he just doesn't want you to do it on his lawn, apparently.
With all of that said, I cannot begin to express how very little of a shit I give about this situation. The only thing I like less than Toby Keith is his fans. If he's doing something to make them sad, carry on, I say. And also don't let people bring guns into restaurants. Thanks.
You know who loves the song "Imagine" by John Lennon? Just about everyone. While I will admit that it sounds pretty and all that, there's something about that song that has always bothered me. Not just sort of bothered me, either. It's nagged at me for a long time, it angers me that more people don't bring it up, and I will be forever indebted to Cracked for giving me such a huge platform to ask this question:
Just where in the hell does John Lennon get off asking if WE can imagine a world with no possessions?
If you're a fan of "Imagine," then surely you know what I'm referring to, which is a line in the song where Lennon says, "Imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can." Why does that bother me? Because he was sitting here when he came up with that line:
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Can I live in that?
It takes a lot of nerve (Jimmy Kimmel nerve, probably) for a singer to ask us if we can imagine giving up our possessions when he's banging the song out on a piano made from decorative cocaine or whatever the hell that might be. I ... imagine it set him back quite a bit of cash. Wouldn't downgrading to playing that song on a normal person's piano (those don't actually exist, by the way) and doing away with the finery have been a nice example to set for the rest of us? Also, the apartment building he was living in at the time was expensive as fuck. Look, I'm a fan of the Beatles and of a lot of Lennon's solo work, so don't come down on me like I'm questioning every single thing the band ever stood for. I'm just saying John Lennon was a hypocrite, is all. Is that really so bad?
Also, I'm not the only who noticed this. Check out Neil Young covering the song during a 9/11 tribute.
If you cut to around the 1:54 mark, you'll hear Neil sing it as "Imagine no possessions/I wonder if I can." It's a minor change, but it makes a huge difference. "I wonder if you can" is a lecture. "I wonder if I can" is someone expressing internal doubt and all that fun stuff that music is supposed to be.
I know we're supposed to treasure this song, but to me, it's just more proof that the longstanding rumor that John Lennon was a massive asshole may actually be true.
Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should listen to on Soundcloud and a live stand-up comedy show of the same name that you should come see sometime if you're in the Los Angeles area. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.